Laurence Olivier

This tag is associated with 3 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

Scenes from Macbeth (BBC, 1937)

Following on from my note that I intend to do a number of less expansive contributions here, this is another post that does little more than draw attention to an interesting article from the earliest years of television. Researching pre-war adaptations of specific theatre productions of Shakespeare, I was intrigued to discover a 1937 review of scenes from Macbeth with Laurence Olivier. This anonymous response highlighted questions about television, theatre and the cinema that continue to pre-occupy those of us engaged by broadcasts of plays on television and for the likes of NT Live and RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon. Continue reading

Long Day’s Journey into Night (ATV for ITV, 1973)

I am delighted that Network have just released on DVD the 1973 production of Long Day’s Journey into Night. This is a studio adaptation of a famous National Theatre production with Laurence Olivier from two years before. At the time of the stage premiere, Michael Billington wrote of Olivier’s performance in the final act that it was ‘as sustained a piece of great acting as we have seen in years.’ Thrillingly, the force and achievement of the production is captured, and in some ways even enhanced, by the shift to the small screen. Forty years on, this intelligent presentation feels modern, immediate and involving. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace