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Shockingly, Victoria Wood is continually written off as a genius in Light Entertainment. She should sue. Wood has a light touch, but heavy talent.
At the beginning of her career in the mid-70s, Wood was as much a performer as writer, using songs to buttress her material – most famously 'Let's Do It', performed so beautifully by Wood that it has justifiably become an icon.
It's as a writer, though, that Wood has made her lasting mark. Unquestionably a genius at dialogue, her command of the rhythm of speech is extraordinary.
This is perhaps best seen in Victoria Wood, her six-part series featuring herself in a variety of roles, each episode set in a different world.
Victoria Wood As Seen On TV saw Wood, longtime co-star Julie Walters and others create the immortal Acorn Antiques (later translated to the West End as a musical); her 2006 penning of Housewife, 49, got under the skin of the later years of WWII life perfectly.
Best of all has to be Pat and Margaret, opposite Julie Walters, the two playing long-separated, utterly different siblings.
Wood writes empathically, using humour to illustrate the littleness of life and the joys and sadnesses of it.
Maybe it's a weird kind of sexist holdover that means few people tell it like it is: along with Alan Bennett, Victoria Wood is as sensitive and insightful a dramatist as television has.
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