BAFTA-winning writer and producer Jimmy McGovern is joined by cowriter Gillian Juckes, actors Sinead Keenan and Sheridan Smith and director David Blair to talk about Care, BBC One's new drama about a mother of two whose own mother succumbs to a devastating stroke, resulting in severe dementia. Listen to the end to learn the ins and outs of story structure and how to hit exactly the right note when everything's on the line.
Constructing a story
McGovern's main advice for success as a writer is to always be a step ahead of yourself. When it comes to putting a script together, he maintains momentum by keeping the future ever present in his mind.
I hold back from writing scene twelve 'til I know what scene thirteen is.
Portraying devastating drama as an actor
It's very easy to go over the top with this type of thing.
When talking to the lead actresses on Care about their performances, Blair counselled them to be especially wary of overacting. The massive emotional weight of having a mother succumb quite suddenly to dementia is here portrayed more with dead-eyed stares than anguished cries.