With the same cast and director, it holds up very well. Katie (Ruth Middleton) is called to her stroppy sister Natalie’s school after Natalie (Nicola Stebbings) threatens vile fellow pupil Douglas (William Hutchby) with a knife.
Katie works as a prostitute, under the name Sherica, and her clients include Douglas, who sees an opportunity for blackmail, and teacher Michael (Oliver Devoti), the latter married to Holly (Katy Slater), another teacher. 24:7 originator David Slack is the disciplinarian maths teacher and a man of principle.
There’s certainly a lot of it, as the author elaborates on his basic plot by fleshing out Katie and her determination to try to break her family’s circle of poverty and deprivation by striving for a better future for Natalie.
Along the way there are swipes at teenage behaviour, at the near impossibility of controlling youths who don’t want to be controlled, at mid-life crisis and how not to behave as a supposedly loving husband, and so on. It’s a packed script with a surprising streak of black humour.
There are strong performances all round, particularly from Middleton who conveys Katie/Sherica’s dual life as a sex worker and caring elder sister with considerable conviction.
Trevor MacFarlane directs a busy and precise production that grips throughout.
- Alan Hulme