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 Four
Season four was produced by Peter Luke except for Way Off Beat which was produced by James MacTaggart.
The Boneyard
Transmitted : 5th January 1966
Script : Clive Exton
Director : James MacTaggart

Publicity : The Boneyard by Clive Exton begins a new season of The Wednesday Play: Tonight's play is no haphazard choice. In the first place, it is written by Clive Exton, which, to many, is recommendation enough. Secondly, it represents a friendly take-over from the outgoing Wednesday Play producer, James MacTaggart, by the incoming producer, myself, since the former directed it and the latter produced it. Finally, it is indicative of the tendency of the 1966 season towards irony and humour.

Humour is probably the nodal characteristic of the new series and we are offering it in every shape and size: black and broad, sweet and sour, tragical, comical, pastoral comical, etc. This does not mean that the audience are in for a season of Old British Rubbish, or that the plays they will see will be meaningless farce. On the contrary, most of the themes are serious and most of the stories are strong, but none of the plays is, I hope, "earnest" or pretentious. What determines the nature or overally style of an anthology of contemporary plays? One would have to say in general terms that it is the consensus of what the writers want to say at a certain given time.

In this season our authors seem to lean towards self-mockery, wit, the spoken word, sophistication. But to return to our opening play: The Boneyard is a comedy, grey rather than "blue", though perhaps it should be the latter since it is set in a police station - but a police station where the most extraordinary things happen that neither Newtown nor Dock Green ever saw. (Radio Times, December 30, 1965 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Nigel Davenport (Inspector Potter), Neil McCarthy (Police Constable Miller), Marjie Lawrence (Mrs Miller), Michael Robbins (Sergeant Strickland), Carmel McSharry (Mrs Lattimore), Sheelah Wilcocks (The Canteen Supervisor), John Barron (Superintendent Melchior), Jeremy Longhurst (The Vicar), Evelyn Lund (Mrs Potter) and Jacqueline Blackmore (The Nurse).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of sixty minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:00pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Norman Kay.

This episode was preceded by the premiere of the Z-Cars spin-off series Softly, Softly on BBC-1 at 8:00pm. Hailed by the Radio Times as an "Investigation of the Criminal - not the Crime", the series boasted the return of Stratford Johns as Detective Chief Superintendent Barlow (Deputy Co-Ordinator), along with Garfield Morgan as Detective Chief Inspector Lewis, Norman Bowler as Detective Sergeant Hawkins, Alexis Kanner as Detective Constable Stone, Gilbert Wynne as Detective Constable Dwyer and John Welsh as Assistant Chief Constable Calderwood (Co-ordinator). The first episode, "Off Beat", was scripted by Martin Hall, produced by David E Rose and directed by Shaun Sutton. The premiere of this series could, arguably, have influenced the content of the opening episode of the fourth series of The Wednesday Play, as thematically both programmes concern the police force.

A Man On Her Back
Transmitted : 12th January 1966
Script : Peter Luke adapted from a novel by William Sansom
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : Norman Rodway and Valerie Gearon in tonight's play - A Man On Her Back: The club is called the New Mariven. It was supposed to be "Malvern" but the signwriter got it wrong and no one has ever bothered to make the correction. It is a softly lit drinking place with a very mixed bag of members. Discreet tippling music is supplied nightly by John at the piano, and local colour largely by Raoul, who dresses like a diddicoy but is actually a couturier.

This club is the principal setting for A Man On Her Back, tonight's play by Peter Luke from the witty and perceptive novel by William Sansom. It is a triangle story, and the three angles are represented by John, an aspiring composer when not playing "Lilac Memory" to pay the rent; Mary, the bachelor girl he meets in the club; and Colin. Colin is one of those charming invertebrates whose strength, with women anyway, lies in his weakness. He has his regular girlfriend in Eileen, an exuberant colleen he took up with originally because she smelt so excitingly of petrol, but it is to Mary that he turns in his frequent times of trouble. She can never bring herself to refuse help; so when her friendship with John turns into love, John soon finds himself in the position of joint keeper to a very lame duck. Starring as John is the Irish actor Norman Rodway, who achieved a memorable performance in the James Joyce play Stephen D and was also in The Massingham Affair. Opposite him as Mary is Valerie Gearon, who was seen very recently in Vote, Vote, Vote For Nigel Barton. The feckless Colin and the flamboyant Eileen are Barrie Ingham and Jo Rowbottom. (Radio Times, January 6, 1966).


Cast :
Norman Rodway (John), Valerie Gearon (Mary), Barrie Ingham (Colin), Jo Rowbottom (Eileen), June Ellis (Belle), Sidney Bough (Andrew), Milo Sperber (Otto Adrian), Hana Pravda (Myra Adrian), Roy Patrick (Raoul), Douglas Ditta (The First Youth), Anton Darby (The Second Youth) and John Baker (The Detective).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Max Harris.

This episode of The Wednesday Play was repeated on August 24th, 1966 as part of a series of selected editions chosen for re-transmission.

Rodney, Our Intrepid Hero
Transmitted : 19th January 1966
Script : Brian Finch
Director :
Michael Simpson

Publicity : Graham Crowden as Mayhew, Lucy Griffiths as his mother, and Danny Green as Smith in Rodney, Our Intrepid Hero - A new playwright, a new director, and an Irish actor new to British television combine their talents in tonight's play - introduced here by David Benedictus: "Everything that's worth doing these days is illegal. And virtually everything worth having is priceless or in a museum".

Thus Mayhew, master-criminal in this weeks Wednesday Play, Rodney, Our Intrepid Hero, and which of us has not felt the same? But it takes a true master-criminal to set about solving this dilemma, and it takes someone of the calibre of Mayhew to come up with Anything Incorporated, an exclusive club devoted to provide the illegal and unattainable for its clients. Unfortunately for Mayhew he numbers among these clients Smith, head of a vice ring, and unfortunately for Smith, the Sunday Clarion, in the person of our intrepid hero, Rodney Peters, is hot on his tracks. Guillotines, sharks, lions - nothing deters Rodney, and only the adoration of Samantha, his beautiful and available girlfriend, discomforts him. Which of us has not felt the same?

This week's play is the first to be directed by intrepid Michael Simpson, an experienced director in Schools Television, and it is the first television play by a new writer, Brian Finch, an intrepid journalist from Manchester. Finally, it is the first television appearance in this country of Jim Norton, an intrepid young Irish performer who won the award for best actor on Irish television recently. Mayhew is played by Graham Crowden, at present starring in the National Theatre's successful production of Trelawney Of The Wells. Smith is represented by Danny Green, who will be remembered from The Ladykillers, and Jacqueline Ellis plays Samantha. In short, this promises to be the first intrepid television play of 1966, Rodney, Our Intrepid Hero is especially intended for nervous people - and is guaranteed to make nervous people out of the rest of us. (Radio Times, January 13, 1966 - Article by David Benedictus).


Cast :
Graham Crowden (Mayhew), Danny Green (Smith), Jim Norton (Rodney Peters), Jacqueline Ellis (Samantha), Charles West (Sylvester), Margo Cunningham (Myra Croup), Bruno Barnabe (Inspector Potts), John Cazabon (McNabb), Kristopher Kum (Cuthbert), Cecil Cheng (Lionel), Roger Chan (Lionel), Apple Brook (Mrs Smith), Stan Simmons (Charles), Lionel Wheeler (The Police Constable), Derek Ware (The Gladiator), Alf Joint (Netman), Alan Selwyn (Sanderson), Michael Finlayson (Vickers) and Lucy Griffiths (Mrs Mayhew).

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

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.


Calf Love
Transmitted : 26th January 1966
Script : Philip Purser adapted from a novel by Vernon Bartlett
Director : Gilchrist Calder

Publicity : Isobel Black and Simon Ward in tonight's play - Calf Love: At the drop of the perennial hat, savants and sociologists seem happy to rush into as much print as editors will pay them for in order to air their views on the patterns of sexual behaviour among teenagers. What they say amounts to one thing: that "now" teenagers are sex-conscious, whereas "then" they were not - and there were no teenagers "then" anyway. This may account for the absence in all their verbiage of the term "calf love".

The play called Calf Love, written by Philip Purser from a novel by Vernon Bartlett, takes place "then" - in 1912 to be exact, when Mr Bartlett himself was a very young man. The scene is set in a town in what used to be East Prussia, where our seventeen-year-old hero has gone, complete with bowler, boater, and tennis racket to learn German with a family. It is here that he encounters the opposite sex for the first time in the shape of Herr Westermann's two nubile and attractive daughters. In the crucible of this bourgeois German home we see these three beautiful innocents experiment for the first time with the new-found power of sexual attraction - an experiment as painful at times as it is intoxicatingly sweet.

The heat and coolth of youthful passion is revealed to us by the authors with such sympathy, and transposed to the screen with so much sensitivity by the director Gilchrist Calder, that one almost feels prepared to go through the whole business again oneself…almost. But at least I feel sure that some useful parallel can be drawn by the aforesaid savants and sociologists between these events and the more recent happenings up at Clapham Junction… (Radio Times, January 20, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Simon Ward (John Hardie), Warren Mitchell (Herr Westermann), Madeleine Christie (Frau Westermann), Isobel Black (Friedel Westermann), Deborah Watling (Gretchen Westermann), John Ross (Karl Westermann), Eileen Way (Aunt Erika), Denise Coffey (Hedwig), Albert Lampert (Albrecht Meyer), Nigel Lambert (Fritz Eberhardt), Lisa Daniely (Gilda), Carla Challoner (Carola) and Susan Tracy (Irmgarde).

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 Tom McCall.

This episode of The Wednesday Play was repeated on August 3rd, 1966 as part of a series of selected editions chosen for re-transmission.

Silent Song
Transmitted : 2nd February 1966
Script : Frank O'Connor and Hugh Leonard
Director : Charles Jarrott

Publicity : Silent Song - Tonight's play is set in an Irish Trappist Monastery and stars Milo O'Shea, Tony Selby and Jack MacGowran: Six years ago Frank O'Connor inspired me to try to make a play out of the vagaries beneath the seeming calm of life in a Trappist Monastery. I put the idea up at a story conference and it was received with derision. "Ha, ha, ha!" my colleagues roared. "A play with no dialogue!" and they rolled off their seats laughing.

Deflated, I joined in the mirth at my own expense and secretly abandoned the whole project. But the germ remained and, with the passage of years, a measure of confidence returned so that one day I put the idea up again - this time to Hugh Leonard. Today, with the combined "art and sullen craft" of Frank O'Connor, Hugh Leonard, and Charles Jarrott, we have a play that surpasses my most ambitious dreams. All the exteriors for this pastoral piece were shot on a beautiful location in Ireland, but in the teeth of the most malign winter weather.

The experience left no doubt in the minds of all of us that the contemplative life, including as it does the sweat of heavy agricultural labour, is a hard one. "Oh Lord, a man gives up the whole world of You," says the Prior (the only man entitled to speak) "…and goes off to a bare mountain where he can't even tell his troubles to the man next to him". But, despite the vow of silence, Brother Arnold (Milo O'Shea) and Brother Michael (Jack MacGowran) do manage to communicate. In fact, the former postman and the ex-jockey get up to a good deal of what, in secular eyes, would be regarded as innocent malarkey, but… but… but… isn't that the way to the infernal gridiron? (Radio Times, January 27, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Tony Selby (Maurice), Leo McCabe (The Abbot), Milo O'Shea (Brother Arnold) and Jack MacGowran (Brother Michael).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of sixty minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:00pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Norman Kay.

This episode of The Wednesday Play was repeated on July 13th, 1966 as part of a series of selected editions chosen for re-transmission.

Who's A Good Boy Then? I Am
Transmitted : 9th February 1966
Script : Richard Harris
Director : James Ferman

Publicity : Ronald Lacey and Thora Hird in tonight's play - Who's A Good Boy Then? I Am: Billy Oates meets a lady in the market and offers to carry her basket. Happens every day, you might think. "You have very kind eyes," says Billy to Blanche. "You have got a very nice nature," says Blanche to Billy. "I try to lead a useful life," admits Billy, not without a certain smug pride. Blanche brings him shortcake as a reward. Walter Hoskins also tries to lead a useful life: although unemployed, he is not idle.

His toy soldiers and Blanche's wireless occupy a lot of his time, and Billy, who moves in to live with the Hoskins, occupies the rest. But soon enough, as in all paradises, a serpent is bound to creep in, a serpent with many aliases. In some houses the Serpent is called Poverty, in some Greed, is some unfortunate houses Hatred. But in the Hoskins' house it's that rather vulgar little snake called Rivalry. Ronald Lacey plays Billy Oates to add another interesting performance to his long list of victims and villains. And is Billy a victim or a villain?

An interesting sophistical point. Richard Harris, the author of this funny and chilling little fable, is bearded and secretive. James Ferman, an American-born director, is clean-shaven and expansive. Together they present a play expansively funny and secretively strange. (Radio Times, February 3, 1966 - Article by David Benedictus).


Cast :
Thora Hird (Blanche Hoskins), Ron Moody (Walter Hoskins) and Ronald Lacey (Billy Oates).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

This episode of The Wednesday Play was repeated on August 17th, 1966 as part of a series of selected editions chosen for re-transmission.

A Game - Like - Only A Game
Transmitted : 16th February 1966
Script : John Hopkins
Director : Christopher Morahan

Publicity : Alethea Charlton as Elizabeth and Susan Richards as Mrs Everton - A Game - Like - Only A Game - John Hopkins is the author of this week's Wednesday Play: Tonight's play is ostensibly about a nice old lady, her cat, and two little boys. But since it is by that uncosy writer, John Hopkins, you may be sure that it is not only about that. The two little boys, brothers in the play, are played by two brothers, Arthur and Jack Wild.

I asked them what the play was about: "Well 'em, it's about two boys. They never 'ave much money an' they wanted some 'cos they never 'ad an 'oliday, an' they wanted time to get the money for 'em the seaside, an' so they thought of that plan to get some money so that they could go to the seaside, 'cos they'd never been". The extremely long and arduous part of the old lady is taken by Susan Richards, a consummate actress, whose husband has, as it happens, a personal prejudice against cats. I asked her what the play was about: "Human behaviour, isn't it, the lack of true communication between people…misunderstanding…children and parents particularly and the problem of the old living by themselves and being lonely, not having anyone to consult".

Both the Wild brothers and Susan Richards liked the play, although Arthur and Jack complained bitterly that the chips they were served in the studio were cold, and Miss Richards remarked that the dialogue, which is full of "I mean's" and "well's" and "you see's" was particularly difficult to learn. "They're very important - they're there for a prupose, but I find it difficult to learn just where they come. The dialogue is very good and very true". Oh, and what's "that plan" to which the boys so mysteriously referred? You must find that out for yourselves. (Radio Times, February 10, 1966 - Article by David Benedictus).


Cast :
Susan Richards (Mrs Everton), Alethea Charlton (Elizabeth), Stanley Meadows (Detective Sergeant Carter), Shelagh Fraser (Mrs Jones), Geoffrey Hibbert (Mr Jones), David Webb (Frank), Peter Ducrow (The Police Sergeant), Arthur Wild (Lawrence) and Jack Wild (Peter).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Herbert Chappell.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

Why Aren't You Famous?
Transmitted : 23rd February 1966
Script : Ernie Gebler
Director : Peter Sasdy

Publicity : Alan Dobie and Fionnuala Flanagan who star in tonight's Wednesday Play - Why Aren't You Famous?: Eileen's Irish mother said she was born to be famous in another land. Well, mothers are often right. Toppet's mother knits him red socks and sends him thirty bob a week to tide him over until his pictures sell.

He spends the money and ignores the socks. Eileen has nowhere to sleep when she arrives in the big city. He has a spare room full of junk and a deep-rooted love of independence. She has an innocent Irish brogue and big eyes. He has a northern accent and a hard heart. "Never ask the Irish if they'd care for a cup of tea," says Toppet to himself, offering Eileen a cup of tea, "or they'll stay the night" "There's a bolt on the door," cries Eileen, "my good name will be safe!". Eileen is played by an award-winning young Irish actress, Fionnuala Flanagan, never before seen on television in this country. She learnt the craft of acting at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin but was sacked for being too old at twenty-one and because "the colour of your hair will cause jealousy amongst the other actresses". After the triumphs of Jim Norton, Jack MacGowran, and Milo O'Shea in recent Wednesday plays, this seems likely to prove quite a season for Irish actors. Alan Dobie, an actor of great television experience (he had a double success recently in The Corsican Brothers), plays Toppet.

In the cast is Martin Benson, who has had three pictures hung at the Royal Acadmy, as Rudi the art-fancier. Fisher and Frankie, two young art students, are played by John Forgeham and Tessa Davees. "This is the dirtiest part I've ever had," exclaimed Tessa in delight. But Ernie Gebler's play about what he calls "the effluvient society" is by no means a dirty play. It is one of the most moral plays imaginable. So moral in fact that you would call it cynical; so cynical that I know it to be true. (Radio Times, February 17, 1966 - Article by David Benedictus).


Cast :
Alan Dobie (Toppet), Fionnuala Flanagan (Eileen), Martin Benson (Rudi), John Forgeham (Fisher), Tessa Davees (Frankie), Wendy Marshall (The Receptionist) and Shaw Taylor (The Compere).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

This episode enjoyed a repeat transmission on Auigust 31st, 1966.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

Macready's Gala
Transmitted : 2nd March 1966
Script : Hugh Whitemore
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : The Wednesday Play - Macready's Gala: The Great Train Robbers - some of them - are at present free with two million pounds to spend. Their confreres are in prison serving up to thirty years apiece. How different their respective states of mind. Some say that no man can spend more than ten years in close confinement and remain unaffected - without undergoing some sort of breakdown of personality. What possible connection between prison and Macready's Gala? Well, for one thing, Macready's is a boarding school. And the Gala?

The Headmaster and the governing body are convened to discuss arrangements for the gala opening of the new Memorial Room, a bleak, windowless affair, to be dedicated to the memory of old boys killed in the two wars. And now a curious thing happens - which brings us back to the train robbers: somehow they all get locked in it and have to stay there all night. The train robbers had plenty of time during their trial to prepare themselves for what was to come. Not so the governors of Macready's: that vague old cleric, Canon Dunwoodie, for example, or Major Craxton-Christie, a dug-out from the 1914 war with his snobbish wife, or even young Smeed, that bolshie member of the local council with a chip on his shoulder about his working-class origins.

Then there is mad Mike MacFarland, a local hearty, and dear old Miss Plimsoll with her leanings towards the occult. All pretty stock characters one might think; all very normal. But something happens to them during the course of their night's incarceration which cannot possibly be explained in terms of normalcy. This is probably Hugh Whitemore's best play to date and the second of Waris Hussein's productions for The Wednesday Play. (Radio Times, February 24, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Richard Pearson (The Headmaster), John Le Mesurier (Canon Dunwoodie), Barbara Couper (Mrs Craxton-Christie), Jane Eccles (Miss Plimsoll), Stanley Meadows (Lionel Smead), Priscilla Morgan (Beryl Smead), David Hutcheson (Marjor Craxton-Christie), Donald Eccles (Alfred Remnant) and Michael Bates (Mike MacFarland).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:10pm.


A Walk In The Sea
Transmitted : 9th March 1966
Script : James Hanley
Director : Geoffrey Nethercott

Publicity : Marius Goring and Nora Nicholson in A Walk In The Sea: James Hanley, with about thirty novels and a fistful of stage and television plays behind him, is an Irishman by birth and a self-confessed Welshman by adoption. Whether he likes it or not, it is from this admixture of the two Celtic streams that his torrent of sounds and silences pours out in all the convoluted inner rhythms of Gaelic verse. Nor is his vision less unusual.

Everything appears strangely. If old Miss Bealby, for example, with a cat on her lap is listening to the radio it is not to Woman's Hour but to a hypnotic reading from Thomas Traherne, "The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown". If an official from the local council calls on old Miss Bealby it is no humdrum visit. His approach is circuitous and he appears to be approaching her lonely cottage for aeons while she listens to the crunch of his menacing boots on the gravel now approaching, now receding, now still as he stands waiting, listening. If dear old Miss Bealby visits the vicar for tea this is no ordinary visit either because it ends with the vicar shaken to the foundation of his religion and with Miss Bealby in danger of losing her faith. T

his is the nature of tonight's A Walk In The Sea by the author of those two successful BBC plays produced in the Festival series, Say Nothing and The Inner World Of Miss Vaughan. In A Walk In The Sea, Geoffrey Nethercott directs another essay in Hanley's exploration of a banal situation which turns out to be terrifyingly different. (Radio Times, March 3, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Nora Nicholson (Miss Bealby), Kenneth Griffith (Mr Jones), Marius Goring (The Reverend Harrup), Nicholas Selby (The Licensee), Peter Hawkins (Mr Willis), Howard Lang (The First Dart Player), John Crocker (The Second Dart Player), Ruth Porcher (Nell), David Griffith (Biddulph), Audrey Noble (Sarah), Olive Gregg (Mrs Harrup), Harry Littlewood (The Council Official), Alan Haines (The First Bailiff), Keith Grenville (The Second Bailiff), Michael Stainton (The Policeman), Alec Rutherford (The Boy) and Keith Pyott (The Radio Voice).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Norman Kay.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

A Boy In The Smoke
Transmitted : 16th March 1966
Script : Patrick Galvin
Director : William Slater

Publicity : Boy In The Smoke - Tonight's play stars Sean Caffrey as Paddy, an Irish immigrant abroad in London: Tonight's play is set in Paddington, which for so many newcomers arriving by train is the first part of London they see. For the Irish in particular, finding a haven among other Irishmen in the pubs and cheap hotels around the station, it is quite often the only part. Among the immigrants is Paddy, badly hung over and minus his wallet, who takes a very different view of the district from Billy Carey, with the excitement of huge building sites to play on and the mysteries of the canal. They make an unlikely partnership; but in the course of the play Mr Carey's search for his truant son and Paddy's hunt for the thief who stole his wallet become interwoven with a question of friendship and personal freedom.

As Paddy, twenty-five-year-old Sean Caffrey, who has already made a name for himself in America, had his first part on BBC Television when this play was first seen on BBC-2 last year. Billy is played by Raymond Hunt, second of four brothers who live in Bow, and a young actor of great promise who spent his first year as a professional with the Royal Shakespeare company. Written with sharp insight by the Irish poet and dramatist Patrick Galvin - best known, perhaps, for his book of collected poems, Christ In London - the play follows the joint and separate adventures of Paddy and Billy through twenty-four hours. (Radio Times, March 10, 1966).


Cast :
Sean Caffrey (Paddy), Ray Mort (Jim), John Sharp (The Professor), Raymond Hunt (Billy), Tony Steedman (Mr Carey), Harry Walker (The Foreman), James Fitzgerald (Thomas), Christine Shaw (Mrs Carey), Valerie Bell (The Waitress), John Barrard (The Small Man), Wesley Murphy (The Barman), Judith Smith (Sylvia), Frank Jarvis (The Young Man), Paddy Joyce (Crazy), Allan Mitchell and Stanley Stewart (The Policemen).

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

This episode was first transmitted on May 13th, 1965, as part of the Londoners series of plays first presented on BBC-2. This play was one of three extracts from this series to be re-screened as part of The Wednesday Play.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

Barlowe Of The Car Park
Transmitted : 23rd March 1966
Script : Paul Ableman
Director : Gareth Davies

Publicity : Jack Woolgar and Annabel Maule in tonight's play - Barlow Of The Car Park: Barlowe … Barlowe of the Car Park: a Cromagnon Quixote, a Pithecanthropoid Lorenzo the Magnificent; proconsul of an acre of tarmacadam, Chef de Protocol of the parking of motor vehicles licensed under the Greater London Council Road Traffic Act of 1960 and, in especial, the arbiter elegantarium of hub-caps.

Such is our man, the main protagonist in tonight's Wednesday Play by Paul Ableman; and as we encounter him for the first time there is no suggestion of human frailty in his proud, even gaunty, deportment as, bucket in hand, he patrols his demesne. In the directness of his approach, the integrity in his unflinching blue eyes, there is no hint of the hopelessness that lies hidden in his noble heart, secretly concealing the knowledge of his total ineptitude in dealing with the mechanics of living. Proudly, even a little aggressively at times, Barlowe strides doggedly on, maladroit but unrepentant to the last - or nearly the last. Perhaps in Barlowe the author has achieved a new sort of anti-hero in the tradition of Chaplin's archetypal "Charlie". But "Charlie", the "little guy", was a favourite of the gods and Divine Providence intervened again and again to save him from disaster. Barlowe is no "little guy", and one feels strongly that no Olympian is going to put a protective hand under him. This perhaps is what makes our involvement the greater.

Director Gareth Davies has chosen for his Barlowe Jack Woolgar, who appeared so successfully in Davies' earlier Wednesday Play production, Stand Up, Nigel Barton. The object of Barlowe's inept intentions is played by Annabel Maule. (Radio Times, March 17, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Jack Woolgar (Barlowe), Annabel Maule (Miss Hart), Betty Romaine (Miss Prank), Annette Robertson (Linda), Keith Campbell (The American), Agatha Carroll (Miss Ganymede), Susan Dowdall (The Sister), Salmaan Peer (Mahah), Judy Franklin (The Doctor), George Pensotti (Fred), Terence Soall (Mathews), Yasmin Fawaz (The Persian Girl), Donald Hewlett (The Executive) and Michael Robbins (The Manager).

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 composed by Norman Kay.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

The Portsmouth Defence
Transmitted : 30th March 1966
Script : Nemone Lethbridge
Director : James MacTaggart

Publicity : Diana Hoddinott and Anthony Newlands in tonight's play - The Portsmouth Defence: He saw a lawyer killing a viper on a dung hill hard by his own stable; And the Devil smiled, for it put him in mind of Cain and his brother, Abel. So says the satirical rogue, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Indeed, so many distinguished writers from the dawn of literacy to the present day have castigated, denounced, execrated, lampooned, and generally anathematised the Law and its practitioners that one is beginning to feel that there can't be smoke without fire - which is what tonight's play is about. Of course, this dissatisfaction with the Law on the part of writers may be partly due to the fact that they as a race have a tendency for getting on the wrong side of it.

But, in the case of the author of tonight's Wednesday Play, this is not so. On the contrary, Nemone Lethbridge practised at the Bar for seven years, and very decoratively too. In the fullness of time Miss Lethbridge met a charming chap, called Jimmy O'Connor. He, like so many writers as I have already pointed out, had got himself on the wrong side of the Law, along with all the others. Then much to the chagrin of some of her learned friends in Chambers, she married him. And that was that so far as the Law and Miss Lethbridge were concerned - until she wrote this very funny play which has been most ably directed by my brother litigant James MacTaggart. In it she points out with some spirit that law and Justice are not always the same thing. (Radio Times, March 24, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Emrys James (Arthur Pickett), Fanny Carby (Ivy, His Wife), Deborah Cranston (Marlene), Maureen Ampleford (Maureen), Michael Coles (Anthony Charles Goodwin), Jerome Willis (Detective Sergeant Latcham), Richard Howard (Terry, A Milkman), Frederick Farley (The Magistrate At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), David Chant (The Prosecuting Counsel At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), Eric Phillips (The Clerk Of The Court At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), Stuart Saunders (The Warrant Officer At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), Michael Golden (The Usher At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), Tommy Godfrey (Plantagenet King At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), Yootha Joyce (Miriam Green At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), Bryan Pringle (Trumper At Hispaniola Square Magistrate's Court), David Hutcheson (Lancelot Snide, MP, Barrister At River Court Temple), Roy Evans (Freddie Snide, Barrister At River Court Temple), Mark Elwes (Ronald Snide Smith, Barrister At River Court Temple), David Henderson-Tate (Basil Biggleswade, Barrister At River Court Temple), Anthony Collin (Henry Jones, Barrister At River Court Temple), Diana Hoddinott (Polly Gordano, Barrister At River Court Temple), Clifton Jones (Pius Odinga, Barrister At River Court Temple), John Woodnutt (Albert Stump, Barrister At River Court Temple), Anthony Newlands (The Judge At The Old Bailey), John Garvin (The Clerk Of The Court At The Old Bailey) and Walter Horsbrugh (The Usher At The Old Bailey).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Herbert Chappell.

This episode of The Wednesday Play was repeated on July 19th, 1966 as part of a series of selected editions chosen for re-transmission.

The Portsmouth Defence was the first in a three-part story which found its sequel in Little Master Mind, transmitted on December 14th, 1966, and its conclusion in An Officer Of The Court, transmitted on December 20th, 1967.

Pity About The Abbey
Transmitted : 6th April 1966
Script : John Betjeman and Stewart Farrar
Director : Ian Curteis

Publicity : Henry McGee and Derek Francis in this week's Wednesday Play - Pity About The Abbey: We were trespassing one day in the old Charterhouse at Clerkenwell, which is now a home for retired business and professional men. We had been admiring the private chapel and were returning through the living quarters when one of the old gents sitting there murmured to another, "Who are those four fine-looking men?". His companion replied, "Those are three fine-looking men and Mr John Betjeman". Such is Betjeman's egregious charm that he seems to go anywhere he pleases - and is welcome. One of the other three was Stewart Farrar, chosen by Betjeman as his collaborator, and thenceforth nicknamed "The Dean".


It was foreseeable therefore that, when we invited him to write a play, Betjeman should have taken a quasi-ecclestiastical, quasi-architectural subject with a plot concerned with finagling in high places. No one knows better than he the finesses of the "lobby" and no one laughs more heartily than he at the passion with which potential recipients of Birthday or New Year Honours weigh the relative merits of having a G rather than a mere K after their names. Pity About The Abbey (Westminster, of course) was first shown on BBC-2 last August. Now, to celebrate the nine-hundredth anniversary of the dedication of this great church, we are showing it again as this week's Wednesday Play. In doing so we hope that this tribute to our national heritage will be seen and recognised by as many as possible, including the Dean and Chapter, the Minor Canons, the High Bailiff and Searcher of the Sanctuary, the Surveyor of the Fabric, the Keeper of the Muniments, and not least by the Arch-Mickey-taker himself. (Radio Times, March 31, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Henry McGee (Sir Peter Watling), John Harvey (Alfred Page), Suzanne Mockler (Jane Page), Derek Francis (Lord Barnett), John Rae (Sir Gregory Devlin), Kenneth Fortescue (Arnold Fitzgerald), John Welsh (Sir Robert Chandler), Dennis Adams (Douglas Holland), Geoffrey Rose (Derek Marsh), Pamela Ann Davy (Louise Blakenheath), David Hutcheson (Lord Mendip) and Fyfe Robertson (The Television Interviewer).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

This episode was first transmitted on July 29th, 1965, as part of the Londoners series of plays first presented on BBC-2. This play was the second of three extracts from this series to be re-screened as part of The Wednesday Play.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

The Big Man Coughed And Died
Transmitted : 13th April 1966
Script : Brian Wright
Director : Peter Duguid

Publicity : The Big Man Coughed And Died - George Baker and Eileen Atkins are two of the stars of this week's Wednesday Play: Nobody wants to be a "nobody" all his life. Everybody aspires to be a "somebody" sometime before the Grim Reaper garners him in. Some succeed by an admixture of talent and hard work. Others, who lack the one or the capacity for the other, turn to self-delusion.

Thus a fantasy life begins in which the fantasist becomes his own victim, ceasing to know any more what is true and what is false. Brian Wright, a young actor, has taken this as the theme for his first play which he has set, not in the milieu of articulate people, but in the workaday world of Louie Summers (George Baker), a married machine-minder who has recently been made redundant by his firm. Redundancy causes in him a sort of emotional aberration which takes a more specific form when he innocently meets a girl in the park (Eileen Atkins) who releases a latent potential in him, albeit a very small one. But people hate to see a change in their fellows and, seeing it, call it names like "Toffee-nose," and suchlike. As dogs will turn to savage an injured member of their own species, so will humans. Louie and the girl are persecuted by those with whom they come into daily contact - the most formidable of whom is a power-drunk park keeper (John Sharp). The author has treated this serious subject in terms of wry comedy which Peter Duguid has directed with a light touch. (Radio Times, April 7, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
George Baker (Louie Summers), Eileen Atkins (The Girl), John Sharp (The Park Keeper), Diana Coupland (Mona Summers), Anthony Dutton (The First Man), Nicholas Smith (The Second Man), Richard Armour (The Third Man), Olive Lucius (The Woman Clerk), Harry Towb (Ernie), Larry Noble (The Old Man), Amelia Baynton (Mona Summers' Mother), Philip Anthony (The Doctor), Martin Friend (A Personnel Manager) and Isla Cameron (The Ballad Singer).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for the episode was composed by Stanley Myers.

The Snow Ball
Transmitted : 20th April 1966
Script : Brigid Brophy, dramatised by Ursula Gray
Director : Charles Jarrott

Publicity : Patrick Allen and Katharine Blake in tonight's Wednesday Play - The Snow Ball: There is a growing number of good professional writers today who regard television as their first medium. Little reason now therefore to fall back on the theatre or the novel for material to fill the screen. Nevertheless for tonight's Wednesday Play we have chosen a novel by Brigid Brophy. It is none of my business here to discuss the merits of The Snow Ball as a novel beyond saying that I like it. But I am bound to say that had Brigid Brophy been first a dramatist she must surely have written The Snow Ball as a television play since it first so perfectly into the medium.

The Three Unities of time, place, and action all conspire to assist the dramatist - in this case, Ursula Gray - to bring the story within the scope of a television production and, as such, to make it, technically speaking, a very good play indeed. The action takes place during the course of a New Year's EDve ball - starting at the sophisticated hour of ten-thirty and ending at dawn the following morning. It is a fancy-dress ball and, since it is being given in an eighteenth-century house, the guests are required to be in costume of that period. It is a coincidence that two people, complete strangers to each other, come dressed as the protagonists in Mozart's opera, Don Giovanni.

They do not remain strangers long. "What things do you think about?" says she. "Mozart and sex," he replies. "And you?" "Mozart, sex and death". Ursula Gray has orchestrated the piece adroitly and has had the opportunity to work closely with the director, Charles Jarrott, her husband. She also brings off the double event by playing the lead, opposite Patrick Allen, under her stage name, Katharine Blake. (Radio Times, April 14, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Patrick Allen (Don Giovanni), Katharine Blake (Donna Anna), Clare Kelly (Anne), Patsy Ann Noble (Francoise Clouet), Jim Tyson (The Egg Man), Frederick Farley (Rudy Blumenbaum), Mary Henry (Myra Blumenbaum), Kika Markham (Ruth Blumenbaum), Scot Finch (Edward), Charlotte Selwyn (Lady Hamilton), Jonathan Scott (Nelson), Robert Raglan (Tom-Tom) and Guy Deghy (Doctor Bromplus).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Norman Kay.

A Cheery Soul
Transmitted : 27th April 1966
Script : Patrick White, adapted by Jonquil Antony
Director : Gilchrist Calder

Publicity : A Cheery Soul - Hazel Hughes stars as a do-gooder in tonight's Wednesday Play: How many of the Glorious Company of Martyrs were tolerable to their earthly contemporaries? Obviously very few. We are all tempted to hate those who make us feel guilty. One must now add to the hagiography of fiction a character called Miss Docker, known affectionately as Gee - except that she is never known affectionately to anyone because she is so busy doing Good. Certainly when one has seen Miss Docker at it one gets a pretty fair idea why so many of the aforesaid saints and martyrs came to a sticky end.

Miss Docker is the creation of Australia's foremost novelist, Patrick White, author of Voss, The Aunt's Sto0ry, and other works. He has also written four plays, none of which has had any success Down Under. Possibly for this reason he has never allowed them to be performed in this country despite the obvious interest in the work of so distinguished a writer. The fact that The Wednesday Play is able to offer a first-ever-in-Britain viewing of A Cheery Soul tonight is largely due to Jonquil Antony who, being a friend of Patrick White, persuaded him that we should be allowed to try out a play of his on a Pommie audience.

For purely practical reasons, however, Miss Antony, together with the director, Gilchrist Calder, has transposed this play from New South Wales to South-West England. Thus we shall all be able to see how much of a universal character Miss Docker (as interpreted by Hazel Hughes) really is and whether Mr White has been justified in withholding his plays from us for so long. (Radio Times, April 21, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Hazel Hughes (Miss Docker), Stephen MacDonald (The Reverend Wakeman), Patricia Heneghan (Mrs Wakeman), Aubrey Richards (Mr Custance), Barbara Lott (Mrs Custance), Jane Eccles (Mrs Little), Olwen Griffiths (The Matron), Vivienne Bennett (Mrs Hibble), Mary Holden (Mrs Watmuff), Lucy Griffiths (Miss Dando), May Warden (Mrs Tole), Jack Bligh (Mr Bleeker), Doris Hall (Mrs Bleeker), Dorothy Earsdon (The Schoolgirl), Colin White (Young Tom), Deborah Stanford (Young Millie) and Laurence Archer (Old Tom).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Tom McCall.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

The Connoisseur
Transmitted : 4th May 1966
Script : Hugo Chateris
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : Michael Goodliffe and Derek Francis in tonight's Wednesday Play - The Connoisseur: Specific psychological reasons for homosexuality are now pretty well accepted by thinking people. Environmental reasons for it do not seem to be of such consequence, though governors of prisons obviously contend with it, as indeed most seminarists and members of monastic orders, though these last are doubtless better equipped to cope.

Tonight's play is set in a Public School where boys in their puissance live for eight months of the year totally immured from any but, with exceptions, the most forbidding members of the opposite sex. In this school homosexual practices are accepted by the boys and largely ignored by the masters. Hugo Charteris' new play also raises such perennial subjects in debates on public schools as corporal punishment executed by boys, fagging by boys, and other customs of these institutions. But the main theme of the play is one of magisterial and parental responsibility and involves in particular a cynical housemaster whose prime concern is to feather his nest against imminent retirement. He manipulates everything and everybody adroitly to this end.

Against him is a colleague whom he describes as being one of those " … married virgins with an athletic pedigree and bent offspring". Between these two "spiritual pastors and masters" the boys fight out their own salvation in the course of the play. Waris Hussein directs a distinguished cast headed by Derek Francis and Michael Goodliffe as housemasters and Rosalie Crutchley as an understanding housemaster's wife. (Radio Times, April 28, 1966).


Cast :
Derek Francis (G C Stoupe), Rosalie Crutchley (Pauline Tenterden), Michael Goodliffe (The Reverend Adrian Tenterden), Richard O'Sullivan (Christopher Tenterden), Ian Ogilvy (Viscount Ballantyne), Rosalie Westwater (Martha Stoupe), John Kidd (The Auctioneer), John Wentworth (Peter Benson), Nicholas Young (Lewthwaite), Stephen Whittaker (Davis), Paul Guess (Harry Benson) and Honora Burke (Doris).

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

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on July 3rd, 1968.

The Retreat
Transmitted : 11th May 1966
Script : Hugh Leonard
Director : Charles Jarrott

Publicity : The Retreat - Mime replaces dialogue in much of this Wednesday Play starring Gerry Sullivan: Author Hugh Leonard originally conceived this play as the second part of his mute double-bill. The prime half, Silent Song, set in a Trappist monastery, was seen last February. These two pieces, however, stretched in rehearsal to nearly twice their scheduled length so that they had to be screened separately. How, one might ask, can a script be timed which has little or no dialogue?

In fact, Hugh Leonard wrote the two scripts with full dialogue in parentheses so that the actors could mime to the exact nuance of his intention. The answer lies in the inventiveness of director Charles Jarrott. Whereas Silent Song concerned the problems of clergy in an enclosed order, The Retreat is about a young priest and his relations with the laity. The priest is a countryman, newly arrived in Dublin, conducting a "retreat" for the first time. This is a special day, voluntarily attended, set aside for prayer and meditation plus a few sermons and a substantial lunch thrown in. The only rule to be observed is that of silence.

Here, therefore, is the young Father - with no more knowledge of life than what goes in in Ballyjamesduff on a Fair day - confronted with a Dublin actor and his wife, an actress who may be the former's paramour, two young jackeens who work in a bank, and the great-grand-daughter of Biddy-the-Pride-of-the-Coombe - among others. What, he asks God, can he hope to do with this ill-assorted lot in a few short hours. (Radio Times, May 5, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Gerry Sullivan (Father Damian), Harry Webster (Father Fergus), Juno Tobin (Dolores), Gerry Duggan (Mulcahy), Fidelma Murphy (Marie), David Kelly (Finbar), Pauline Delaney (Petra), Donal Donnelly (Rory) and Sean Barrett (Gus).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of fifty minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 10:30pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Norman Kay.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on February 28th, 1968.

Ape And Essence
Transmitted : 18th May 1966
Script : Aldous Huxley, dramatised by John Finch
Director : David Benedictus

Publicity : Ape And Essence - Alc McCowen and Petra Markham in tonight's play: Aldous Huxley published Ape And Essence, his horrific satire about the future, in 1948, a year before George Orwell brought out his 1984. Orwell was inspired by a hatred of totalitarianism, and Huxley by an aversion to the atomic bomb; both phenomena being then fresh in the mind. The difference between these two "protest" novels was the temperamental difference between their authors. Anyone who has read 1984 or who saw the BBC-2 dramatisation of it last November, will realise that it is a hard-hitting, but nevertheless humourless, political tract.

Huxley's piece, though equally concussive, is bawdy and witty and concerned, not with politics, but with the humanistic and religious consequences of dropping the bomb. He argues, with tongue in cheek, but nonetheless persuasively, that a race wicked enough to explode a nuclear bomb must, of necessity, be damned. In other words, the Devil has finally triumphed. So we find that the savages inhabiting what is left of Britain eighty years after the bomb are not only badly mutated from the effects of Gamma rays but are in fact worshipping Belial. And why not? It is logical enough.

Who else but the Devil desires the degradation and destruction of the human race? As the Arch-Vicar of Belial puts it: "The longer you study modern history, the more evidence you find of Belial's guiding hand". Huxley's book has been dramatised by John Finch whose play The Old Man Of Chelsea Reach was seen on BBC-2 last summer. The director is novelist David Benedictus who is also story editor of The Wednesday Play. Alec McCowen plays the shy professor of botany from New Zealand who has such a terrible time dodging the servants of Belial. (Radio Times, May 12, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Alec McCowen (Alfred Poole), Robert Eddison (The Arch-Vicar), Derek Sydney (The Chief), Petra Markham (Loola), Hazel Douglas (Miss Hook), Sydney Bromley (Craigie), Jenny Lee (Flossie), Ken Parry (The Satanic Science Practitioner), Yvonne Antrobus (The Young Girl), Amanda Reiss (Polly), John Falconer (The Patriarch), Jonathan Scott (The Interviewing Priest) and Martin Carroll (The Director of Food Production).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

Toddler On The Run
Transmitted : 25th May 1966
Script : From the novel by Shena Mackay. Narrated by Michael Robbins.
Director : James MacTaggart

Publicity : Toddler On The Run - Ian Trigger and Jane Knowles in a scene from tonight's play: Morris Todd - the "toddler" of our play - is a dwarf. Perhaps, more accurately, he is a homunculus, a perfect all-male specimen though standing only four-foot-six in his stockinged feet. He is a charming young man except when tactlessly referred to as "sonny", but he will even put up with this if it suits his not always honest purpose.

At the time the story begins Morris is under suspicion, and quite rightly, for having robbed St Alphege's Girls' School of their swimming-pool fund. The local newspaper describes him as an evil-looking toddler who needed two hands to hold the revolver with which he menaced the burser. It is his diminutive size plus a sort of ruthless romanticism which makes Morris irresistible to the many women in his life. Among them are his old Gran; Elaine, a nice young woman married to a tight-lipped solicitor; and D K McGovern, a muscular nymphet mfrom St Alphege's School, whom he derides as "a failed hockey player and a social reject".

The only person who makes a serious attempt to resist him is Leda, his own true love, who reluctantly goes with him into hiding. Ian Trigger plays Morris Todd, the toddler, who is the brain-dwarf of a gifted novelist, Shena Mackay: a rare bird among young writers of her sex since she does not write about herself. Toddler On The Run is the third is this current series of Wednesday Plays to be directed by James MacTaggart. (Radio Times, May 19, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Ian Trigger (Morris Todd), Anneke Willis (Leda), Jerome Willis (Daniel), Sylvester Morand (Tom), Stanley Lebor (Manny), Geraldine Newman (Elaine), Jane Knowles (Deirdre), Anthony Wager (The CID Sergeant), David Kramer (The Police Sergeant), Grace Newcombe (Gran), Richard Pescud (Father), Annette Kerr (Miss Lambe), Eunice Black (Nurse Wilkins), Mona Bruce (The Matron), Iain Cuthbertson (Major Mallet), Renu Setna (The Indian), David Henderson-Tate (Marcel), William Moore (Mr Collins), Edith MacArthur (Carol), John Carlin (The Evangelist) and Kathleen Heath (The St John's Ambulance Lady).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Herbert Chappell.

The Executioner
Transmitted : 1st June 1966
Script : Robert Muller
Director : Michael Hayes

Publicity : Sandor Eles and Rosalie Crutchley in The Wednesday Play - The assassination of Trotsky is the subject of tonight's play, The Executioner: Between Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known as Joseph Stalin, and his rival Lev Davidovich Bronstein, alias Leon Trotsky, it was war to the death. Both, as it happens, are now dead - Lev having been helped on his way by Joe as we shall see in this documentary play by Robert Muller.

The instruments of Trotsky's bloody end were a mother-and-son assassination team, which is a curious enough circumstance in itself. They were Spanish Communists, Caridad and Ramon Mercader. A third member of the execution squad was their boss and Caridad's lover, Leonid Eitingon, a Colonel of the dreaded G.P.U, the Russian secret police. What a strange life, that of a political assassin: lounging about all day in a dressing-gown practising the revolver on the drawing-room wall and screening home-movies of the victim's holiday at the seaside to familiarise oneself with his private life; taking girls to the opera on the expense account in the hope that they may eventually lead to within killing range of the quarry. It was nearly two years from the beginning of his assignment to the time when Ramon Mercader first saw Trotsky in the flesh. It was another six months before he struck the fatal blow. The weapon he chose for it was a piolet, or mountaineer's ice axe, which surely had seldom been put to such lethal use.

In tonight's play Ramon Mercader is played by Hungarian actor Sandor Eles; his mother by Rosalie Crutchley, who played the mum recently in The Connoisseur. This is the first Wednesday Play to be directed by Michael Hayes. (Radio Times, May 26, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Synopsis :
Elizabeth Bell stars as Sylvia Ageloff, the girl who is unwittingly implicated in the assassination of Trotsky in The Wednesday Play: "The Executioner".

Cast :
Rosalie Crutchley (Caridad Mercader), Sandor Eles (Ramon Mercader), Elizabeth Bell (Sylvia Ageloff), David Garfield (Leonid Eitingon), Meier Tzelniker (Lev Davidovich Bronstein known as Leon Trotsky), Hilda Maria Demlova (Natalya Trotsky), Paul Martin (Seva), Eileen Way (Marguerite Rosmer), Steven Scott (David Alfare Siqueiros), Phillip Manikum (Robert Sheldon Harte), George Roderick (Pedro Checa), Mia Nardi (Juanita), Peter Boyes (Joseph Hansen) and David De Keyser (The Commentator / The Psychiatrist).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

This episode of The Wednesday Play was repeated on April 26th, 1967 as part of a series of selected editions chosen for re-transmission.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

Way Off Beat
Transmitted : 8th June 1966
Script : David Turner
Director : Toby Robertson

Publicity : Brenda Bruce and Sydney Tafler star in tonight's play by David Turner - Way Off Beat: Arthur Bradshaw is to be found in the "scampi belt" which surrounds any large city. He is a fixer. He has got on in the world and his ambitions are still soaring. Tonight we see him in action. From behind the well-appointed cocktail bar in his lounge he surveys the scene. His businesses are thriving, his house is large, and there's a Jag in the drive. Where can his parasitic talents turn to next? If only his daughter could become a ballroom champion he could branch out into a new field. A night club! What a golden prospect. As he says to his wife, "You with your couturiers, me with my coiffeur, and Linda with her boite de nuit … The Bradshaws will have a sort of stranglehold on culture in these parts". Arthur plans his campaign like a general. But his main weapon is money - because deep down he believes that anyone or anything can be bought.

Produced by James MacTaggart and directed by Toby Robertson, the cast is led by Sydney Tafler, Brenda Bruce, Helen Fraser, Jimmy Hanley, and a new face to most of us, Gordon Reid. This is David Turner in his best comic style. But it is comedy with a kick in it. (Radio Times, June 2, 1966 - Article by Tony Garnett).


Cast :
Brenda Bruce (Betty Bradshaw), Sydney Tafler (Arthur Bradshaw), Helen Fraser (Linda), Gordon Reid (Noirman), Stephanie Bidmead (Vicky Rayburn), Jimmy Hanley (Antonio Laveline), Peter Wilson Holmes (The Master Of Ceremonies), June Brown (Mrs Wentworth), Gareth Forward (Colin), Stephen Patrick (Alberto), Georgina Hale (Jill), Trevor Bowen (Piers) and Noel Johnson (The Master Of Ceremonies).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was composed and conducted by Carl Davis.

This episode of The Wednesday Play was repeated on August 30th, 1967 as part of a series of selected editions chosen for re-transmission.

A Soiree At Bossom's Hotel
Transmitted : 15th June 1966
Script : Simon Raven
Director : Gilchrist Calder

Publicity : A Soiree At Bossom's Hotel - Raymond Huntley and Fabia Drake in tonight's play by Simon Raven: The façade of Bossom's Hotel in Mayfair is amorphous rather than discreet and few strangers would ever be tempted to go in there. But Simon Raven takes us behind this façade into a world unknown to most: the world of the aristocracy and the upper classes.

This is new territory for the Wednesday Play and those expecting it to be a rich and rare one will be disappointed because the interior of Bossom's tends to be seedy in a well-bred sort of way, like most of its inhabitants. Presiding over this uncommon little enclave is Edna Bossom, an engaging old character of dubious origin, who once had a protector who was a Very Important Person Indeed. In fact, according to Superintendent Willow, he had cousins "who live in a large house which you may have noticed at one end of St James' Park". Hence her blue-blooded clientele.

In subtle contrast to life at Bossom's we are given a brief glance of the world of the rich and influential, the new plutocracy who, while bearing still the vestiges of bourgeois Puritanism, have worked to acquire the trappings of the nobility and gentry. But they are still not "quite-quite" and are consequently at odds with the nobility and gentry themselves who, though much less rich, are even more influential. Between the two go the police, indifferent as ever to social distinction, but who find it difficult to resist the conflicting pressures when a major scandal threatens to break at Bossom's. (Radio Times, June 9, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Fabia Drake (Edna Bossom), Raymond Huntley (Superintendent Willow), Sarah Lawson (Mrs Clodia Wentworth), Wallas Eaton (Gert), Sally Bazeley (Virginia Bray), Roddy Maude-Roxby (Captain Rudolf Porlock), Barbara Couper (The Dowager Lady Langouste), Clive Morton (Sir Jacinth Overtone, BT), Geoffrey Dunn (Professor Gregious), Geoffrey Rose (Inspector Keane), Samantha and Samanda (The Dancers), Henry McGee (The First Demolition Officer), Jeremy Young (The Second Demolition Officer), John Rapley (Hugh Snelby) and John Kidd (The Butler).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

This episode is one of twelve episodes from the fourth season of The Wednesday Play which no longer exist.

Cock, Hen And Courting Pit
Transmitted : 22nd June 1966
Script : David Halliwell
Director : Charles Jarrott

Publicity : Cock, Hen And Courting Pit - Tonight's play - the last in the present series - stars Maurice Roeves and Nicola Pagett: "Torrid" was a favourite word used to describe certain films in the 1930s. Nowadays they would probably carry an "X" certificate. I would like to use the old adjective again to describe tonight's play by David Halliwell whose name first came to us through the critical success of his stage play Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs. It is simply a very intense love affair between a boy and a girl whose passion is mutually destructive. There is nothing salacious about it: it is remarkable only in that few people reach this pitch of intensity in a lifetime; most never do, and the few are not to be envied.

The mood of the play is by D H Lawrence out of Emily Bronte: Northern, vigorous, and earthy. But the theme is universal and timeless. Which of my five children would I permit to see the play? Well, seventeen-years-old and above will please themselves; eleven and under will be in bed by nine o'clock if they know what is good for them. The young lovers are played by Nicola Pagett and Maurice Roeves. The narration is spoken by Leslie Sands. Charles Jarrott, recently responsible for Silent Song and The Snow Ball, directs the last in this present series of Wednesday Plays. (Radio Times, June 16, 1966 - Article by Peter Luke).


Cast :
Nicola Pagett (Adele Dobbs), Maurice Roeves (Ian Tiggott), Leslie Sands (The Narrator), Linda Reynolds (The Ghost), Walter Hall (Henry Cooper), June Murphy (Vickie), Geraldine Moffatt (Lucy), Martin Aubrey (Dave), Ronald Cream (Bruce) and Clifford Cox (The Chief Fireman).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:00pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Norman Kay.

Please note synopsis are taken from the original Radio Times listings for the day of transmission.

© Matthew Lee, 2004