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1970s, BBC, Billy Smart, Cedric Messina, Edward Fox, John Galsworthy, Loyalties, Play of the Month, Rudolph Cartier

‘Forgotten Television Dramas 2’ at BFI Southbank: ‘Play of the Month: Loyalties’ (BBC 1976)

loyalties-01

Our second ‘Forgotten Television Dramas’ season concludes at 3.15 on Sunday afternoon with a screening of John Galsworthy’s ‘Loyalties’, unseen since 1976. The screening will be introduced by actor Edward Fox. Along with his many film and theatre credits over the last fifty years, two of Edward’s television appearances made soon after Loyalties demonstrate his particular affinity for the medium, as James Harthouse in Hard Times (UTV/ Granada 1977) and Edward VIII in Edward & Mrs Simpson (Thames 1978).

Made during a period when the BBC made many classic theatrical plays for television via series like Play of the Month, Loyalties is an exemplary adaptation, with intense attention to detail in design and costume, and performed by a generation of actors who were both schooled in repertory theatre and experienced TV performers. The play was the final production made by director Rudolph Cartier, best known now for his pioneering BBC productions of the Quatermass serials (1953, 1955, 1959) and Nineteen Eighty Four (1954), but who continued to create work marked by masterful control and balance until his retirement.

A full-length article about Loyalties and two contemporaneous Play of the Month Galsworthy adaptations (of The Skin Game and Strife) can be read here.

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