Views & Reviews Review

Lip synching about my deprivation

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 03 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6119
  1. Tom Nolan, GP trainee, King’s College Hospital, London
  1. tom{at}

The poverty, abuse, and alcoholism in this film are watchable only because of the way in which the story is told. Tom Nolan was moved by this biography of the writer of Rita, Sue and Bob Too!

The Arbor is the true story of Andrea Dunbar, a talented playwright from a council estate in Bradford, who died at the age of 29, leaving behind three young children. The film recounts the unlikely success of Dunbar, who wrote her first play, also called The Arbor, in 1977 at the age of 15. Dunbar grew up on Brafferton Arbor (the road known locally as The Arbor), the inspiration for her first play, a semiautobiographical tale of her life on the Buttershaw estate. The play was performed at the Royal Court theatre in London after being discovered by the theatre’s artistic director, Max Stafford-Clark.

This was followed two years later by the second of Dunbar’s three plays, Rita, Sue and Bob Too!, later made into a cult film. Both plays were …

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