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Stark Drama That Shook A Nation
on 31 October 2004
In 1966 The Wednesday Play brought us one of the most significant pieces of work that has ever been transmitted on British television. Written by Jeremy Sandford and directed by Ken Loach, this single drama had such a profound effect on its showing, that Britain would never be the same again. The play was called Cathy Come Home.
Never before or since has one single piece of drama had such an effect on an entire nation. The stark realism of Cathy Come Home led to changes in social attitudes and the issues addressed were discussed in Parliament.
Stark, unremittingly grim and charged with a palpable tragic power which haunts the minds of those who saw it to this very day, Cathy Come Home remains as a truly ground-breaking piece of dramatic documentary fiction. Although director Loach has constantly refused to take credit for the impact that "Cathy" had on social attitudes, stating that the drama had a minimal effect, and reminding us that the homeless problem is far worse today than it ever was in the 1960's, rarely has a programme so clearly illustrated the true power of television. Even more rarely has television succeeded in touching the conscience of an entire nation.