The emotional final scenes of popular Coronation Street character, Hayley Cropper were praised by critics and secured a win at the National Television Awards (NTAs) this month.
The 10.2 million viewers who tuned into the peak moment of the two-part episode were both astounded and saddened to witness the passing of much-loved Hayley, after she decided to take her own life rather than suffer from pancreatic cancer.
Actors, Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley, and David Nielson who plays Hayley’s devoted husband, Roy, were highly praised for their “brave and moving” scenes and depiction of bereavement and loss of a loved one. Hesmondhalgh even went on to win the Serial Drama Performance Award at the NTAs.
Ben Lawrence, writing in The Telegraph described the episodes as “something special”, adding that Hayley’s death “was not handled with the customary swiftness that defies us to empathise – we were in that flat with Hayley and husband Roy living every tragic moment.”
Certainly, the sheer sensitivity and bravery of the actors depicting this controversial storyline is what makes Hayley’s passing such an admirable piece of drama.
Coronation Street’s exploration of the right to die is a powerful and closely accurate presentation of how painful and devastating loss, grief and suffering is for both the patient and their loved-ones.
The powerful performances of Hesmondhalgh and Nielson really hit home how greatly the loss of a loved one can impact on emotional and physical well-being.
Telegraph critic, Lawrence was particularly impressed with Nielson’s in-depth portrayal, of a husband losing his soul mate,
“[He] beautifully captured the internal anguish of a quiet man”.