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Bookshelf: Starlight Days: The Memoirs of Cecil Madden (2007), edited by Jennifer Lewis

I recently contributed a post about the two television presentations in 1956 of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger. The play was premiered in May that year by the English Stage Company at the Royal Court, and on 16 October BBC Television transmitted a sixteen-minute excerpt as an outside broadcast. Just over a month later, Granada mounted a studio adaptation of the full play. Since then I have discovered an account of the BBC production in the memoirs of the executive who organised it, Cecil Madden. Madden died in 1987 but his grand-daughter Jennifer Lewis edited his recollections and these were published privately as Starlight Days in 2007. The book as a whole is a rich source of gossip and insight about television between 1936 and the late 1950s, and several pages are devoted to the BBC showing of Look Back in Anger Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace