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 Six
Season six was produced mainly by Lionel Harris except for Alice In Wonderland (Jonathan Miller), The Order (Cedric Messina). Tony Garnett produced Cathy Come Home, In Two Minds, The Voices In The Park and The Drums Along The Avon.
Where The Buffalo Roam
Transmitted : 2nd November 1966
Script : Dennis Potter
Director : Gareth Davies

Publicity : Where The Buffalo Roam: Abandoning Westminster for the Grand Canyon, Dennis Potter (of Nigel Barton fame) has written a Western for tonight's opening Wednesday Play. But a Western with a large difference because the cow puncher of Where The Buffalo Roam lives in Swansea, not Dodge City, is nineteen and an overgrown, backward child. Willy Turner's real world is small, distressing, and spans only a pokey terrace house (shared with his worried mother and cackling granddad) and the school room of the remand home which Willy, on probation for some petty but ominous offence, attends as a day relief pupil…

So Willy escapes to his own ranch house. His room is littered with pin-ups of movie heroes, stills from ancient B features, and wagons from a model prairie of tin. He is the flea-pit manager's best customer and he prefers his friends to call him Shane. His favourite song is "The Streets Of Laredo" and he tries to walk like Jack Palance. Most of the things about Willy the Cowboy are fantastic but not all, as he confides to a frightened girlfriend. The gun he carries is a real one … In Where The Buffalo Roam Willy is played by Hywel Bennett and his mother by Megs Jenkins. The play is directed by Gareth Davies and produced by Lionel Harris.

The Wednesday Play - A season of new productions begins tonight and in this article the aims and objects of the series are outlined: Tonight the Wednesday Play returns for its sixth season in expectation of a further increase in popularity. Its authors will include John Mortimer, Dennis Potter, Simon Raven, Marc Brandel, Jeremy Sandford, David Mercer, and there will be a first television play from the internationally distinguished author, Jean Anouilh. Among the many top-ranking actors will be Sir John Gielgud, Sir Michael Redgrave, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, and Donald Pleasence. The plays will cover a wide range of themes including a comedy about a young girl who crosses swords with a millionaire; a tragedy about the court-martial of a major accused of killing a private; a reconstruction of the famous Rattenbury case; a strong social drama about a couple looking for a place to live.

The policy of the series, like the policy of any programme worth its salt, does not aim at being all things to all men, but at giving stimulus, satisfaction, and entertainment to that large section of television viewers at which it is aimed. In order to put the Wednesday Play into its proper perspective, it may be useful to list some types of production which sustain the other ninety-four percent of the Drama Group's annual output. These include: Doctor Finlay's Casebook and This Man Craig; Out Of The Unknown and Doctor Who; the adult Classic Serials for BBC-2 and the Sunday family Classic Serials for BBC-1; Theatre 625 and Thirty-Minute Theatre; the Thriller Serials, The Troubleshooters, and Softly, Softly; opera from the studio; Play Of The Month and special productions in collaboration with The National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and other national institutions. At a first glance one might think that the above dramas take care of most tastes, but there is one other category which the Wednesday Play fills - the plays which reflect the changing pattern of life today, the plays that concentrate mainly on the here and now.

In 1956, John Osborne's Look Back In Anger was first produced. Whether "believing" or not in Osborne and the new writers that followed him, no responsible person in the entertainment profession could deny them. Not all the writing was good and it took time to develop, to experiment, to make mistakes, and to discard some of its pioneers. But there was to be no rebuilding the dam. The influence of John Osborne, Harold Pinter, Alun Owen, David Turner, Clive Exton, John Hopkins, and David Mercer remains a constant factor in today's writing and it became apparent that ever-increasing numbers of viewers were changing their tastes and beginning to understand and appreciate what the new writer had to offer. In all the work of Drama Group there are signs of these shifts and developments; but it is in the Wednesday Play series that the main effect of these changes of most specifically to be found.

This is the distinctive mark of the series. It offers a regular outlet for contemporary playwrights both established and new; it offers them a weekly place on BBC Television to explore, sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely, our changing times. Its main targets are the turning points in a society which is changing too quickly for some, too slowly for others. Its themes include subjects which force themselves into any session of Parliament these days. Relations between management and labour, parent and child, voter and politician, child and teacher, worshipper and minister, husband and wife, Britain and the world. All these have in the past been the subjects of plays in this series.


The aim of the Wednesday Play, then, is to provide one of those growing points - not only in television but in the life of the nation - at which, the Pilkington Report suggested, "the challenges to existing assumptions and beliefs are made, where the claims to new knowledge and new awareness are stated". It is one of these key series in which "broadcasting must be most willing to make mistakes; for if it does not, it will make no discoveries". Mistakes draw criticism. Discoveries are uncomfortable. Both compel controversy. So on occasion does the Wednesday Play. It would be surprising - and disappointing - if it did not. (Radio Times, October 27, 1966).


Cast :
Hywel Bennett (Willy), Megs Jenkins (Mrs Turner), Glyn Houston (Mr Jenkins), Aubrey Richards (Grandad), David Morrell (Willy's Father), Dilys Davies (The Schoolteacher), Denise Buckley (Susan), Richard Davies (Mr Black), Rhiann John (Carol), Kate Jones (The Woman In The Cinema), Emrys Cleaver (The Man In The Cinema), Hubert Hughson (The Cinema Manager), Ronnie Williams (The Newsreader), Brinley Jenkins (The Police Superintendent), Ieuan Rhys Williams (The Police Inspector), D C Mills Davies, Dillwyn Owen and Harry Oatten (The Policemen).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:35pm to 10:50pm.

This episode enjoyed three repeat transmissions, on August 19th, 1967, August 19th, 1976 and July 19th, 1993.

This episode is one of only six episodes from the sixth season of The Wednesday Play which still exists.

The Head Waiter
Transmitted : 9th November 1966
Script : John Mortimer
Director : Rex Tucker

Publicity : Donald Pleasence as the head waiter with Robin Langford as the boy in The Head Waiter - Donald Pleasence stars in this week's play by John Mortimer, which is set in a seaside resort after the holidaymakers have left: It is the fag-end of the season, and the head waiter at the seaside hotel can at last find time to entertain the boy, who also had quite a lot of time on his hands. The boy is eight, and his mother hasn't much time to devote to him; she's too busy looking after his father, who is blind. But the head waiter has some marvellous tales to tell…

Such is the situation at the opening of tonight's play, a funny and very moving piece for John Mortimer, author of The Dock Brief and The Wrong Side Of The Park. The boy is played by Robin Langford, and the amiable head waiter by that very much in demand actor Donald Pleasence. Pleasence, who comes from Worksop, first achieved full international star status with his beautifully-studied performance in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, and he appears prominently in two major films currently on release: Polanski's Cul de Sac and the science fiction epic The Fantastic Voyage. But he was a highly respected figure in the London theatre and in British films for many years before all this happened, scoring noteworthy successes in plays like Jean Anouilh's The Lark, with Dorothy Tutin. He has become one of the world's leading specialists in off-beat characters, but he's very particular about the parts he takes. "I detest playing nuts or creeps," he says, "but I've no objection at all to eccentrics". Married to a former actress-singer and with one daughter, Angela, already making her name in the theatre, he nowadays divides his time about equally between this country and the United States of America. (Radio Times, November 3, 1966).


Cast :
Donald Pleasence (The Head Waiter), Robin Langford (The Boy), Peter Madden (The Father), Pauline Letts (The Mother), Alexandra Bastedo (The Girl) and Hope Jackman (The Manageress).

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

Music for this episode was provided by Tristram Carey.

This episode enjoyed a repeat transmission on April 24th, 1968.


Cathy Come Home
Transmitted : 16th November 1966
Script : Jeremy Sandford
Director :
Kenneth Loach

Publicity :
Carol White and Ray Brooks star in The Wednesday Play - Cathy Come Home: "I reckon it's just us now. Just you and me. Have some kids, eh Cath?" "I'd like that". Cathy is blonde and attractive with an open, determined face. Just up from the country and in the big city she meets Reg and falls for him. He is so easy-going and relaxed and full of laughs. She dreams of settling down, building a home and having some babies. A natural thing to want, one might think, and something we all have a right to look forward to. Just a simple love story. But things don't turn out for her quite like that. Events cruelly overtake her and Reg - and later their children. They begin a journey through Britain, but it is a Britain many of us have never seen. What happens to them we may scarcely believe. But it is happening now, and is likely to go on happening to lots of people for a long time. Everything in tonight's play the author Jeremy Sandford has seen with his own eyes. It is something he feels deeply and his passion and his anger leap out at us from this story of two human beings trying to make a home for themselves and their children. Trying, with humour and love and courage, to live decent lives and keep their self-respect. Cathy Come Home is directed by Kenneth Loach, whose outstanding contributions to "The Wednesday Play" last year included Three Clear Sundays and Up The Junction. Carol White and Ray Brooks play the young people.

