UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > General Vintage Technology Discussions

Notices

General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 15th Oct 2020, 5:30 pm   #1
dave walsh
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ramsbottom (Nr Bury) Lancs or Bexhill (Nr Hastings) Sussex.
Posts: 4,953
Default Play For Today

Looking at the ILEA Television Station thread and the technical aspects brought up eg rare Cameras, reminds me to flag up "Drama Out of a Crisis:A Celebration of Play for Today" shown on Monday 12/10/20 BBC4. This is billed as a 50th Anniversary Documentary. It's extremely interesting in itself but there's a lot of Studio production footage as well. It's predecessor, the sixties famous Wednesday Play serious is probably better remembered now but unfortunately, that's quite necessary, as a number of productions were quickly wiped.

A surviving Play For Today, shown afterwards, "Country" [Leo McKern] is a very good watch! Especially on a vintage b+w set perhaps?

Dave W
dave walsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th Oct 2020, 10:02 pm   #2
red16v
Hexode
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Winchester, Hampshire, UK.
Posts: 345
Default Re: Play For Today

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
Looking at the ILEA Television Station thread and the technical aspects brought up eg rare Cameras, reminds me to flag up "Drama Out of a Crisis:A Celebration of Play for Today" shown on Monday 12/10/20 BBC4. This is billed as a 50th Anniversary Documentary. It's extremely interesting in itself but there's a lot of Studio production footage as well. It's predecessor, the sixties famous Wednesday Play serious is probably better remembered now but unfortunately, that's quite necessary, as a number of productions were quickly wiped.

A surviving Play For Today, shown afterwards, "Country" [Leo McKern] is a very good watch! Especially on a vintage b+w set perhaps?

Dave W
I'm led to believe that the name change from 'The Wednesday Play' to 'Play for Today' was because ITV always knew what day it was going to be transmitted and therefore it was an 'easy' target to schedule against.

Whether 'Play for Today' continued to be broadcast on Wednesday I don't know, but the story sounds very plausible given the keen competition between ITV and BBC1. Perhaps they explained the name change in the programme?
red16v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th Oct 2020, 10:27 pm   #3
Restoration73
Octode
 
Restoration73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Surbiton, SW London, UK.
Posts: 1,916
Default Re: Play For Today

PFT moved to Thursday as Wednesday became the "Sportsnight" strand.

Amazing that Abigail's Party used only 5 cameras.

I remember we sold Leo McKern one of those Smiths' Time Switches with the little pins.
He returned it saying he was dissatisfied. We gave him a full refund.
Restoration73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th Oct 2020, 11:52 pm   #4
dave walsh
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ramsbottom (Nr Bury) Lancs or Bexhill (Nr Hastings) Sussex.
Posts: 4,953
Default Re: Play For Today

Thanks for responding Chaps I appreciate it. The Wednesday Play/Play For Today scenario is explained in the Documentary [if you watch it] but reading between the lines might be necessary as well. Restoration has got it right about the "Sportsnight" takeover but why did the Beeb choose to do that? effectively shutting down the very successful WEDNESDAY play". The clue was in the name after all! ["Don't panic Captain Mannering"] There is also the fascinating tech footage to look at..

Have a look at my Marina Abramovits posting on the Shed Space thread as well. It might be of interest!

I used to show Abigail's Party to groups of workmates. They absolutely loved it!


Dave

Last edited by dave walsh; 16th Oct 2020 at 12:14 am.
dave walsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Oct 2020, 10:20 am   #5
Richard_FM
Octode
 
Richard_FM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Stockport, Cheshire, UK.
Posts: 1,298
Default Re: Play For Today

My old girlfriend had Abigail's Party on DVD. It's impressive how it seamlessly shifts from kitchen sink drama to farce and back many times.
__________________
Hello IT: Have you Tried Turning It Off & On Again?
Richard_FM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Oct 2020, 11:53 am   #6
jjl
Heptode
 
jjl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ware, Herts. UK.
Posts: 929
Default Re: Play For Today

I recall watching the Play for Today production of Abigail's Party when it was first shown in 1977. As I was 12 at the time, I think I didn't "get" the comedy aspect so much, but the awkwardness was very obvious then.
I watched it again last night and loved it. I was impressed by the clear quality of the video - would it have been shot on film or videotape?

