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Marie Lloyd : Reviews

The press coverage of Miss Marie Lloyd - Queen of the Music Hall was generally positive.

Given Jessie's Wallace's fame as Kat Slater in EastEnders, most of the publicity for the programme centred around interviews with her.

The weekend before the broadcast it was chosen by many UK newspapers' TV previews as their Pick of the Day.

The Independent (5th May 2007) called it 'an 'affecting biopic', the Daily Mail (5th May) 'Spirited stuff' and the Daily Mirror (5th May) 'a fabulously fitting tribute' to Marie Lloyd's life (included a photograph of Richard Armitage - see scan).  The Times (5th May) said: 'Set against a teeming background of tabloids and greasepaint, and featuring some of Lloyd's most famous songs, it's a wild, ebullient ride'.

The Sunday Telegraph (6th May) praised the actress taking the title role: 'Jessie Wallace's portrayal of the often scandalous but generous-spirited Lloyd is vigorous, seductive and likeable'. The Observer (6th May) said: '[T]his is a drama as much about what happens once the greasepaint comes off as it is about brief lives lived under the glare of the spotlight.  And it is all the better for that.'

On 9th May, all the newspapers except for the FT named Marie Lloyd as a Pick of the Day, praising Jessie Wallace's performance. The only sour note was struck by The Guardian, which described the script as 'simultaneously lumpen and flat'. But The Daily Telegraph said: 'Wallace captures Lloyd's dramatic ascent with a raucous stage show and vulgarly entertaining songs. As ever, it's the private sadness that makes the story: from her first marriage to an initially protective but latterly bullying first husband (Richard Armitage), to her adulterous association with a gambling jockey (Tom Payne), via a humiliating snub over a Royal Command performance.'

Although most papers praised Jessie Wallace's performance, the Independent on Sunday (13th May) criticised her presentation of Marie Lloyd's songs. Martin Hesford's script was also criticised, especially for leaving out some incidents the reviewer (Hermione Eyre) felt should have been included.

There was an article about the programme in the Radio Times which included a photograph of Richard Armitage as Percy Courtenay. (page 1, page 2) It picked Marie Lloyd as one of its choices of the day, saying that "Richard Armitage is fine as [Marie Lloyd's] first husband." There was also a small photograph in TV Quick.

There were interviews with Jessie Wallace about Marie Lloyd in What's on TV, Total TV Guide and TV & Satellite Week. The programme was a Pick of the Day in many of the TV listings magazines.


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