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Belonging (ITV1 2004, Brenda Blethyn, Kevin Whately)



Belonging is a poignant film, with a cast of marvelously drawn characters. Painful in its honesty yet tenderly funny, the moving and comical novel The Web of Belonging by Stevie Davies was adapted by the always fabulous Alan Plater..

Set in Shrewsbury where Jess, a pillar of the community, lives with her dependable husband Jacob, together with Jacob’s mother May, his aunt Brenda and his widowed elderly cousin Nathan. With selfless dedication and quiet religious conviction, Jess has given up her job as a librarian to care for the Oldies.

One day Jacob goes out to the pub and never returns and slowly and inexorably, Jess’s life starts to fall apart. She now has to question the entire foundations on which her life has been built and to cope with the younger woman in Jacob’s life…

It’s hard to build a new life while still tending to a manipulative, spectacularly selfish, chatterbox mother-in-law May; or fretting about dignified Nathan who spends most of his time on his knees praying; or catering to frail, nervous Brenda, who spends even longer in the lavatory than May. Then there are Jess’s good friends including Kathy and Averil – and even a man who shows a keen interest in Jess. The film sees a woman rebuilding her life around the lives of those she cares for.

production details
UK / ITV1 – The Producers – Minotaur International / 1×100 minute episode / Broadcast 12 September 2004

Writer: Alan Plater / Novel: Stevie Davis / Producers: Jenny Edwards, Jeanna Polley / Director: Christopher Menaul

Brenda Blethyn as Jess Copplestone
Rosemary Harris as May Copplestone
Anna Massey as Brenda
Peter Sallis as Nathan
Jill Baker as Cathy
Kevin Whately as Jacob Copplestone
Matthew Marsh as Peter Fox
Helen Masters as Hazel
Daniel Chenery as Fergus
Poppy Lea Friar as Lara
Muriel Pavlow as Dorothy
Eliza Hunt as Jane Ventress
Joanna David as Averil
Joe van Moyland as Luke
Fiona O’Shaughnessy as Stephanie
Tom Bennett as Police Constable Cowley
Teresa Churcher as Detective Constable Sinclair
Liz Moscrop as Mrs Jenkins
Maisy Taylor as Nella
Roisin Rae as Waitress
Bindu De Stoppani as Nurse


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