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on 9 October 2013
An interesting collection providing three peerless plays in 'Blade on the Feather', 'Rain on the roof' and 'Cream in my coffee' -all three served well by fine acting. 'Moonlight on the Highway' and 'Lay down your Arms' present themes which would be more fully developed in later works. 'Shaggy Dog' is an oddity; fun, but there is little here which made Dennis' work so special. The accompany interviews are very revealing -note his empathetic view of nemesis Whitehouse. If you have bought the BBC boxed set, then this is for you. But where can one find a copy of his magnificent 'Beast with Two Backs'; his take on the infamous bear killing incident which took place in the Forest of Dean in the 19th Century?
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on 27 July 2017
Excellent, great entertainment.
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on 1 October 2014
Excellent service from seller. The discs were as hilarious as I remember them
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on 21 February 2012
What you get in this 2DVD package are three television plays by Dennis Potter - 'Blade On The Feather', 'Rain On The Roof' and 'Cream In My Coffee' - all produced and broadcast by London Weekend Television (LWT) in 1980. Although quite watchable as they stand, it is a pity that Network have not digitally remastered both the sound and the picture, as the work both needs and deserves it.

At his worst, I think that Dennis Potter's personal bitternesses and prejudices (which are invariably class-based) overwhelm and unbalance his writing. This accounts for much - if not most - of the first two dramas in this collection, 'Blade On The Feather' and 'Rain On The Roof'. However, at his best, he can transcend these things to write something that is genuinely well-observed, penetrating and true. This accounts for 'Cream In My Coffee', the third and best drama in this collection.

All three plays deal with aspects of English life, and the English experience, as seen from Potter's essentially left-wing and self-consciously working class perspective. So, as you might expect, class antagonisms and class-based judgements are very much to the fore. The one exception to this rule is 'Cream In My Coffee' which has an unexpected, and quite sharp, sting in its tail. The package is worth having for this piece alone. Neverthless, all three plays have elements of interest, high production values and good performances, even if the first two do strike too many false notes for my particular taste.

Denholm Elliott is very good in 'Blade On The Feather', as is Ewan Stewart (as the illiterate youth, Billy) in 'Rain On The Roof'. But it's Peggy Ashcroft and Lionel Jeffries in 'Cream In My Coffee' who deliver the really outstanding performances. Not least because they have the best of the three scripts to work with. Martin Shaw is also very good in this play, as the big band singer, Jack Butcher.

It is worth noting that both Denholm Elliott and Peggy Ashcroft won BAFTAs for their performances, and 'Cream In My Coffee' won the Prix Italia for Best Drama in 1981.

Beyond the 'Chapter Selection' option, the DVD has no extras.
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on 12 August 2013
Shaggy Dog and Moonlight on the Highway from 1968/69 are all the reason you need to buy this.both feature outstanding lead acting performances from John Neville and Ian Holm respectively.the bonus interviews of Dennis Potter with Melvyn Bragg from The South bank Show in 1978/79 are fascinating and brutally honest.These plays feature themes that would be revisited and redeveloped later but it is a delight to see the original germ.pure genius
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on 2 January 2008
Like volume 1, this is a sensational dvd, containing three of Dennis Potter's single plays for television. Plays that have been locked away in television archives for more than 30 years - Shaggy Dog was even thought to have been lost until recently.
The plays are extremely different, spanning from Pinter-like theatre of the absurd in Shaggy Dog to the strange mix of satire and kitchen-sink realism in Lay Down Your Arms. Moonlight on the Highway anticipates The Singing Detective and boasts a soul-searching performance by a young Ian Holm.
Bonus: Two Melvyn Bragg interviews with Potter from 1978-79.
A digital restoration would have been nice - but it's a miracle that these plays by the greatest television playwright have been made available in the first place.
Praise be to network for issuing both volumes! Could we have a volume three, please?
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on 21 November 2007
This dvd contains three Potter plays broadcast in 1980. "Rain on the Roof", "Blade on the Feather" and "Cream in my Coffee".

"Rain" and "Blade" are good but its "Cream" that makes the disc worth getting. It's one of my favourites of Potters work. Prefiguring "The Singing Detective" while being an original work all its own, it has some great performances and is ably directed.

All in all, a brilliant DVD!!!
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on 2 April 2011
This series must have been a bit of a coup for LWT at the time, luring Dennis Potter away from the BBC for a while. I was early to mid teens and found the first couple of plays - Blade on the Feather, Cream in My Coffee exciting, because I took the atmosphere of mystery and menace and seedy sex seriously at that age. Some several decades later it all seems pretty meaningless.

Blade on the Feather is a typical Potter revenge scenario. Tom Conti appears at the rich country hideaway of an ex-spy (who knew Philby, Burgess and Maclean, naturally), hell-bent on wreaking havoc for the death of his father. Not sure how Tom Conti came to be such a sex symbol in the seventies, but here he is again, in a somewhat evil version of his Mr Charmer routine. What an annoying voice he has! Better were Phoebe Nicholls, Donald Pleasance and Denholm Eliot and this DVD is worth getting partly to see great actors such as these in their prime.

The play itself is a mix of some characteristic Potter elements: political discourse, a mysterious visitor, violence and sex, the nature of good and evil. Potter always seemed attracted by sensationalist, thriller-style plots, but they fit poorly in this instance with the theatrical and overly-mannered dialogue. He only used thriller conventions to good effect when he did it in an ironic, playful way as in The Singing Detective'.

Does it all add up to anything? I am not sure. Blade on the Feather just felt like a piece of 70's nostalgia - as meaningful, or not, as Confessions of a Driving Instructor or Shirley Valentine or the Exorcist or the Stud. (To be honest I think the Stud is much more interesting in many ways then this.)

Cream in My Coffee was better, somewhat in the style of Pennies From Heaven, not as good, but far better than his last few plays. The other plays in this box set I don't recall seeing at the time and have yet to watch on the DVD. I am not sure if I will.
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on 29 July 2016
Get this and the Jack Rosenthal Collection and regret what a wasteland ITV has become. Absolutely lovely stuff in all departments save perhaps the 16mm picture and sound, technically they are a bit rough compared to today's resources. RIP LWT, Granada, Thames . . .undeserving victims of the unlamented Margaret.
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on 2 July 2015
Saw Cream in my Coffee at my Grans and it stuck
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