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Arthur Miller

This tag is associated with 7 posts

Arthur Miller on the small screen 3: The Crucible

Arthur Miller’s (1915-2005) American tragedies have not only proved to be extremely popular on both British professional and amateur stages for more than half a century but they have also enjoyed a longstanding place at the heart of English literature curricula in schools. It is not surprising, therefore, to discover that at least twelve productions of his plays have been transmitted on British television networks over a forty-year period from 1957 to 1997. This third in a series of four posts considers the three extant productions of The Crucible transmitted in 1959 (Granada), 1968 (Rediffusion) and 1981 (BBC), with a special focus on the last of the three for which a viewing copy exists in the archives. 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

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

Arthur Miller on the small screen 4: A View from the Bridge

Arthur Miller’s (1915-2005) American tragedies have not only proved to be extremely popular on both British professional and amateur stages for more than half a century but they have also enjoyed a longstanding place at the heart of English literature curricula in schools. It is not surprising, therefore, to discover that at least twelve productions of his plays have been transmitted on British television networks over a forty-year period from 1957 to 1997. This last post in a series of four considers some of the resources I have immediately at hand on the two known productions of Miller’s A View from the Bridge: Joan Kemp-Welch’s 1966 production (Associated-Rediffusion for ITV) and the 1986 three-part BBC schools production by Geoff Wilson. Continue reading

Arthur Miller on the small screen 2: Granada productions in the late 1950s

Arthur Miller’s (1915-2005) American tragedies have not only proved to be extremely popular on both British professional and amateur stages for more than half a century but they have also enjoyed a longstanding place at the heart of English literature curricula in schools. It is not surprising, therefore, to discover that at least twelve productions of his plays have been transmitted on British television networks over a forty-year period from 1957 to 1997. This second in a series of four posts looks at Granada’s productions of Miller’s plays in the late 1950s. In its second year of broadcasting Granada mounted Death of a Salesman (the subject of my last blog post); this was soon followed by productions of All My Sons, A Memory of Two Mondays and The Crucible, all of which were British television premieres. Continue reading

Arthur Miller on the small screen 1: Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller’s (1915-2005) American tragedies have not only proved to be extremely popular on both British professional and amateur stages for more than half a century but they have also enjoyed a longstanding place at the heart of English literature curricula in schools. It is not surprising, therefore, to discover that at least twelve productions of his plays have been transmitted on British television networks over a forty-year period from 1957 to 1997. This first in a series of four posts considers the three known productions of Death of a Salesman: a 1957 Play of the Week production by Granada for ITV; a BBC Play of the Month production in 1966; and, finally, David Thacker’s five-part production for BBC Schools in 1996. Continue reading