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This tag is associated with 20 posts

‘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

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‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (BBC, 1980)

Roland Joffé’s film adaptation of John Ford’s play ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, produced for BBC Television, is rare in a number of ways. This is the only British television production of the Caroline tragedy, and indeed the medium’s only presentation of a drama by the playwright. Filmed by director of photography Nat Crosby, ‘Tis Pity… is one of a small number of television adaptations of classic theatre plays to be shot on 16mm film on location. And since its first transmission on 7 May 1980, it has been exceptionally hard to see, with no repeat showing, no VHS or DVD release and not even any fragments on YouTube. Tonight’s (sold out) presentation at BFI Southbank as part of the ‘Classics on TV: Jacobean Tragedy on the Small Screen’ season, organised with Screen Plays, is a rare opportunity to see it. Continue reading

Blood and Thunder: Women Beware Women (Granada for ITV, 1965)

Our second BFI Southbank season begins on Monday 25 March with a screening of Granada’s 1965 adaptation of Women Beware Women. This will be followed by a discussion with Dame Diana Rigg (who plays Bianca in the production) and Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Gregory Doran (a few tickets are still available). Following on from Amanda Wrigley’s selection of Greek tragedy on the small screen last June, the six programmes feature Jacobean tragedy made for television (although strictly speaking Hamlet at Elsinore is after a play written in the final years of Elizabeth I). Over the next month or so (the season runs until 29 April) I will be writing about each of the productions and also hoping to prompt thoughts and responses from those who attend the screenings. Continue reading

Catching up

As you may have noticed, we have not been quite as active on the blog as before. In part this is because my colleague Amanda Wrigley has started her maternity leave – and indeed has given birth to Matilda and Dylan. Many congratulations to Amanda and her husband Dez! (Not that this will mean that we will be denied Amanda’s invaluable writings here in the coming months.) Meanwhile, this post is a way of catching up with our forthcoming season as well as a couple of recent blog posts elsewhere which may be of interest. Continue reading

‘Classics on TV: Jacobean tragedy on the Small Screen’, a BFI Southbank season

Screen Plays is delighted to announce a second BFI Southbank season that follows on from our successful ‘Greek tragedy on the small screen’ series last year. The new season, which runs from 25 March to 29 April, highlights television adaptations of Jacobean tragedy. Curated by John Wyver, it features productions based on plays by Thomas Middleton, William Rowley, John Ford and John Webster, as well as a rare showing of Hamlet at Elsinore (1964), a remarkable version of Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy. Continue reading

Classics on TV: BFI Southbank programme, 26 June 2012

Tonight sees the fifth – and final – programme in the five-night Screen Plays season Classics on TV: Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen at BFI Southbank. This evening we will see Iphigenia at Aulis, Don Taylor’s production of Euripides’ play for BBC Television in 1990. This happens to be the last full production of … Continue reading

‘Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen’: University of Westminster symposium

On Friday afternoon around thirty people, including a number of friends and colleagues, gathered at the University of Westminster in Regent Street for the Screen Plays symposium about Greek tragedy on British television. Dr Amanda Wrigley brought together five experts on the subject for discussions to complement the hugely successful BFI Southbank season. Following are notes from my own enjoyment of the event but, if you were present on Friday, we would love to hear your thoughts and responses. Continue reading

Classics on TV: BFI Southbank programme, 23 June 2012

Today sees the fourth programme in the five-night Screen Plays season Classics on TV: Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen at BFI Southbank. This afternoon and evening we will see The Oresteia, the Channel 4 version of the landmark 1981 National Theatre production of Aeschylus’ trilogy directed by Peter Hall. (No tickets for the 3.50pm showing are available via the BFI website but it may be worth getting on the standby list in case some become available immediately before the performance.) Following the earlier screenings we tried an experiment, inviting anyone who was at the screening to contribute their thoughts about the programme on this blog. That experiment has been really successful, and so we will continue it for the two remaining screenings. Any and all responses would be welcome, however brief – and John Wyver and I will also be offering some further thoughts. Continue reading

Classics on TV: BFI Southbank programme, 19 June 2012

Tonight sees the third programme in the five-night Screen Plays season Classics on TV: Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen at BFI Southbank. No tickets for the 6.10pm showing are available via the website but it may be worth getting on the standby list in case some become available immediately before the performance. Tonight’s screening is of Agamemnon, the first part of the 1979 BBC Television version of Aeschylus’ Oresteia ​trilogy which was transmitted under the title The Serpent Son, followed by the original, quasi-satyr play Of Mycenae and Men. Following the earlier two screenings on 7 and 13 June we tried an experiment, inviting anyone who was at the screening to contribute their thoughts about the programme on this blog. That experiment was really successful, and so we will continue it for further screenings. Any and all responses would be welcome, however brief – and John Wyver and I will also be offering some further thoughts. Continue reading

Classics on TV: BFI Southbank programme, 13 June 2012

Tonight sees the second programme in the five-night Screen Plays season Classics on TV: Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen at BFI Southbank. A few tickets are still available for the 6.15pm showing which features Electra (Associated-Rediffusion for ITV, 1962) and Women of Troy (BBC, 1958), followed by a panel discussion with actor and director Fiona Shaw and classical scholar Oliver Taplin of the University of Oxford. You can book via the BFI website. Following the first screening on 7 June we tried an experiment, inviting anyone who was at the screening to contribute their thoughts about the programme on this blog. That experiment was really successful, and so we will continue it for further screenings. Any and all responses would be welcome, however brief – and John Wyver and I will also be offering some further thoughts. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace