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1970s BBC drama Play For Today

My Ten Plays for Today: Peter Ansorge

This is the latest in a series of posts in which we publish the ‘top ten’ or ‘top five’ Plays for Today identified by  a range of writers, researchers and media professionals. The brief was that such lists should not necessarily consist of what were considered to be the ‘best’ Plays for Today but could also include personal favourites, or work which it was believed should be better-known (though, in many cases, these categories overlap). 

My Ten Plays for Today: Peter Ansorge

Shakespeare or Bust

And here – what fun – is my top ten Plays For Today (in chronological order):

A Passage to England
  1. Shakespeare or Bust (1973)
  2. Penda’s Fen (1974)
  3. Gangsters (1975)
  4. A Passage to England (1975)
  5. Nuts In May (1976)
  6. Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976)
  7. Licking Hitler (1978)
  8. The Spongers (1978)
  9. Blue Remembered Hills (1979)
  10. A Hole in Babylon (1979)                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Wow. Maybe those were the days!
A Hole in Babylon

PETER ANSORGE joined the BBC’s English Regions Drama Department in Birmingham in 1975 as a script editor and producer. Under David Rose’s innovative regime, he worked on Mike Leigh’s early success Nuts in May (1976), David Hare’s Licking Hitler (1978), both of which were commissioned as Plays for Today, and Alan Bleasdale’s Boys from the Blackstuff (1982). Peter devised and produced the UK’s first black soap opera Empire Road (1980), written by Michael Abbensetts and starring Norman Beaton. In 1982 Peter followed David Rose to the UK’s new broadcaster Channel 4 where he became a commissioning editor for fiction and helped to create the Film on 4 strand. Subsequently, Peter became Head of Drama for television series and serials.  His award-winning commissions included A Very British Coup (1988) and Alan Bleasdale’s GBH (1991). Since leaving Channel 4, he has worked as a producer of feature films and television and he is currently Head of Short Courses at the National Film and Television School.

One reply on “My Ten Plays for Today: Peter Ansorge”

Gangsters is the current leader, on eight votes.

Two plays on seven votes: Penda’s Fen and Nuts in May.

Two plays on six votes: Through the Night and The Spongers.

Five plays currently on five votes: Robin Redbreast, The Cheviot the Stag & the Black Black Oil, Leeds United, Bar Mitzvah Boy and Blue Remembered Hills.

Five plays currently on four votes: Edna the Inebriate Woman, Kisses at Fifty, Just Another Saturday, Destiny and The Imitation Game.

Five plays currently on three votes: Orkney, Land of Green Ginger, Abigail’s Party, Licking Hitler, Country and King.

Thirteen plays currently on two votes: Shakespeare – Or Bust, Back of Beyond, Sunset Across The Bay, The Lonely Man’s Lover, The Other Woman, Double Dare, Don’t Be Silly, Comedians, Just A Boy’s Game, A Hole In Babylon, Long Distance Information, The Adventures of Frank and Baby Talk.

Fifty-two other plays on one vote (plus a further three not originally broadcast as Plays for Today, and one ‘my eleventh choice’ appendix).

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