J B Priestley

This tag is associated with 6 posts

Beyond the boundaries: intermedial ideas in Paris

Paris, you will be delighted to know, looked gorgeous in the spring sunshine over the past two days. Not, of course, that I saw much of the city, because I was attending the colloquium Théâtre au cinéma / cinéma au théâtre: aires culturelles francophones et anglophones at which I was presenting a paper. This was the first conference in 2012 at which Screen Plays was represented – but there are plenty more to come in the year, including the Classical Association Annual Conference and the Performance and Television Space Conference, both in April, the International Screen Studies Conference at the end of June and our own one-day event on 19 October (further details of which will be available soon). Continue reading

From the theatre, 1938-1939

As my two recent blogs explored, the BBC Television Service took outside broadcast cameras to the St Martin’s Theatre in the autumn of 1938. The live transmission of J. B. Priestley’s When We Are Married was the first full-length broadcast of a play from a London theatre. Just a week after When We Are Married cameras went to the Palace Theatre for the opening of the musical comedy Under Your Hat. The stars Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert ‘are to be interviewed in their dressing-rooms,’ the Observer reported, ‘and the audience will be seen arriving in the foyer.’ Continue reading

In the beginning: When We Are Married (BBC, 1938) 2.

My previous post outlined the production of a live outside broadcast from the St Martin’s Theatre of a production of J. B. Priestley’s comedy When We Are Married. This presentation on 16 November 1938 was the first such presentation of a full-length play, and as a consequence its successes and failures were much discussed in the days and weeks that followed. Both in public and in private the BBC was thrilled with the transmission, and indeed on the Friday and Sunday following a special announcement was broadcast. Continue reading

In the beginning: When We Are Married (BBC, 1938) 1.

Although 1938 is not exactly the beginning of stage plays on television (see my posts on The Tiger and Marigold for the first productions), the evening of 16 November saw a notable first in this story. That night the BBC television service mounted its first live outside broadcast from a London theatre. The evening’s programming was the whole of J. B. Priestley’s hit comedy When We Are Married direct from London’s St Martin’s Lane Theatre. Despite the technical complexities, the transmission was a notable success, and the approach was used on several further occasions before the war. Continue reading

On the boards: television from the theatre

At the London Coliseum last night the final presentation this season of Terry Gilliam’s spectacular staging of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust was recorded by eight cameras for BBC Four. ‘Stage capture’ of this kind has a long tradition with the first theatre event presented on television being a live broadcast of J B Priestley’s play When We are Married on the evening of Wednesday 18 November 1938. Continue reading

Pre-war theatre from BBC Television, 2.

A previous post started my journey through theatre plays on BBC television in the years 1936-39. Here, I want to look at some of the productions of notable living playwrights in those years, both as they were staged live in the studios at Alexandra Palace and as, in one case, they were relayed from the theatre. … Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace