01 September, 2008

Preview: "The Children"

"Writer Lucy Gannon was inspired to write The Children by seeing the devastating effect divorce had on her daughter’s teenage friends.

“It started me thinking about the pressures we put on children, what we choose to do to our children in order to fulfil our own lives,” says Lucy who has won acclaim for her hard hitting dramas.

“The children of divorced parents need to have their place in the world secured and guarded, and that’s what we are often not doing.

“If you look at most of our modern dramas at the moment they are all about the rights of adults to have sex, the rights of adults to be completely fulfilled in every single way they want to be, whether it is leaving your husband to go off with another man or making money or whatever it is it is always about the adult having complete gratification.

“What I am saying is some times you have to hold back on the gratification. I have no apologies for saying that. If you have a child then I am sorry but your rights to sexual gratification and to complete fulfilment may in some instances be curtailed by the very fact you have a child. Just get on with it, accept it, and move on.”

Lucy says the drama is not pointing an accusatory finger at divorced couples. She was divorced when she met her second husband, who was also divorced.

“My second husband was divorced and came to me with four children, so I know the angst and grief that caused him. I am not passing comment on divorce in this drama. What I am commenting on is the way we expect children to absorb and cope with what adults are going through.

“I am certainly not passing judgment on people’s lives, and I don’t feel I am in a position to lecture to anybody.

“The aim of the drama is to make people think. What I am in a position to do is to shine a light on something and say ‘have you thought about this’.

Lucy has tackled numerous challenging subjects including child abuse, domestic abuse and teenage pregnancies in her dramas such as Trip Trap, Dad, Pure Wickedness and The Gift.

“These are not issues; they are circumstances that we get ourselves into. I really do think that life is one long ricochet from one disaster to another. Some of them you come out of smiling and relieved, and some of them have a huge effect on you for the rest of your life,” says Lucy.

“As an adult you can weather those storms and gain by them. I think an awful lot of the time that is what we think happens to children. But children are not as resilient as we want them to be.

“We want them to be strong and come through smiling, and gain by it. But some times it destroys them, and some times it will affect them forever.

“I know there are people who are going to feel challenged by this drama, but I can’t say therefore I won’t write it and won’t say what I think. That would be cowardly. I was very desperate not to have any of my characters as villains. None of them are. They are all people doing their best in very difficult circumstances. They are just making tiny wrong choices for selfish reasons.”

Lucy moved from Derby to Wales to be closer to her daughter Louise and her husband, and their three daughters, Nancy 6, Frankie 5 and one-year-old Lucy.

“I have told my daughter and son in law that whatever happens in their marriage – I am sure they won’t break up - but if they ever did, or if one of them dies, the other one is not to bring another partner into the home until the children are at least 16. And if they do, and I am dead, I shall come back and haunt them.” says Lucy.

Lucy joined the Coronation Street writing team last year. "

Official site
Press Pack

Begins Monday 1 September, ITV1, 9:00pm for three episodes


Lucy said...

She sounds like my kinda gal! I totally agree - though I would also say that there's a lot of pressure on parents to give children whatever they want. Children too have to learn to wait, to learn to do things they don't want to do too. But how can they do that if adults don't? It's a good point.

Great name too.

Robin Kelly said...

Yes, I love the name Gannon. ;-)

Lucy said...


Did you watch this? I did - and liked it a lot. Having read this preview I could understand her logic completely to making the adults so effing careless... I wonder though if I would have been so engaged had I not known about her logic? Would I have rejected the characters and the story because no one is v sympathetic there? I'm not crazy about the non-linear structure either - though it does create interesting suspense that takes us out of hardcore drama territory.

Will be interesting to see how this shapes up. Chalk another one up to Lucy world domination.

Robin Kelly said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I'll bear that in mind when I do.

Robin Kelly said...

What makes Gannon so good is that despite the unsympathetic characters we do understand where they are coming from and remain interested.

Yes, the non-linear structure - and the way it reminds us of the death of the most sympathetic character - does keep us interested.