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Audio Comedy Review


Clare in the Community
Series Seven


Written by: Harry Venning and David Ramsden
Starring: Sally Phillips, Alex Lowe, Nina Conti, Richard Lumsden, Liza Tarbuck, Andrew Wincott and Sarah Kendall
RRP: £16.35
ISBN: 978 1 4458 4187 8
Available 03 May 2012

Over the top politically correct social worker and control freak Clare Barker and her co-workers at the Sparrowhawk Family Centre return for another six episodes. As usual, Clare attempts to sort out everyone else’s problems as well as her own personal situation with - and sometimes without - Brian...

The seventh series of Clare in the Community opens with The Prisoner in which Clare tries to come to terms with Brian’s infidelity, Nali pretends that she owns Clare’s home to impress her political friends and a new emergency telephone procedure at the Family Centre doesn’t quite go to plan.

In To Kill a Mockingbird Clare ends her relationship with Brian, a role playing session at the Family Centre gets a little out of control and Megan takes an apparent interest in Brian who, in turn, has his own problem dealing with an injured bird.

Rude Girl sees Brian attempting to win back Clare’s affections, Megan dressed as the Grim Reaper with unfortunate results and the arrival of Daniel who makes a better care worker than the heating engineer he is supposed to be - except when teaching Clare how to ‘street talk’ for a forthcoming lecture.

In Debt of Honour a driving lesson for Clare leads to a most unusual encounter, Brian continues his romantic gestures towards Clare and a new piece of public art at the Family Centre causes divided opinions.

Heroes has Helen over-enthusiastically taking on the role of Health and Safety, Clare meets Bradley Bigg a pop star who made an impression on her as a teenager and arguments ensue concerning plans for Clare and Brian’s future.

In Basic Attraction the big day is upon Clare and Brian. But will everything go to plan after Brian’s stag night and Clare’s encounter with Nina Murray?

This series has lost none of the quality writing and acting of previous outings. In particular the stories that Nali tells ("We have a saying in my village...") always brighten the script and whilst Megan is no longer a student she still retains a certain naivety in her character.

A worthwhile purchase for any collector of quality comedy programming.


Tim Williams

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