This tag is associated with 2 posts

Scenes from Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor (BBC, 1937)

I am writing an article about British television adaptations of specific Shakespeare stagings, the most recent of which is the BBC television film of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar in 2012. There are just under fifty such productions which, either from the theatre or from a studio or very occasionally, with with Julius Caesar, from a location, present either substantial excerpts or a full version of a specific theatre production. For a long time I believed that the first such production was Scenes from Cymbeline (BBC, 1937) which on 29 November 1937 broadcast part of Andre van Gyseghem’s Embassy Theatre staging of the play. But now I believe that there is a credible earlier candidate for this laurel. Continue reading

In the beginning: scenes from Cymbeline (BBC, 1937)

In 1937 scenes from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline were presented by the BBC from a production running at the Embassy Theatre, London. On 29 November 1937 nine actors from the company assembled at Alexandra Palace for rehearsals at 10am and performed scenes from their production for roughly thirty minutes at 3.30 and at 9.30pm. As with all pre-war television, no recording was made, but there is a production file in the BBC Written Archive Centre which contains, along with other documents, a script with camera directions. Nearly twenty years later, on 30 October 1956, scenes from Cymbeline were once again given on BBC Television, this time from an Old Vic production with Barbara Jefford and Derek Godfrey that was re-staged in the studio at Lime Grove. Again, no recording exists of the production, but a camera script does – and this can facilitate a detailed technical comparison. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace