A Study of a Play Titled Yosser's Story

A Study of a Play Titled Yosser's Story

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A Study of a Play Titled Yosser's Story

Alan Bleasdale wrote a series of five plays called 'Boys from the
Black Stuff '

They are all about five different people in five different situations
of unemployment.

I will be studying a play called 'yossers story '.

In the mid 80's unemployment was very high, riots broke out as the
unemployment stormed through Liverpool looking for justice. The plays
which Alan Bleasdale wrote were all through Liverpool, thousands of
people were unemployed throughout Liverpool.

To this day people see the unemployed as lazy, poor, unhappy and
homeless, people who just walk around the streets, sleeping outside,
on park benches, in shop doorways, in cardboard boxes, no homes, no
jobs and no money, left to beg on the streets.

Traditionally plays have followed a set of events in three parts.

The first part of the play is called "exposition" were everything is
under control and calm. The second section of the play is called
"complication" where all order has been dispensed with and chaos

The third and final part of the play is the resolution where order
returns and in most comedies it normally ends in a marriage, the end
result is happiness.

A Protagonist is the main character of the play, the leading man or
woman such as Bruce Willis in Die Hard, or Pierce Brosnan as James
Bond, a protagonist always "saves the day". Yosser is the opposite.
Bleasdale's reasons for making Yosser an anti-hero was to educate
people into understanding what it could be like to be unemployed,
someone you may be able to connect with, the experience of
understanding what it would be like if we found ourselves in that

Yosser takes his children to the pub. The Landlord of the pub says to
Yosser " Sorry Yosser - No children in here". Yosser once again just
stares blankly. The Landlord feels intimidated and lets them stay.
Yosser sits next to Grame Souness and says "You look like me" Graeme

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looks at Yosser and replies "right".

Yosser, on the other hand is total opposite, he is so not a hero, and
unfortunately he is the "loser" often weak and sometimes violent.
Yosser is an untidy, scruffy person who has no job; no direction in
life, his wife left him.Yosser is unemployed. Even though Yosser might
be a loser he still maintains a strong bond with his three children.
There is an unconditional love between them. Yosser fears he may lose
his children, he never lets them out of his sight. The children are an
integral part of Yosser's life. Even though Yosser might be a loser he
still maintains a strong bond with his three children. There is an
unconditional love between them. Yosser fears he may lose his
children; he never lets them out of his sight. The children are an
integral part of Yosser's life. The state of Yosser house is
disgusting. The kitchen floor is dirty, greasy and smelly. Burnt
frying pans laden the sink they are left unwashed and dirty. The food
dropped onto the floor is mouldy.

Yosser does not send his children to school; He keeps them with him
all day. This is against the law, and it could be interpreted as
Yosser setting a bad example to his children, and not being a good
role model. There is no doubt that Yosser loves his children and it is
difficult for him having no education and no job.

Yosser constantly uses bad language. This is also not acceptable as
children are impressionable and Yosser is setting a bad example. The
children could copy him as they might think because Yosser is an adult
that is acceptable to use bad language and it is not really sociably
acceptable, consequently his children, should they be influenced by
him would turn out to be no better than him. The communication between
Yosser and his children is very poor, as the children follow Yosser
they say barely a word they just follow him. Yosser experiences
difficulty communicating. At the beginning of the play we find Yosser
in the Department of Unemployment where he stares blankly at the Clerk
as the Clerk tries desperately to attract Yosser's attention by
repeating his name, The Clerk does this many times but Yosser stares
blankly at him. Yosser said bye and walks away.

Yosser follows Maureen, grabbing her and pushing her up against a lamp
post. He brings his head back in a motion to head butt her, Maureen
moves and Yosser head butts the lamppost. It hurt his quite bad as he
yelled out. Do you have a good Dentist?" Yosser asks the Electrician
as he comes to turn of Yosser's electricity. Yosser is very violent
towards him when he is only trying to do his job. Yosser does not
comprehend this. Maureen is thought to be something of a liar, her
speech in the interview room was almost like it was planned, after she
had finished her interview she asked "is that enough" as if is that
enough to get his children taken from him.

But I really do feel bad Yosser because he has nothing. Maureen has
turned against him by lying in the interview room, and the scar face
police man and his colleagues beat him up quite badly till he no
strength left.


Yosser takes his children to the pub. The Landlord of the pub says to
Yosser " Sorry Yosser - No children in here". Yosser once again just
stares blankly. The Landlord feels intimidated and lets them stay.
Yosser sits next to Grame Souness and says "You look like me" Graeme
looks at Yosser and replies "right".

In one scene of the play we see the scar faced Policeman. The scare
faced Policeman is a patronising, impatient hypocrite who loves being
in control. In the scene he arrives at Yosser's home. The Policeman
breaks in and beats Yosser black and blue. The Policeman appears to
take enjoyment from this and grins as if he is having a good day. The
Social Workers look on with disgust.

Yosser is left there as they take his children. The scar faced
Policeman thinks he is so much more superior than anyone else.

The Policeman is very sarcastic towards the Social Worker, he speaks
to them in a condescending way as if they do not know how to do their

The scar on his face could denote that he is an aggressive man.

At the end of the scene the policemen and scar face are hiding behind
a car screaming as a little boy fires an air gun at them.

One hits scar face in the bottom and he screams out, this shows that
scar face isn't as big as he thinks.

Symbolism is a technique which is used through out the play. Symbolism
is also a visual element. We see it all through Yossers life. In the
play Yosser just gets worse and worse as he moves on in life. Yosser
loses his wife, children, his home, he loses everything! At the
beginning of the video and play it shows Yosser having a dream of
losing his children and all of his once good friends turn against him.
Yosser is left with nothing by the end and finally gives up Yosser
tries to kill him self in the same lake he had the dream in but police
men pull him out just in time, Yosser is broken to bits and home or
family to come home to.

Yosser and his three children walk towards the lake fully clothed.
They cling to Yosser. Yosser takes them under the surface. When they
resurface he finds that the youngest child has not come up from under
the water. Yosser cries out "Dustin! Dustin! Dustin!" there is no
response, one of his children has disappeared then he notices that his
second child Ann Marie has disappeared, finally Jason disappears. This
sad event symbolises Yosser finally losing his children.

People row pass Yosser who paddles hopelessly in the water, Maureen
and Loggo, this shows that the people in the boats are once Yossers
close friends. Gorge is being rowed by a person with his back turned
to us, this shows Gorge doesn't control his life any more.

Moey is rowing Maureen's boat showing that Moey is in control of
Maureen. Maureen just misses Yosser as she rows pass him. It is almost
like Maureen tried to hit Yosser under the water, to get rid of him or
even to kill him.

All though through out the story it seems that there in a constant
barrier in front of Yosser and anyone he wants to communicate with.
Yosser is almost like he is insulated.Yosser says that he used to
build sand castles, then he said that 'that's all he has ever done'
almost saying that he is a sand castle getting bushed away over and
over.Yosser finds himself in a lot of different problems. By this time
Yosser has lost his wife he house and his children. Yosser is left
with nothing. Yosser is a typical anti-hero, the main characters but
he is how just another person in the play. Yosser struggles to even to
even identify himself, he has a false identity crisis, and he doesn't
know who he is.

At the end Bleasdale really tries to emphasise the misfortune that
Yosser has come across. Bleasdale really shows what unemployment is
really like. Bleasdale has a good understanding of unemployment.
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