John
jjl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Oct 2020, 11:58 am   #7
Restoration73
Octode
 
Restoration73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Surbiton, SW London, UK.
Posts: 1,916
Default Re: Play For Today

Would have been 2" quad tape, although later might have been transferred to 1" C format.
Restoration73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 5:42 pm   #8
rambo1152
Nonode
 
rambo1152's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Manchester, UK.
Posts: 2,181
Default Re: Play For Today

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
It's predecessor, the sixties famous Wednesday Play serious is probably better remembered now but unfortunately, that's quite necessary, as a number of productions were quickly wiped.


Dave W
"Cathy Come Home" was a Wednesday Play. Arguably the most poignant one of the genre.
__________________
--
Graham.
G3ZVT
rambo1152 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 6:02 pm   #9
TowerRadio
Pentode
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bristol, UK.
Posts: 198
Default Re: Play For Today

Didn't Dennis Potter write some of these? I also seem to remember a very youthful Anthony Hopkins in one of them.

Les
TowerRadio is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 6:35 pm   #10
dave walsh
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ramsbottom (Nr Bury) Lancs or Bexhill (Nr Hastings) Sussex.
Posts: 4,953
Default Re: Play For Today

Yes everyone who wrote or performed was there really including Dennis. From the perspective of Bury Lancashire it was just like getting to see things going on far away in "that" London-supposedly the very purpose of "seeing from afar!". Sadly, a number of David Mercer's intriguing Wednesday Play contributions were wiped [well he was a Marxist]. That sort of thing is hinted at in the Documentary but I don't think he was mentioned directly. There are quite a few plays surviving to this day though, as indicated by the clips [like Cathy Come Home and Up The Junction]. Leo McKern is evident in a few, and in another one like "Country" [On The Eve of Publication 19868] examining the establishment. One of my real favourites is "Lets Murder Vivaldi?" also 1968. They have turned up on BBC2 and 4 in the past and now TPTV, along with other stations jumping on the vintage/nostalgia bandwagon.

Dave W

Last edited by dave walsh; 18th Oct 2020 at 6:42 pm.
dave walsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 6:39 pm   #11
McMurdo
Dekatron
 
McMurdo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands, UK.
Posts: 4,075
Default Re: Play For Today

My main interest in these tv plays is as period pieces, watching out for old fashion, hair, shops, tv's, furniture, decor, that sort of thing.
Abigail's Party was on this wednesday on BBC4, (I think). There's a brief shot of their telly, on a trendy 1-leg stand, surprised no one's mentioned it!
I agree the camera work/VT recording is of a high standard, quite normal for that period, from memory, although you see the odd shadow of a boom mic from time to time (also quite normal for the period!!).
There's also a bit of comet-tailing from Beverly's jewellery.
__________________
Kevin
McMurdo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 7:06 pm   #12
dave walsh
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ramsbottom (Nr Bury) Lancs or Bexhill (Nr Hastings) Sussex.
Posts: 4,953
Default Re: Play For Today

Abigail was shown on Wednesday. Yes it was an unusual TV Kevin but in my experience it's the play itself that just grips the viewer from the off-stunned and horrified by Beverly perhaps? [post4*] "Period Piece", that was the argument put forward [to my surprise] by the writer and commentator Mark Lawson in Radio Times recently about the plays. He said they were "of their time" and couldn't be done now! Yes they could [and better in a studio] or just filmed in-situ like the amazing Cypress Avenue recorded and broadcast from the Almedia last summer [buried late, mid-week on BBC4 for safety]. These contemporary plays are still being written of course and produced, all round the country now. A lot of London performances take place in a theatrical space that is a room above a pub. Things have moved on technically in half a century. We could all attend via maybe two people and an attache case sized camera set up. It just requires the will

Dave W

[Of course I'm assuming post the Covid Crisis!]

Oh and I forgot to say that Vivaldi is an examination of domestic bliss-no really!

Last edited by dave walsh; 18th Oct 2020 at 7:34 pm.
dave walsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th Oct 2020, 11:12 pm   #13
Tractorfan
Nonode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 2,947
Smile Re: Play For Today

Hi,
As a young lad when 'Abigail's Party' first went out, I have to confess that I watched it only to see a young Alison Steadman in that party frock!
Otherwise, I found it quite boring back then.
OT, I know. Sorry.
Cheers, Pete
__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."
Tractorfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Oct 2020, 12:15 am   #14
G0HZU_JMR
Nonode
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK.
Posts: 2,116
Default Re: Play For Today

Like a few others on the thread I can remember first watching Abigail's Party when I was quite young. I was still at school and I found all of the characters to be quite fascinating to watch even though none of the characters seemed that believable to me at the time. Their individual character traits/flaws seemed to be a bit overdone which made it even more awkward to watch. I did enjoy it though!

I just checked and Abigail's Party is available on BBC iPlayer. I'll try and watch it again and hopefully it will be just as awkward and enjoyable as the first time.
__________________
Regards, Jeremy G0HZU
G0HZU_JMR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Oct 2020, 1:34 pm   #15
m0cemdave
Heptode
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 918
Default Re: Play For Today

There was a really good programme about this on Saturday evening on Radio 4, narrated by the very same Alison Steadman. Part of the "Archive on 4" strand.

I recognised a snippet of "Wide Boy", a song by Rick Lloyd written for the play "Scum". After the play was banned (too close to reality for the PTB) he re-used it for a musical that I worked on, brought back some memories from 40 years ago!
m0cemdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Oct 2020, 6:16 pm   #16
Pilot Mariner
Hexode
 
Pilot Mariner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Burntwood, Staffordshire, UK.
Posts: 289
Default Re: Play For Today

I watched Abigailes party because I've actually met the actress who played Angie (Janine Drzewicki later changed to Duvitski) many years ago when I was a lot younger . My Dad and her Dad were mates in the Polish Airforce here in the UK during WW2.
Pilot Mariner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th Oct 2020, 6:21 pm   #17
G0HZU_JMR
Nonode
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK.
Posts: 2,116
Default Re: Play For Today

Another good play from the 1970s (or was it a film?) is the classic 'Nuts in May'.

I've seen this a couple of times and think I first saw this when it was released in the mid 1970s. I really enjoyed it even though I was much too young to be part of its intended audience. It is another Mike Leigh classic and Alison Steadman is one of the main characters. The main star this time was her husband 'Keith'. It's one of those plays that you either adore or you may find it a bit dull or slow. I'd love to see it again and it would be interesting to find out what young people today would think of it. I'd need to see it again but I think it should be fairly timeless as it is mainly set in a campsite in the countryside. Their Morris Minor car is a bit of a giveaway as to the age of it though!
__________________
Regards, Jeremy G0HZU
G0HZU_JMR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th Oct 2020, 12:39 pm   #18
G0HZU_JMR
Nonode
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK.
Posts: 2,116
Default Re: Play For Today

I googled "Nuts in May" and Wikipedia states it was first broadcast as part of the Play for Today series in 1975.

I just watched the first few minutes in the low res video link below and it brought back lots of memories. However, I think it deserves to be watched with higher quality video and sound so I stopped watching it after Keith had paid for his camp pitch.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x55y5q

It really is quite special and I'm hoping it will be released on BBC iPlayer again. A search shows that it has been on iPlayer before (sadly no longer active) so it may pop up again alongside Abigails' Party.
__________________
Regards, Jeremy G0HZU
G0HZU_JMR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th Oct 2020, 1:19 pm   #19
astral highway
Dekatron
 
astral highway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 3,149
Default Re: Play For Today

Hi Jeremy,

Yes, ‘Nuts in May’ is a wonderful screenplay and I’ve hugely enjoyed watching it, probably three times , over the years. It’s a remarkably able social commentary and has moments I find hilarious.

And yes, that Morris Minor!...
__________________
Al
astral highway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th Oct 2020, 8:39 pm   #20
kirstyd
Heptode
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 617
Default Re: Play For Today

Quote:
Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
My main interest in these tv plays is as period pieces, watching out for old fashion, hair, shops, tv's, furniture, decor, that sort of thing.
Abigail's Party was on this wednesday on BBC4, (I think). There's a brief shot of their telly, on a trendy 1-leg stand, surprised no one's mentioned it!
I agree the camera work/VT recording is of a high standard, quite normal for that period, from memory, although you see the odd shadow of a boom mic from time to time (also quite normal for the period!!).
There's also a bit of comet-tailing from Beverly's jewellery.
I noticed the telly .It interested me because i watched Abigail's party [first time round in 77] on our white Murphy TV that had the same stand [can't remember the model. All controls were on top and it had a large speaker giving very good sound].
kirstyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:32 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.