The ‘superfan’ - we’ve all seen them. Adult men and women who believe their idols are their friends. We’re as fascinated by their extremity as they are with the objects of their obsession. As such, Rachael Halliwell’s Deirdre and Me is an interesting, if toothless, hour.
Halliwell is Susan White – stationary obsessive, office joke, orphan and Coronation Street superfan. White begins as a harmless, lonely woman who gets ticked off if she misses Corrie and says she’s best friends with Deirdre Barlow. But all passions that go unchecked escalate and it’s not long until the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur.
Halliwell cleverly bleeds this transition into White’s monologues so that we are unaware of the extent of her increasingly unbalanced mental state until it’s too late. Before you know it Ken Barlow is leaving messages on her phone and she’s been adopted into the family.
But though White’s character is sympathetic and well drawn, Halliwell misses a chance to dig deeper into this kind of neurosis instead ending up with comedy that only raises a smile and a cliched stalker scenario.
But she is an engaging performer and really has you rooting for this sad figure.