Lime Grove

This tag is associated with 3 posts

A tale of six Cinders, part 2: Cinderella (BBC, 1938, 1948, 1950)

The first instalment of this two-part post highlighted a studio production and an OB of different Cinderellas in the first two years of the BBC’s television service after the war. This continuation discusses two post-war studio Cinderellas as well as another that was also considered for a revival, having initially been televised in 1938. (As an opera, if we are being strict, this final Cinderella falls outside the corpus of work being explored by Screen Plays, but its tale is nonetheless interesting.) Continue reading

Comparing scenes from Cymbeline (BBC, 1937 and 1956)

This long-promised post complements two previous ones in which I sketched the background to two early television presentations of scenes from William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. A November 1937 live broadcast from a studio at Alexandra Palace featured extracts from Andre van Gyseghem’s production at the Embassy Theatre. Nineteen years later, in October 1956, two scenes from the recently opened Old Vic production by Michael Benthall were transmitted live from the Lime Grove studios. Remarkably, detailed camera scripts for both productions have been preserved and these permit a detailed comparison to be made between the basic language of studio drama just a year after the start of the BBC Television Service and the relative sophistication of that language two decades on. Continue reading

More scenes from Cymbeline (BBC, 1956)

A previous post explored the BBC Television half-hour presentation of scenes from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline in November 1937. Nearly twenty years later, in October 1956, the BBC broadcast another half-hour of scenes from the play. Both transmissions were drawn from then-current stagings – the earlier from the Embassy Theatre, the latter from the Old Vic – and both involved transplanting the actors from their stages to a television studio for a live programme. In neither case does a recording exist, but in the programme files at Written Archive Centre at Caversham, there are detailed camera scripts for both. These scripts allow us to reconstruct, at least in part, these ‘lost’ broadcasts, and offer the chance to compare the visual language of television in its earliest form and as it was almost two decades on. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace