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Stanley Houghton

This tag is associated with 3 posts

Stanley Houghton’s The Younger Generation (Granada for ITV, 1959)

Our first blog post of 2014 records some thoughts arising from a viewing of the 1959 Granada production of Stanley Houghton’s The Younger Generation for ITV. This production was one of at least twelve plays from the Manchester School of playwrights of half a century earlier, many of which were adapted for television by Granada’s Gerald Savory, pictured above. The nature of the adaptation process of The Younger Generation for television production in 1959 is the focus here: on the one hand we have elements of what we may call ‘theatrical’ adaptation, by which elements of story and plot are altered to speak more directly to the anticipated audience; on the other hand, there is a substantial degree of adaptation in terms of the form which responds to the technological possibilities of the studio. In addition, Savory (who was a playwright as well as a producer) builds on Houghton’s original theatre play, inventing characters, scenes and strands of plot which develop the original spirit of his play. Continue reading

Programming ‘The Edwardians’, part 1

In the past two years my colleague Amanda Wrigley and I have curated two ‘Classics on TV’ seasons of screenings at BFI Southbank, Greek tragedy on the small screen (June 2012) and Jacobean tragedy on the small screen (March-April 2013). I am delighted to say that Screen Plays has been asked to programme a third such season, which is to be The Edwardians at some point next spring. As before, the season will comprise six screenings including a panel discussion, and we hope also to organise a complementary half-day symposium at the University of Westminster. The final selection of the season has to be made over Christmas with the booklet copy ready by the end of January. I am just now in the final stages of thinking about which television productions to show, and why, and I thought it might be interesting to post about the process. I would also really welcome any suggestions or reactions to the choices I muse about here. Continue reading

Granada’s Manchester plays

As I have been compiling our first list of one hundred television plays I have come across both single dramas and groups of plays about which I previously knew nothing. One of the most interesting of the latter is the collection of ‘Manchester repertory plays’ produced by Granada between 1958 and 1962. These were highly-praised adaptations of dramas associated with Annie Horniman’s Gaiety Theatre in the years between 1908 and the First World War. Twelve of these plays were broadcast from originals by Harold Brighouse, Stanley Houghton, Allan Monkhouse and Elizabeth Baker, and they were recognised both as celebrations of regional identity and as precursors of contemporary writing by authors such as Arnold Wesker, Alun Owen, John Osborne and Shelagh Delaney. Continue reading