Saturday Night and Sunday Morning By Alan Sillitoe Adapted by Amanda Whittington [pic] Harrogate Theatre 22nd February – 8th March 2008 Directed by Joyce Branagh Resource Material [pic] Alan Sillitoe’s ground breaking picture of 1950’s Britain, as seen through the eyes of the unforgettable Arthur Seaton (immortalised on screen by Albert Finney), is now brought raging back to life and bang up-to-date in a fast-moving new stage adaptation.
Classic kitchen sink drama blended with high energy action and a toe-tapping 1950’s fuelled soundtrack makes this at turns funny and heart-rending tale of the life and loves of the original angry young man a must see for three generations. ContentsPage Brief Synopsis Historical context About the author The adapted text List of Characters Principals Analysis In different media 21st Century references Synopsis Saturday Night and Sunday Morning tells the story of Arthur Seaton, a young Nottingham factory worker, who is having an affair with Brenda, the wife of Jack, an older co-worker.
He also has a relationship with Doreen, a woman closer to his own age. When Brenda becomes pregnant with Arthur’s child, he goes to his aunt for advice on aborting the child. Jack discovers the affair. His brother and a fellow soldier give Arthur a serious beating. The play ends on an ambiguous note, with a recovered Arthur and Doreen discussing marriage and the prospect of a new home. Historical context 1958: The European Economic Community (Common Market) starts operation. The birth of Rock and Roll, which resulted in the emergence of clubs. Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls of Fire reaches no 1 in the US charts.
On different occasions he worked as a house painter. Once he was imprisoned for “running up bills for food that he had no hope of paying. ” Sillitoe’s mother, Silvina (Burton) worked in a lace factory. “We lived in a room on Talbot Street whose four walls smelled of leaking gas, stale fat, and layers of mouldering wall-paper,” Sillitoe has recalled. Early life:Left school at 14 Sillitoe’s childhood was shadowed by the financial problems of the family, but he also found early on the joys of literature and started to plan his career as a writer.
However, his first semi-fictional tale about his wild cousins was burned by his mother for being too revealing. At the age of 14 he left school and worked in a number of jobs in Nottingham factories, including a bicycle factory from 1942 to 1946. He served in the Royal Air Force, where he was a wireless operator. After returning from Malaya, he was discovered to have tuberculosis. Sill toe spent sixteen months in an RAF hospital. During this period he started to write again and read intensively. Pensioned off at 21 on 45 shillings at week, he lived in France and Spain for seven years in an attempt to recover.
In 1951 he met an American poet, Ruth Fainlight, who was married, but they decided to go abroad together. From 1952 to 1958 they lived in France, Italy and Spain largely on Sillitoe’s air force pension. Encouraged by Robert Graves, whom he met on the island of Mallorca in 1956, Sillitoe began to write his first novel, SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING (1958), a story about working-class life in Nottingham. Adapters of the book • Amanda Whittington Previous plays for New Perspectives include: The Boy on the Hill; Last Stop Louisa’s; and Player’s Angels.
Other plays include: Ladies Day (Hull Truck); Satin N Steel (Nottingham Playhouse and Bolton Octagon); Be My Baby (Soho Theatre and subsequently staged by Oldham Coliseum, Hull Truck and Salisbury Playhouse); Born To Run (Third Space); Bollywood Jane (Leicester Haymarket); The Wills’s Girls (Tobacco Factory, Bristol and Radio Four). Publications include: Satin N Steel and Be My Baby (Nick Hern Books); and Twist & Shout, Runaway Girl and Shirley’s Song (SchoolPlay). Amanda has also written for film and television, and was joint winner of the 2001 Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award. David Brett David Brett is an English actor, singer and arranger. David Brett is one of the original members of The Flying Pickets. He arranged a number of the group’s songs, including the number one hit Only You. Brett is working as an actor, mainly performing on stage, but he has also participated in a number of TV productions and played Dedalus Diggle in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Characters Arthur Seaton: (21) a tall, iron-faced, crop-haired youth Loudmouth: (40) a sailor Brenda: (30) a married mother of two Em’ler: (20’s) Brenda’s friend, a bit touched
Winnie: (25) Brenda’s sister, small and fiery Waiter: too old for the job he’s forced to do Sweeper Girls: (20’s) factory workers Tealady: (40’s) a fixture of the factory Jack: (30) self-contained, fresh-faced, with a perpetual frown Robboe: (40) the foreman, a quiet man with tortured eyes Aunt Ada: (50) the personality of a promiscuous barmaid Mick: (40’s) an Irish drunk Landlady: (50’s) worldly-wise and cynical Courting Couple: (20’s) love-struck Grieving Man: (30’s) confused and sad Doreen: (19) fresh and innocent with a sharp edge
Swaddies: (20’s) army thugs Can be staged with a minimum of six actors, playing: Arthur Brenda/Tealady/Landlady Jack/Loudmouth/Grieving Man/Swaddie Winnie/Aunt Ada/Sweeper Girl/Ratface Doreen/Em’Ler/Sweeper Girl/Courting Girl Waiter/Robboe/Mick/Courting Boy/Swaddie Principal Analysis Arthur: Arthur Seaton, a lathe operator in a bicycle factory in Nottingham, England. The blond, muscular twenty- one-year-old fights to remain independent of society, employers, and marriage. He dates married women—first Brenda, then Winnie—and engages in boisterous drinking bouts.
After a beating by Winnie’s soldier husband, he settles for the single Doreen, deciding that he need not reject all that life offers to remain independent. Brenda: Jack’s wife and Arthur’s lover. A young mother of two, she is bored with Jack and finds romance and excitement with Arthur. She is part of the dangerous “Saturday Night” life of the first half of the novel. After having an abortion, and after Arthur, discovered by Jack, has been beaten, she fades from the action. Doreen Greatton: a factory worker. Nineteen years old and single, she is eager to be married but seeks to curb Arthur’s excesses.
She represents marriage and settling down to Arthur in the “Sunday Morning” half of the novel. She fails to get him past every pub but has won commitment from Arthur at the end. Winnie: nicknamed “Gyp,” Brenda’s sister. She is livelier and more reckless than her older sister. She, too, has an affair with Arthur. Her husband, Bill, is a soldier stationed in Germany. He returns on leave with a friend and, tipped off to the affair by Jack, beats Arthur. By dating Winnie, Arthur hastens an end to the dangerous life that he is finding to be a strain.
Jack: Brenda’s husband and Arthur’s foreman at the factory. He is steady but dull. Rather than confront Arthur, he betrays him to Bill, Winnie’s husband. Aunt Ada: Arthur’s widowed aunt, a large, boisterous, and nurturing mother figure whose house teems with family at Christmas. Following his beating by Winnie’s husband, Arthur becomes withdrawn and cautious. It is in her house, under her vital influence, that Arthur breaks out of his withdrawal and returns to life, but with new attitudes. In different Media Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was first a novel written by Alan Sillitoe in 1958.
It was one of the first kinds of Kitchen Sink Drama’s, with other noticeable ones being Angry Young Men and Billy Liar. It was adapted into a film in 1960, starring Albert Finney. The screenplay was adapted by Sillitoe himself. The next adaptation was by David Brett in 1964 as a low budget stage show, with a then unknown Ian McKellen in the role. The next proper adaptation was by Amanda Whittington References and Themes in the 21st Century Adultery Loyalty Revenge Violence Love/Friendship Deceit Rectification of your Mistakes