Today’s Joanna Page is Bye Bye Harry, a British road movie released in 2006, of which she was the star, and that you will never have seen. Ever. Until now.
We’ve been jumping all over the place chronologically, here, so let’s recap the inexorable career rise of Ms Joanna Page. After leaving RADA in 1999, she went straight to the National Theatre for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She continued to do well in the theatre, with roles in a series of medieval mystery plays, The Mysteries, As You Like It, What the Butler Saw, Aladdin, Doomsday, Camera Obscura, and Billy Liar (with Ralph Little), among others.
And on tele, there were important roles in David Copperfield, The Cazalets, The Lost World, Ready When You Are Mr McGill, Making Waves, Mine All Mine and To The Ends of the Earth. She even found time to fit in a few radio plays and a music video in all that, too.
So by 2005/6, a starring role in a movie looked inevitable. Indeed, in his review of The Mysteries for The Independent, right at the start of her career, Robert Butler prophetically wrote, "As Eve, Joanna Page looks as if (now she’s eaten that apple) she will be the love-interest in a movie very soon."
And then it arrived: No Snow which soon became Bye Bye Harry. She’s the female lead – arguably the lead. It’s a British road movie, a ‘dark’ rom-com by experienced comedy writer Graham Alborough . It’s got noted director Robert Young at its helm. It’s got two of the country’s biggest rock stars in supporting roles. And when it was released, it featured at the country’s leading film festival.
So why haven’t you heard of it until now? And why had you probably not heard of Joanna Page until Gavin & Stacey?
Problem is, I’ve been linguistically tricky. See, although I said it was a British road movie – and indeed it is, according to the British Council – I pulled a fast one. The bulk of the financing came from Germany and Slovakia. When I said "the country", the country I actually meant was Germany, the rock stars I mentioned were Bela B Felsenheimer and Til Schweiger (very big in Germany), and the film festival I mentioned was the Berlin film festival.
And it’s never been released anywhere else. Not France, not Belgium, not the Netherlands. It’s certainly never been shown in Britain. And although you could get a version dubbed into German on rental in Germany, you couldn’t get the original English language version until two weeks ago – on import from Amazon.de.
So without fear of contradiction, may I present for your delight the very first, most comprehensive, most definitive and probably very last English language review of Bye Bye Harry aka Liebling, wir graben Harry aus.