Way Upstream (1988)BBC. Alan Ayckbourn adaptation.

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Way Upstream (1988)BBC An Alan Ayckbourn adaptation.

Starring: Nick Dunning, Joanne Pearce, Barrie Rutter, Marion Bailey, Stuart Wilson, Lizzy McInnerny, Veronica Clifford.

Note: never released commercially in video or dvd.

In 1987, the BBC adapted the play for television under the direction of playwright and director Terry Johnson. It's an interesting example of how a well-made film - which is entertaining enough on its own terms - can deviate from the source material. Despite Johnson's passion for the play, it is very much his interpretation of a play by Alan Ayckbourn rather than an absolutely faithful adaptation of the source material. Filmed on location on an actual cabin cruiser, the film ran at 100 minutes losing about an hour of material from the play's original running time. The main impact of this is the transition from reality to fantasy, which is quite subtle and very slowly introduced into the play, was more abrupt and uncomfortable in the film and takes place in a surreal dream sequence. The loss of material also affected much of the humour to the film's detriment, which even today feels unduly violent. The film was premiered at the London Film Festival at the National Film Theatre in 1987 before its transmission on BBC1 on 1 January 1988. It was generally well received though and is still well remembered, although it has never been made available commercially by the BBC on video or dvd.

Format: PAL on DVD-R
Region Code: multi-region '0' (free).
Source: tv video recording transfer to dvd.
Quality: 7/10 (video quality)
Runtime: 101 minutes
Presentation: full size dvd case with case cover and printed disc.