Cathy? To Britain's Shame, There Are Still Too Many Like Her - Jeremy Sandford writes about his much-discussed Cathy Come Home which is being given another showing as The Wednesday Play: If any writer ever hoped that an idea of his would be accepted by the public as valid and taken to their hearts, then he would have hoped for the reaction that has followed my Cathy Come Home. If any writer ever hoped that what he wrote would be embodied in flesh and blood with power, accuracy, beauty, then he would have hoped for a director like Ken Loach, and a performance such as Carol White's. And if every a writer hoped that, in however small a way, what he wrote would result in changes in the manner that his country was run, then that writer would be me. Because there have been changes, small but none the less important, which, it might not be too much to believe, were the result of Cathy. I wrote Cathy in bitterness and anger because I had seen happening to a girl, a neighbour of mine, and her children, the things that happened to Cathy. Later I learned that this sort of thing was happening not only to her - but to thousands of others, and this increased my sorrow and my anger. I wrote it late in 1963 and for three years I could find no organisation prepared to put it on. Then Cathy was bought by Tony Garnett for the BBC and there were hundreds of letters at the time of that first showing, thanking me that at last the truth had been told about one area of life as it really is in Britain.

The facts of Cathy have often been questioned but, I claim, cannot be faulted. They are true. Some of the things shown in the film happen more rarely than others. The taking of children from their parents, as shown at the end of the film, doesn't happen by force, but it does happen sometimes that parents fight for their children. With five-thousand children in care for no other reason than that their parents can find no home for them, it would be surprising if it didn't. And I might note here that since Cathy, the number of these children has increased by one whole thousand from the figure of four-thousand given in the film. Most of the other conditions shown in Cathy are still all too painfully with us. The desolate squalor of many caravan sites, the housing lists that run into thousands, the millions of people living in slum conditions, the over-crowding - there has been little improvement here. Numbers in hostels for the homeless have risen from twelve-thousand-five-hundred at the time of the film to fifteen-thousand now. The eviction, the fire, life in the slum, all these scenes in Cathy were modelled on life. So, too, were those scenes in which Cathy is trying to sleep out with her family in ruined buildings, in a tent, anything rather than having to face the humiliation of going into public care. It has been said that all the things that happened to Cathy could not have happened to one person. This is false. The odysseys of those who end up in Britain's Homes for the Homeless are often far more complicated than those undertaken by Cathy. I know, because I have spoken with many of them.

Since Cathy, Shelter has been formed, a national campaign to keep alive that compassion and responsible concern for the victims of Britain's housing situation which Cathy may have helped to arouse. And we are building more houses. But, I would say, still not fast enough. Officials may not, I would say, always get the most accurate picture since they see members of Britain's homeless in a tense atmosphere, across a desk. But to talk with Britain's real-life Cathys, as I have done, face to face and heart to heart - might end not in an official document but in a play like Cathy. (Radio Times, November 10, 1966 and Radio Times, November 7, 1968 - Articles by Tony Garnett and Jeremy Sanford, respectively).


Cast :
Carol White (Cathy), Ray Brooks (Reg), Emmett Hennessy (Johnny), Adrienne Frame (Eileen), Wally Patch (Grandad), Winifred Dennis (Mrs Ward), Alec Coleman (The Guest At The Wedding), Gabrielle Hamilton (The Welfare Officer), Geoffrey Palmer (The Property Agent), Phyllis Hickson (Mrs Alley), Frank Veasey (Mr Hodge), Barry Jackson (The Rent Collector), David Crane (The Barrister), Ruth Kettlewell (The Judge), Kathleen Broadhurst (The Landlady), John Baddeley (The Housing Officer), Ralph Lawton (The Health Inspector), James Benton (The Man At The Eviction), Gladys Dawson (Mrs Penfold), Paddy Joyce (Mr Abercander), Liz McKenzie (Mrs Jones), Ronald Pember (Mr Jones), Anne Ayres (Anne Jones), Lennard Pearce, David Crane and Alan Selwyn (The Ratepayer), Maureen Ampleford (Pauline Jones), Will Stampe (The Boat Proprietor), Geraldine Moon (The Girl In The Derelict House), Bernard Price (The Man In The Street), Charles Leno (The Warden Of Cumbermere Lodge), Joan Harsant (The Nurse), Julie May, Myrtle McKenzie, Rose Hiller, Paddy Kent and Patti Dalton (The Inmates At Cumbermere Lodge), John Lawrence and Faith Kent (The Welfare Committee), Cleo Sylvestre, Andrea Lawrence, Doreen Herrington, Terri Ansell and Muriel Hunte (The Inmates At Holm Lea), Lila Kaye (Staff), Edwin Brown (The Warden At Holm Lea), Helen Booth (The Landlady) and Anne Hardcastle (The Welfare Woman).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

This edition of The Wednesday Play enjoyed repeat broadcasts on January 11th, 1967, November 13th, 1968 and August 11th, 1976. The first two repeat broadcasts were transmitted under The Wednesday Play banner.

This episode is one of only six episodes from the sixth season of The Wednesday Play which still exists.

This play enjoyed a Region 2 DVD release courtesy of the BFI on June 30th, 2003.


The Private Tutor
Transmitted : 23rd November 1966
Script : Christopher Williams
Director : Alan Gibson

Publicity : The Private Tutor - The traditional pupil-teacher relationship takes some strange turns in tonight's play: "We're going to find a nice young graduate to come to live with us at Four Oaks, and you'll be able to work all day without any distractions except for healthy walks". Such are Mrs Berger's pious hopes for her daughter Justine (Marty Cruickshank) as she tries to get her into Oxford. Eighteen, bored, and more than slightly unsure of herself, Justine isn't keen on the idea. But Frank (Ian McShane), the man Major and Mrs Berger pick to further their daughter's education, is delighted to get the job. "I've always wanted to live the life of the aristocracy," he tells his girlfriend Louisa self-mockingly. Long-suffering Louisa reminds him that he is a rotten teacher anyway.

At Four Oaks Frank and Justine's pupil-teacher relationship takes several rather unorthodox twists - which in due course involve Louisa and Justine's rather spineless boyfriend, Roy. What happens in tonight's play is funny, unexpected, and a little sad. (Radio Times, November 17, 1966).


Cast :
Ian McShane (Frank), Marty Cruickshank (Justine), Patricia Garwood (Louisa), Alan Tucker (Roy), Madeleine Newbury (Mrs Berger), Jack Gwillim (Major Berger), Anthony Wiles (Jeffrey), Helen Booth (Miss Pickett), Hugh Munro (Wilkins), William McAllister (Detective Sergeant Tompkins) and Christopher Wray (Sergeant Jones).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 10:50pm.


A Pyre For Private James
Transmitted : 30th November 1966
Script : Simon Raven
Director : Gilchrist Calder

Publicity : Accused And Accuser: Basil Henson and Grant Taylor in A Pyre For Private James: Private James' pyre is a blazing hut on a forsaken clearing somewhere in the Malayan jungle. Reflected from the flames in the green twilight are the figures of James' appalled fellow-soldiers, members of the reconnaissance party he accompanied to this highly undesirable spot. But one man seems weirdly unperturbed by the evil bonfire. Major Carlyle, James' Company Commander, seems almost light-hearted as if diabolically pleased with the terrible day's work - and a fortnight later it's Major Carlyle who stands on trial before a court-martial, accused of Private James' willful murder.

This is the situation at the beginning of tonight's Wednesday Play as the members of the court set about their distasteful job of discussing if, why, and how a sane and upright officer deliberately killed a young inoffensive national serviceman with whom he had only a slight acquaintance. Prosecuting counsel is inclined to treat it as an open-and-shut case, a disagreeable process to be got over quickly with the minimum of pain and embarrassment. But what actually went on in that few square yards of stifling flora and fauna prove to be more complex, mysterious, and heart-rending than the bunch of steely Lieutenant-Colonels now holding Carlyle's life in their hands could ever have dreamed. Did Carlyle shoot James or burn him alive? Did he really believe there were terrorists in an area which had been trouble-free for two years? And how deep into James' and Carlyle's past do they have to delve to explain the Major's extraordinary and tragic behaviour? Simon Raven is equally known as playwright, novelist, and journalist.

A Pyre For Private James, like his previous Wednesday Play, A Soiree At Bossom's Hotel, is directed by Gilchrist Calder and stars Basil Henson as Carlyle, John Bailey as his defence counsel, and Dudley Sutton as Corporal Oates. (Radio Times, November 24, 1966 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Basil Henson (Major Andrew Carlyle), Percy Herbert (Colour Sergeant David Mackison), Dudley Sutton (Corporal Tom Oates), David Conville (Captain Jeremy Dilston), Grant Taylor (Colonel Lloyd Beacher, Prosecuting Officer), John Bailey (Humphrey Wiles, Counsel For The Defence), William Fox (The Judge Advocate), Basil Dignam (The President Of The Court-Martial), Nicholas Tate (Private Trevor James), Geoffrey Alexander, John Evans, John Garvin, Terence Sewards and Philip Webb.

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy minutes and was transmitted from 9:45pm to 10:55pm.


A Tale Of Two Wives
Transmitted : 7th December 1966
Script : Marc Brandel
Director : Peter Duguid

Publicity : Your Choice At Five Past Nine - A Play… Amanda Barrie and Dinsdale Landen in A Tale Of Two Wives: Marc Brandel's fan mail for Ashes To Ashes was almost the largest the Wednesday Play has ever had. In fact eighteen months later Brandel still receives the occasional letter from a viewer desperately wanting to know if that charmingly sinister husband did really murder his beautiful and gullible wife in the slaughter-house on their isolated Cornish farm. Brandel's new play tonight is likely to take an equally firm and lasting grip on the imagination although its hold will be of a rather different kind.

