Genre: Comedy, Drama. Dir: Adrian Shergold. Country: UK.
Maxine Peake gives a formidable performance as an aspiring female comedian standing up to a violent husband and the sexist Northern England club circuit. If modern comedy is still lacking in gender equality, then this tough, streetwise British film shows the history of the in-your-face chauvinism of working men’s clubs in decades past. Ill-treatment by men is something the eponymous heroine is grimly used to, from childhood beatings to an abusive husband (scriptwriter Tony Pitts, on terrifying form). A film about the power of laughter and how to transform pain into humour.