Popcorn Talk Explores Poverty, Gambling, and Soccer on UTR!

By: Jeff Graham

Popcorn Talk’s The Unproucded Table Read, is thrilled to have featured Tony Hamilton-Shannon’s pilot script GRAFTIN’, which is an ATX-Black List Second Annual TV Writing Program winner, amongst others that have been featured on the show. The script follows four blue-collar “Scousers” (British slang for Liverpool residents) doing their best to make ends meets at end any cost.

The script is an impassioned exploration of the challenges faced by blue collar Liverpudlians in contemporary Britan, and it deftly blances slapstick comedy with heart-wrenching family drama. Following the read, Host Jeff Graham asked Mr. Shannon about the challenges of writing a compelling narrative driven by socially progressive themes. He responded, “One of the things is trying to find ways for this stuff to land. If you do want to make somethings that’s trying to inform, trying to open people’s eyes about how tough it is to be poor, you must try to create an understanding as to why people would enter the world of crime. If you just have characters talk about it, it doesn’t really land. People don’t change their mind with their heads, right? They change their minds with their hearts.”

Co-panelist Andrew Ghai asked about towing the line between comedy and drama in the pilot, to which the writer responded,”The tone of my script dovetails really well with what the content is. Liverpool is a poor city, but it has this unique sense of identity. There’s been a lot of hardship in the city over the years and they’ve dealt with it through humor. Liverpool is famous for having this very good sense of humor, very cheeky and self-deprecating, with Scousers just being able to laugh at the hardest of circumstances. That’s what I tried to infuse in this script: this idea that we can be funny while being heartbreaking, but to not be funny would be a disservice to the city.”

Tune in every Friday to catch more exclusive table reads on Popcorn Talk’s The Unproduced Table Read.