A Tale Of Two Wives is a high, teasing comedy about that most serious of institutions, the marriage vow. The two wives are blonde Elaine living in a chic Parisian apartment on the Seine and dark Jada who has a smart mews flat in London. When the play begins the two women do not know each other and they are only alike in that both are young, attractive - and separated from their husbands. More than that should not be revealed except that their paths are about to cross in a sensational and unexpected way. Amanda Barrie plays Jada and Suzanna Leigh, who starred in the film Boeing-Boeing, is Elaine. Dinsdale Landen and Peter Jeffrey appear as Brian and Raoul. (Radio Times, December 1, 1966 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Dinsdale Landen (Brian), Peter Jeffrey (Raoul), Amanda Barrie (Jada) and Suzanna Leigh (Elaine).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Carl Davis.


Little Master Mind
Transmitted : 14th December 1966
Script : Nemone Lethbridge
Director : James MacTaggert

Publicity : Little Master Mind - Two seedy characters who were first seen in "The Portsmouth Defence" join in the villainy tonight. The actors are Bryan Pringle and Jack Rodney: "And I'd be very much obliged if you'd loan me a tenner from the till" "Yes, Mr Barking. Of course. Any time". The man in the shop was so polite, and why not? The Barking brothers are lovely boys. All four of them, George, Albert, Edward, and Henry. They are the sole support of their dear old parents, and they do a lot of good work. They can be seen at all the charity balls and premieres looking very elegant behind their huge cigars, giving generously. Their flash American car purrs gently as they make their calls. The man who seems to take the keenest interest in their careers is Detective-Inspector Harry Latcham. "I want them," he says, "and I want them bad". But he has tried sixteen times already this year.

Maybe he will be lucky tonight and maybe he won't. Because our four boys have plenty of money and they know how to put it about. They also have the services of a beautiful young barrister, Polly Gordano - and when she looks at you with her big trusting eyes, you know she still believes in the law. Nemone Lethbridge draws upon her wide experience of the legal profession and her considerable knowledge of many illegal professions in this, her second play. Her humour is sharp but never flippant and her observation of the ways of the world is keen. I hope you will agree with me that the law's loss was our gain when she took off her wig and took up her pen.

The music is by the distinguished Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, and this play (like Nemone Lethbridge's first, The Portsmouth Defence) is directed by James MacTaggart. (Radio Times, December 8, 1966 - Article by Tony Garnett).


Cast :
George Sewell (George Barking), John Porter Davison (Edward Barking), Michael Robbins (Albert Barking), Robert Russell (Henry Barking), Jerome Willis (Detective Inspector Latcham), Anthony Wager (Detective Sergeant South), Makki Marseilles (Costas Hadjimitsis), Poppy Petrohilos (Katina, His Wife), Tommy Godfrey (Plantagenet King), Yootha Joyce (Miriam Green), Bryan Pringle (Trumper), John Woodnutt (Albert Stump), Diana Hoddinott (Polly Gordano), Roy Evans (Freddie Snide), Charles Morgan (Rhys Morgan), Jack Rodney (Reg The Runner), Peter Bennett (Mr Barking), Ruth Porcher (Mrs Barking), Anthony Newlands (The Judge), Michael Wynne (Maurice Longshot), John Garvin (The Clerk Of The Court), Walter Horsbrugh (The Usher), Annette Kerr (The Lady Magistrate), Edwin Brown (The Jury Foreman), Bernard Stone (Juror Baker), Lila Kaye (Mrs Baker), Denzil Ellis (The Publican), Rifat Shenel (The Grocer) and Andreas Markos (The Newsagent).

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

Music for this episode was played by Mimis Margaritis.

Little Master Mind was the second instalment of a three-part story which started with The Portsmouth Defence, transmitted on March 30th, 1966, and concluded with An Officer Of The Court, transmitted on December 20th, 1967.


The Mayfly And The Frog
Transmitted : 21st December 1966
Script : Jack Russell
Director : Robin Midgley

Publicity : The Mayfly And The Frog - John Gielgud stars with Felicity Kendall in tonight's play by Jack Russell: The action begins at a filling station in a Belgravia mews, where an argument develops between two vehicles. They are an improbable contrast; a dirty, ancient, and rusting scooter and a palatial, dazzling Rolls Royce. The Rolls, although meticulously trained in every social nicety, is not used to taking notice of - or avoiding - decrepit two-wheeled vehicles. When the vast limousine knocks the tiny heap of scrap-iron over, it is of no moment to the Rolls' driver or its passenger. But the scooter's owner is in a state of furious indignation. Her headlamp is smashed, she has to reach Dover by dark, and she is broke. So she pursues the Rolls until it disappears sleekly through the gates of a huge Mayfair mansion. Ingeniously defying the amazing expense devoted to keeping intruders out, the girl, vivaciously mobile in jerkin and jeans, gains a determined entry - and finds herself face to face with a millionaire in his bath!

They are the most unlikely pair to meet anywhere or anywhen; the odd, scruffy, disconcerting girl scarcely owning what she stands up in, and the great tycoon, lord of a thousand companies, Rembrandts by the dozen on hyis walls, "Old Adam Capitalist in his golden garden". And when they meet here in his most secluded and defended sanctum, Gabriel Quantara soon finds himself in a plight that his money, minions, power, and paintings can do nothing to save him from … The Wednesday Play is delighted to present Sir John Gielgud, making his first appearance in a play specially written for television, as Gabriel Quantara. Felicity Kendall, star of the film Shakespeare Wallah, plays the girl. (Radio Times, December 15, 1966 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Isa Miranda (Madame Roo), David Stoll (Mario), Felicity Kendall (The Girl), Sir John Gielgud (Gabriel Quantara), Timothy Bateson (Barnet) and Jeremy Rowe (Lieutenant Tepich).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Richard Addinsell. The Radio Times inadvertently attributed Guy Woolfenden as the party responsible, but later printed an apology (some two weeks later) rectifying the matter.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on July 10th, 1968. NB4: This episode is one of only six episodes from the sixth season of The Wednesday Play which still exists.


Alice In Wonderland
Transmitted : 28th December 1966
Script : Jonathan Miller
Director : Jonathan Miller

Publicity : Alice In Wonderland - Tonight's production has, in recent months, been widely talked about. Here the producer Jonathan Miller tells what kind of programme he has made and why: In making a film of Lewis Carroll's great classic, we have arrived at a paradox. After months of preparation - searching the length and breadth of England for the right location, casting, and designing the production - we came at the end of the filming to a work which, although it is about children, is not really for them.

When Lewis Carroll first began to spin this yarn for the Liddell sisters on that summer afternoon a hundred years ago, his imagination perhaps went a lot deeper than he intended - going to the foundation of his own feelings about childhood; feelings which were sad and even downright menacing. For Carroll belonged to a well-established tradition of Victorian thought, in which childhood occupied a privileged position. As the poet William Empson has indicated, the Victorians held childhood in awe. They saw it as a reservoir of feeling and imagination from which the artist could suck up intoxicating draughts of romantic imagery. But this wasn't the whole story. The Victorians were two-faced about childhood, because they took the responsibilities of adulthood very seriously too, and saw the child as a threat to duty and seriousness. Children, they felt, were student-adults, learning to be good, not fit to be heard until they had trained themselves to be sober and sensible. So these men of the nineteenth century found themselves stretched between two ideals, and in books like Alice they surreptitiously let their hair down and expressed some of the difficulties which they experienced in this division of loyalty. Underneath all those pantomime animal heads, playing cards, and chess pieces, the Alice books are actually rather anxious stories, and the serious little child who makes her way through the phantasmagoria carries Carroll's doubts and fears about growing up.

Characters Spring Out: If you strip off the Tenniel disguises - though it's hard to do this after so many years of living with these familiar illustrations - the characters spring out at you fully armed with human oddity. These are the people whom the child of an upper middle-class Victorian academic household would have met every day of her waking life. But as this is a dream, their identities get shuffled and blurred. Beneath the greasepaint and the papier mache, we can see caricatures of all the principal personalities of a Victorian household. There are uncles and aunts, parents and sevants, and throughout the book Alice is always trying to work out the social relationships between them. What, for example, is a servant to a child? A peculiar sort of adult, to be sure, physically the same size as the masters of the household, yet subordinate to them. And what exactly is an uncle? All these questions of authority, rank, and kinship must have puzzled an intelligent child like Alice, and in her dream she would have dramatised these doubts by clothing the characters she knew when she was awake in all sorts of strange costumes which expressed their peculiar relationship to each other. We know a great deal more about dreams today than the Victorians did. Quite apart from the Freudian view of the matter, it now seems clear that dreams have serious work to do, helping the sleeper to put his waking experience into some sort of understandable order. The miracle is, that Lewis Carroll, without having explicit knowledge of this, was able to illustrate the dramatic insights of the dream world with such remarkable accuracy.


A Knight's Move: In our film of Alice we have tried to be as faithful as we could to this deeply serious endeavour of the author. It was impossible to do this by literally transposing from the text directly into film imagery. What we have done instead is to make a sort of knight's move with one step forward and a jump to the side, in an effort to let the text express itself as truthfully as possible. We have tried to reproduce in the minutest detail both the décor and the atmosphere of an upper middle-class Victorian household. In order to do this the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman and myself went through reams of Victorian painting - looking for all the furnishings and fittings which would have surrounded a child of Alice's class. And then, with the help of cameraman Dick Bush we did all we could to bathe this in that strange melancholy light which seems to hang like a sinister miasma over some of the most dramatic pictures of the period. In fact throughout the making of the film the main thrill has been in bringing together people of outstanding sensitivity and expertise, and blending the whole lot into one comprehensive vision. We spent weeks travelling around looking for the right location, and looking for places which had just the right slants of light.

Ken Morey spent hours costuming the hundreds of extras, down to the last detail. And then, of course, we had to find our Alice. We had seven-hundred photographs in answer to our advertisement, and out of all of those only one child stood out with just the right expression. Anne-Marie Mallik, a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl with no ambitions to act, seemed set apart from all the others. She had just the right sombre gravity and showed none of that frivolous sweetness which has so often ruined dramatic re-creations of Alice in the past. When she stepped on to the set on the first day the whole production fell into place around her. There was always a risk that with the famous and talented actors who appear in the film the principal character would have been submerged in successive waves of spectacular guest appearances. But as it was, the child radiated such a peculiar atmosphere that everyone around her came under the spell of the story, andf it's often hard to recognise the illustrious names as they appear.

Finally, when the whole film was edited, we asked the great Indian musician Ravi Shankar to write and play the music. At first sight this may seem an odd and even perverse choice. But the strange, drowsing harmonies of Indian music seem to bind the whole work together. Nothing else seemed to convey the illogical inevitability of dreams, and over all there is a faint suggestion, too, of the high noon of Victorian empire. (Radio Times, December 22, 1966 - Article by Jonathan Miller).


Cast :
Alan Bennett (Mouse), John Bird (Frog Footman), Wilfrid Brambell (White Rabbit), Peter Cook (Mad Hatter), Finlay Currie (Dodo), Sir John Gielgud (Mock Turtle), Michael Gough (March Hare), Wilfrid Lawson (Dormouse), Alison Leggatt (The Queen Of Hearts), Anne-Marie Mallik (Alice), Leo McKern (Duchess), Malcolm Muggeridge (Gryphon), Michael Redgrave (Caterpillar), Peter Sellers (The King Of Hearts), Primrose (Cheshire Cat), Mark Allington, David Battley, Freda Dowie, Geoffrey Dunn, Avril Elgar, Nicholas Evans, Peter Eyre, Gordon Gostelow, Julian Jebb, Charles Lewson, Jo Maxwell-Muller and Tony Trent.

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of eighty minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:25pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Ravi Shankar. Photography was supervised by Dick Bush. Film Editor was Pam Bosworth.

Dennis Potter appeared on the edition of Twenty-Four Hours, transmitted on December 28, 1966, to discuss Alice In Wonderland. Joining him in these discussions were James Dance MP and William Hambling MP.

This episode had a Region 2 DVD release courtesy of the BFI l on April 28th, 2003.


Person To Person
Transmitted : 4th January 1967
Script : Joan Henry
Director : Raymond Menmuir

Publicity : Person To Person: Sometimes - just sometimes - when generations meet, an erratic sort of contact is achieved. This is what happens in tonight's Wednesday Play when Julia (Elizabeth Sellars), a divorced journalist who is almost forty, meets Alan, a twenty-two-year-old architecture student. Alan (Michael Standing) appears at the door of Julia's mews house and asks to borrow her telephone. He is hung over after a drug session; she is curious and sympathetic in a business-like way. They talk, and slowly begin to understand each other - their lives, their values, their very different sets of relationships. Person To Person by Joan Henry also stars Robin Bailey as Julia's lover, an eminent anthropologist. (Radio Times, December 29, 1966).

Cast :
Elizabeth Sellars (Julia Graham), Robin Bailey (Mark Borden), Michael Standing (Alan Baird), Michael Wennink (Tony Borden), Maurice Travers (Arthur), Dick Graham (Robert Kite) and William Gossling (The Chauffeur).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:15pm.


The Order
Transmitted : 18th January 1967
Script : Fritz Hochwalder, translated by Patrick Alexander
Director : Basil Coleman

Publicity : The Largest Theatre In The World presents The Order by Fritz Hochwalder starring John Neville: The time is the Second World War, the place is occupied Amsterdam. A young Austrian policeman in Nazi service is ordered to take part in the hunt for suspected Dutch resistance workers. He chases a teenage girl who in the struggle falls into a canal; he does nothing to stop her drowning. Twenty years later, Inspector Mittermayer of the Vienne CID is assigned the task of investigating the almost-forgotten crime.

This is the starting-point for tonight's play by Fritz Hochwalder, author of The Public Prosecutor and The Strong Are Lonely. And in telling the story of a police enquiry, the Swiss-domiciled Austrian writer conducts his own profound and disturbing enquiry into the nature of guilt and particularly the morality of unquestioning obedience - two questions which Hochwalder believes remain dangerously unanswered. The Order is one of the plays to be presented under the general title of The Largest Theatre In The World - which is not at all an exaggeration. Under this scheme a number of European television networks agree on an important play specially commissioned for the occasion, which each participating country undertakes to produce with its own cast and in its own language, and to transmit more or less simultaneously with all the other participants. So the total audience for tonight's play, which has been produced in Austrian, German and Italian versions, will certainly number many tens of millions, as it did for the specially written Terence Rattigan play Heart To Heart which inaugurated the scheme four years ago.

For The Order on BBC Television producer Cedric Messina has assembled a cast of exceptional distinction. Inspector Franz Mittermayer is played by John Neville, who was leading man at the Old Vic for a number of seasons before going on to become director of the now very successful Notthingham Playhouse. Frau Mittermayer, his mother, is played by the veteran actress Catherine Lacey, and De Goede, father of the dead girl, by Clive Morton. George Murcell and John Woodvine are two younger detectives detailed to assist Mittermayer in his investigation, and Nicholas Selby is the Viennese chief of police. Pokorny, a former Gestapo officer turned prosperous businessman, is played by George Coulouris, and James Cairncross is the Dutch policeman Knippers.

The play has been translated by Patrick Alexander, and it is directed by Basil Coleman, whose recent television staging of Britten's Billy Budd won high critical approval. There is a specially composed music score by Richard Rodney Bennett, composer of The Mines Of Sulphur, which has also been seen recently on BBC Television. Many of the film sequences for the production were shot on location in Vienna and Amsterdam. (Radio Times, January 12, 1967).


Cast :
John Neville (Inspector Franz Mittermayer), Catherine Lacey (Mother), George Coulouris (Pokorny), Laurence Hardy (Vroom), George Murcell (Poslanetz), Clive Morton (De Goede), Nicholas Selby (The Chief Of Police, Vienna), John Woodvine (Dwornik), John Kidd (The Waiter), William Moore (Takatsch), Geoffrey Dunn (Feath), Jerold Wells (Muff), James Cairncross (Knippers), Enid Lorimer (Mrs Cornelissen), Yvonne Antrobus (The Girl) and Michael Pennington (The Youth).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

Music for this episode was composed by Richard Rodney Bennett and conducted by Marcus Dods.

This episode was transmitted under the banner programme title of "The Largest Theatre In The World", with a sub-title to the effect that it was "A Wednesday Play Production".

The highly-discussed Wednesday Play tale Cathy Come Home was repeated on January 11th, 1967, occupying the space between Person To Person and The Order.

Everybody's Rich Except Us
Transmitted : 25th January 1967
Script : Thomas Clarke
Director : Brian Parker

Publicity : Everybody's Rich Except Us - Thomas Clarke introduces his serio-comic tale set against the background of big business - this week's Wednesday Play: Everyone's Rich Except Us. What a rotten state of affairs! A state of affairs which most of us would be glad to change. Not many of us get the chance, do we?

Eddie Marble fixes the chances for himself. "You don't make it off of them that have got it," says Eddie. "You make it off of them as have to work for it". He means us. Have you ever wondered how they made it, those well-dressed fellers who sweep by you at the pedestrian crossing in their Mark X Jags, a fur-trimmed dolly lounging back against the leather upholstery? Or those smooth smiling faces which beam at you out of the pages of the picture papers, looking down from the steps of a jet, grinning up from under a beach umbrella, or dreaming over a midnight mohair shoulder in a night-club. Ever wondered what it is they've got that you haven't? Well, perhaps it's devotion. Devotion to wanting. And Eddie's a devoted man. Whatever it is, Eddie wants it. He goes through life looking for the big tickle, a lovely great carve-up. And when he gets it, as he tells Natalie, he's going to sit up there on top and crow like a cock. The funny thing is there are always people ready to hand it to him.

There's always someone greedy enough to listen to him or lazy enough to let him take it off them, or just not wide enough to stop him. People like you and me and many more besides. So have a look at tonight's Wednesday Play and pick up a few tips for yourselves on how to fiddle an easy half-million. Mind you, I haven't struck it myself yet. Maybe I don't have enough devotion. (Radio Times, January 19, 1967 - Article by Thomas Clarke).


Cast :
Alfred Lynch (Eddie Marble), Jennifer Jayne (Natalie), Richard Vernon (Brigadier Samson), Vic Wise (Jack Simons), Wallas Eaton (Bennie Sax), David Hutcheson (Blecker), Lionel Wheeler (The Policeman), Llewellyn Rees (The Official Receiver), Howard Charlton (The Creditor), Leonard Graham (Conway), Fiona Demspter (Bennie's Receptionist), Peter Hughes (Peter Bower), Michael Stanley (The Salesman), Patsy Smart (The Receptionist), James Ottaway (Scrubbs), Cyd Hayman (The Waitress), Leslie Bryant (Irving Simons) and Lola Morice (Joan).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

The Lump
Transmitted : 1st February 1967
Script : Jim Allen
Director : Jack Gold

Publicity : The Lump - Tony Garnett (producer of "Cathy Comes Home") introduces tonight's play - the story of Yorky (Leslie Sands), a modern revolutionary: The headlines scream. A strike has broken out. The economy is being ruined by irresponsible elements. There are Reds under every bed. When it is very serious we hear grand phrases about "a tightly knit group of politically motivated men". Yorky is such a man.

