Year:  1989

Movie / TV:   No Strings

Director:  Ronnie Baxter

Others in the Cast:  Jean Marsh, Robert Fyfe, Amanda Waring, John McAndrew, Graham McGrath, Sam Smart, Alison Bettles

Plot summary:  Sam Jessop (Edward Petherbridge) arrives home from work to discover that his wife has left him and run away with another man. Out of curiosity, he contacts Rosie Tindall (Jean Marsh), the wife of the 'other man'. They discover that they have a lot in common, and a relationship gradually develops between them. Rosie has a daughter, Sally (Amanda Waring). Sam has two sons, Joe (John McAndrew) and Nick (Graham McGrath). He also has Grandad (Robert Fyfe) living with him.  Summary from here

Reviews:  Even within the context of a television sitcom, Petherbridge’s dance-like line is easily perceptible and we learn much about his character’s psychological situation from his bodily eloquence. In a short scene from the Yorkshire Television series No Strings (1989), which centres on two middle-aged people abandoned by their respective spouses and thrown together by their shared predicament, his role is mostly one of reaction. He says very little but, again like Astaire, he tends to command our attention even when he is still, silent or on the periphery of a scene. In this instance, our eyes are drawn to his noiseless movements in the background rather than to co-star Jean Marsh’s spoken monologue in the foreground. As he enters Marsh’s living room and is invited to sit down, his unease is palpable. His initial attempt to relax is subverted by sudden alarm, registered in his whole upper body, at an obtrusive plant behind him. He tries to redress this loss of equilibrium by assuming a nonchalance he does not feel. As he listens to Marsh’s delicate and disjointed narrative, his movements become more contained, even inhibited, through a combination of bafflement, ambivalence and diffidence. At the end of the scene, now standing and with his back to the door through which Marsh has exited, he executes a beautifully timed and expressive turn on hearing her re-enter and uncharacteristically use his Christian name. This is immediately followed by a nice bit of comic business with an erupting beer can, as, finally and paradoxically, he is jolted into a state of relaxation and amused resignation. - Kathleen Riley in A poet of silence: Edward Petherbridge and the Pyladean tradition

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Pic of the cast here

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