Clare Barker has entered a caring profession so that she
can sort out other peoples problems rather than deal with
her own. A control freak, Clare likes nothing better than
interfering in other people's lives on both a professional
and personal basis. Secretly regarding herself as a cross
between Mother Theresa and Wonder Woman, Clare tends towards
self-importance and considers most other professions as trivial.
She is in her early thirties, white, middle class and heterosexual,
all of which are occasional causes of discomfort to her. We
join Clare in her continued struggle to control both her professional
and private life...
in the Community is a Radio 4 comedy series that is based
on the long running cartoon strip in the Guardian's
Society section. This radio series won a Sony Bronze award
in the comedy section in 2005. Clare (Sally Phillips) is a
social worker enduring the endless trials of bombed out estates
and Byzantine bureaucracy (in a job that would be a lot easier
but for the tiresome necessity of having to deal with members
of the public). This
release contains all six episodes from the show's first series.
series kicks off with Babysitter. This episode sees
Clare agreeing to baby-sit her colleagues 16-year-old son
- who has always been a bit of a handful. Clare's high and
mighty attitude results in her accidentally agreeing to baby-sit
in order to save face.
Clare and Brian have new neighbours. Clare goes through the
unpacked boxes outside their house to get an idea of what
sort of people they are. There's a subtle gag here where Claire
is pleased to find that the neighbour's crockery is wrapped
in pages of the Guardian. She asks her husband: "Have
you ever read this strip cartoon? I've never really understood
it". She's obviously referring to the Clare in the
Community strip in the Guardian that this series is based
on. However, Clare and Brian are soon having sleepless nights
neighbours insist on having sex all night long.
to be Ray: Clare's colleague Ray is a little insular.
He's sociable, chatty and generally friendly, but no one knows
anything about him. Clare starts to wonder what seedy secrets
Ray hides and makes it her business to find out. What she
discovers is far worse than even she could imagine. This episode
also continues to hint at the fact that Megan and Brian have
started having an affair.
Words: One of Clare's old clients dies. Clare hated her,
because she was so difficult and rude, but wangles a day off
work to go to the funeral. The plan is to go to the funeral
and then spend the rest of the day at the cinema. But when
Clare turns up at the church service she discovers that the
old woman was very fond of her - to the point where all she
ever did was tell her family how much she liked Clare. The
end result is that Clare gets a bit of a God complex and instead
of sneaking off to have a day of fun, stay for the wake. Meanwhile
Simon, Brian's colleague, asks Megan out. Jealous, Brian convinces
Simon that Megan is a stalker.
Zone: Clare is taking driving lessons from Brian. On the
way to her work's Christmas party Clare and Brian run out
of petrol. Unfortunately they breakdown in a rough area (there's
a funny nod to Hitchcock's The Birds, with youths appearing
out of nowhere - sitting on a climbing frame in a playground).
They run to a boarded up pub to see if they have a phone,
but the locals aren't overly friendly.
Fright: Clare, and her colleagues have to go to an anti-discrimination
workshop - despite the fact that Clare thinks she knows it
all already. Brian is in the middle of producing the school
play - which is gradually morphing into tragedy based on his
and Clare's relationship. As a surprise to Brian, Clare gets
her work mates to go to the play - without realising what
it's about. How will Clare react when she realises that Brian
is not happy in their relationship?
One of Clare in the Community is a must own collection
for anyone who has a sense of humour. Sally Phillips is perfect
as Clare - I really can't imagine anyone else being able to
deliver those cutting remarks so believably.