What is Yorky like? Physically he is a giant. Over six feet tall and sixteen stone, he is a bulldozer of a man. He loves his ale and hates the bosses. He is a bricklayer by trade and a revolutionary by vocation. For him a strike it not just an argument about another penny an hour - it is part of his life's work to change the very structure of our society. Nothing will divert him from his purpose. A gentle man with a wry humour, he will not draw back from violence. He is a tough man in a rough industry. An industry which is getting rougher. Because over it falls the shadow of "the Lump", a system of work where men are self-employed and on their own. Bought and sold like cattle on the hoof, they are often behind with their tax, their cards are unstamped, and an accident at work can lead them to the scrap-heap.

The Government is worried about it. The Unions hate it and many employers oppose it. It leads to industrial anarchy and it has been spreading like wildfire. Its shadow falls over Yorky. But he knows what he is doing - or so he thinks. Meet this man who sets himself up to fight the whole world. Whatever you think of him, I hope the conflict will grip you. The Lump has been written by Jim Allen and is directed by Jack Gold, now of The Late Show. (Radio Times, January 26, 1967 - Article by Tony Garnett).


Cast :
Leslie Sands (Yorky), Colin Farrell (Mike), Joby Blanshard (Mason), James Caffrey (Walsh), Chris Canavan (Nolan), Tony Colegate (Father Murphy), Juliet Cooke (May), Diana Davies (The Woman), Martin Dobson (Molloy), Jack Doughty (The Labourer), James Donelly (Maguire), Frank Gatliff (The Agent), Joe Gladwin (The Joiner), Ken Jones (The Gravedigger), Paddy Joyce (Rooney), John McCarthy (Keegan), Roy Minton (The Scaffolder) and Neville Smith (Eddie).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

This episode enjoyed a repeat transmission on July 5th, 1967 as part of a series of selected episodes chosen for repeat broadcasts.

This episode is one of only six episodes from the sixth season of The Wednesday Play which still exists.

Who's Going To Take Me On?
Transmitted : 8th February 1967
Script : Andrew Davies
Director : John Glenister

Publicity : Trisha Mortimer as Steph and Garfield Morhan as Mokes in "Who's Going To Take Me On?" - The story of a girl who wants to make her mark: Three of the four girls in the typing pool at Femin-elle, a provincial lingerie firm, wear unmistakable and slightly formidable engagement rings. Lily, Alma, and Christine have more or less come to early, and easy, terms with life. For them the future holds as few worries as it does excitements so they find the fourth girl a source of puzzling merriment. For Steph is different: she hasn't settled for a ring, has strange ambitions, and feels "my genius is going to waste here". Steph wants to make her mark, and typing invoices for Wonder Witch bikini pants is not good enough for her…

In tonight's play Steph braves the general disbelief in her talents and sets out to become a success despite stony odds. Most of the people she meets seem ready to take her for anything but what she wants to be. Surely there must be someone who will take her on? Tonight the Wednesday Play is delighted to welcome two highly talented newcomers. This is Andrew Davies' first play and the demanding role of Steph is taken by Trisha Mortimer, who played in The Knack in New York, but has never before played on television. John Glenister directs. (Radio Times, February 2, 1967 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Richard O'Sullivan (Mark), Garfield Morgan (Nokes), George Moon (Clewes), Trisha Mortimer (Steph Smith), Vanessa Forsyth (Christine), Ann Holloway (Alma), Carolyn Lister (Lily), Derek Seaton (The Boy In The Coffee Bar), Michael Wynne (Arthur), Clifford Cox (Mervyn), Howard Knight, Peter Sergeant and Nicky Hilton.

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of fifty minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 9:55pm.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on June 21st, 1967.

Death Of A Teddy Bear
Transmitted : 15th February 1967
Script : Simon Gray
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : Death Of A Teddy Bear - Brenda Bruce and Kenneth J Warren appear in tonight's violent play - set in the 1930s: On the outskirts of the small stuffy village of Leigh Hampton stands Grangetrees, a shabbily opulent mansion which over the years has become an unofficial manor house to the community. The Church Fete is customarily held on its lawns, its tenants are apt to confer a gratifying prestige on the district. In tonight's play Grangetrees has new tenants, and an odd, inappropriate trio they seem to the villagers. Teddie is an elderly Canadian millionaire who has retired here with Mollie, his newish, youngish, and highly emotional wife. They have come to live at Grangetrees with Mollie's companion, a taut, severe lady called Eve. Mollie is beginning to find the Home Counties' routine frustrating to her volatile "artistic" temperament. Leigh Hampton is starting to bore her, and she is about ready for an adventure. She finds what she is looking for, but what begins as a mild diversion ends tragically.

Death Of A Teddy Bear is one of the Wednesday Play's rare departures from present-day setting. Its author Simon Gray, who is a successful young novelist, says: "The idea for the play came after I read a popular account of a famous scandal of the mid-1930s. When I later started to write I deliberately put out of mind all the details of the real case. What I saw was an extraordinary mixture of the horrific, comic, and pathetic in a situation where four people who intend no harm to each other succeed only in creating a nightmare of mutual destruction". Brenda Bruce plays Mollie, and the part of Treefe is taken by Hywel Bennett (the boy in Where The Buffalo Roam), star of the film The Family Way. The director is Waris Hussein. (Radio Times, February 9, 1967 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Brenda Bruce (Mollie), Hywel Bennett (Oliver), Rachel Kempson (Eve), Kenneth J Warren (Teddie), Margery Withers (Mrs Seagrove), Dorothea Rundle (Mrs Granger) and John Bailey (Inspector Cardles).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of eighty minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:25pm.

Music for this episode was composed by Michael Dress.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on July 17th, 1968.

Days In The Trees
Transmitted : 22nd February 1967
Script : Marguerite Duras, translated by Sonia Orwell, adapted by Jeremy Brooks
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : Peggy Ashcroft stars in this Royal Shakespeare Company production - Days In The Trees: A huge long-distance jet arrives at Orly airport. It has come from the last of the French colonies. A frail old woman - well on in her seventies - descends carefully to the tarmac. Inside the airport building a middle-aged man - once good-looking, now faded - watches her. They begin to move towards each other through corridors and crowds: he slow, self-absorbed; she eager, hopeful. At last they meet; but there is no embrace. It is their first encounter for five years…

This is now tonight's television version of Marguerite Duras' Days In The Trees behins. The production by the Royal Shakespeare Company was first presented at the Aldwych Theatre, London, last June. The screen adds greatly to the insight of Madame Duras' powerful writing, and Dame Peggy Ashcroft's performance as the mother remains, as W A Darlington put it in the Daily Telegraph, "a magnificent interpretation of an old woman's possessive and obsessive passion". Marguerite Duras was the author of the much-praised and widely-shown film Hiroshima Mon Amour.

Like that work Days In The Trees is about an intense, anguished relationship - in this case a peculiarly ambiguous bond between a mother and her son. The mother still refers to her son as "my baby". Jacques, her "baby", is now in his fifties: he is a desolate, dry creature whose career as a gigolo has reached rock-bottom at a seamy club. Jacques brings his mother back from the airport to his apartment where she meets his unloved mistress, Marcelle. This immediately fires the old woman's capacity for destruction. George Baker and Frances Cuka appear as Jacques and Marcelle, and they are supported by the original Shakespeare Company. John Schlesinger's original production is re-directed for television by Waris Hussein. (Radio Times, February 16, 1967 - Article by Bernard Adams).


Cast :
Peggy Ashcroft (The Mother), George Baker (The Son), Frances Cuka (Marcelle), Brian Badcoe (Dede), Dallas Adams, Eric Allan, Jeremy Anthony, Hugh Armstrong, Roger Brierley, Noel Collins, Robert Davis, Sarah Hyde, Daphen Jonason, Joanne Lindsay, Patricia Maynard, Ann McPartland, Ursula Moran and Jayne Sofiano (The Night Club Guests).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of eighty-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:45pm to 11:10pm.

This episode was transmitted under the banner programme title of "The Royal Shakespeare Company", with a sub-title to the effect that it was "A Wednesday Play Production". The original Royal Shakespeare Company stage production was directed by John Schlesinger and designed by Timothy O'Brien.

Music for this episode was provided by Michael Dress.

In Two Minds
Transmitted : 1st March 1967
Script : David Mercer
Director : Kenneth Loach

Publicity : The Wednesday Play - Anna Cropper plays Kate Winter, a girl In Two Minds: Who is Kate Winter? That is the question. She is, on the outside, an unexceptional girl from an ordinary semi-detached background. Her mother says "We are respectable people in this house". But tonight the lace curtains are opened and we invite you to probe inside - if you can bear it. Because David Mercer offers us a very disturbing trip and Kenneth Loach's camera does not flinch. This play is an investigation of Kate Winter. Into her death?

She seems very much alive and none of the individuals round her have an obvious motive for killing her. They are all kind to her, worried about her. No one person, then, is guilty. There does not even seem to be a crime which we can investigate. Because if Kate is to be murdered, she must first have lived, she must have existed. And she claims not to know what it is to exist. Do any of us? You may think this is an absurd question. David Mercer does not. Kate is a young girl approaching womanhood and an independent identity. She is trying to become herself - not somebody else's self - just her self. But she confronts very powerful institutions. All seemingly benign.

