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One month on

1958 BBC Women of Troy (Radio Times listing, detail)The last day of the month, and we’ve completed (or ought to have) one thirty-sixth of the Screen Plays research. So far, our most public part of the project has been this blog, and here I want to revisit our posts to date — and also to repeat our encouragement to comment and contribute. (Note that if no year is given with a date, the post is from 2011.)

The most substantial new research in these posts has been Amanda Wrigley’s exploration of Greek plays on television, in the following four posts:

Greeks on screen, 13 June.

Getting going: research resources and approaches, 16 June.

Greek plays: Women of Troy (BBC, 1958), 21 June.

Greek plays: Lysistrata (BBC, 1964), 28 June.

My own research interests include stage plays on television in the early years between November 1936 and September 1939. These are my first posts on this area of work:

Will before the war, 3 June: inter-war Shakespeare productions from Alexandra Palace.

On the boards: television from the theatre, 8 June: the first outside broadcast of a complete play from a theatre – the November 1938 transmission of J. B. Priestley’s When We Are Married.

Introducing Fred O’Donovan, 15 June: first notes on one of the earliest and most distinctive pioneers.

Pre-war theatre from BBC Television, 1., 24 June 2010.

Pre-war theatre from BBC Television, 2., 3 July 2010.

• Pre-war theatre from BBC Television, 3., 11 July 2010.

Doctor Knock, BBC, 1960We have been thrilled this month to see the BFI Southbank screenings of recordings of plays preserved uniquely in the Library of Congress archive — and this group of posts relates to those showings.

The Library of Congress discoveries, 8 May

Twentieth Century Theatre: Colombe (BBC, 1960), 7 June

More treasures from the Library of Congress, 10 June: this post includes the details of July screenings, including that of Charley’s Aunt on 6 July, which will be introduced by Bernard Cribbins.

Twentieth Century Theatre: The Insect Play (BBC, 1960), 14 June.

Theatre 625: Doctor Knock (BBC, 1966), 20 June.

The Typewriter (A-R for ITV, 1962), 29 June.

We have also started a regular Sunday strand considering key books that reveal something about our topic. There have been two contributions to this to date:

Bookshelf: Mid-Century Drama by Laurence Kitchin, 19 June.

Bookshelf: Adventure in Vision by John Swift, 26 June.

Introductory posts about Screen Plays and the resources on which it will draw include:

New readers start here, 29 May: a first reading list on our topic.

An essential resource: BFI Screenonline, 12 June.

I have also been republishing my posts originally written for the Illuminations blog about the BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s History plays, An Age of Kings (1960). Three have appeared here to date:

An Age of Kings: ‘this English blood’, 15 July 2009.

An Age of Kings: ‘die all, die merrily’, 22 July 2009.

An Age of Kings: ‘uneasy lies the head’, 30 July 2009.

Coral Browne in Mrs Warren's Profession (BBC, 1972)

Coral Browne in Mrs Warren's Profession (BBC, 1972)

And then there were other miscellaneous posts, such as:

Play of the Week: The School for Scandal, 11 June: I tried — and failed — to get you to watch along with me the BBC’s 1959 studio production, hoping to encourage a kind of collective viewing discussion. But not one of you took up my invitation…

Ibsen on Independent Television, 16 June.

‘Something wicked…’: Macbeth (BBC, 2010), 22 June.

On DVD: ten plays from George Bernard Shaw, 24 June.

Small-screen Chekhov, 11 May 2010.

‘ ‘Tis in my memory locked’, 28 June 2009: a post republished from the Illuminations blog in which I started to worry away about some of the topics that have surfaced in Screen Plays.


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Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace
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