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Queenie's Castle
cast: Diana Dors, Tony Caunter, Barrie Rutter, Freddie Fletcher, and Brian Mosley

director: Ian Davidson

450 minutes (12) 1970-2
Network DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Taking a look back over many decades, here's a little retro treasure starring our very own 'Marilyn Monroe', the late Diana Dors as the queen of her own place in aptly named Buckingham Flats. Also starring other well-known actors and actresses, Mrs Petty (Lynne Perrie) went on to play Ivy Brennan, Douglas Sheppard (Barrie Rutter) from popular sitcom Porridge who played Oates, and the Landlord (Brian Mosley) who was genial Alf Roberts in Coronation Street.

It is a charmingly broad Yorkshire sitcom that proves how interesting and much more sophisticated TV is many years later with the advent of newer technology. It certainly is a nice and nostalgic peek back at how it was in the early 1970s up north and what times were like in the gritty, urban cityscape.

In this series of Queenie's Castle the fun happens when Mrs Petty is a constant pain in Queenie's side as she keeps on trying to get her and her family evicted from the block of flats. No matter how hard she tries though, she never manages to do it and ends up being the butt of her jokes and jibes in the end.

The lighter, simpler look at comedy is right here with this series as it shows how everyday people acted back then, and how they interacted with others with their broad speaking ways and manner. The general look of the era is amusing, too. The image of life in the north of England is less showy and more realistic for it.

Queenie's Castle creators Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse have taken the idea of a rather warm-hearted and spirited woman living in the city with her sons to new heights as wherever she goes she is ridiculed by others for being so tough and modern thinking, but things always turn out worst for the ones who try to annoy her.

Willis Hall a fellow playwright and native of Leeds took a lot of his experiences in his youth in the north of England to use in his plays, also working on Billy Liar and the successful Minder TV series. Also born in Leeds, and the writer of Billy Liar, which became a well-known movie in the 1960s, Keith Waterhouse has many writing credits for series like That Was The Week That Was, The Frost Report, and Worzel Gummidge. His first ever screenplay was for Whistle Down The Wind.

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