Barry Davis – Play for Today: Brimstone and Treacle (1987)


Dennis Potter’s most controversial work by a country mile, BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE was a BBC Play For Today production that tackled an almost unthinkable subject. A bickering, middle-aged couple with a brain-damaged daughter (Pattie) are visited one typically fraught evening by an overbearingly polite young man named Martin, who claims to be a friend of Pattie’s. The mother is thoroughly charmed by the stranger, the father is less convinced, but – in desperate need of some respite from the round-the-clock attention their daughter requires – they allow Martin to stay with them anyway. Trouble is, Martin is an extremely disturbed individual who either is – or believes himself to be – the Devil incarnate, and takes to raping Pattie when her parents aren’t at home. Continue reading