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American drama

This tag is associated with 6 posts

Once in a Lifetime (BBC-WNET, 1988)

The sixth and final screening in our Classics on TV: Great American Playwrights season at BFI Southbank this month is of the fast-paced and sparkling comedy Once in a Lifetime by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. First staged to acclaim on Broadway in 1930, this play satirizes Hollywood at the point in 1927 when talking pictures were on the cusp of becoming a global commercial phenomenon. This 1988 BBC-WNET production features splendid comic performances from Kristoffer Tabori (Jerry), Niall Buggy (George) and David Suchet (Glogauer), but Zoë Wanamaker’s more nuanced performance as May brings depth to this riotous comedy of blunders. Book your ticket on the BFI website for the 6.10pm screening on Thursday 29 January 2015! Continue reading

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Rocket to the Moon (Channel 4-PBS, 1986)

The fifth, and penultimate, screening in our Classics on TV: Great American Playwrights season at BFI Southbank this month is of the 1986 Channel 4-PBS production of Clifford Odets’ play Rocket to the Moon, directed by John Jacobs (who is also credited with the 1958 BBC production of Strange Interlude from earlier in the season!) and featuring strong performances from Judy Davis and John Malkovich, as well as Connie Booth and Eli Wallach. Continue reading

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Granada for ITV, 1976)

The third screening in our Classics on TV: Great American Playwrights season at BFI Southbank this month is of the 1976 Granada for ITV production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams’ 1955 Pulitzer-winning play of a Deep South family in crisis. Robert Moore directs this sumptuous production, starring Laurence Olivier as Big Daddy, Robert Wagner as his alcoholic son Brick and Natalie Wood as Brick’s dissatisfied wife. Continue reading

Mrs Patterson (BBC, 1956)

We are really excited about the fourth Screen Plays season at BFI Southbank in January 2015. Taking Great American Playwrights as its theme, the season presents six rarely-seen television productions of theatre plays by Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Clifford Odets and others, each of which will be blogged and discussed over the coming month. I begin by considering the BBC’s 1956 Sunday Night Theatre production of Mrs Patterson, a play about race and adolescence in the Deep South by the African-American painter-playwright Charles Sebree and Greer Johnson. This rarity opens the BFI season at 6.00pm on Wednesday 7 January 2015, and the 75-minute production will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A (details to be announced). Continue reading

‘Classics on TV: Great American Playwrights’, a BFI Southbank season

Screen Plays is thrilled to announce details of our fourth season of screenings at BFI Southbank in January 2015. Following on from our successful seasons of Greek plays, Jacobean tragedy and Edwardian plays, this season will highlight rarely seen television productions of theatre plays by major American playwrights. Among those whose works will be shown are Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Clifford Odets, but the season also includes some more surprising choices as well. Continue reading

From Edward Albee to Tennessee Williams: American drama on the British small screen

One of the things I’m working on at the moment is turning my Arthur Miller blog posts into an essay for the Screen Plays collection Theatre Plays on British Television which John Wyver and I are editing for publication with Manchester University Press. It strikes me that, for context, it would be very good to get a better idea of how other American plays have been presented on British television in the twentieth century. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace