PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

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Mr_Wolf
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PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by Mr_Wolf »

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Pioneering, immensely influential and often challenging, Armchair Theatre was ITV’s flagship drama anthology series. Bringing high-quality drama to the viewing public, the series easily demonstrated the network’s potential to rival the BBC’s drama output, with diverse and powerful plays showcasing some of Britain’s most gifted writers.

This set comprises twelve plays featuring performances by some of the era’s most celebrated and accomplished actors – including Susannah York, Colin Blakely, Ian Holm, Irene Handl, Donald Pleasence, Terry-Thomas, Patrick Macnee, Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier, among many others. This volume includes early plays by both Jack Rosenthal and David Perry, and a star-studded production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

http://networkonair.com/shop/1658-armch ... ume-4.html
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

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THE EMPEROR JONES
A convicted murderer escapes from prison and flees to a Caribbean island, where he sets himself up as ‘Emperor’ to the natives.
Starring Kenneth Spencer and Harry H. Corbett
Written by Terry Southern from the play by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Original ITV Transmission 30 March 1958

THE GREATEST MAN IN THE WORLD
When Jackie Smurch - the Greatest Man in the World - dies, the world is wracked with grief. ITV joins up with American television to cover the funeral.
Starring Ludovic Kennedy, Donald Pleasence, Patrick McGoohan, Wensley Pithey and Michael Balfour
Written by Reuben Ship based on the short story by James Thurber
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Original ITV Transmission 9 November 1958

THE SCENT OF FEAR
‘Why are you frightened, Miss Bridey?’ asks the police chief; ‘The scent of fear is all around you.’ Air hostess Joan Bridey has good reason to fear Kralik – for she must hide from him the young man she is trying to smuggle aboard a London-bound plane from Eastern Europe...
Starring Dorothy Tutin, Anthony Quayle, Carl Duering, Neil McCallum and John Carson
Written by Ted Willis
Directed by John Moxey
Original ITV Transmission 13 September 1959

AFTER THE SHOW
Young Maurice Liebig takes the first steps towards maturity when he is called to the bedside of his uncle’s girlfriend after her suicide attempt.
Starring Hermione Baddeley, Carmel McSharry, Jeremy Spenser, Paul Whitsun-Jones and Ann Lynn
Written by Angus Wilson
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Original ITV Transmission 20 September 1959

LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’S CRIME
Lord Arthur Savile postpones his wedding in order to commit a murder. Which of his many relatives is to have the honour of being the victim?
Starring Terry-Thomas, June Thorburn, Ernst Thesiger, Arthur Lowe and Eric Pohlmann
Written by Constance Cox and Gerald Savory
from the short story by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Alan Cooke
Original ITV Transmission 3 January 1960

THE TROUBLE WITH OUR IVY
Everything seems so normal in the quiet suburban street. Who can guess that the feud between the house-proud Tremblows and the Chards next door will lead to terror?
Starring John Barrie, Laurence Hardy, Gretchen Franklin and Dandy Nichols
Written by David Perry
Directed by Charles Jarrott
Original ITV Transmission 19 November 1961

THE HARD KNOCK
Pat Greevey returns from sea, and searches Liverpool for people who may help him prove that his brother was unjustly hanged.
Starring Colin Blakely, Frank Finlay, J.G. Devlin, Sylvia Kay and Ronald Lacey
Written by Alun Owen
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Original ITV Transmission 8 July 1962

THE PARADISE SUITE
Beautiful movie star Lena Roland, the idol of millions, occupies ‘The Paradise Suite’, yet yearns for love…
Starring Sam Wanamaker, Ian Holm, Caroll Baker, Jess Conrad and Derek Smith
Written by Robert Muller
Directed by Philip Saville
Original ITV Transmission 17 February 1963

LONG PAST GLORY
The ponderings of two opinionated men are disturbed by a stranger.
Starring Maurice Denham, John Le Mesurier and David Andrews
Written by Len Deighton
Directed by Charles Jarrott
Original ITV Transmission 17 November 1963

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
The most famous comedy in the English language involves two pairs of lovers, a mistaken identity, and a secret weekend in the country...
Starring Susannah York, Irene Handl, Patrick Macnee, Fenella Fielding, Ian Carmichael, Wilfrid Brambell and Charles Lloyd Pack
Written by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Bill Bain
Original ITV Transmission 15 November 1964

I TOOK MY LITTLE WORLD AWAY
Do people love enough? Or understand enough? Mandy Hope, traumatised by the recent suicide of her best friend, faces the challenge of living in a world full of people who do not care enough – until she meets Geoffrey Mather.
Starring Susannah York, John Robinson, John Ronane, Clemence Bettany and Gary Watson
Written by John Hopkins
Directed by Peter Hammond
Original ITV Transmission 14 March 1965

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE MORNING AFTER
Does everyone have the ‘magic chemistry’? A ‘sort of mysterious something going from one to the other – and back’. On their wedding eve, Susan and Neville have their doubts...
Starring Bernard Lee, Julia Foster, Rodney Bewes, Betty
Marsden and Trevor Bannister
Written by Jack Rosenthal Directed by Kim Mills
Original ITV Transmission 2 April 1966
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by bent_halo »

After the Show! Bloody hell.

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Jezza
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by Jezza »

Bit of research dug this up...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_(1958_TV_play)

...apart from the unfortunate death of an actor, it sounds like the rest of the play was mainly ad-libbed to cover up the fact, would of made a nice curio piece of TV.

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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

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" Due to the indisposition of the actor who was to have played Godot..."

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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by JWG »

Surprised that some of the bigger names weren't highlighted on the cover.Every extra sale helps.Can most people name the ones pictured?

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Mr_Wolf
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by Mr_Wolf »

The Prisoner, John Steed, Steptoe and Son and some guy with a bald head.
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Roll ACR
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by Roll ACR »

Excellent news, and please let there be more to follow. I want "The Rose Affair".

stanbutler
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by stanbutler »

Excellent! Much prefers these earlier b/w shows the the 70s ones which I found rather dull on the whole. Good to see some more of Terry-Thomas too.

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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by didi-5 »

I know the announcement was originally for 24 plays from this era of Armchair Theatre, but if sales are encouraging is there any chance at all of a volume 5?

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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by Wakey »

This is great news. Can't wait.
Jezza wrote:Bit of research dug this up...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_(1958_TV_play)

...apart from the unfortunate death of an actor, it sounds like the rest of the play was mainly ad-libbed to cover up the fact, would of made a nice curio piece of TV.
Hmmm. I'm not sure how you're defining 'research' but most of what gets written about this play is absolute balls. The trouble is, a lot of people involved in the production (and indeed plenty who weren't), have embellished the story for a good anecdote. I certainly can't promise to have got it quite right, but if you want to know a little more about the play, and see a couple of the sets, I've tried to separate some of the myth from the fact in the article here: Underground

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KennyG
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by KennyG »

Regarding Underground, there is actually a little bit of additional material about what happened during the play in Standby Studio, a book about the early days of UTV by Anne Hailes.

The reason why it features in a book on UTV is that two future UTV executives,Tony Finigan and Colin Lecky Thompson, worked for ABC at the time and were involved in the real-life drama which unfolded. Finigan was the floor manager for the play and Lecky Thompson was the duty transmission controller on the night.

Lecky Thompson's recollection is very interesting in that he reveals that the play didn't necessarily have to continue...
"We were sitting at the control desk watching the play when the director called through to use from the studio saying 'someone has died on set'. I asked, 'Shall we run a standby film?" We always had three different standbys, a 20 minute, half hour and 47 minutes. 'We're going to go ahead with the play', he replied. Between a quick rewrite during a commercial break of 2 minutes and 35 seconds and a lot of ad libbing from the actors, the show carried on and came out on time.

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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by Wakey »

Kenny: thanks for the book reference, I'd hadn't been aware of that one. The article needs an update so I'll try to get hold of that book in the near(ish) future.

To be fair, I don't think anyone ever suggested the team had to carry on, only that it was what they chose to do - not so surprising when you bear in mind that pressing on regardless was always the approach taken to mishaps on stage and most if not all of the actors and main production personnel had a background in stage drama, from which a live TV play isn't so different. Accounts differ on how significant a part Jones played in the second half of the drama (I'd love to get hold of the script to find out) but I'd take the director's comment suggesting he was the main antagonist with a pinch of salt - I doubt they could have carried on if a large part of the drama hinged around a suddenly-deceased actor. The fact that they managed to (quickly) re-attribute the character's lines to others without it turning to nonsense also suggests he wasn't playing a massive part in the conclusion, but that's only supposition on my part.

Does anyone know if any archive holds old ABC scripts?

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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by KennyG »

I wouldn't get that book just for the Underground material. There's very little else of note apart from that quote. Finigan's comment is basically a factual statement of the basics and that the situation was "the worst nightmare of all".

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Jezza
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Re: PR: Armchair Theatre: Volume 4 [Network]

Post by Jezza »

Wakey wrote:This is great news. Can't wait.
Jezza wrote:Bit of research dug this up...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_(1958_TV_play)

...apart from the unfortunate death of an actor, it sounds like the rest of the play was mainly ad-libbed to cover up the fact, would of made a nice curio piece of TV.
Hmmm. I'm not sure how you're defining 'research' but most of what gets written about this play is absolute balls. The trouble is, a lot of people involved in the production (and indeed plenty who weren't), have embellished the story for a good anecdote. I certainly can't promise to have got it quite right, but if you want to know a little more about the play, and see a couple of the sets, I've tried to separate some of the myth from the fact in the article here: Underground
I just googled "first person to die live on TV", because i knew that someone died during a live drama, and guessed it was Armchair Theatre. Their has been many myths about it, but it sounds as if the poor unfortunate actor didn't actually die live on screen during transmission.

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