Writer: Louise Coulthard
Director: Michael Fentiman
Miriam Margolyes is becoming a regular feature on our television screens, travelling around countries such as America, Australia and Russia in the guise of a cantankerous 70-something and being rude to the locals. So it is worth taking a quarter of an hour or so to remind ourselves that she is still an accomplished actor with an admirable range.
Louise Coulthard’s bitter-sweet vignette is a comedy of modern dilemmas. Alice (Margolyes) is a widowed old lady with dementia, drifting into and out of the real world randomly. Rosie (Coulthard) is her anxious granddaughter, separated from her by the harsh rules of lockdown. They connect on Zoom. Mystified as to how Rosie has got inside a small monitor, Alice asks “have you seen Ant & Dec in there?”
As grans do, Alice worries that Rosie is unattached and, when a delivery man (Amit Shah) knocks on the door, her first instinct is to act as matchmaker. Coulthard’s writing is spare and natural. She does not need to fill in the details; we know enough about self-isolating, social distancing and loneliness already. We also know that dementia can be comical and desperately sad at the same time and Margolyes captures both aspects effortlessly.
Available here until 30 September 2020