Category Archives: Single Plays

The Stripped-Down Studio Space: Play for Today: Psy-Warriors (BBC, 12/5/81) & Centre Play: The Saliva Milkshake (BBC, 6/1/75)

by guest writer, David Rolinson   Psy-Warriors explores the military use of psychological operations as writer David Leland poses “the moral dilemma [of] how far we can torture and degrade prisoners in the name of democracy and freedom” (Radio Times). … Continue reading

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Mixing Genres in the Studio: Playhouse: The Journal of Bridget Hitler (BBC2, 6/2/81)

In the fifth screening of the ‘Dramatic Spaces’ season, The Journal of Bridget Hitler, Colour Separation Overlay (CSO) is used in an entirely different way than in our previous double bill of ‘studio trickery’, this time within a self-reflexive drama-doc … Continue reading

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Studio trickery: Censored Scenes From King Kong (BBC, 1973) & Play For Today: The After Dinner Joke (BBC, 14/02/78)

This double-bill, the fourth screening in our ‘Dramatic Spaces’ season at the BFI, features two remarkable BBC television plays that take advantage of electronic ‘studio-trickery’: Howard Schuman’s never-transmitted Censored Scenes From King Kong (1973) and Caryl Churchill’s 1978 Play For … Continue reading

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‘Dead of Night: The Exorcism’ (BBC, 1972)

Our ‘Dramatic Spaces: The Imaginative World of the TV Studio’ film season opens at BFI Southbank tonight, with a screening of ‘The Exorcism’, Don Taylor’s play for made for the BBC2 horror anthology series Dead of Night. Over the course … Continue reading

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‘Armchair Theatre: The Golden Road’ (1973): Representing lesbianism in the 1970s

(Text of a paper given by Billy Smart at ‘Television for Women’, University of Warwick, 17 May 2013) What I’m going to do today is present a long-forgotten drama of some significance to you and – through close textual analysis … Continue reading

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Excited about apathy: Red Letter Day (Granada, 1976)

(Review of Red Letter Day: The Complete Series, originally published on Tachyon TV, 2011)  Thanks to the canonical status of the BBC’s Wednesday Play and Play for Today, people have a selective memory when it comes to the single play. … Continue reading

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Beyond the Fourth Wall: Experiments in TV Drama: Samuel Beckett’s Plays on BBC TV

Samuel Beckett is probably best known as a theatre dramatist, but there is a long history of BBC TV presenting dramas that he wrote for specifically for the medium, and also television adaptations of his theatre work (Bignell 2009). In … Continue reading

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Beyond the Fourth Wall: Experiments in TV Drama: David Bowie in Baal (BBC, 1982)

Alan Clarke’s television production of Bertolt Brecht’s play Baal (BBC1, 2 March 1982) is being screened as part of the ‘Beyond the Fourth Wall: Experiments in TV Drama’ season at BFI Southbank on Friday 30 November. Booking details can be … Continue reading

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The Cherry Orchard (BBC, 1981)

Although only a handful of stage adaptations for British television were ever made on location on outside broadcast (OB), the technologies and working practices could also be used inside, as well as away from, the studio. This unusual method of … Continue reading

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