Dream Stuffing. Jude (Rachael Weaver). Image credit: Limehouse Productions.

Dream Stuffing

Sitcom about two young women sharing a high-rise flat in east London, struggling to find work, love, and their place in society

1984  (Channel 4)
10 (1 series)
Rachael Weaver, Amanda Symonds, Frank Lee, Ray Burdis, Maria Charles
Paul Hines, Su Wilkins
Limehouse Productions

For Jude and Mo, life around Shadwell, in the East End of London, means living in a grotty tower block and shuffling between job and dole queue.

Jude's a part-time punk and wannabe saxophonist. Convinced her artistic streak will one day soon propel her to stardom, she'll attempt almost anything to keep herself on the dole and out of work, including feigning pregnancy!

Maureen is far more practical, if not rather unlucky. It'd be an exaggeration to say she enjoys her job at the glass-eye factory, but when it shuts down Mo's rather worried about losing her income and having to claim benefits.

Only just getting by on a daily basis, their lives are complicated by Mo's cantankerous Jewish mother, May; their friend and Mo's former colleague, the heavily pregnant Brenda; next-door neighbour and closet homosexual Richard; and his father, Bill, who insists on operating London's only high-rise scrapyard from their flat!

But there's always hope...isn't there?

Our Review: This quirky mid-80s sitcom paints a pretty bleak - if not depressingly accurate - view of metropolitan life for a couple of young women struggling to get by.

In some ways a female response to Up The Elephant And Round The Castle, whilst also having hints of Only Fools And Horses, The Young Ones and Babes In The Wood (at least in setting and focus rather than style of humour), it retains a certain charm and relevance easily recognisable 30 years since it was produced, and should be commended for its pretty balanced reflection of women of a variety of ages.

It might not be as well known as the aforementioned, but Dream Stuffing nevertheless provides a good helping of laughs, and has aged far more gracefully than many other titles. It's not quite a lost comedy milestone, but remains entertaining and its female-centric tackling of numerous social issues alone make it deserving of wider recognition.