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Saturday May 18th 2024

Beautiful Thing | 1996

Hettie Macdonald's adaptation of Jonathan Harvey's play about two young, working-class London lads, Jamie (Glen Berry) and Ste (Scott Neal), discovering their feelings for each other eschews the clich├ęs of monochrome bleakness for cheery sunshine and a bouncy Mama Cass soundtrack.

All the more surprising, then, that the housing estate setting is the same one used as Alex's grim neighbourhood in A Clockwork Orange. It was the Thamesmead South estate, southeast London, spruced up with a lick of paint and some geraniums.

The unlovely Tavy Bridge Centre itself has since been demolished, though Southmere Lake remains.

The local bar was a real gay bar, the Gloucester, in Greenwich. Times move on and it's no longer a gay venue. It's now the Greenwich Tavern, 1 King William Walk, SE10.