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Theatre plays on British television
Editors: Amanda Wrigley and John Wyver

In this edited collection, scholars use a variety of methodologies to explore the history of stage plays produced for British television between 1936 and the present. The volume opens with a substantial historical outline of the how plays originally written for the theatre were presented by BBC Television and the ITV companies as well as by independent producers and cultural organisations. Subsequent chapters analyse television adaptations of existing stage productions, including a 1937 presentation of a J. B. Priestley play by producer Basil Dean; work by companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stoke-on-Trent’s Victoria Theatre and the Radical Alliance of Poets and Players; the verbatim dramas from the Tricycle Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland; and Mike Leigh’s comedy Abigail’s Party, originally staged for Hampstead Theatre and translated to the Play for Today strand in 1977. Broadcast television’s original productions of classic and contemporary drama are also considered in depth, with studies of television productions of plays by Jacobean dramatists John Webster and Thomas Middleton, and by Henrik Ibsen and Samuel Beckett. In addition, the volume offers a consideration of the contribution to television drama of the influential producer Cedric Messina who, between 1967 and 1977, oversaw BBC Television’s Play of the Month strand before initiating The BBC Television Shakespeare (1978–85); the engagement with television adaptations by modern editors of Shakespeare’s plays; and Granada Television’s eccentric experiment in 1969–70 of running The Stables Theatre Company as a producer for both stage and screen. Collectively, these chapters open up new areas of research for all those engaged in theatre, media and adaptation studies.

BBC television and Black Britons

This book provides an institutional case study of the BBC Television Service, as it undertook the responsibility of creating programmes that addressed the impact of black Britons, their attempts to establish citizenship within England and subsequent issues of race relations and colour prejudice. Beginning in the 1930s and into the post millennium, the book provides a historical analysis of policies invoked, and practices undertaken, as the Service attempted to assist white Britons in understanding the impact of African-Caribbeans on their lives, and their assimilation into constructs of Britishness. Management soon approved talks and scientific studies as a means of examining racial tensions, as ITV challenged the discourses of British broadcasting. Soon after, BBC 2 began broadcasting, and more issues of race appeared on the TV screens, each reflecting sometimes comedic, somewhat dystopic, often problematic circumstances of integration. In the years that followed, however, social tensions, such as those demonstrated by the Nottingham and Notting Hill riots, led to transmissions that included a series of news specials on Britain's Colour Bar, and docudramas, such as A Man From the Sun, which attempted to frame the immigrant experience for British television audiences, but from the African-Caribbean point of view. Subsequent chapters include an extensive analysis of television programming, along with personal interviews. Topics include current representations of race, the future of British television, and its impact upon multiethnic audiences. Also detailed are the efforts of Black Britons working within the British media as employees of the BBC, writers, producers and actors.

From studio realism to location realism in BBC television drama
Author: Richard Hewett

Until recently, little work had been conducted on television acting per se, let alone the various coalescing factors that underpin and help shape it. This book addresses that lack, utilising a selection of science fiction case studies from the world of BBC television drama to investigate how small screen performance has altered since the days of live production. This then-and-now comparison of performing for British television drama focuses on science fiction case studies to provide a multi-perspectival examination of the historical development of acting in UK television drama. By the mid-1970s, studio realism might be expected to have reached its apotheosis, yet it was by no means all-encompassing as a style of television acting. A new approach was therefore required, with much of the performance preparation now taking place on location rather than being perfected beforehand in a separate rehearsal space: the seeds of location realism. One of the most notable contrasts between early television drama and the modern day is the shift from multi-camera studio to single camera location filming. Comparing the original versions of The Quatermass Experiment, Doctor Who and Survivors with their respective modern-day re-makes, the book unpacks the developments that have resulted from the shift from multi-camera studio to single camera location production. Examining changing acting styles from distinct eras of television production, the book makes a unique contribution to both television and performance studies, unpacking the various determinants that have combined to influence how performers work in the medium.

The BBC and popular television culture in the 1950s
Author: Su Holmes

This book focuses attention on a particular aspect of the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) remit. It examines how the concepts of both 'public service' and the 'popular' were interpreted by the BBC. The book also examines how their relationship changed over time, moving across the early history of radio and television, up until the advent of Independent Television (ITV). It explores The Grove Family, which has secured a certain visibility in British television history due to its status as "British television's first soap opera". By focusing on a number of programme case studies such as the soap opera, the quiz/game show, the 'problem' show and programmes dealing with celebrity culture, the book demonstrates how BBC television surprisingly explored popular interests and desires. The book details how the quiz or game show, or to use the dominant term from the time, the "give-away" show, has been used to map sharp differences between the BBC and ITV in the 1950s. It focuses on the BBC's 'problem' or 'private life' programme, Is This Your Problem? ( ITYP?), in which members of the public asked the advice of an expert panel. The book explores television's relations with fame in the 1950s. It details how This is Your Life (TIYL) became a privileged site for debates about television's renegotiation of the boundaries of public/private, particularly with regard to audiences' cultural access to famous selves.

Theatre plays as television drama since 1930
John Wyver

date approached for the start of BBC Television’s ‘high definition’ service on 2 November 1936, there was a scramble to assemble a credible schedule. The process was entrusted to Cecil Madden, who hastily organised studio presentations of elements from existing stage productions to provide the first dramas. ‘Planning the television schedule’, Madden later wrote, ‘there was never any doubt in my mind

in Screen plays
Neil Taylor

UK. Even before BBC2 broadcast all thirty-seven of his plays between 1978 and 1985 in the BBC Television Shakespeare series, all but four ( Henry VIII , Pericles , Timon of Athens and Titus Andronicus ) had already been produced and broadcast on BBC Television, some of them many times over. Furthermore, the audience reach of television Shakespeare has been huge. The original BBC

in Screen plays
Darrell M. Newton

the 1950s did not have access to commercial films or filmed newsreels; a policy established the Newsreel Association of Great Britain and other film companies on Wardour Street in London. In response to this decision, the BBC television film unit in association with British Pathé began formulating a television newsreel section. These individuals were recruited from around the Commonwealth and trained on modern equipment purchased from American and foreign commercial filmmakers. In an exchange agreement with National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in America (later

in Paving the empire road
Darrell M. Newton

’s Television Service occurred with the initiation of BBC TV in November of 1936. BBC television began standardising its broadcasting with daily programmes broadcasted from the Alexandra Palace facility in London. These shows 3658 Paving the empire road:Layout 1 44 30/6/11 08:45 Page 44 Paving the empire road continued until the start of World War Two forced the service off the air on 1 September 1939. The organisational principles which the Sykes and Crawford committees helped to establish passed directly from radio to television as a public-service monopoly, funded

in Paving the empire road
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Producing theatrical classics with a decorative aesthetic
Billy Smart

–65), Theatre 625 (BBC2, 1964–68; on which see my co-authored Chapter 5 ), Play of the Month (BBC1, 1967–77), Stage 2 (BBC2, 1971–73) and The BBC Television Shakespeare (BBC2, 1978–80), in addition to numerous one-off adaptations and working regularly as a director. Messina was responsible for the majority of theatrical adaptations produced by the BBC for twenty years, meaning

in Screen plays
Debates and developments
Su Holmes

radio station, Radio Luxembourg. Later on, there was competition between BBC radio and BBC television, and producers and schedulers were M1380 - HOLMES TEXT.qxp:Andy Q7 24/6/08 14:23 Page 19 Public service and the popular 19 encouraged to heed this fact (Turnock, forthcoming). Furthermore, even if the concept of key competitive programmes would become more important with the advent of ITV, BBC radio, in the form of the Light Programme in particular, had long since conceptualised output in terms of “popular” or “castle” features which were designed to compete

in Entertaining television