The State would talk of justice, the hospital of treatment, the parents of love - but other voices are being raised, Mercer among them. They talk of violence and murder. After tonight the question might not be "Who is Kate Winter?" but "Why isn't Kate Winter?". This marks David Mercer's return to television after two plays in the West End and his highly successful film Morgan. In Two Minds is directed by Kenneth Loach, whose work on Cathy Come Home was so highly praised. He recently won the award for Director of the Year. (Radio Times, February 23, 1967 - Article by Tony Garnett).


Cast :
Anna Cropper (Kate Winter), Brian Phelan (The Interviewing Doctor), George A Cooper (Mr Winter), Adrienne Frame (The Hairdresser), Helen Booth (Mrs Winter), Peter Ellis (Jake), Bill Hayes and Vickery Turner (At The Rehearsal Room), Yvonne Quenet, Neville Smith and Malcolm Taylor (At The Pub), Christine Hargreaves (Mary Winter), Julie May (The Nurse), Patrick Barr (The Consultant), Edwin Brown (The Mental Welfare Officer), Anne Hardcastle (The Doctor), George Innes (Paul Morris) and Eileen Colgan (The Sister).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

In Two Minds won David Mercer the Writer's Guild Award for the Best Television Play of 1967.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on June 25th, 1969.

This episode is one of only six episodes from the sixth season of The Wednesday Play which still exists.

Another Day, Another Dollar
Transmitted : 8th March 1967
Script : Michael Standing
Director : Raymond Menmuir

Publicity : Tony Selby and Victor Maddern in The Wednesday Play - Another Day, Another Dollar: When Charlie Mills, a deceptively resourceful young man, becomes a steward on a large passenger liner he hopes to save some cash. But even before he gets on board people begin to take money off him for services he would rather do without. It costs him so much to cash the "advance note" he gets as a "sub" on his first pay-packet that he wishes he hadn't bothered. And there is also that far-from-optional charge for "cabin cleaning".

Wherever Charlie looks someone is at hand to make life bearable for him - at a consideration. "At this rate," he reflects, "I'll be in debt for the next two trips". "But that's the idea," one of the old hands tells him. There are may other puzzling violent features about life below decks, and a common factor in Wagger, the ship's bar steward. Nearly all the crew have become resigned to playing the game to Wagger's rules, and when Charlie tries to resist they all predict disaster for him…

Another Day, Another Dollar is the first play by actor Michael Standing (who served at sea under similar conditions). Charlie is played by Tony Selby who was seen as Danny in Three Clear Sundays and more recently as Albert in Pinter's A Night Out. Victor Maddern is Wagger, and Raymond Menmuir directs. (Radio Times, March 2, 1967).


Cast :
Victor Maddern (Wagger), Tony Selby (Charlie Mills), George Innes (Frank), Rob Eagleton (Bob), Michael Standing (Les), Nicholas Smith (Mooney), David Battley (Joey), Reg Lye (Toby), Garfield Morgan (Danny), Eric Flynn (The Assistant Purser), John Trenaman (The Seaman), Michael Wynne (Banes), Ken Parry (Freda), Len Leydon (The Official), Barry Linehan (The Master At Arms), Harry Landis (Robbie) and Geoffrey Lumsden (The Captain).

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

Public Inquiry
Transmitted : 15th March 1967
Script : Raymond Williams
Director : Gareth Davies

Publicity : Public Inquiry - Charles Williams and Clive Graham play father and son in tonight's play: Railways and railway engines have their special fascination - and not just for the train-spotters on the draughty end of platforms. Even the ordinary unfanatical traveller finds something awesome and romantic in a fiery, belching steam engine. Men who work on the railways are also apt to feel rather more warmly about the grimy business than, say, a fitter about his bench or a typist about her office.

When driver Arthur Davies talks about the old steamers, he sounds like a lover recalling an early affair. At the beginning of tonight's play Arthur Davies is chatting to his friend Tom Lewis, in Lewis' signalbox near a small Welsh town. Both men have spent their lives as railwaymen. For both the job is not most of the time magical or romantic but just another case of long hours, large responsibilities, lousy money, and at the end - now in sight for Arthur and Tom - an unprincely pension. Meanwhile on this particular night trains must go through, and signals be made. A very complex system of decisions, skills, and efforts has to be kept up by men who may occasionally be distracted or weary…

Tom is waiting for his son David, also a signalman, to come and relieve him in the box. David is already late. Tom is getting tired. There are three trains besides Arthur's to guide along the tracks. And some of Tom's equipment doesn't seem to be working properly … Public Inquiry is by Raymond Williams (author of The Long Revolution) whose father was a railway signalman for nearly forty years. The director is Gareth Davies, and like his previous Wednesday Play Where The Buffalo Roam, Public Enquiry was shot almost entirely on location in Wales. (Radio Times, March 9, 1967).


Cast :
Charles Williams (Tom Lewis), Edward Evans (Arthur Davies), Clive Graham (David Lewis), Roderick Jones (Bill Andrews), Brinley Jenkins (Emlyn Hicks), Richard Davies (Harry Jenkins), Michael Elwynn (Gareth Pownall), Artro Morris (John Llewellyn), Kate Jones (Betty Lewis), Jan Edwards (Glynis Lewis), Michael David (Ian Jarvis) and Harry Oaten (The Engine Driver).

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

A Crucial Week In The Life Of A Grocer's Assistant
Transmitted : 22nd March 1967
Script : Thomas Murphy
Director : James MacTaggart

Publicity : Tonight's Play - A Crucial Week In The Life Of A Grocer's Assistant: John Joe Moran is at the dangerous age of oh-so-nearly thirty, and he has problems. Shall he stay in Ireland, or follow the crowd to London? Should he marry his girlfriend, or get rid of her? Shall he stick to his job or go after a dream? It is high time he made a few changes but would he be doing the right things? Shall he fellow his own whims or do what someone else wants? For John Joe there is any amount of good advice. Get spliced to the bank manager's daughter. No, marry a good girl. Keep in with the priest. Take out some life assurance. Look after your old parents. Get yourself respected…Get out of town.

There are the mordant tones of his Uncle Alec: "If I were a young man again, I'd clear out. Begrudges and meaners and thieves. They're so bad here they'd take a snail from a blind hen". Yet his mother's home comforts are sweet and familiar. And anyway how would she make ends meet without him? It's a really crucial week in the life of the grocer's assistant. James MacTaggart directs T P McKenna and Elizabeth Begley as John Joe and his mother. Fionnuala Flanbagan is his girlfriend Mona. (Radio Times, March 16, 1967).


Cast :
T P McKenna (John Joe Morgan), Elizabeth Begley (Mother), Fionnuala Flanagan (Mona), Will Leighton (Father), Paul Farrell (Alec Moran), Dominic Roche (Father Daly), Michael Mara (Mr Mullins), Pauline Delany (Mrs Mullins), Dermot Tuohy (Mr Brown), Peter Mavock (Pakey Garvey), Kitty Fitzgerald (Mrs Smith), Denis McCarthy (The Pension Officer), David Kelly (Miko) and Charles O'Rourke (Mr Sweeney).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

Music for this episode was arranged and conducted by Kate O'Connor.

A Breach In The Wall
Transmitted : 29th March 1967
Script : Ray Lawler
Director : Gilchrist Calder

Publicity : A Breach In The Wall - The Reverend Lewis Patterson finds himself in the company of a Cardinal and an Archbishop in tonight's play by Ray Lawler: On December 29, 1170, a "turbulent priest" named Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was martyred in his own cathedral. For nearly three-and-a-half centuries his tomb behind the High Altar was the goal of countless pilgrims (including ouf course Chaucer's), seeking the Saint's blessing and hoping for cures. Then came the Reformation; and Thomas' coffin with the vast treasure which pilgrims had helped around it disappeared. In A Breach In The Wall, tonight's play, the Australian playwright Ray Lawler suggests what might be the consequences if the Saint's body were ever to come to light again.

A Breach In The Wall is set some time in the near future. The parish church of the Kentish village of Valham is undergoing long-overdue restoration - restoration largely made possible by the fund-raising efforts of the able and radical young incumbent, Lewis Patterson. A walled-in chamber is discovered and within it is a coffin sealed with the crest of Becket. The excitement which follows is used by Mr Lawler to examine the state of the Churches, and Faith itself, today. Would the discovery help to breach the wall between the Anglican and Roman Churches? If the body again became an object of pilgrimage, would it cause an embarrassing revival of "superstition"? The author says: "I don't pretend that this is necessarily how events would shape themselves if the situation arose. But I do believe that the historical significance of Thomas a Becket is contained in certain words from the play: `A saint is someboy who spends his life on earth in bringing mankind nearer Heaven, and his life hereafter bringing Heaven nearer men'".

Gilchrist Calder directs, and the cast includes Robert Harris as an Archbishop, John Phillips as a Cardinal, and Barry Justice as Patterson. (Radio Times, March 23, 1967).


Cast :
Robert Harris (The Archbishop), Barry Justice (The Reverend Lewis Patterson), John Phillips (Cardinal Ronan), Rosemary Leach (Katharine Elliott), Paul Hardwick (Canon Charles Humphrey), Jennifer Daniel (Sue Patterson), Kynaston Reeves (Doctor Matthews), John Bryans (Doctor Saddler), John Kidd (Doctor Haslam), Frances Alger (Eunice Street), Donald Morley (Brian Tracy), Hilda Braid (Mrs Street), William Moore (Constable Howell), Barbara Graley (Miss Span), Nicholas Brent (Eddie Street) and John Tatham (Bourke).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:15pm.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on July 31st, 1968.

The Voices In The Park
Transmitted : 5th April 1967
Script : Leon Griffiths
Director : John Mackenzie

Publicity : Kenneth Haigh and George Sewell in tonight's play - The Voices In The Park - A comedy about a man who speaks at Hyde Park Corner: Leon Griffiths' comedy ends, as it begins, at that pathetic memorial to all our sham freedoms - Hyde Park Corner. There is often better speaking there on Sunday than can be heard at Westminster throughout the week. Leitch is one member of those Speakers. Just a voice in the Park. You can hear him tonight. "Leitch and me … we reject whiskey and soda. A book of political economy, a sliced loaf, and a flash of surgical spirit and Leitch singing beside me in the wilderness, that's our kick Mister"; "That's the question, Mr Sendall. Leitch is a speaker among men, what Michelangelo was to the Reinaissance, Leitch could be to every Rotary Club"; "To the new movement … what movement's that then? The alternative, Mr Leitch. Alternative to what? Everything, Mr Leitch. I think we're all of us dismayed by the present predicament of the nation. A complete, total fiasco"; "Why not? What's the problem? It's six quid a week … listen, another couple of quid and he could get Bertrand Russell working for him. Gurney…my beliefs are not for the market place … but what beliefs? I have had plenty in my time. Great, huge, abstract thoughts…".

This comedy marks the introduction of a new young director, John Mackenzie, to The Wednesday Play. The cast includes Kenneth Haigh as Leitch, George Sewell as Gurney, Brian Oulton as Sendall. (Radio Times, March 30, 1967).


Cast :
Kenneth Haigh (Leitch), George Sewell (Gurney), Brian Oulton (Sendall), Edwin Brown (The Salvation Army Major), John Dunn-Hill, Paddy Joyce and Doreen Herrington (The Hecklers), Will Stampe (The Speaker), Harry Davis (The Barman), Alec Coleman (The Man In The Window), Wendy Richard (Delphine), Tommy Godfrey (Mr Miller), Alec Ross (The Prison Officer), Sonnie Willis (The Bus Driver), Barbara Keogh (The Woman On The Bus), Eunice Black (Mrs Armitage), Helen Cotterill (Marilyn), Julia Hamilton (The Elderly Lady), Ann Way (Her Companion) and Eric Mason (The Policeman).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

Dismissal Leading To Lustfulness
Transmitted : 12th April 1967
Script : Thomas Whyte
Director : Rex Tucker

Publicity : Dismissal Leading To Lustfulness - John Moffatt as the dismissed Cosgrove, with Petra Davies as Mrs Gibbs and Jane Wenham as Miss Bryant: "Shall I leave the building immediately or would you rather I finished the odds and ends?"; "Please rush away instantly; but be of good heart, Cosgrove. Think of the delighted people you leave behind you". That is the dismissal.

Edward Cosgrove is a polite and civilised young man but his stay with the august firm of Frampton and Pritchard is as brief as all his other employments have been. "How distressing to lose one's job," as his sympathetic neighbour, Miss Bryant, remarks, but Cosgrove always has the same trouble with his work: "I may be rounding the corner a few streets away and I may see the building in the distance and cast my mind forward, ahead of me into the office and think, `Ah, it's now bright and early there'. But by the time I finally arrive, it's tarnished and late".

Meanwhile, before he resumes yet again the wearying search for work, there are unexpected consolations for Cosgrove. He has just found a new flat, and on the evening after the dismissal meets his fellow tenants in the house, a sociable bunch. Miss Bryant gives him food, Mr Gibbs throws a party, Mr Vernon takes care of the drinks, and Mrs Gibbs is very attentive to the new man's desires. Only young Miss Hale stays archly rather apart from the jollity. She flees to shocked safety when the others become determined to hustle the not unwilling Cosgrove and Miss Bryant into an immediate holiday together in a mountain hotel…

This is the first television play by Thomas Whyte, whose comic style has been described by one admirer as "Pinter re-written by Rattigan," and by another as "Rattigan re-written by Pinter". (Radio Times, April 6, 1967 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Peter Copley (Roger Gibbs), Petra Davies (Kathleen Gibbs), Fiona Duncan (Miss Hale), Carl Jaffe (Vernon), John Moffatt (Edward Cosgrove), Ronald Radd (Mr Lindsay) and Jane Wenham (Monica Bryant).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of fifty minutes and was transmitted from 9:25pm to 10:15pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Richard Rodney Bennett and was conducted by Buxton Orr.

A Brilliant Future Behind Him
Transmitted : 19th April 1967
Script : Thomas Clarke
Director : Robert Fleming

Publicity : David Buck as an ambitious barrister and James Bree as Lucius Chad - A Brilliant Future Behind Him - Thomas Clarke, author of "Everyone's Rich Except Us", writes about his latest television play: "The Law is the true embodiment of everything that's excellent". That's what Gilbert and Sullivan told us, anyway. And that's what the telly series reinforce.

It's all dignified, respectably, wigs and gowns, silence in court, and the port and nuts afterwards in chambers. Judges are god-like, and barristers hot-shots at rhetoric. We look at it all in a kind of hushed awe. It's all so overwhelming, mysterious, moral, and righteous. But what goes on under those periwigs and robes of office? What are the standards of morality of those who uphold our social order? How do they judge and what do they judge? What's the law all about? Well, in tonight's play there is just another minor driving offence through the courts; a few lines appear in the evening newspapers. Nothing very spectacular. Yet probe behind the lines and you find a connection between a rich young heiress, a Shadow Cabinet minister, a dope peddler, and a certain Mr Lucius Chad.

It's not too pleasant a connection and if the whole thing got out in the press it might make things a bit sticky for those in power. Someone wants the whole thing hushed up; it's too embarrassing, too inconvenient. So someone's got to go to the wall, all for the sake of respectability, mind you, but someone's got to answer for it. And somebody does. And everything's back to relieved normality. For Mark Freely the whole thing's a godsend. He's a young, ambitious barrister and he's got his chance to make his name, and make his money. He'll end up what he most wants to be, a smart success. Well, it has to be paid for, all this smartness, and the price is sometimes a heavy one. (Radio Times, April 13, 1967 - Article by Thomas Clarke).


Cast :
David Buck (Mark Greely), John Phillips (Sir Gilbert Hardacre), Isobel Black (Annabel Tranter-Percy), James Bree (Lucius Chad), Patricia Garwood (Caroline Greely), Robert Harris (The Judge), Guy Middleton (The Chairman At The Magistrate's Court), Ann Tirard (The Woman Justice Of The Peace), Robin Ford (Victor), Stephen Jack and Philip Latham (The Voices), Richard Caldicot (The Lord Chief Justice), Ron Eagleton (The Steward), Richard Carpenter (Norman Stubbs), Talya Vashti (Jane), Frank Gatliff (Planter), Anthony Baird (The Court Official), Yvonne Antrobus (Harriet Hartingford), Christopher Fagan (The Doctor), Howard Taylor (The Usher) and Barry Humphries.

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of sixty-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:10pm.

Message For Posterity
Transmitted : 3rd May 1967
Script : Dennis Potter
Director : Gareth Davies

Publicity : Message For Posterity - Joseph O'Conor and Patrick Magee star as two bitterly opposed old men in tonight's play: Dennis Potter's triple award-winning Nigel Barton plays took the scalpel to the sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, but always deeply passionate turmoil of an upstart who is trembling uncertainly on the brink of a political career.

Tonight we move on and have the brilliantly gruesome drama of two distinguished but near-snile octogenarians who have each spent their lives in political and intellectual torment and who now struggle together in the shadows. Sir David Bronwing is one of the greatest statesmen of his time, a former Prime Minister, a heroic leader in war, a legendary orator, and total Tory. But age and illness - and possibly conspiracy from below - have meant his retirement from the Commons, so Parliament decides to mark the occasion by presenting the grand old man with a portrait of himself. The picture is commissioned from an equally elderly, and famous artist, James Player. Player was once renowned as a Bohemian, a radical, and an upstart. But smart young critics have long since dismissed him from fashion, and he seizes upon the portrait as his last opportunity to leave a message for posterity, which will reveal the rotting spirit and decayed flesh of the old warrior as well as the England which Browning represents.

This is both the funniest of Dennis Potter's plays and at the same time his most serious and ambitious so far. In the two leading roles we have Patrick Magee (recently in Staircase) as Player, and Joseph O'Conor (Old Jolyon in The Forsyte Saga) as Sir David Browning. (Radio Times, April 27, 1967 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Patrick Magee (James Player), Joseph O'Conor (Sir David Browning), Ballard Berkeley (The First Conservative MP), Lionel Gamlin (The Second Conservative MP), Walter Hall (The First Labour MP), Raymond White (The Second Labour MP), John Saunders (The Liberal MP), Tony Holland (Miles), Patricia Lawrence (Gillian), Gordon Whiting (Thompson), Keith Campbell (The Manservant), John Benson (The Newsreader), Donald Hewlett (Hawkins), Geoffrey Chater (Richard Browning), Peter Welch (The Police Sergeant), Anna Calder-Marshall (Clara), Betty Turner (The Maid) and John Golightly (Karl).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of eighty minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 11:00pm.

No recording is known to exist of this edition of The Wednesday Play.

