Skip to content

SCARRED FOR LIFE, MAC Birmingham

Written By:

Alan Boon
Scarred for Life

Since the release of their first Scarred for Life book in 2017, creators Stephen Brotherstone and Dave Lawrence have taken to the road for occasional live shows, based on the contents of the book (and its 2021 sequel) and accompanied by convivial host Bob Fischer. Essentially, it’s just three men – or two when Dave goes down with COVID, as he did days before this show – and a PowerPoint presentation, so what makes it such a compelling evening? Perhaps the answer lies in a joke that Bob throws out moments into the show, that this is a support group for those who grew up in the 1970s, and a look around the audience assembled at the MAC in Birmingham – just half a mile from the old Pebble Mill studios – reveals men and women of “a certain age” are indeed enjoying this dip into the archives of the frankly inappropriate and disturbing material served up on TV in that most difficult of decades.

Scarred for Life

Staged as part of the MAC’s Square Eyes festival, which also featured showings of Year of the Sex Olympics and an audience with Garth Marenghi, the show is heavy on the television of the era, with a particular focus on those shows transmitted at 4.45pm. This seemed to act – at least in the minds of the schedulers – as a children’s watershed, heralding the arrival of such unsettling fare as Irish rebellion drama Scarf Jack and societal breakdown miseryfest Noah’s Castle. Public information films get a good going over, as do the Video Nasties and Red Triangle films of the 1980s, with plenty of anecdotes from Stephen and Bob about playground gossip and local characters like Pete Wigwam.

Scarred for Life

Advertised at ninety minutes, the show went a good hour past that and that’s a problem. It’s a problem because two and a half hours spent in the company of these men, these films, and these memories still isn’t enough, and a full day probably wouldn’t be sufficient to properly cover the contents of two books that clock in at a combined 1300 pages. There’s no regular schedule for these live outings – Stephen and Dave are too busy beavering away on volume three, due out next year – but it’s worth keeping an eye on social media in case they bring their unique and hilarious look at the unnerving media most of us grew up with to a venue near you; unlike running on a beach littered with broken pop bottles, you won’t regret it.

You May Also Like...

star wars: dawn of the jedi title card

STAR WARS: DAWN OF THE JEDI Finds Writer

Beau Willimon is returning to the world of Siths and Jedis, having now been tapped to write for Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, the Lucasfilm feature to be directed by James
Read More
Mickey 17 teaser starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Bong Joon Ho

Bong Joon-ho Is Back With Trailer For MICKEY 17

How long have we been waiting to get a good look at Bong Joon-ho’s follow-up to the acclaimed Parasite, the sci-fi feature Mickey 17? Too long, that’s for sure. While we may not
Read More
adaptation of comic book avengelyne is in the works with attractive package

Comic Book Character AVENGELYNE Is Getting The Feature Treatment

A pretty impressive team is coming together to adapt Avengelyne, the ’90s comic book character from Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld and Cathy Christian. Olivia Wilde, who helmed the very good Booksmart and the
Read More
lady gaga as harley quinn and joaquin phoenix as arthur fleck in trailer for joker: folie a deux

Check Out The Trailer For JOKER: FOLIE A DEUX

The first trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux brings Oscar winners Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga together in song, ahead of an October 4th release. Warner Bros. unveiled the trailer at CinemaCon, where cinema owners
Read More
the running man reboot directed by edgar wright to star glen powell

Glen Powell To Star In Edgar Wright’s THE RUNNING MAN

Glen Powell, one of our favourite – yet still, somehow, underrated – rising stars has been tapped to star in Paramount’s The Running Man, a new adaptation of the Stephen
Read More

Exclusive: Check Out the Trailer for Prime Video Series CHASER

The new sci-fi series Chaser is available to rent on Prime Video from today and we have the first look at the fantastic trailer. A hit on the independent festival
Read More