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Scenes from Macbeth (BBC, 1937)

Following on from my note that I intend to do a number of less expansive contributions here, this is another post that does little more than draw attention to an interesting article from the earliest years of television. Researching pre-war adaptations of specific theatre productions of Shakespeare, I was intrigued to discover a 1937 review of scenes from Macbeth with Laurence Olivier. This anonymous response highlighted questions about television, theatre and the cinema that continue to pre-occupy those of us engaged by broadcasts of plays on television and for the likes of NT Live and RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon. Continue reading

‘Classics on TV: Edwardian Drama on the Small Screen’, a BFI Southbank season + Screen Plays symposium, May 2014

Following on from our successful ‘Classics on TV’ seasons ‘Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen’ (June 2012) and ‘Jacobean Tragedy on the Small Screen’ (March-April 2013), Screen Plays is delighted once again to be working with BFI Southbank. In May ‘Edwardian Drama on the Small Screen’ will present six programmes of television productions of plays written between the 1890s and the First World War. Curated by John Wyver, the season includes notable productions of plays by Oscar Wilde, Harley Granville-Barker, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, J. M. Synge and D. H. Lawrence. Continue reading

‘Love from a Stranger’ (BBC, 1938)

I want today simply to highlight a remarkable review by Grace Wyndham Goldie for The Listener at the end of 1938. Ms Goldie’s regular reviews for the magazine at this period are among the most insightful reflections on the new medium of television, and she had a particular interest in drama. In her column published on 15 December 1938, Grace Wyndham Goldie celebrated a television production of Frank Vosper’s stage thriller Love from a Stranger, which was itself adapted from the Agatha Christie short story Philomel Cottage. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace