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Arthur Miller on the small screen 5: Broken Glass (BBC, 1997)

This post is the fifth in a series which documents and discusses a variety of engagements with Arthur Miller on British television. The 1997 production of Broken Glass considered here is the most recent (or, in other words, the last) British television production of an Arthur Miller play. Presented as part of the seventh Performance season on BBC2, the production, by David Thacker (who had directed it for the Royal National Theatre three years earlier) has an impressive fluidity and high production values, and it is powerfully acted by Margot Leicester and Henry Goodman (as Sylvia and Philip Gellburg) and Mandy Patinkin as Dr Hyman. The degree of adaptation applied to the text of the stage play, however, with lines attributed to other characters, scenes intercut with each other, and dramatic moments ‘cut-and-pasted’ to alternate places within the drama, raises stimulating questions about the creative techniques and processes which may be drawn upon in the creative ‘re-invention’, almost, of a stage play within the production contexts and televisual languages of the small screen at a particular point in time. Continue reading