Strumpet ★★★½

I hadn't seen this since it was last on TV so it's been quite fun viewing it again and a relief to see the passage of time hadn't enhanced my opinion of its quality.

Following the critical failures of A Live Less Ordinary and The Beach, Danny Boyle returned to television, where he originally started, to direct some low budget features brimming with originality, not least of all in the then new DV technology - a process he would go on to use when returning ti the big screen with 28 Days Later.

The results of these endeavours were Strumpet and Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise, two one off plays (remember when TV did them?) by Jim Cartwright, the author of Road and Rise and Fall Of Little Voice. Strumpet stars Christopher Eccleston as Strayman a wild loner and spontaneous poet whose house is overrun by stray dogs. Unable to resist another of life's strays, he rescues a homeless girl, Strumpet ( a striking and honest turn from Jenna G) from a lecherous lorry driver and the pair make sweet music together, literally! Well music more akin to The Fall or the Happy Mondays maybe. But that's sweet to me ;-D

They're discovered by Strayman's neighbour, a wannabe Loog Oldham scally type called Knock Off, played beautifully by Stephen Walters (some of his monologues are jaw droppingly brilliant and hilarious) and the trio head to London, fame and Top Of The Pops with the inevitable music company interference.

Anarchic and grubbily charming, Strumpet is a solid 70 minutes of entertainment beautifully captured by Boyle, especially the DV shot drizzly Mancunian council estate landscapes with a great performance from Eccleston at its centr - his reciting of Evidently Chickentown is one of the most passionate and heartfelt ever.

And you'll have 'Get It Out' stuck in your head all day!