Dennis Potter appeared on The World At One on BBC Home Service on May 3rd, 1967, to discuss Message For Posterity with Mark Puckle.

Message For Posterity was famously re-made by BBC Television, only months after Dennis Potter's death, for inclusion with the BBC-2 series Performance on October 29th, 1994. John Neville (Sir David Browning) and Eric Porter (James Player) appeared in this new rendition which was, on the whole, deemed by the associated media and audiences as a pale imitation of the earlier version.

The Times featured an article to accompany the transmission of the 1994 revision of Dennis Potter's Message For Posterity, which provides a useful insight into the Wednesday Play version: A Close Likeness, If Not A Masterpiece - The BBC has remade Message For Posterity, Dennis Potter's 1967 play. Benedict Nightingale finds the decision fully justified: Dennis Potter was not quite Dennis Potter in 1967, when his Message For Posterity was aired in the Wednesday Play slot.

He was a thirty-two-year-old journalist and critic who had stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Labour candidate, and had begun to write combative plays from a socialist stance and in a naturalistic idiom. Had you or I been asked at that time which television dramatist would be most valued in the 1990s, we would have laughed at so self-contradictory a question and then come up with another name. They were not built to endure, but if any was likely to do so, it would have been David Mercer, not Potter. That short-sightedness explains why the BBC ended up wiping its recording of the first production of Message For Posterity. Only those with impossibly long, exact memories will be able to tell us how Jospeh O'Conor played Sir David Browning, the aged statesmen at the play's core. And even they, I suspect, will have trouble finding words for the performer who created the role of James Player, the equally ancient artist deputed to paint his portrait.

The late Patrick Magee was a strange, sinister actor whose high, unearthly voice endeared him to Samuel Beckett and got him cast in the British premiere of Endgame, among other plays. But the whirligig of time has brought its revenges. When Potter died earlier this year, it was no longer a paradox to talk of an important television dramatist, because he had established himself as precisely that. We would now be as likely to roam the land's libraries setting fire to the collected works of Pinter and Stoppard as to destroy the tapes of The Singing Detective or any other of Potter's works. Not only that: the BBC has felt impelled to do something unheard-of. It has completely remade Message. (The Times, October 29, 1994 - Article by Benedict Nightingale)
.

A Way With The Ladies
Transmitted : 10th April 1967
Script : Simon Gray based on the novel A Helping Hand by Celia Dale
Director : John Glenister

Publicity : A Way With The Ladies - Bill Fraser, Amy Dalby, and Barbara Couper in tonight's play by Simon Gray, author of Death Of A Teddy Bear: There is a rather mawkish recitation called "I like old people don't you?" which is sometimes trundled out by beery bores as a party piece. Josh and Maisie in tonight's play would probably approve of the sentiment because for them old people are very much to be cared for, cooed over, and altogether taken with great seriousness. Josh and Maisie come to Italy after the passing of their Auntie Flo - auntie by affectionate adoption rather than by blood and who recently occupied their cosy spare room. But the busy devoted pair scarcely have any time to relax in the sun before they take up a new challenge to their calling in the shape of Mrs Cynthia Fingal and her niece Lena.

As Josh says of frail, sweet Cynthia whom they meet in Lemici: "A little old auntie with bent legs and a bad bladder is entitled to a luxury now and then". Lenia is a dutiful girl but her youth (she's thirty-seven) is slipping away in auntie's service. Maisie manages to convince Lena that auntie would be better off with her and Josh in the peace of their semi, Nookhaven. And Josh has no trouble in endearing himself to Cynthia…

This is the second television play by Simon Gray, whose Death Of A Teddy Bear was an immensely successful Wednesday Play. A Way With The Ladies (based on a novel by Celia Dale) also creates an extraordinary sense of the horror, comedy, and pathos hovering beneath an apparently ordinary situation. (Radio Times, May 4, 1967 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
Bill Fraser (Josh), Barbara Couper (Maisie), Amy Dalby (Cynthia), Catherine Howe (Graziella), Iris Russell (Lena) and Iole Marinelli (Emmanuella).

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

The Playground
Transmitted : 17th April 1967
Script : Hunter Davies
Director : John Robins

Publicity : The Playground - Tonight's play is about Walter - who has two "wives", three children, and an obsessive liking for playgrounds: You can usually find young Walter in the playground. He will be there somewhere, poised half-way down the big shute, clinging dangerously to the edge of a roundabout, helping the younger children build underground car parks in the sand pit. Wlater will be about the place, rain or shine, and often he's the last to leave, reluctant as the keeper shuts up at bedtime.

Not that Walter doesn't have a home to do to - in fact, oddly enough, he has a choice of two. And the other strange thing about Walter of the playground is that he's over thirty … Walter is not much given to explaining himself, but he might say that the playground was the only place where he can be altogether with his own children. He has three, and they are shared between two "wives" - Sally to whom Walter is really married, but mildly estranged from, and Nicola with whom (more or less) he lives. A job to say whether he loves either or both the women but there's no doubt that he cares a lot about the children. Children are an obsession with Walter.

Whenever Nick or Sally challenges him for never having a job, Walter says he can't anyway because who'd look after the kids while their mothers are out at work? And - usually - all threats of censure and change dissolve in another spasm of Walter's winning, late-juvenile charm. But can it last? Is Walter losing his sure touch? Sally and Nick are each showing signs of resentment. He seems to be getting less and less of his own way. As he says himself: "I never seem to get much life out of either of you these days. Things were different when we were first married". This is the first television play by Hinter Davies, author of Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush. John Ronane plays Walter, Ann Lynn plays Sally, and Wendy Gifford is Nick. (Radio Times, May 11, 1967 - Article by Kenith Trodd).


Cast :
John Ronane (Walter), Ann Lynn (Sally), Wendy Gifford (Nicola), Diana Quick (Geraldine), Dennis Golding (Jake), Lynette Meredith (Caitlin), Michael Henderson (Tom), Roy Purcell (Mr Robinson), Mary Hignett (Mrs Robinson), Kathleen Byron (The Woman), Stephen Follett (Rupert), George Roderick (The Attendant), Kathleen Boutall (Mrs Woodcock), Doreen Andrew (The Landlady), James McManus (The First Man) and Brian Anderson (The Second Man).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on July 30th, 1969.

Drums Along The Avon
Transmitted : 24th April 1967
Script : Charles Wood
Director : James MacTaggart

Publicity : Drums Along The Avon - Leonard Rossiter stars in this comedy about a white man who starts a lone experiment in racial integration by painting his face black, along with Anita Mall - who plays a young and beautiful Indian girl: This show is like the hundreds of pieces of a jig-saw puzzle. We hope, when it is over, you will feel that it has been put together to make a complete picture.

The difference is that a completed jig-saw puzzle can be taken in at one gulp, while tonight, for an hour or so, we shall be inviting you to complete it with us. The pieces you will hold in your hands if you decide to play are not in themselves surprising or amusing or shocking. A rather fine English city. An empire on its uppers. A slum. A very beautiful Indian girl. A handsome and intelligent Indian youth. A brothel. Drugs. A police raid. A wedding. And an outrageous comic figure who takes our bland and arrogant assumption that integration must precede toleration to its logical conclusion. He is a liberal, you see - it's all black and white to him.

Charles Wood who wrote the screenplay for The Knack and the last Beatles film Help! Has a mad-hatter way of writing comedy which is fantastic only because he carries on with our behaviour after we have discarded it. The predicament he explores is shared by most big cities, but Bristol, with its long Imperial history and its small Indian community, was an ideal place for him to set this play. The play, however, is not a documentary about Bristol: in fact it is not about Bristol at all. It is a fantasy and we devoutly hope that no one in Bristol will see it otherwise. The cast is led by Leonard Rossiter. The direction is in the distinguished and experienced hands of James MacTaggart. (Radio Times, May 18, 1967 - Article by Tony Garnett).


Cast :
Leonard Rossiter (Mr Marcus), Valerie Newman (Mrs Marcus), Maureen O'Reilly (Mrs Arnold), Salmaan Peer (Jhimma), Anita Mall (Lakshmi), Rafiq Anwar (Lakshmi's Father), Surya Kumari (Lakshmi's Mother), Norman Tyrrell (The Lord Mayor), Peggy Sirr (Jennifer), Phyllis Smale (The Gob Woman), Helen Downing (The West Indian Tart), Derek Ware (The Motor-Cyclist), Norman Beaton (The Guitarist In The Club), June Barrie (The Woman In The Club), David Langford (The First Ambulance Man), Roy Brimble (The Second Ambulance Man), Val Lorraine (The Teacher), Georgina Simpson (The Schoolgirl), Patricia Rossiter (The First Tart), Liz Towler (The Second Tart), Sally Lewis (Angela), Janet Key (Rosalind), Christine Shelley (The Air Hostess), Reg Allsop (The Airport Official), Kelly Kelshall (The West Indian Student), Alan Moore (The First Trooper), Colin Fisher (The Second Trooper), Guy Ross (The Youth), Clare Sutcliffe (The Young Girl), P Ibram (The Indian Boy), Vincent Mall and Innocent Mall (Lakshmi's Brothers), Calvin Lockhart (The Bus Driver), Peter Andrews (The Laughing Man), Brian Gear (The Policeman), Rumish Amand (The Pedlar) and Kate Wood (The Little Girl).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of seventy-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:05pm to 10:20pm.

Music for this episode was provided by Herbert Chappell.

This episode is one of only six episodes from the sixth season of The Wednesday Play which still exists.

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