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Alan Bleasdale Biography

(1946– ), Having a Ball, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Fat Harold and the Last Twenty Six

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British playwright, born in Liverpool, educated at Padgate Teacher Training College and Liverpool Polytechnic. He worked as a teacher before writing a series of plays, many of them combining humour with dramatic punch, for theatres in his native city, Liverpool. Two of these, Having a Ball (1981), a farcical comedy involving a series of confusions in a vasectomy clinic, and Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1985), a musical about Elvis Presley, transferred to London. Other stage plays include Fat Harold and the Last Twenty Six (1975), about corruption in the Liverpool docks; The Party's Over (1975), about a probation hostel for young women; No More Sitting on the Old School Bench (1977), about staff conflict in a multi-racial comprehensive school; and the socially conscious farce On the Ledge (1993), in which petty thieves, a villainous property developer, and other exemplary characters pursue each other round the top of a Liverpool tower block while rioters create havoc below. Bleasdale is, however, best known for his television work, notably two powerful and topical series, The Boys from the Blackstuff (1982), about unemployed men in Liverpool, and GBH (1991), about left-wing politics and corruption in an unnamed northern city.

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