Terence Rattigan

This tag is associated with 3 posts

Rattigan on DVD: Performance: The Deep Blue Sea (BBC, 1994)

The BBC has three times mounted Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, a feature film adaptation of which, directed by Terence Davies, is released this week. The BBC productions were broadcast with two decades between each one, in 1954, 1974 and 1994, but only the third of these survives in the archives. (There is also an earlier feature film, made in 1955 by Anatole Litvak with Vivian Leigh.) The 1994 studio recording is released on the five-DVD boxset The Terence Rattigan Collection and this post is devoted primarily to that version, with some notes too about the earlier two outings for the small screen. Continue reading

Rattigan on DVD: Sunday Night Theatre: Adventure Story (BBC, 1961)

The recent BBC release of the The Terence Rattigan Collection DVD box-set has thrown up a true curio. The earliest production in the set, the 1961 staging of Adventure Story was in fact the second television presentation of Rattigan’s historical drama about Alexander the Great. The BBC staged it first in 1950 (no recording was made), the year after it had failed in the West End. Quite why it was accorded two productions in just over a decade is a mystery – especially since this unremarkable 1961 production reveals all of the weaknesses of the text. Continue reading

Terence Rattigan on television — and DVD

The centenary of Terence Rattigan’s birth has shaken lose some true treasures from the archive, released by the BBC’s DVD label 2 Entertain in a five-disc box set, The Terence Rattigan Collection. I have listed the nine productions below, and over the coming weeks we will review each of them here. Today I want both warmly to recommend the set and to muse on two questions that it prompts. The first is to ask, particularly in relation to two precious fragments of filmed stage productions, why 2 Entertain can be so casual with their contextual materials? And the second is to explore what’s missing from the box-set. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace