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1950s

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‘Forgotten Dramas 2’ at BFI Southbank: ‘The Passionate Pilgrim’ (1953)

Our second ‘Forgotten Television Dramas’ season continues at 8.40 pm on Wednesday 8 February with a screening of one of the earliest surviving British television dramas, The Passionate Pilgrim from 1953. Only two earlier plays survive before The Passionate Pilgrim which was broadcast live in the same week as the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and has … Continue reading

‘Forgotten Dramas 2: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ Season at BFI Southbank: February 2017

We are pleased to be able to announce details of the second ‘Forgotten Dramas: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ season, held at BFI Southbank this February, curated by Lez Cooke, John Hill and Billy Smart as a part of the AHRC-funded ‘History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project at Royal Holloway College, University … Continue reading

Drama from Gosta Green (1956-71)

Although BBC Television began broadcasting in the London area in 1936, television did not come to the Midlands until December 1949 when the Sutton Coldfield transmitter was opened. Initially television programmes transmitted in the Midlands came from London and it was not until late 1951 that TV programmes started to be produced by BBC Midland.

BBC drama productions on the cover of the Radio Times 2: Series and serials, 1955-64

To help clarify my thinking about what sort of television drama gets remembered and forgotten in Britain, I’ve been looking at how the Radio Times publicised BBC drama over 1946-82, the period covered by the ‘Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project.

BBC drama productions on the cover of the Radio Times 1: Single plays, 1948-64

To help clarify my thinking about what sort of television drama gets remembered and forgotten in Britain, I’ve been looking at how the Radio Times publicised BBC drama over 1946-82, the period covered by the ‘Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project.

The Passionate Pilgrim (1953)

“I believe that I am right in saying that the first complete recording of a play that may be regarded as a waymark of drama in the fifties, was that of Rudolph Cartier’s production of 1984.” (Michael Barry, From the Palace to the Grove, Royal Television Society, 1992, p.84)

Anastasia (1953)

Our TV’s Forgotten Dramas season at BFI Southbank continues on Tuesday 10 February with a screening of Sunday Night Theatre: Anastasia introduced by Lez Cooke, who discusses the programme’s history and archival survival here.

‘Forgotten Dramas: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ Season at BFI Southbank: February 2015

We are pleased to be able to announce details of the ‘Forgotten Dramas: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ season, held at BFI Southbank this February, curated by Lez Cooke and Billy Smart as a part of the AHRC-funded ‘History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project at Royal Holloway College, University of London.

From Television World Theatre to the BBC Shakespeare: The fluctuating status of the classic play on BBC Television 1957-1985

In a recent lecture, Huw Weldon, managing director of BBC television said: ‘We feel that, like the theatre at large, we should be wanting if we did not ceaselessly recreate the classics – Shakespeare, Sheridan, Shaw and so on.’ (Dunkley, Chris, ‘Review’, Radio Times, 27 March 1975, p.74)

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