“You write what’s said, you don’t lie,” wrote playwright Andrea Dunbar, “or say it didn’t happen when it did, all the time.” Dunbar caused scandal and amazement in the 1980s with her works The Arbor; Rita, Sue, and Bob Too; and Shirley; with their vivid depictions of working-class Bradford life centred on young women.

Join Lisa Holdsworth, writer and adaptor of Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile, a novel about Dunbar’s life, and Beth Johnson of University of Leeds, as they discuss Dunbar’s legacy, and examine what has changed—and what has remained the same—for working-class women writers and representations of working-class women on stage and screen.

This event is presented by Freedom Studios.

About The Speakers

Lisa Holdsworth

Lisa Holdsworth has been writing professionally since 2001. Her first commission was an episode of the ITV series Fat Friends before moving to Emmerdale, New Tricks and the top-rated BBC police series. She also won the RTS Yorkshire Best Writer award for one of her episodes. Lisa writes and produces fringe theatre in Leeds for Slung Low Shorts which is now in its fourth year.

Dr Beth Johnson

Dr Beth Johnson is Associate Professor in Film and Media and the University of Leeds. Her books include Television, Sex and Society (Continuum, 2012), Paul Abbott (MUP, 2013) and Social Class and Television Drama in Contemporary Britain (Palgrave, 2017). She writes on class, gender, place and politics.