Monday, September 14, 2015

Male on Monday - Ben Batt

Pink Heart Society editor, Ali Williams, is super excited about the BBC production of The Go-Between next week - and particularly looking forward to Ben Batt's performance!

The BBC have taken to filling Sunday nights with television adaptations of classic works of literature.  Last week they took on Lady Chatterley's Lover, last night it was J. B. Priestly's An Inspector Calls, and next week is the turn of The Go-Between.

It's a classic tale of star-cross'd lovers, and had a profound impact on me when I read it as a young teenager; there was something about the all consuming nature of passion that appealed to me.

So when I discovered last night that they were dramatizing it (my fiancé had to deal with incessant talking about it at him for about an hour), I set out to do some research on the man playing the male love interest, farmer Ted Burgess.

Ben Batt is an English actor, who played plenty of rugby, and would probably have ended up palying professionally, if it hadn't been for a particularly vicious injury.  (A point pertinent only in that I love rugby).  Instead he joined Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and began winning roles left, right and centre.

He's had roles in a number of UK shows, including The Village, Sirens and Scott & Bailey, but he's perhaps best known for the thugish Joe Pritchard, accountant and football captain in the original UK Shameless tv series.  

This role couldn't be further from that.

Split between the 1950s, where a 60-something man reminisces about the summer of 1900, when he was thirteen years old.

I'm loathe to say much more than that about the narrative, especially as the production hasn't yet been broadcast, but suffice to say that it manages to capture the magic and emotion of the book, it's definitely worth a look.

Of course, there's also that fact that there's a scene where Mr Batt goes swimming. In the nude.  That's worthy of a Poldark comparison in itself.

Batt himself seems fairly bemused by the attention that's been given to this, saying to the Telegraph that "Most of the attention so far has been around my backside."

The internet is already talking about the possibility of him "out-buff Poldark" (if such a thing is truly possible).

But the adaptation promises to be more than just nudity and here's to hoping that Batt brings the sensitivity and depth he showed in the stage productions of The Funfair.

Are you looking forward to The Go-Between?  Join the discussion in the comments!

Ali Williams grew up in Croydon and spent her teenage years in a convent girls’ school. She then fled to university where she discovered champagne cocktails, a capella singing and erotica.

These days she blogs about perceptions of romance, chick lit and women in society and spends the rest of her time promoting #StrongRomanceHeroines on Twitter, and cracking on with her first novel, Breakfast in Tunford.

Editor for the Pink Heart Society, guest blogger for Mills & Boon and Harper Impulse, and occasional columnist for For Books' Sake, she defies you to slam romance novels within her hearing!

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