JUST back from Spam sandwiches, fruitcake and a nice cup of tea.
The Imperial War Museum in south London was the venue for the launch of Victoria Wood’s new TV drama.
Housewife, 49, is a wartime film based on the real diary of a Lancashire housewife called Nella Last.
To be screened on ITV1 next month, it follows Nella’s life through the Second World War alongside her difficult husband, played by Shameless star David Threlfall.
“This is not the war of the newsreels – it’s about tiny domestic difficulties, chilly church halls, lumpy custard,” explained Bury-raised Victoria.
“And Nella is fighting her own war, one that she hopes will end in liberation.”
Victoria, 53, sat alongside Manchester actress Lorraine Asbourne, who plays Dot, and Lorraine’s husband Andy Serkis – recently seen as Ian Brady in Longford – at this afternoon’s screening.
She later spoke about the drama, which is more serious than her usual work – but with many flashes of humour.
Nella found an outlet for her feelings by writing a daily account of her life for Mass Observation, a government linked project aimed at examining the lives of ordinary people.
It’s a touching story about a woman who finds a role in life during the war but also has to face the fact that she is no longer needed as a mother.
Housewife, 49, which is Victoria’s first ITV drama for 25 years and only her second straight role, also left its mark on the Prestwich-born writer and performer.
“The stockings were dreadful – I still have a knee injury because of those stockings.
“I think they must have been designed for a shorter person because they were on a very tight tension with the suspenders and I had to wear them Nora Batty style when I thought no-one could see – or it was a rare case of knee-capping by stockings!”
Victoria is currently directing rehearsals for a touring production of Acorn Antiques The Musical, which calls first at The Lowry in Salford from December 11 to January 6.
She has also just finished a three-part documentary series for BBC TV on the British Empire – visiting places across the world called…Victoria.
You can read more about Victoria and Housewife, 49 in the MEN later this month.
*Asked to give her views on the current debate about “poppy fascism”, Victoria replied: “I think people should choose. I don’t think people should have to wear them. I really don’t agree with that. If I had one, I would wear a white one. I haven’t found anywhere to buy a white one at the moment, but that’s the one I wear when I wear one. I don’t wear red ones.”
Nella Last’s War
The Imperial War Museum, London
Acorn Antiques The Musical