Then Barbara Met Alan review –a true 1990s love story of people power in action

This nimble biopic tells the tale of a comedian and a musician, both with disabilities, who were fed up of being patronised and marginalised. Their protest-packed tale is perfect for our times

The word “then” in the title of Then Barbara Met Alan (BBC2) is important. When standup comic Barbara Lisicki meets protest singer Alan Holdsworth in 1990, the lives of disabled people in Britain are continually blighted by blatant discrimination. Then, these two souls find each other. Five years later, protests organised by Lisicki and Holdsworth result in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. By then Barbara and Alan have also had a child.

Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr’s rollicking fact-based drama about the couple is a social history document and a love story in equal parts, showing how politics and relationships are both about the power of people allowing their qualities to complement each other. Compromises are argued over. Imperfect but glorious outcomes are shared.

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