Season 1, Episode 03 – "The Day of the Sardine"
The Read is a series of four creative performance readings of iconic British novels. Each episode is directed by exciting, emerging talent from BBC Arts' and Art Council England's successful New Creatives scheme. The Read gives audiences the chance to discover or reconnect with the novels through some outstanding British performances, the best of literature brought to life on screen.
Set in a working-class community in Newcastle upon Tyne at the very beginning of the 1960s, The Day of the Sardine is a powerful novel of disaffection, which charts a young man's uneasy passage into adulthood. Harsh, and at times comic, the story of its protagonist, Arthur Haggerston, takes place against the background of a young workforce absorbed into tedious, repressive employment where the only outlet comes from street violence and gang warfare.
As Arthur reflects on his search for a moral framework within the anarchy of modern society, he speaks for all of us, poetically and passionately, in a way that feels as true today as the period in which the tale is set.