Production Overview: 1.The Four Icons / 2.A New Man / 3.The End of the Festival / 4.Twenty-Four Steps / 5.Arrival / 6.Stand Up And Vote / 7.From Boneyards To Courting Pits / 8.Normal Service / 9.Homes Fit For Cathy / 10.Sleeping Dogs / 11.Last Orders / 12.Casualties of War
Episode Guide: Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5 /
Season 6 / Season 7 / Season 8 / Season 9

The Wednesday Play Season Two
Season two was mainly produced by James MacTaggart except Cemented With Love which was produced by Peter Luke.
A Tap On The Shoulder
Transmitted : 6th January 1965
Script : James O'Connor
Director : Kenneth Loach

Publicity : Lee Montague as Archibald Cooper, a self-made tycoon - A Tap On The Shoulder - James MacTaggart, who has taken over as producer of The Wednesday Play, sets the scene for the new season and for its first production tonight:

It all started last summer. BBC Television's Head of Drama, Sydney Newman, wanted a season of new plays. They had to be exciting and interesting and up to date. Above all, they had to have variety. There was one more tiny detail: there has to be twenty-five of them. Just that. That's as many Wednesday nights as will stretch from here to June. So we went out to get them. Where do you start? Well, you start with a good story editor; so I got Roger Smith, who has done a lot of work with me as a writer in the past. And as soon as you start collecting a team all those Wednesdays stop leering at you and the whole thing becomes exciting. Soon you call in the writers. You talk about the kind of play needed these days: new, vigorous, entertaining, active. You talk, discuss, argue, sometimes like ordinary human beings in an office, sometimes late into the night. You decide that as well as established writers you need brand-new ones, new blood, new angles. So we commissioned twenty-five new plays, specially written for television.

Tonight's play is the first. It is written by James O'Connor and called Tap On The Shoulder. He is one of the new writers. This is his first play for television. He spent a long time in prison. He knows criminals. He knows what makes them tick. That is what we asked him to write about. The four villains in Tap On The Shoulder are not the kind of crooks you may have seen in television serials and films. They are not unshaven, broken little men on the fringes of society. They are not slick, smooth masterminds with foreign accents. They are professionals who know their trade. The robbery they commit is the story of our play. It launches a highly original and new writing talent. To help you understand and enjoy the play to the full here are translations of some slang phrases the villains use. To straighten - To bribe. To dwell on the box - To stay put. A kite - A cheque. To Graft - To carry out villainy. A joker - A man. A grand - One thousand pounds. To knock back - To refuse. To cop - To get hold op. Porridge - Doing time. (Radio Times, December 31, 196 - Article by James MacTaggart).


Cast :
Lee Montague (Archibald Cooper), Richard Shaw (Ronnie), Judith Smith (Hazel), Griffith Davies (Terry), George Tovey (Patsy), Tony Selby (Tim), Edwin Brown (George), Mark Elwes (The Pub Customer), John Henderson (Clegg), Tom Bowman (Charlie), Rose Hill (Emma Cooper), Charles Rea (A Policeman), Noel Johnson (The Chief Constable), Michael Mulcaster (Major Domo), Walter Horsbrugh (The Bishop), Lucy Griffiths (The Bishop's Wife), Sarah Harter (A Deb), Michael Goldie (The Inner Security Guard), John Blythe (The First Security Guard), Tony Caunter (The Second Security Guard), Michael Collins (The Police Sergeant), John Waite (Detective Sergeant Nash), Carmen Dene (The First Girl), Christine Rodgers (The Second Girl) and Harry Tracey (The Waiter).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Stanley Myers. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith. Film Cameramen for this episode were John McGlashan and Ken Westbury. Film Editor for this episode was Geoffrey Botterill.

This episode is one of eight from the second series of The Wednesday Play which still exists.

Scriptwriter James O'Connor would later revisit similar territory in The Wednesday Play: Profile Of A Gentleman, transmitted on November 22nd, 1967. Coincidentally, that play would also feature Lee Montague in the leading role, which would bear a strong resemblance to that of Archibald Cooper.


Sir Jocelyn, The Minister Would Like A Word …
Transmitted : 13th January 1965
Script : Simon Raven
Director : Stuart Burge

Publicity : Sir Jocelyn, The Minister Would Like A Word… The second play in the new Wednesday series has been written by Simon Raven:

Tonight's play will shock some viewers but for those who enjoy polished wit and sophisticated dialogue and like to shy coconuts at sacred cows Simon Raven's comedy will prove a challenge and a delight. Against the timely background of our current national preoccupation with universities (after all, five have been founded in the same number of years!), Raven eavesdrops on men of learning through a crack in their ivory tower. He shows us the intrigues and the in-fighting of a set of larger-than-life dons and politicians in this age of education. The issue appears to be a simple one: whether a new university - still at the drawing-board stage - should have a chapel or a gadgety lecture hall. It cannot have both. There is not enough money. The struggle that arises out of this dilemma is not merely between the new technologists and the traditionalists. Every member of the committee has a highly personal axe to grind and they manoeuvre, wheedle, cajole, threaten, and bribe each other with jungle ferocity.

Simon Raven confesses that at one time he himself had aspirations to become a don. "I was a scholar at my Cambridge college," he told me. "When I was writing my fellowship thesis I began to think of myself as a writer. I have read a lot of academic biographies and I have always been amused by the cattiness of dons. This sort of thing is more concentrated in a closed institution like a university, and it's more vicious because they have civilised weapons at their command. They're articulate, learned, and unscrupulous". And his portrait of the vacillating Minister hell-bent on placating his electorate? "In general it's just comment on the political morality of our time - the horse-trading and cynicism of men in power". No one escapes Simon Raven's swift humour, but behind the satire and the ironic parade of hissing, crouching intellectuals is an elegance of thought and expression rarely found in television drama today. To capture the outspoken rakish style of this play the director, Stuart Burge, has assembled a strong cast, including Alec McCowen, John Phillips, Derek Francis, James Maxwell, Agnes Lauchlan, and Felix Felton. Michael Hordern appears as Sir Jocelyn Symonds, chairman of the planning committee. Simon Raven's dramatic attitude of put-that-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it will make fascinating television drama, and as a foretaste of the punch he packs here is what one character has to say: "The trouble with modern life, Sir Jocelyn, is that one's sense of values is perverted. This is because in a democracy the people must be given what they want, and what the people want, for the most part, is nauseating rubbish". (Radio Times, January 7, 1965 - Article by Tony Aspler).


Cast :
Michael Hordern (Sir Jocelyn Symonds), Alec McCowen (The Private Secretary), John Phillips (Forbes-Wainright), Derek Francis (The Minister), James Maxwell (Donald Prior), Agnes Lauchlan (Baroness Cleethorpe), Leonard Maguire (Burke Farringdon), Gerald Cross (Myles Beresford), Felix Felton (Philip Clewes), Colin Jeavons (Barry Raines), John Kidd (Rendel Smith), Christopher Benjamin (Dan Royston), Frank Williams (John de la Poeur Whiting), Philip Dunbar (Gerald), George Howe (Torquil Flute), Wallace Campbell (The First Alderman), William Lyon Browne (The Second Alderman), Steven Berkoff (The Councillor), Jeanette Landis (Mrs Dan Royston), Charles Ross and Frank Littlewood (The Spectators).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Dudley Moore. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.


The Navigators
Transmitted : 20th January 1965
Script : Julia Jones
Director :
Vivian Matalon

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm. NB2: Owing to the fact that this play was a hastily-scheduled last-minute replacement for Fable, which had been scheduled for transmission but was ultimately delayed by one week, no material is available from the Radio Times to chronicle the content of this edition of The Wednesday Play.


Fable
Transmitted : 27th January 1965
Script : John Hopkins
Director : Christopher Morahan

Publicity : Fable - Britain under coloured rule - that is the startling situation at the centre of tonight's drama - postponed from last week - by John Hopkins:

Do not expect any of Aesop's cosy pathetic fallacies in John Hopkins' fable. There are none: it is stark, explosive, and contemporary. His theme is prejudice but unlike Mark Fellowes, his crusading coloured hero, Hopkins does not pussyfoot around the issue with ringing phrases about the dignity of man and abstract and sentimental appeals to Common Humanity. He has taken one of the world's most urgent social problems - apartheid - and for the purposes of his play has turned it upside down so that it is white people who find themselves the oppressed second-class citizens, and live in fear and trembling of their coloured masters. To drive home his parable he has set his play in England so that the settings, the place names, and the background will have an air of familiarity and add that extra dimension of the here-and-now. This sense of actuality is furthered by the use of news photographs and film within the action of the play which give it a haunting reality.

In Fable we - the whites - see ourselves treated as coloured people are treated wherever apartheid is practiced; we are herded together by order of the Government and shuttled off to Scotland to provide a labour force and to alleviate the population swell in the South; we are fed only on such news as the State thinks will instill a sense of well-being in us, and we wait in terror for the sound of truncheons battering on doors in the night … And when one of us tries to assassinate our coloured President they lock us away in ghettoes which, history knows, are but one remove from the gas chamber. But men of conscience do exist in all fascist or totalitarian states. In England under coloured rule Mark Fellowes is such a man, "an authentic voice of protest," placed under house arrest for his writings against the Government's policy. Yet, as in the case of so many well-meaning liberals, his protests against the atrocities committed against us by the State in the name of racial prejudice remain merely verbal. So far his has been a verbal protest against the State: will it become more?

Fable, directed by Christopher Morahan, is an uncompromising play - and a very exciting one - though when I spoke to John Hopkins about it he said, "it's not propaganda in the sense that I believe I am right or what I have written is right. If society has to be protected by such means as apartheid then isn't there perhaps something wrong with society … not simply the South African situation but every intolerance that has happened throughout history … We the whites have made the problem - that we are frightened of them for various reasons, including the sexual challenge that we image they offer. It's our problem and we've symbolised it - the fact that they are black and we are white". (Radio Times, January 14, 1965).


Cast :
Ronald Lacey (Len), Eileen Atkins (Joan), Thomas Baptiste (Mark), Barbara Assoon (Francesca), Keith Barron (The Narrator), Rudolph Walker (The Policeman), Leo Carera (The Editor), Bari Jonson (The Deputy Editor), Dan Jackson (The Overseer), Carmen Munroe (Lala), Sally Lahee (Lilian), George Roderick (Laughton), Trevor Rhone (The Assistant Editor), John Rapley (Michael), Andre Dakar (The Head Of State), Frank Singuineau (The Minister), Charles Hyatt (The News Reader), Thor Pierres (The Secretary) and Kenneth Fardnier (The Interrogator).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm. This episode was originally scheduled for transmission on January 20th, 1965, but was postponed and re-scheduled for transmission on January 27th, 1965.

Film Cameraman for this episode was John Wyatt. Film Editor for this episode was Gitta Zadek. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

This episode is one of seven from the second series of The Wednesday Play which still exists.


Dan, Dan, The Charity Man
Transmitted : 3rd February 1965
Script : Hugh Whitemore
Director : Don Taylor

Publicity : The Wednesday Play - Dan, Dan, The Charity Man: They are rapidly becoming a part of our daily lives, the men who knock at our doors in what looks like fancy dress, offering free gifts, something for nothing, vouchers worth five pounds, fortunes for the answer to a simple question "Why does brand X clean cleaner than clean?". But who are the men who ring the bells and knock the knockers?

Are they like Dan Sankey, hero of tonight's play Dan, Dan, The Charity Man? Dan, from out-of-work actor to Vita Moo farm-boy, ends up a national figure, beloved by housewives, a saint of the supermarket. Somewhere along the line, though, he loses his girlfriend Siggy, somewhere along the line he is "conned" by his bosses. In this riotous farce by Hugh Whitemore be prepared for the unusual. At times your picture will flicker like a silent film and the characters burst into mad chases, double time, like something from the Keystone Cops. At other times they might move in slow motion like goldfish in a bowl. This is an unusual comedy which tells its story in unusual ways.

For a television play the author is breaking new ground. He comes up with many surprises. Don Taylor has directed the play using all the resources of the Television Centre and the BBC's film studios. He has cast in the role of Dan one of the most popular of our young actors, Barry Foster. Seen in a number of television plays on BBC Television recently, his latest film is King And Country. He can also be heard at present on Sunday nights in the Light Programme serial The Quarry. In all Dan, Dan, The Charity Man should prove good entertainment. (Radio Times, January 28, 1965 - Article by Roger Smith).


Cast :
Barry Foster (Dan Sankey), Ernest Clark (Pritchard), Philip Locke (Pentelow), Dora Reisser (Siggy), Antony Carrick (Plunkett), Carmel McSharry (Mrs Hartridge), Madge Brindley (The Fat Housewife), Arthur Mullard (The Huge Man), Richard Jacques (The Photographer), Michael Brennan (The Patient) and Michael Barrington (The Reverend Cobbold).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 10:55pm.

Original music for this episode was provided by John Sebastian. Film Cameraman for this episode was Charles Lagus. Film Editor for this episode was Jim Latham. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

Barry Foster, who appeared in this episode as Dan Sankey, would emerge as one of the leading players in John Elliot's high-profile series Mogul later in the same year.


Ashes To Ashes
Transmitted : 10th February 1965
Script : Marc Brandel
Director : Alan Cooke

Publicity : Ashes To Ashes: A comedy… or a parody… or a real, nasty murder story? Not much is being given away about tonight's play. But one character makes a statement we are assured is significant: "Inside every woman is a victim begging to be let loose on a man". Other available information is as follows: the author is Marc Brandel. The leading actress is a Canadian, Toby Robins. She plays Barbara Manson, an intelligent career girl who is swept off her feet into marriage and taken to live in an isolated Cornish cottage by Paris Belmont (Scott Forbes). There some odd coincides strike her… Oh, yes, that is Doctor Crippen in the picture - but he's a waxwork! (Radio Times, February 4, 1965).

Cast :
Toby Robins (Barbara), Scott Forbes (Paris), Frederick Danner (Reilly), Madeleine Burgess (Olga), Pamela Conway (Judy), Oscar Quitak (Max), Arthur White (Tregembo), Bettina Dickson (Helen), Tony Steedman (George) and David Bird (Bascombe).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:50pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Norman Percival. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on July 7th, 1965.

This episode is one of seven from the second series of The Wednesday Play which still exists.


Wear A Very Big Hat
Transmitted : 17th February 1965
Script : Eric Coltart
Director : Kenneth Loach

Publicity : Johnny Clive and Neville Smith in tonight's play by Eric Coltart - Wear A Very Big Hat: Most people have had an evening spoiled by an incident which leaves behind a bad taste in the mouth. This is just what happens in tonight's play to Ann and Johnny Johnson, a young Liverpool couple. It all begins when Ann (Sheila Fearn) buys a new hat - a daring stetson - to wear on a night out with her husband Johnny (Neville Smith).

"Seriously. It's gear," is Johnny's verdict on it as they set off for a meal followed by a drink with some friends in a local pub. When they meet Johnny's mates, Harry and Billy, a very pleasant evening seems to be in prospect. But then something happens. Two rather foppish men are standing by the bar when Ann passes - with her striking new hat still perched cockily on her head. What follows is a small, slightly disagreeable "incident". It passes over inconclusively, but it leaves a mark - particularly on Johnny's mind. Endlessly he broods over it; he plays and replays the scene in his imagination; the more he thinks about it the more determined he becomes not to let the matter rest.

This is a play about ordinary, very human people. It says something about social insecurity; about honour and a sense of humour; about being stubborn and being reasonable; and about the untidiness of real life compared to the simplicity of the world of the imagination. The dialogue has real regional authenticity - the author Eric Coltart, is a Liverpool toolmaker. This is his first television play, although he has written two Z-Cars scripts. It is directed by Kenneth Loach.


Synopsis :
Sheila Fearn and Neville Smith in Wear A Very Big Hat, in which they play a young couple celebrating their wedding anniversary with a night out in Liverpool.

Cast :
Neville Smith (Johnny Johnson), Sheila Fearn (Ann Johnson), William Holmes (Snapper Melia), Johnny Clive (Billy Moffatt), Nola York (The Shop Assistant), Malcolm Taylor (Stan), Alan Lake (Harry Atkins), Royston Tickner (The Pub Manager), William Gaunt (Peter), James Hall (Colin), Margery Campi (A Girl), Ken Jones (Dyke), David Jackson (Joey), John Swindells (A Pub Customer), Tomi Yap and Cecil Cheng (The Waiters), Jack Cunningham (The First Irishman) and Dermot MacDowell (The Second Irishman).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Music for the episode was provided by Stanley Myers. Story Editor for the episode was Roger Smith. Film Cameraman for this episode was Stanley Speel. Film Editor for this episode was Norman Carr.


The Confidence Course
Transmitted : 24th February 1965
Script : Dennis Potter
Director : Gilchrist Calder

Publicity : Dennis Price gives The Confidence Course in tonight's play: Which of these desirable attributes would you most like to possess? 1. Self confidence. 2. Self expression. 3. Good appearance. 4. Good manners. 5. Good memory. 6. Business flair. 7. Ambition. 8. Concentration. 9. Perseverance. 10. Ability to relax. Choose for yourself. We can give you the confidence which gets you places! That is how the advertisement read on the Underground.

Some people of course were indifferent when they saw it. Some were rather above it, or were frightened maybe that if they considered the offer seriously they were admitting their own failure. Some thought there might be something in it for them, and took note of the address and went. They were curious after all, and the advert did stress that there was "no obligation".

The Wednesday Play tonight gives you an opportunity of trying The Confidence Course for yourself. This is the eighth play in the current series and the fourth first play from a new writer. Dennis Potter, the author, would not appear to be lacking in confidence. At twenty-nine he has already made his mark in a number of fields - leader writer, television critic, parliamentary candidate, and now a television playwright. Giving the course tonight is Dennis Price, and among those taking it is Stanley Baxter. The director is Gilchrist Calder, who has just returned from a Broadway success. All these are hopeful that you will stay the course and enjoy yourselves. (Radio Times, February 18, 1965 - Article by Roger Smith).


Cast :
Dennis Price (The Director), Stanley Baxter (Hazlitt), Geoffrey Matthews (The Narrator), Neil McCarthy (Black), Artro Morris (Jones), John Moore (Thomas), William Moore (Hammond), Yootha Jouce (Rosalind Arnold), John Quentin (Bloom), John Blythe (Greenway), Joan Sanderson (Angela Walker), Michael Brill, Betty Duncan, John Devaut, Gilly Flower, Olive Kirby, Jack Le White, Jimmy Mac, Ronald Mayer and Diane Woolley (The "Unconfident").

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of sixty-minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:25pm.

Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

This episode fell victim to BBC Television's junking policy throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and no known recording of the episode is known to exist.


Campaign For One
Transmitted : 3rd March 1965
Script : Marielaine Douglas and Anthony Church
Director : Moira Armstrong

Publicity : Campaign For One - Barry Foster stars in a tensely topical play about space exploration: As the astronauts go further into space and stay there longer, they are subjected to increasingly severe stresses. Already there have been rumours of the effect on men spending long periods in isolation while orbiting the earth; and although as far as is known no one has yet cracked while still up there, it could happen. If it did, how would the astronaut react? And what could his colleagues on the ground do about it?

Campaign For One, written by Marielaine Douglas and Anthony Church, is based on just such a situation. A tense drama set in America in the near future, it follows with compelling and almost documentary attention to detail the space flight of Squadron-Leader Philip Osborne, a British astronaut sent into orbit for ten days by the Allied Space Commission. His mission and the tasks he has to perform appear to be routine and identical with those on a successful earlier trip. But this time there is a vital human factor which the scientists have left out of their calculations. When things begin to go drastically wrong, events move toward an equally drastic solution.

Directed by Moira Armstrong, tonight's production has a strong cast headed by two actors well known to viewers. Barry Foster, last seen in Dan, Dan, The Charity Man, takes the part of Philip Osborne - spending virtually the entire play in a space capsule. Jeremy Kemp, who made his name as Police Constable Steele of Z-Cars and has just completed a starring role in the film Operation Crossbow, appears as Squadron-Leader Jack Cooper, the man on the ground fighting against time for the survival of his friend in outer space. (Radio Times, February 25, 1965).


Cast :
Barry Foster (Squadron-Leader Phil Osborne), Jeremy Kemp (Squadron-Leader Jack Cooper), David Bauer (Doctor Geiner), Jerry Stovin (Colonel Douglas Anderson), Lesley Allen (The Girl In The Television Commercial), Lionel Murton (The Television Commentator), Robert Arden (Major Max Baker), Thomasine Heiner, John Downey and John Bloomfield (The Reporters), George Roubicek (Doctor Drew Marshall), Jack Stewart (Doctor Cutts), David Garth (Group-Captain Austin), Redmond Phillips (John Kelly), Peter Jesson (Flight-Lieutenant Turnbull), Chuck Julian (Don Somers), Norman Chancer (Herb Jackson), Marcella Markham (Mrs Redmond), Anthony Morton (Piggy) and Pearl Catlin (Helen Osborne).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Story Editor for the episode was Roger Smith.


Horror Of Darkness
Transmitted : 10th March 1965
Script : John Hopkins
Director : Anthony Page

Publicity : Horror Of Darkness - A new play by John Hopkins with Alfred Lynch and Glenda Jackson as Peter and Cathy: Author of many outstanding Z-Cars stories and such plays as Walk A Tight Circle and the recent, much-discussed Fable, John Hopkins has established himself as one of the most original television writers. Tonight in Horror Of Darkness he offers a highly original version of the eternal triangle. His story is set in the London flat of a young couple, Peter and Cathy; he is a freelance commercial artist working mainly on illustrations for scientific textbooks; she holds an undemanding job that enables her to cope with the constant demands involved in living with him.

On their doorstep one morning arrives Robin, a friend from art-school days, whom they have not seen for several years. He has abandoned his teaching job in Scotland and come south to try his luck as a writer, and at first they are delighted to put him up. But after a few days it is clear that there is a purpose behind Robin's visit. The relationship between the three of them takes on a new and disturbing meaning - and Peter finds that he is not as invulnerable as he had thought to other people's emotions.

Produced by James MacTaggart, Horror Of Darkness brings together on BBC-1 four exciting talents. Alfred Lynch and Nicol Williamson, who play Peter and Robin, have been appearing in Waiting For Godot at the Royal Court Theatre where their director was Anthony Page, who also directs tonight's production; while Glenda Jackson, who has been making her mark with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theatre, takes the part of Cathy, who is only too well aware of what Robin is trying to do. (Radio Times, March 4, 1965).


Cast :
Alfred Lynch (Peter Young), Nicol Williamson (Robin Fletcher), Glenda Jackson (Cathy), Catherine Clouzot (Micaela) and Wallas Katon (The Visitor).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:35pm.

Script Editor for the episode was Vincent Tilsley.

This edition of The Wednesday Play was re-broadcast on July 27th, 1966 as part of a series of repeats transmitted between the third and fourth seasons of the programme.

This episode is one of seven from the second series of The Wednesday Play which still exists.


A Little Temptation
Transmitted : 17th March 1965
Script : Thomas Clarke
Director : Peter Duguid

Publicity : The Wednesday Play - Denholm Elliott, Caroline Mortimer and Barbara Jefford in A Little Temptation: The trouble with Vincent (played by Denholm Elliott) is women. This middle-aged poet has always been vulnerable, and now his susceptibility has led him into an affair with Ella (Barbara Jefford) - a warmhearted woman living in a world of emancipated conduct and domestic muddle. Ella, who is separated from her husband, lives in Hampstead. She has a daughter called Heather - a very worldly-wise teenager who nevertheless keeps lovable white rats in the sitting-room. There are other rather unusual people in Ella's house. She throws open her doors to foreign students - like the Nigerian Dan - and her humanitarianism leads her to collect human strays.

The current object of her sympathy is a sensitive young secretary called Celia (Caroline Mortimer) who is a semi-permanent resident in the house. "Sin is difficult with a family," admits Ella. It is too for Vincent - from a variety of points of view. Even before he finally stops vacillating and decides to leave his wife and move in with Ella he finds that the demands of her household are irritating. He is frustrated by constant interruptions when he is alone with Ella. Then there are young Heather's feelings to be considered, which means that Vincent cannot go on "family" outings until she becomes "adjusted" to the idea of having him around the house. But most harassing of all are the attentions of Celia: she tries to seduce him - an action which has the most tiresome consequences for Vincent. (Radio Times, March 11, 1965).


Cast :
Barbara Jefford (Ella Cartwright), Denholm Elliott (Vincent), Caroline Mortimer (Celia), Mary Williams (Heather Cartwright), Harry Baird (Dan Adebayo), Michael Barrington (Harry Cartwright) and Cheryl Molineaux (Julia).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

This episode was recorded in the BBC Glasgow studios.

Script Editor for this episode was Roger Smith. Film Cameraman for this episode was Peter Hamilton. Film Editor for this episode was Raoul Sobel.

This episode is one of seven from the second series of The Wednesday Play which still exists.


Moving On
Transmitted : 24th March 1965
Script : Bill Meilen
Director : Brian Parker

Publicity : The Wednesday Play - Moving On: The year - 1952. The Korean War is still dragging on. An infantry unit is glad to be pulling out after front-line action. The men are tired, worn out, but happy to be going back to base for rest and recuperation. In the lorry they talk among themselves; they begin to joke. Among them is a young Welsh medical orderly, Taffy Thomas. He starts clowning about. He picks up a sten gun and points it at his friend. "Stick 'em up," and everyone laughs. But as the lorry bounces suddenly, over a pot-hole in the muddy road, the sten goes off and Thomas' friend is killed.

What follows is tonight's play Moving On. From court martial, the bewildered Thomas is sent to a military prison in Japan. From the mud and fatigue of warfare he finds himself in cold, harsh, and degrading confinement. The prisoners have no rights. Once the cell-block door clangs shut they are entirely at the mercy of the keepers. They may be treated fairly, although the discipline is very hash, and things can get really nasty when small bitter men, "little men in big boots," get too much power. In his first television play, Bill Meilen offers us a tense, at times brutal, drama with a violent climax. He knows what he is writing about, since he both fought in Korea and served a tough sentence in just such a camp. The play stars Peter Jeffrey, and David Collings, and is directed by Brian Parker. (Radio Times, March 18, 1965).


Cast :
Peter Jeffrey (Staff Tucker), David Collings ("Taffy" Thomas), Godfrey Quigley (R.S.M Edwards), Jack Watson (Staff Pierson), Eric Thompson ("Scouse" O'Brien), Ken Wayne (Staff Cross), Philip Oxman (Staff Labrecque), Keneth Thornett (Captain Field), Roy Hanlon (Jock Gould), John Trenaman (Staff Derry), Tony Wall (Charlie Lloyd), Robert Pitt (Blue Band), James Appleby (Bushey), David Brewster (Tagg), Billy Dean (Ledbetter), Syd Deller (Carroll), Peter Diamond (Higgens), Adrian Drotsky (Harries) and Peter Newby (O'Hara).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of eighty minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:45pm.

Film Cameramen for this episode were Russ Walker and Tom Friswell. Film Editor for this episode was Pam Bosworth. Fight Arranger for this episode was Peter Diamond. Music for this episode was provided by Don Lawson. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

This edition of The Wednesday Play was repeated on July 28th, 1965 as part of a series of selected re-screenings of the most popular editions of the second season.


Cat's Cradle
Transmitted : 31st March 1965
Script : Hugo Charteris
Director : Henric Hirsch

Publicity : Cat's Cradle - Leo Genn and Barbara Murray star in tonight's unusual comedy by Hugo Charteris: Half the households in Britain have a pet. One in five has a cat. And if the punishments for cruelty are anything to go by, then the British love their pets with a fierce devotion they scarcely reserve for their children. A lot of women find that a pet can mean as much to them as the child they never had. Everyone has seen the little peckinese dressed in a blue bib, the shampooed poodle, or the pampered Persian, playing up to baby-talk. Hereward Daintry in tonight's play has seen these things too and clutches at the idea of a pet to save his ailing marriage. He is getting on. He has just been retired from a sinecure in the city. His new bride is herself no chicken. They are a lucky couple though - they move straight into a delightful cottage in the country.

But Valerie has always been a town girl and does not hit it off with her rustic neighbours. They expect her to play the part of the squire's lady, but then resent her intrusion into their social life. They are a close, awkward bunch, always on their dignity. Not a bit like her old London girl-friends. Soon the only friend she seems to have in the world is her kitten, Oscar - a superb, fluffy creature who is given all the cream. Next door there is another cat, a huge, hungry tom cat. A peasant cat… Soon the air is heavy with savagery and violence: tails swish, claws are out, and human nerves are frayed as well. Hugo Charteris, well known as a novelist and journalist, has written an unusual black comedy. It stars Leo Genn and Barbara Murray and is directed by Henric Hirsch. (Radio Times, March 25, 1965).


Cast :
With Leo Genn (Hereward Daintry), Barbara Murray (Valerie), Rachel Thomas (Mrs Ulyatt), Billy Russell (Jim Ulyatt), Brian Hammond (Fred), Penny Lambirth (The First Girl), William Douglas (Fetters), Sheila Dunn (The Second Girl), Olwen Brookes (The Woman At The Races), Elizabeth Brewin (Patty) and Ann Way (The Woman At The Institute).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:50pm to 11:05pm.

This episode was recorded in the BBC Glasgow studios.

Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith. Film Cameraman for this episode was Peter Bartlett. Film Editor for this episode was Roy Watts.


Three Clear Sundays
Transmitted : 7th April 1965
Script : James O'Connor
Director : Kenneth Loach

Publicity : Three Clear Sundays - Tony Selby and Dermot MacDFowell in a uniquely authentic play about prison by James O'Connor - author of Tap On The Shoulder:

One of the most popular plays that the BBC has shown for many years was Tap On The Shoulder by James O'Connor. Hundreds of letters of congratulation poured in: it was highly praised by the Press. One of the many demands was that we should show more plays by James O'Connor, and tonight's Three Clear Sundays is partly a response to this. But only partly. For in my opinion Three Clear Sundays is one of the most remarkable and powerful plays I had read or seen for a long time. Tap On The Shoulder was an authentic and amusing portrayal of a gang of thieves on a bullion robbery. It was about a world which O'Connor had observed at close quarters. Three Clear Sundays is a play into which he has totally poured himself. In a very real sense it is his life - he calls it his "emotional autobiography".

From the time he was reprieved from the condemned cell, all through ten long years on Dartmoor, James O'Connor thought about tonight's play. It is the story of a man who has suffered, of a man who was there. But what is remarkable is that in spite of the genuine outrage he feels his writing is warm and compassionate, with an extraordinary joy of life. In the worst situation he can find humour - something very rare in a writer. Three Clear Sundays has a stark theme. It is about the events which lead a young man into the condemned cell, convicted of capital murder. The part of Danny Lee is played by a young actor called Tony Selby. It is one of the most moving performances I have seen. Three Clear Sundays is a play about death but is passionately for life. It made me laugh and it made me cry, and at the end I was left stunned. I do not think I shall be alone in feeling this way. (Radio Times, April 1, 1965 - Article by Roger Smith).


Cast :
Tony Selby (Danny Lee), Rita Webb (Britannia Lee), Glynn Edwards (Prison Officer Johnson), George Sewell (Johnny May), Kim Peacock (The Prison Governor), Finuala O'Shannon (Rosa), Dickie Owen (Big Al), Will Stampe (Porky), John Blythe (Jimmy The Gent), Len Russell, Leslie Bates, Dabe Griffiths and Yemi Ajibade (In The Pub), Bernard Shine (Policeman "Once-A-Day"), Wally Patch and Ken Wayne (Two Prisoners In The Black Maria), Howell Evans (Prison Officer Morgan), Alan Cooper, David J Grahame and Fred Rawlins (The Prisoners), Eric Mason (Millin, An Orderly), George Webb (Jim Ritchie, A Prisoner), Alec Ross (Nick Carney, A Prisoner), Brian Weske (Lou), Griffith Davies (Joss), Glynn Williams (Abel), Michael Goldie (A Gaoler), David Crane (Winters, A Prisoner), Harry Littlewood (Cook, A Prisoner), Ken Jones (Robbo Robertson), Edwin Brown (The Chief Prison Officer), Iain Anders, Desmond Cullum-Jones, Bob Lane and Leslie Shannon (The Gaolers), Leonard Webb (Cock-Eye), Alec Coleman, Allan Selwyn, Ralph Katterns and Andrea Lawrence (The Gamblers), George Tovey (Little George), Kenneth Colley (Nick), Dermot MacDowell (Father Cavanagh), David Baxter (Tony Hobbs, A Prisoner), Henry Webb (Sam Goldstein), Haydn Jones (Silent Sam), Jack Cunningham (Nobby Rogers), Ron Wellings (The Prison Orderly), Anthony Blackshaw (Prison Officer Rice), Anthony Woodruff (Doctor Crosby), Reg Lever (A Juror), Jack Melford (A Judge), Haydn Jones (The Clerk Of The Court), David Crane (The Counsel), James Appleby (Prison Officer Fred), Howard Goorney (Albert Ketch), Ben Howard (Charlie, His Assistant) and Winnie Donovan (The Street-Singer).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:45pm to 11:00pm.

The Harmonica, played in this episode, was performed by Harry Pitch. Lyrics featured in this episode were provided by Nemone Lethbridge.

Film Cameraman for this episode was Tony Imi. Film Editor for this episode was Pam Bosworth. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

This episode is one of seven from the second series of The Wednesday Play which still exists.


The Interior Decorator
Transmitted : 14th April 1965
Script : Jack Russell
Director : James Ferman

Publicity : The Interior Decorator - He has planned the perfect house for her … perfect in every detail right down to the milk delivery: The set for tonight's play is tantalizingly full of luxurious, rare, and expensive objects… A chic Georgian house, alligator shoes, Louis Quinze tables, ancestral portraits, tropical fish ponds, Greek statues, and a circular bed. It is the town residence of Frederick Carter-Carter, millionaire. His beautifyl wife, Susan (Jane Arden), as fragile and exclusive as the treasures she moves among, is being escorted round by Bellamy (Barry Foster), the fashionable interior decorator who has just completed his assignment on the house. He guides Susan from room to room and unfolds his creations to her. Each is more surprising, magnificent, and ingenious than the last. He is anxious to please her, keen to impress, at once the skilled craftsman and the deferential employee. Then gradually Susan's polite interest changes to fascination and she becomes totally overwhelmed by Bellamy's sumptuous delight. At this point you begin to realise that you are looking in on much more than a conducted tour.

Although apparently preoccupied with marvelous surfaces and material excesses, The Interior Decorator is also concerned with the strange and unpredictable depths of a woman's mind. This is a spectacular play by a new writer for television, Jack Russell. It is splendidly designed by Richard Wilmot, who won the Television Guild Award as designer of the year, and there is some exciting choreography. (Radio Times, April 8, 1965).


Cast :
Barry Foster (Bellamy), Jane Arden (Susan Carter-Carter), Marcia Ashton (The Woman Who Thinks), Michael Finlayson (Frederick Carter-Carter), Carole Naylor, Barbara Staveley, Jenny Till, David Hepburn, Ron Lucas, Ricky Price and Leon Ward (The Guests), Ken McGregor and Paul Tann (The Servants), Doris Littlewood and Frank Littlewood (The Parents), Doy Young and John Howard (The Children).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Film Cameraman for this episode was Charles Parnall. Film Editor for this episode was Robert Rymer. Movement Direction was supervised by Leo Kharibian. Music for this episode was composed by Norman Kay. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.


Auto-Stop
Transmitted : 21st April 1965
Script : Alan Seymour
Director : Brian Parker

Publicity : David Hemmings and Jonathan Burn in Auto-Stop: Once upon a time every young man who could afford it would, at least once in his life, take off on the Grand Tour of Europe and sample the glories - persons as well as things - that lie beyond the protective Channel. Nowadays fewer "milords" can afford the trip and yet more people seem to attempt it. Like Henry in tonight's play by Alan Seymour they cannot travel in high style so they hitch-hike instead, taking the pot luck of drivers and vehicles, dust and haphazard destinations. Henry (played by David Hemmings) goes because Federika, exercising the ancient charm of the femme fatale, challenges him to broaden his mind, enlarge his horizons - grow up, in short - by enduring the rigours of a Continental summer.

He has to make his way to Athens where he will find awaiting him an even greater challenge from his enigmatic Federika. We go with him, under the bridges of Paris, around the foundations of Rome, on the beaches of Corfu, up and down the ruins of Greece. But alas, most of his time seems to be spent, not working steadily through his guide-book but meeting, loving, and breaking the hearts of a long and cosmopolitan series of beautiful and willing girls - blonde Karin from Norway, Australian Moya, American Rosaleen in shorts and dark glasses. Federika (Delphi Lawrence) is a resourceful woman and the message Henry finds awaiting him in Athens is not at all what he expects; neither is his reception when he finally gets back to London. (Radio Times, April 15, 1965).


Cast :
David Hemmings (Henry), Delphi Lawrence (Federika), Kevin Stoney (Marcello), Janice Dinnen (Moya), John Trigger (Aryan), David Lander (Ernie), Gino Melvazzi (Pietro), Catherine Griller (Rosaleen), Hal Hamilton (Jed), Katharine Schofield (Karin), Bettine Le Beau (Maria), Jonathan Burn (Bruno), George Zenios (Dimitrious), Ken Wayne (Gingo), Doola Economou (The Greek Girl), Adrian Drotsky (Milos), David Pinner (Milos), David Pinner (Janos), Gertan Klauber (The Austrian), Michael Ritterman (Kreuz) and Deirdre Turner (The Waitress).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Eric Rogers. Bazouki Dancing featured in this episode was arranged by Andrikos Adonis. : Graphics for this episode were supervised by Ken Brazier. Lighting for this episode was supervised by Gerry Millerson. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.


The Good Shoe Maker And The Poor Fish Peddler
Transmitted : 28th April 1965
Script : Jean Benedetti
Director : John Gorrie

Publicity : The Good Shoemaker And The Poor Fish Peddler - The accused men Sacco and Vanzetti are played by Bill Nagy and John Bailey: Trials by their nature are often dramatic. Tonight's play is based on one of the most famous and controversial trials in this century. It took place in the early 1920s in Massachusetts where two Italian immigrants to the United States, Sacco and Vanzetti, were put on trial for murder in a pay-roll holdup. They were not only foreigners but anarchists - that is to say their political views struck right at the narrow bigotry of New England, and this at a time when the country was outraged by anarchist bomb-attacks. On its legal merits the case against Sacco and Vanzetti was not a strong one. The evidence was shaky, the witnesses unreliable, and both men had strong alibis.

But what transpired was not justice and fair play. The two men were tried not for what they had done but for what their opponents believed them to be. The fight to get a fair trial for them lasted over seven years - tonight is almost exactly forty-five years since the day of their arrest. The author, Jean Benedetti, himself of Italian extraction, writes: "Political passion raged and destroyed justice. This is what I have tried to show. I have tried to show something of the human qualities of these men during their bitter ordeal". They have gone down as a legend in American history. But if their trial itself was extraordinary and can still to this day provoke heated discussion, the two themselves were equally remarkavle. Vanzetti in particular was a man of fantastic courage and determination. (Radio Times, April 22, 1965 - Article by Kenneth Trodd).


Synopsis :
In The Wednesday Play, John Barrie plays Moore, the leading defence counsel in the trial of the Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti - which provides the factual basis for "The Good Shoemaker And The Poor Fish Peddler - at 9:40pm tonight.

Cast :
John Barrie (Fred Moore), Robert Ayres (Judge Webster Thayer), Cec Linder (Frederick Katzmann), Bill Nagy (Nicola Sacco), John Bailey (Bartolomeo Vanzetti), Douglas Chamberlain (Harold Williams), Nicholas Stuart (Chief Of Police Stewart), Hal Hamilton (Jeremiah McAnarney), Margaret Vines (Mrs Glendower Evans), Iza Teller (Rosa Sacco), Paul Armstrong (Aldino Felicani), John Downey (The Clerk Of The Court), Powell Jones (Sibley), Robert Arden (William Thompson), Jane Jordan Rogers (Mary E Splaine), Tom Busby (Louis Pelser), Ticker McGuire (Lola Andrews), Gavin Morrison (Austin Reed), Roy Stephens (Carlos Goodridge), Dan MacDonald (Captain Procter), Trevor J Howard (Dante Sacco), John C Burch (The Foreman Of The Jury), Tony Fiorini (Celestinos Madeiros) and Beaufoy Milton (The Supreme Court Judge). (Radio Times, April 22, 1965).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 10:55pm.

Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith. Graphics for this episode were supervised by Colin Cheeseman.


Cemented With Love
Transmitted : 5th May 1965
Script : Sam Thompson
Director : Michael Leeston-Smith

Publicity : Cemented With Love - With Harold Goldblatt and J G Devlin: This is a comedy about Northern Ireland politics. Its plot concerns the struggle for a fictional Ulster constituency during a general election. This constituency is one in which politics and religion - in the traditional Irish way - are not just having an affair but are partners in an apparently indissoluble union. Thus, the electioneering speeches with which the play opens seem to have more relevance to the seventeenth than the twentieth century. There is no real discussion: while the mouths of both sides open to shout emotive slogans their minds remain firmly shut.

If its author, the late Sam Thompson, sees the political speeches of his Loyalists and Republicans as little more than repetitive history-mongering, he sees their political methods as a ludicrous travesty of parliamentary democracy. Clearly Thompson was writing political satire; obviously his picture of political malpractice is a heightened one, but after last year's pre-election riots in Belfast it is hard to accuse him of wild exaggeration. Certainly his experience as a Labour candidate for the South Down constituency must have helped him to write this play, just as his time as a docker must have provided material for his first major work, a drama about dock labour, Over The Bridge. Thompson was also an actor, and in tonight's production, recorded before his recent death, he took the role of Swindle. (Radio Times, April 29, 1965).


Cast :
Harold Goldblatt (John B Kerr), Elizabeth Begley (Ethel Kerr), Anton Rodgers (William Kerr), J G Devlin (Alan Price), Sam Thompson (John Swindle), Denys Hawthorne (Bob Beggs), Ronnie Masterson (Martha McCune), Margaret D'Arcy (Maisie Hunter), Paddy Joyce (Nipper McClure), Noel Keyes (The Ballad Singer), Patrick McAlinney (Sean Byrne), Barry Keegan (Rory McDade), Kate Storey (Bernadette O'Neill), Sean Rees (Clark Burns), Doreen Hepburn (Bridget Byrne), Bert Lena (Peter Devlin), Norman Vogan (Kathleen Murphy), Basil Henson (Brigadier Terence O'Brian), Eileen Colgan (The First Woman), Dorothy De Gamage (The Second Woman), Jim Fitzgerald (The Personating Agent) and Gerald McAllister (The Man In The Crowd).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of eighty-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 11:05pm.

Story Editor for this episode was Harry Moore.


A Knight In Tarnished Armour
Transmitted : 12th May 1965
Script : Alan Sharp
Director : John Gorrie

Publicity : A Knight In Tarnished Armour - With Paul Young, Leslie Blackater and Paul Curran: Tom is a Scots teenager, idealistic and at odds with the world around him. He has fantastic dreams of an existence far removed from his drab and steady routine as personal assistant to a rather dubious private detective. Tom would prefer to be a Raymond Chandler-type private eye, a tough sleuth hunting down gangsters, rescuing damsels in distress, and playing the part of the modern knight errant. But the realities are very different for this provincial and well-meaning Walter Mitty. "Do you never wish everything was a bit more like you thought it would be when you were a kid?" he enquiries of Anna, a hard-boiled office lass. But she is puzzled and can only shrug: "You've just got tae look oot for yoursel' an' make sure ye don't get intae trouble". Tom's world is not at all like that of the much-publicised teen scene.

This is a portrayal of provincial youth - deprived, uncertain, and living on its glorious, inadequate dreams. A Knight In Tarnished Armour stars Paul Young as Tom and Paul Curran as his disreputable boss. Alan Sharp, writer of the play, is the author of a most successful first novel, A Green Tree In Gedde, and the previous BBC Television play Funny Noises With Their Mouths. For tonight's production the director John Gorrie took a film unit to Glasgow to capture in pictures the local flavour - which is also conveyed in the rich dialogue of the play. (Radio Times, May 6, 1965).


Cast :
Paul Young (Tom), Paul Curran (Mr Burnshaw), Audrey Muir (Tom's Mother), Hamish Wilson (The Youth), Leslie Blackater (Anna), Wallace Campbell (Mr Pollock), Heather Bell (The Library Assistant), Harry Pringle (Mr Connachie), John Morton (The Old Man), Brian Cox (Nelson) and Henry Stamper (The Man In The Station).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:45pm to 11:00pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Herbert Chappell. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.


For The West
Transmitted : 26th May 1965
Script : Michael Hastings
Director :
Toby Robertson

Publicity : The Wednesday Play - For The West - Nigel Stock plays Captain Bill Nicholson, the leader of mercenary soldiers in tonight's play set in the Congo - Zena Walker plays a girl stranded in a rebel area: The setting of tonight's play is the present-day Congo, rent by civil war and political chaos. White mercenary forces are about to attack rebel, pro-Lumumbist troops. It is a violent, ugly, and explosive situation. Into it come three European photographer-journalists - Morris Stone, John Moss, and Stuart Strouse - determined to satisfy their editors' demands for a real scoop, zealous to bring back news "for the West". The length to which they are prepared to go to get the most sensational pictures for the breakfast-tables of Europe is the subject of the play.

Their precious camera equipment is as important to them as their own safety. The drama is tense, the tempers short, the conflicts strong, and riddled with dangerous flash-points. And in the midst of the military manoeuvres, the attacks and the killings, are the civilians, white and black, plunged into a turmoil they can neither understand nor control. And there is the grotesque spectacle of African children aping their elders "playing at soldiers". This play highlights events in Africa of which we in the West perhaps know too little - and perhaps do not want to know too much. It is the first major work for BBC Television by Michael Hastings, who recently won the Britannia Bronze Medal for his stage play, The World's Baby. He describes For The West as "a report not a play". (Radio Times, May 20, 1965).


Cast :
Zena Walker (Mary MacManus), Yemi Ajibade (The Rebel Soldier), Hal Hamilton (Simmons), Kenneth Harris, Randolph Gordon and Stephen Best (The Congolese Boys), Gordon Gostelow (Morris Stone - Journalist), John Stratton (John Moss - Journalist), Edwin Richfield (Stuart Strouse - Journalist), Nigel Stock (Captain Bill Nicholson - Mercenary), Barry Warren (Tony - Mercenary), John Castle (Mathew - Mercenary), Julian Glover (Major Mathys - Mercenary), Ian Norris (John, The Cook - Mercenary), Freddie Jones (Taylor - Mercenary), Declan Mulholland (Pig - Mercenary), Roy Stewart (Major Buba), Kwesi Kay (Buba's Aide) and Willie Jonah (The Waiter).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 10:55pm.

Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

This episode was delayed by a week owing to BBC Television's commitment to transmit the European Cup Winners' Cup Final match between West Ham United and Bayern Munich on May 19th, 1965.


And Did Those Feet?
Transmitted : 2nd June 1965
Script : David Mercer
Director : Don Taylor

Publicity : Willoughby Goddard, Diana Coupland and David Markham in And Did Those Feet?: This is the most ambitious television play by David Mercer, whom many people regard as the best writer the medium has produced. His television plays have won awards; his recent play at the Aldwych, The Governor's Lady, was highly acclaimed, and he is shortly to extend his activity to films. And Did Those Feet? Is a great departure from his earlier works for television. Lord Fountain (played by Patrick Troughton) is an ancient and very spritely aristocrat. He has one great obsession - to have a legitimate heir - but every time he marries - and he marries five or six times - it is just one more disappointment: no children except two illegitimate sons from a mistress who ran away.

These unwanted children are twins, and it is their progress we follow. They are an odd pair, Bernard (Willoughby Goddard), grotesquely fat, and Timothy (David Markham), absurdly thin, who understand each other perfectly and are devoted, really devoted, to animals. But somehow they just cannot get on with people and they find the world a harsh, puzzling place. In their search for peace we follow them from the Burmese jungle through a hilarious spell as keepers at the London Zoo and on to a bizarre temporary refuge in a derelict swimming pool where they live with half of Noah's Ark. But always they are pursued - by their crazy vindictive father, who hates them more the longer he lives; by their beautiful, bewildered mother (Diana Coupland) who lives in a wrought-iron cage; by their unhappy girl friends; and by a motley crowd of well-wishers. It is a very sad, very funny, very mysterious tale, narrated by Kenneth Haigh. (Radio Times, May 27, 1965).


Cast :
Kenneth Haigh (Narrator), David Markham (Timothy), Willoughby Goddard (Bernard), Patrick Troughton (Lord Fountain), Sylvia Kay (Poppy), Jo Rowbottom (Laura), Victor Lucas (Towser Griddle), Anna Wing (Nannie), Diana Coupland (Maggie), Carl Jaffe (Hitler), Anna Bentinck (Lucy), Angela Harvey (Patricia), Jane Knowles (Vivien), Araby Lockhart (Lady Harriet Fountain), Kristopher Kum (Ishaki), David Langton (Lord Fountain's Doctor), William Kendall (The Zoo Director), William Holmes (The First Policeman), Gene Garvey (Lady Diane Fountain), Donald Morley (Bernard's Doctor), Jack May (The Voice Of God), Valerie Bell (Lady Janine Fountain) and Michael Earl (The Second Policeman).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of one-hundred-and-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 11:10pm.

Film Cameraman for this episode was Eric Deeming. Film Editor for this episode was Gitta Zadek. Lighting for this episode was supervised by Sam Barclay. Music for this episode was provided by Herbert Chappell. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

This episode is one of seven from the second series of The Wednesday Play which still exists.


The Man Without Papers
Transmitted : 9th June 1965
Script : Troy Kennedy Martin
Director : Peter Duguid

Publicity : The Man Without Papers: The author of tonight's play, Troy Kennedy Martin, is one of television's most successful and controversial writers. The creator of Z-Cars, he followed up this popular success with Diary Of A Young Man which sparked off a lively argument about television drama. He has always been an innovator, and he has always had the uncanny knack of coming up with the right stories and characters at the right time. In The Man Without Papers, his first single play for television since his prize-winning Interrogator in 1961, he has created another contemporary hero. Roscoe is his name, but who is Roscoe? An American who burnt his passport during the days of McCarthy and has been on the run ever since.

But what is Roscoe? Is he an idealist or a fast-talking hustler? Is he a twentieth-century saint or an evil destroyer of those with whom he comes in contact? Men and women react violently to him, they either hate or love. And to be in love with Roscoe is dangerous, as his old friend Castle and his wife Marcella find out. From the same beat background as Roscoe comes the star of the play, Ben Carruthers. Born into a generation of protest, involved with the New York avant-garde in theatre and art, connected with a hip scene which stretches from San Francisco to Paris, Carruthers epitomises the best in the young footloose 1960s artists who care more for life than for money. This is also the world of the phenomenal Bob Dylan, currently winding up his record-breaking concert tour, who has specially written the songs his old friend Ben Carruthers sings in tonight's production. (Radio Times, June 3, 1965).


Synopsis :
In tonight's Wednesday Play at 9:25pm, Benito Carruthers appears as Roscoe Mortimer, a young American in revolt against society, Geraldine McEwan as his wife, Marcella, and James Maxwell as his friend David Castle.

Cast :
Benito Carruthers (Roscoe Mortimer), Geraldine McEwan (Marcella), James Maxwell (David Castle), Charles Victor (Inspector Dumphy), Ingrid Hafner (Anne), John Woodnutt (Raeburn), Colette Martin (The Switchboard Operator), Ronald Mayer (The Doorman Of The Cavalry Club), Tom Bowman (Arfur), Chuck Julian (The X-Ray Operator), Lionel Stevens (The Detective-Constable), Murray Gilmore (Anderson), Ian Fleming (The Waiter), Sheila White (Vi), Anna Manahan (Mrs O'Brien), John Moore (Harry) and Gilbert Davis (Sir John).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Special lyrics which appeared in the episode were by Bob Dylan. Music for this episode was written and performed by The Seeds. Film Cameraman for this episode was Eddie Best. Film Editor for this episode was Peter Ringsted. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.


The Pistol
Transmitted : 16th June 1965
Script : Adapted for television by Troy Kennedy Martin and Roger Smith from the book by James Jones
Director : James Ferman

Publicity : The Pistol - Tonight's Wednesday Play is a dramatisation by Troy Kennedy Martin and Roger Smith of a James Jones novel. Here Roger Smith describes a meeting with the celebrated American writer: It was just over a year ago that we first met James Jones in London to discuss whether he would allow the BBC to do a television version of his novel The Pistol. We were slightly nervous, for here was a man who is one of the most famous writers living today. This was the man who had written From Here To Eternity, Some Came Running, and The Thin Red Line… a stocky man with a rugged jaw and immense strength and dignity. We began to talk… We got on well. He talked about the book, what he thought of it. It turned out we had much the same sort of ideas. After two days talking we were ready to go ahead.

And now a year later The Pistol finally hits the television screen. It's a tough story. It takes place in Hawaii immediately before the attack on Pearl Harbour. Private First CDlass Mast, a young soldier, is on guard. He feels proud. With a pistol slung around his hips, a pistol that is only issued for guard duty, he feels a real soldier, and something of a cowboy, too. And then the Japanese planes begin to bomb. The whole island is thrown into confusion. Panic sets in. Men are being killed. From out of the blue bombs are falling, bullets ricocheting. Among it is Mast with a pistol, a pistol he tries to hand in but a pistol that Musso, the Arms Sergeant, doesn't seem to be interested in, "Go to hell," he says, "don't bother me with a lousy pistol". So Mast decides to keep it, a pistol can be useful. It can save you from the Samurai sabers of the Japanese officers that will split you down the middle, that all the other troops are talking about. And when Mast's Company is sent off to Makapuu Point, the furthermost and bleakest part of the island, where there is nothing but rock and mud and a deafening wind, to wait for the Japanese to invade, suddenly everyone becomes interested in the pistol.

Everyone wants it. And they'll go to any lengths to get it. They'll cheat, they'll steal, they'll bribe, they'll fight for it. And nineteen-year-old Mast learns that he must do everything to defend it. That's the story of the pistol, men desperate for salvation. But there's all the tough sardonic humour of GIs in a jam. It is a big challenge for the Wednesday Play to do the book justice. And we've tried to pull out all the stops. We built Makapuu Point down at Fairlight Glen, Hastings, where the actors filmed for five days and nights. And they weren't "acting". The barbed wire, the sandbags, the fights, the guns, they're all real. In the studio we built a huge hill and dugouts. We have got an all-American cast, a good script. We think it's a good production. The Pistol should be an exciting experience. (Radio Times, June 10, 1965 - Article by Roger Smith).


Cast :
Clive Endersby (Private First Class Mast), John Brandon (Sergeant Musso), Hal Galili (Private First Class O'Brien), Leo Kharibian (Private First Class Cominskey), Carl McCord (Private First Class Grace), Walter Sparrow (Private First Class Jones), Ronald Rubin (Private First Class Schneider), Steven Berkoff (Private First Class Gutkowski), Callen Angelo (Private First Class Hopkinson), Vic Wise (Sergeant Paoli), Peter Cranwell (Sergeant Burton), David Cargill (Corporal Winstock), Grant Taylor (Sergeant Pender), Robert Arden (Captain Danziger), Araby Lockhart (Mary Danziger), Bessie Love (Martha Burroughs), Nicholas Stuart (The Chaplain) and Lionel Stander (General Burroughs).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:50pm to 11:05pm.

Fight Arranger for this episode was Ray Austin. Lighting for this episode was supervised by Robert Wright. Film Cameraman for this episode was John Turner. Film and Telerecording Editor for this episode was Howard Billingham. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.


The Seven O'Clock Crunch
Transmitted : 30th June 1965
Script : David Stone
Director : Toby Robertson

Publicity : The Seven O'Clock Crunch: Martin (Peter Jeffrey) has been married to Susan for three years - and suddenly marriage is a series of having the car serviced, paying the bills, and rowing with his wife. What he longs for is the gay life that he imagines his bachelor friend Dennis (Nigel Stock) is leading. The Wednesday Play - BBC-1: At 9:25pm Tonight. (Radio Times, June 24, 1965).

Cast :
Nigel Stock (Dennis), Peter Jeffrey (Martin), Zena Walker (Susan), Jan Waters (Pauline), Delena Kidd (Sonia), Geraldine Moffatt (Sarah), Michael Dawson (The Barman), Roland Curram (Ivan Foster), Trevor Baxter (Doctor Paul Evans), June Brown (Emma - At The Party), Yvonne Bonnamy (Diana - At The Party), Jane Carlyle (Sheila - At The Party), David Evans (Paul - At The Party), Simon Gough (David - At The Party) and Neil Stacey (Marcus - At The Party).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:40pm.

Film Cameraman for this episode was James Balfour. Film Editor for this episode was John Nash. Music for this episode was provided by Carl Davis. The title music for this episode was played by Manfred Mann. Story Editor for this episode was Roger Smith.

Dennis Potter's Vote, Vote, Vote For Nigel Barton had originally been scheduled for Wednesday, June 23, 1965, but was withdrawn at the last minute by story editor Roger Smith for inclusion in the third season of The Wednesday Play. The withdrawal of this play, which would have been transmitted between The Pistol and The Seven O'Clock Crunch, eventually lead to new story editor Tony Garnett commissioning of a prequel to this story, Stand Up Nigel Barton, which would also find a place in the third season of the series.

After the re-screening of two selected editions from the second series, The Wednesday Thriller occupied the timeslot previously reserved for The Wednesday Play during the break between the second and third series of the latter, premiering on BBC-1 on August 4th, 1965.


Please note synopsis are taken from the original Radio Times listings for the day of transmission.
© Matthew Lee, 2004