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 Seven
Season seven was produced by Graeme MacDonald (episodes 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20 & 21), Irene Shubik (episodes 2, 7, 14, 17, 23 & 24), Pharic Maclaren (episode 3), Michael Bakewell (episode 4), Lionel Harris (episode 5, 9, 16 & 18) and Tony Garnett (episodes 11 & 22).
Sleeping Dogs
Transmitted : 11th October 1967
Script : Simon Gray
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : The Plays You Can't Ignore - Gerald Savory, Head Of BBC Television plays, writes about a new season of hard-hitting plays by a galaxy of writing talent: It is said that Albert Einstein had two main distractions. He played Mozart on the violin and was addicted to Westerns, claiming that both offered him equal relaxation according to his mood. Most of us who enjoy television feel much the same way. Sometimes we enjoy pure escapism, sometimes we look for something more stimulating. We ask to be provoked, to have our hackles raised, to be gripped by shocking truths and issues that people care about, and towards which we may have become dangerously complacent.

It is to this mood that The Wednesday Play has been aimed since its inception in 1964. Most of the plays are unashamedly controversial, though they come in all shapes and sizes - straightforward, satirical, tragic, comic. And they come with one common denominator - an illumination of truth. The results have been stunning, popular, and disturbing: Nell Dunn's Up The Junction and Jeremy Sandford's Cathy Come Home, David Mercer's In Two Minds, David Halliwell's Cock, Hen And Courting Pit, David Turner's Way Off Beat and Simon Gray's A Way With The Ladies. The Wednesday Play has become a catch-phrase, a guarantee of an original and absorbing evening.

It is no exaggeration to say that the freedom and encouragement offered by the BBC to the writers of The Wednesday Play are key factors in its being the envy of the world's television services. This seventh season will be in the hands of three producers - Irene Shubik, Graeme MacDonald, and Tony Garnett. Tonight it is launched with a strong drama by Simon Gray. Sleeping Dog tells the story of a retired Governor of a remote colonial outpost and his wife who return to a Britain which is not the one they love and remember. They try to cope with their problems, but drive themselves to solutions at first eccentric, and then macabre. During the coming season there will be new plays specially written for television by J B Priestley, David Mercer, Alun Owen, David Rudkin, Hugo Charteris, Robert Muller, Dennis Potter, Marc Brandel, John Mortimer, Kenneth Griffith, Fay Weldon, James O'Connor, Nemone Lethbridge, Peter Nicholls, Michael Frayn, and Julia Jones. (Radio Times, October 5, 1967 - Article by Gerald Savory).

Cast :
Marius Goring (Sir Hubert), Rachel Kempson (Lady Caroline), Johnny Sekka (Claud), Denys Graham (Greatorix), Nicholas Critchley (The Young Man), Peter Graves (Sir Geoffrey) and Wendy Ascott (The Barmaid).

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

Incidental music for this episode was composed by Michael Dress.

Wanted: Single Gentleman…
Transmitted : 18th October 1967
Script : James Broom Lynne
Director : John Gorrie

Publicity : Wanted: Single Gentleman - Producer Irene Shubik introduces tonight's Wednesday Play: In an attic flat at Notting Hill Gate live Arthur and Basil. Though both are in their thirties, they have never really grown up. For years they have shared a tumultuous existence in which Basil (Alan Rowe), caught up in fantasies of war and sex, is always threatening violence. Fat, good-natured Arthur (John Stratton) meanwhile dreams of Boy Scout days. For years, too, they have shared the company of Mabel (Eileen Atkins), their mutual girlfriend who visits them daily, mothering them and mediating in their quarrels. Each imagines that ine day Mabel will be his, while she, a shy and inhibited girl, longs for some far-off romance. Into the lives of these three innocents comes Charles (Peter Jeffrey), the new tenant; a sophisticated and world-weary figure. For Charles the only pleasure is destruction. So coldly and methodically he sets about destroying his three victims.

Wanted: Single Gentleman… is James Broom Lynne's first Wednesday Play and is based on an earlier work for the stage. The author, who is also a very successful book-jacket designer, recently published the novel Tobey's Wednesday (which has now been bought as a film) and has a second novel coming out in the spring. Eileen Atkins, who plays Mabel, the one girl among three men, will be remembered for her prize-winning performance in The Killing Of Sister George. (Radio Times, October 12, 1967 - Article by Irene Shubik).

Cast :
Peter Jeffrey (Charles), John Stratton (Arthur), Alan Rowe (Basil) and Eileen Atkins (Mabel).

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

A Black Candle For Mrs Gogarty
Transmitted : 25th October 1967
Script : Edward Boyd
Director :
Pharic Maclaren

Publicity : A Black Candle For Mrs Gogarty - Tonight's Wednesday Play comes from Scotland: Viewers south of the border are well versed in the Scottish accent, thanks to the popular Doctor Finlay's Casebook. Entirely a Scots offering, tonight's Wednesday Play is a typical example of the dry humour with which people north of the border are so beautifully endowed.

Written by Edward Boyd and directed by Pharic Maclaren, A Black Candle For Mrs Gogarty concerns the Crocus, a bizarre old gentleman with a bogus professional air - and no funds. It is spring and he's feeling on top of the world. That is, until he meets the tough debt-collector for Danny the gangster. The Crocus owes him five pounds and is told he must get it in twenty-four hours - or else. A friend suggests Mrs Gogarty might help. The old fellow doesn't know her but is confident he can handle any woman. But the subsequent interview doesn't quite go his way. Soon the grotesque, "Rachmanlike" woman has the poor chap "over a barrel". She agrees to pay his debt on condition he marries her! Sadly, the Crocus tells his friends about it. One suggests a five pound wager on a horse aptly named "Reluctant Bridegroom". He backs it and it wins at sixty-sixty to one. He is jubilant; he can repay Danny and return Mrs Gogarty's loan and her marriage proposal. The plot develops curiously here - as you can see tonight. Duncan Macrae - Actor Extraordinary: Duncan Macrae who stars as Crocus in tonight's play was taken ill on the bday after it was completed. He died, aged sixty-one, in March. Pharic Maclaren the director says: "He might well have been suffering during his performance. He never showed it. He was a most stimulating character actor and there certainly won't be another like him. In his technical style as an actor and in his point of view as a man, Duncan was absolutely individualistic".

Macrae was born in Glasgow and grew up to become an ardent nationalist, particularly in connection with the theatre. Early in his career he told a friend: "My life is devoted to the abomination of English domination". He repeatedly confirmed this attitude in public life. Few in 1961 will forget his attack on the system whereby television in Scotland was obliged to take its programmes from England. Fearsome and fiery, his outbursts were frequent. "Haud yer tongue, for God's sake!" he cried to a journalist at an Edinburgh Festival press conference a few years ago. His terrible temper was again in evidence in 1965 when he smote the Festival Society. Angry because he felt that too much emphasis was being placed on music to the exclusion of his beloved drama, he described the Society as "a ridiculous, ignorant bunch who don't know anything about culture and who do the opposite to anything that would give them the legitimate claim to it".

A schoolmaster turned actor, Macrae was associated with the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre from its earliest productions. He was also chairman of the Scottish Committee of Equity. His craggy face was seen in scores of plays and films. Many believe he was Scotland's greatest character actor. John Grieve, another fine Scottish actor, plays Rembrandt Magraw, a pavement artist who figures prominently in the latter part of this play. Grieve was recently the mate in The Vital Spark. (Radio Times, October 19, 1967).

Cast :
Duncan Macrae (The Crocus), John Grieve (Rembrandt Magraw), Phil McCall (Beex), Peggy Marshall (Mrs Gogarty), Bill Henderson (Pineton), Dave Thomas (The Book Thief), Bonita Beach (Marilyn), Stuart Mungall (The Young Man), Joe Dunlop (Sammy), Walter Jackson (Joe), Richard Findlay (The Policeman) and John Shedden (The Doctor).

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

Music for this episode was provided by Andy Park.

This episode was produced in the BBC Scotland studios.

Pitchi Poi
Transmitted : 1st November 1967
Script : Francois Billetdoux. English version by Peter Meyer
Director : Roderick Graham

Publicity : Pitchi Poi - The Largest Theatre In The World presents a drama which is the work of sixteen countries, ranges in setting from Connemara to Finland, and has six young actresses playing the heroine Rogation as she grows up: The play is the story of one man's quest throughout Europe to restore a child to its mother. In the spring of 1944 in the country, somewhere near Avignon in France, a woman fleeing from German soldiers pushes into the arms of a French peasant a baby girl. She says simply: "I'm Jewish, save my child," and runs away.

The man, Mathieu, brings up the child and names her after the day on which she was given to him, Rogation. At the end of the war he sets out to fulfil what he regards as a pledge of honour and find the mother of the child. But Mathieu is essentially a simple peasant, whose only experience is working on the land. He is stubborn and self-sufficient, reluctant to accept the help of others and wary of putting his trust in people with whom he does not feel sympathy. For him, the only way to find Rogation's mother is to follow his own instinct. Slowly he makes his way round Europe asking questions, following a tenuous trail left by a woman who might perhaps have been Rogation's mother. Families come forward in various countries to offer Rogation a safe and happy upbringing, but Mathieu is not satisfied. He has been given a sacred trust and he must fulfil it no matter what hardships it brings to him and to the child.

His search takes him through all the countries of Western Europe - to the streets of London's East End, the coast of Connemara, the mountains of Spain, Venice, Yugoslavia, West Berlin, Scandinavia, and eventually a desolate plain on the edge of the Baltic where the conclusion of the story is acted out. Rogation grows from the helpless child that Mathieu shelters in the pen with his lambs to a restless young woman, as passionate in the search as Mathieu himself. Hitherto, Eurovision's The Largest Theatre In The World has adopted the practice of asking one writer from one country in Europe to write a play for Eurovision, which has then been produced by each of the countries of the European television community.

Francois Billetdoux (well known here for his stage play Chin Chin) and French television elected to write a script for which each country in Eurovision would provide a separate sequence. Sixteen countries and sixteen directors each filmed part of the pilgrimage of Mathieu and Rogation through Europe. All the shooting is in authentic locations - no studio, no scenery; the impact of the play is as of a real-life drama in the kind of surroundings that television drama is rarely able to show. It is certainly the most ambitious undertaking in international television yet seen. There remains the mysterious title. Pitchi Poi was a name coined by Jewish children in the games they played in internment camps during the last war. It was their word for the mysterious place of deportation from which children never returned. (Radio Times, October 26, 1967 - Article by Michael Bakewell).

Cast :
George Rouquier (Mathieu), Karine Levy, Marie Laure Benahim, Monique Demestre, Nina Demestre, Chantal Salvaderi and Hermine Karzian (Rogation), Ronald Radd (The Voice Of Mathieu), Imogen Hassall (The Voice Of Rogation), Alvar Lidell (The Narrator), Catherine Dolan, Hugh Dickson and Simon Lack (The Voices Of The Interrogators), Malcolm Hayes, Anne Rye, Hana-Maria Pravda and David Spenser.

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of one-hundred-and-thirty-five minutes and was transmitted from 8:00pm to 8:55pm, and then 9:10pm to 10:30pm (with a fifteen-minute break for The News hosted by Robert Dougall, followed by the weather).

Music for this episode was provided by Wilfred Josephs.

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 Devil A Monk Wou'd Be
Transmitted : 8th November 1967
Script : Peter Luke, based on a story by Alphonse Daudet
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : The Devil A Monk Wou'd Be - Back to the Monastery - with a play by Peter Luke, producer of the award-winning "Silent Song": The age-old Abbey … the bretheren going serenly about their homely tasks … the sweet voices of the choir-monks floating softly over sunlight-dappled fields…well, yes, but viewers who after seeing Silent Song suspected that monastery life was not quite like that may well have their suspicions amply confirmed by tonight's Wednesday Play. It is called The Devil A Monk Wou'd Be and it was written by Peter Luke on the basis of a short story by Alphonse Daudet.

It concerns a community of monks somewhere in England who, as the play opens, have fallen on very hard times. Their roofs leak, their great bell has crashed from its belfry (on to the luckless head of Father Brendan Behan), incidentally), and it looks as if they might have to give up altogether, but the remedy - and a very special remedy it is - is near to hand. Brother Malachy, the community's cow-keeper, has an "aunt" who lives nearby and brews a potent rheumatism cure compounded of rare herbs cunningly blended and combined with one magic ingredient - one-hundred per cent proof hooch. This, thinks the Abbot, could restore the Abbey's fabric and fortunes…

Tony Selby, who was in Silent Song, takes up the habit again (if the expression isn't unfortunate) to play Brother Malachy tonight. With him as the Abbot who finds himself plucked from the cloisters into the strange world of big business is that accomplished comedy actor Max Adrian, and the "aunt" whose talents as a manufacturer of moonshine are equaled only by her capacity as a consumer of it, is played by Elizabeth Begley. Waris Hussein is the director. (Radio Times, November 2, 1967).

Cast :
Max Adrian (The Abbot), Tony Selby (Brother Malachy), Elizabeth Begley (Auntie), Derek Francis (The Procurator), Bernard Archard (The Prior), Barry Lowe (Father Cyprian), Roger Hammond (Father Ambrose), John Sharp (Mr Goulburn), Tarn Bassett (Antonia Jacobs), Jonathan Drew (Frank), Hatti Riemer (Miss Trimbush) and Joan Bakewell.

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 composed by Max Harris.

Fall Of The Goat
Transmitted : 15th November 1967
Script : Fay Weldon
Director : Gilchrist Calder

Publicity : Fall Of The Goat - Joss Ackland plays proud Cornelius who imposes an outrageous arrangement on his wife (Patricia Lawrence) in this Wednesday Play: If only a woman could see things a man's way. If only wives understood that husbands often need what even the most ideal marriage can never provide. If only - but the "if" and the wishes are as old as marriage itself and they press mightly upon Cornelius in tonight's play. Cornelius is lord of the remote, coastal village he owns and despises. He chooses the moment of his youngest daughter's marriage to impose a novel and outrageous arrangement upon his long-wedded wife, Hetty. At the wedding ceremony all eyes are turned, not upon the bridge, but upon the strange figure of a young woman from London called Doreen. Why is she there? Only Cornelius knows.

Times are changing, all men are free, sex should be something easy, simple and nice, and if as they say men are polygamous, women monogamous - why not? Doesn't he deserve, poor Cornelius, the comfort of a soft bed and a cup of tea in the morning? Why should he have to take the pleasures his chilly wife denies him, in discomfort, on the dusty cliffs? After all, he's turned fifty. But he's got his wife's nature to reckon with and his own; and his wife's sisters, the whole dreaded female tribe of them - and that dirty old man, his brother-in-law - and the whole weight of social censure. Poor Cornelius, standing alone, proud but baffled in a world which refuses to honour his victories or allow him his natural feelings! Maybe Cornelius has started off more than he ever dreamt, or feared.

This is Fay Weldon's first full-length play for BBC Television. She is one of our liveliest and most original women writers and is not ashamed to admit that most of the situations she writes about are seen from a feminine point of view. Someone, after all, has to speak up for the better sex. (Radio Times, November 9, 1967).

Cast :
Joss Ackland (Cornelius), Patricia Lawrence (Hetty), John Stratton (Sangster), Christine Hargreaves (Doreen), Sheila Burrell (Liz), Joan Sanderson (Isabel), Jacqueline Lacey (The Woman), Arthur Hewlett (The Vicar), Diane Keen (Judy), Roger Gale (Peter), Noel Howlett (Doctor Evans), Susan Richards (May), David Ellison (The Photographer) and Ann Morrish (Mary).

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

The Profile Of A Gentleman
Transmitted : 22nd November 1967
Script : Jimmy O'Connor
Director : John Mackenzie

Publicity : The Profile Of A Gentleman - Gangleader Johnny May (Lee Montague) plans "a last big tickle" in tonight's underworld play by Jimmy O'Connor: Jimmy O'Connor wrote three of the Wednesday Play's greatest successes: A Tap On The Shoulder, Three Clear Sundays, and The Coming Out Party. In their warmth, earthiness, and realism these plays set a new standard in writing about crime and criminals.

Jimmy O'Connor knew at very first hand the life he writes about and after him the old nervous clichés about "the underworld" will never be the same again. His new play does not, like Three Clear Sundays, concern one man's pitiful treatment at the hands of a callous law or, like A Tap On The Shoulder, involve that fascinating area where society sanctifies its villains. The Profile Of A Gentleman is the anatomy of a very ambitious and unusual crime, one of those legendary big tickles where the prize is huge and the hazards are total. But these men specialise in the impossible. In prison yards, on dog tracks, around the tables of plush casinos, the gang is recruited and every detail of complex organisation rehearsed. We come to realise that these are not merely crooks after an easy buck, but craftsmen practising a very hard-learned skill. Not so much the crime of the century, more a job of work…

The play stars Lee Montague who also took the lead in A Tap On The Shoulder and is directed by John MacKenzie who worked closely with Ken Loach in the production of Jimmy O'Connor's earlier plays. (Radio Times, November 16, 1967).

Cast :
Lee Montague (Johnny May), George Sewell (Eddie), Ken Jones (Wally), Paddy Joyce (Trevor), John Binden (Bobby), Murray Hayne (Tony), Wendy Varnale (Penny), Jean Trend (Kathy), Dennis Golding (Terry), Roy Thomas (Tim), Richard Shaw (Joe Kenny), Dinny Powell (Benny), John Roden (Chirp), Alan Gifford (Maxie), Makki Marseilles (Pierre), Terry Duggan (Jean The Undertaker), Max Bacon (Codshead), Bernard Stone (Nick Gold), Charles Leno (Zensky), Charles Lamb (Blind Sam), Eunice Black (Policewoman Ambrose), Frank Littlewood (The Magistrate), Alan Selwyn and Alec Coleman (The Pickpockets), Wally Patch (The Flowerseller) and Eric Mason (The Policeman).

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

Dial Rudolph Valentino One One
Transmitted : 29th November 1967
Script : Ewart Alexander
Director : Gareth Davies

Publicity : Dial Rudolph Valentino One One: "How do you do it Tom? All those girls any time, any place?" "You lie back Con, look up at the sky on a warm summer night, heather soft under your shoulder-blades, and you put your finger up to the stars and you dial Rud-olph Valentino One One". Tom and Con, mates and neighbours all their lives: Tom, long notorious as the valley's gay bachelor "burning up virginity like shop-soiled fireworks" and Con, gauche, less debonair, and distressingly married. Now it is Tom's turn to make the Great Change and the play begins on the morning of his wedding to a nice, but, unfortunately, pregnant girl called Marion. Last-second preparations for the ceremony are more than customarily chaotic. Tom himself is being furiously accused by the ever-jealous Con of an eleventh-hour peccadillo with his restless wife Sandra. Tom's Mum is hunting for the ring. The best-man is drunk on the stairs. Tom's Dad is refusing to attend his son's wedding, and a strange young man called Eric is mooching about gathering notes for a thesis … This is how the play begins.

We would seem to be all set up for seventy-five minutes of traditionally uproarious farce. Indeed, Ewart Alexander writes very funny dialogue and creates some of the most amusing situations in any Wednesday Play yet. But Dial Rudolph Valentino One One is above all a touching, perceptive story about marriage, friendship, and the bitter-sweet non-communication between parents and children. It stars Keith Barron and Roy Dotrice. (Radio Times, November 23, 1967).

Cast :
Keith Barron (Tom), Roy Dotrice (Dad), Colin Farrell (Eric), Nerys Hughes (Sandra), Alan Lake (Con), Dilys Davbies (Mam), John Rees (Ray), Richard Davies (The Registrar), Denise Buckley (Marion), Edward Burnham (Brown), Jan Edwards (Mary), Pamela Miles (Ann) and Jill Richards (Enid).

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

Incidental Music for this episode was provided by Colin Farrell.

Kippers And Curtains
Transmitted : 6th December 1967
Script : Vickery Turner
Director : Alan Gibson

Synopsis : Rene, the landlady of a boarding-house in a working-class area of London, is impressed when she discovers that her new boarder Audrey is "The Honourable". The young girl finds the other inmates an odd collection…

Cast :
Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies (Florence), Angela Baddeley (Rene), Fiona Duncan (Audrey), John Glyn-Jones (Eric), Evelyn Lund (Mrs Finch), Sheila White (Lavinia), Kynaston Reeves (The Old Man), Patricia Mason (Mrs Bainbridge), Roger Mutton (Charles), Eileen Colgan (Dora), Paul Angelis (Tristram), Hal Galili (Wendell), Stephen Hubay (Phillipe) and Audrey Corr (Annie).

Notes & Trivia :
This episode had a running time of fifty-five minutes and was transmitted from 9:40pm to 10:35pm.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on May 28th, 1969.

Death Of A Private
Transmitted : 13th December 1967
Script : Robert Muller, based on Georg Buchner's Woyzeck
Director : James Ferman

Publicity : Death Of A Private - In tonight's Wednesday Play, Dudley Sutton is cast as the confused soldier, Watt, and Ron Grainer has written the music, which makes liberal use of pop songs:

Woyzeck, an unfinished play by Georg Buchner (a German who died at the age of twenty-four in 1837) provided the inspiration for tonight's Death Of A Private, though the hope of the adapter, Robert Muller, is that it will seem a totally modern work - "Perhaps even more relevant to our times than Buchner's". The setting is Britain now, the central character a simple soldier in the grip of the military machine. The Swinging Scene, with its pop stars arrayed in mock-military gear, bewilders him. "He lacks the education to cope and he can find nobody to answer his questions - just as in Buchner's original," pounts out the producer, Irene Shubik. Into his short life the author Georg Buchner crowded a great deal of diverse activity - medical scientist, university lecturer, newspaper editor, and political revolutionary who prophetically concentrated on economic reform; his meetings were broken up by the police. He left very few plays (one at least was completely lost): the best known are "Danton's Death" and the posthumously published "Woyzeck" - which Alban Berg turned into an opera in 1925. Robert Muller, the adapter, spent his first thirteen years in Germany.

"I was brought up with German literature. I consider Woyzeck a play of genius. It's about the underdog, science, power, human emotions of jealousy and madness. Jokes and tragedy are mixed up as in a modern black comedy. So many of the scenes are such short bits and pieces that it is very difficult to stage. "But it is much more suitable for television, and I have tried to imagine how Buchner would write it for British television today. This has been made easier by the fact that Buchner's talent was so far ahead of its time. In early nineteenth-century Germany plays were written in a `bwautiful' rhetorical style. But he used common language, making soldiers and whores talk in character. Yet he achieved great lyrical quality. This was such an entirely new technique in those days that Woyzeck was regarded as a shocking, unacceptable play. Now we are not so shockable, and Buchner's method fits in perfectly with contemporary drama. I know that an enormous amount of care has been lavished on the production". Modernisation and Anglicisation have resulted in some fascinating changes.

Roistering in a tavern becomes a psychedelic freak-out. A fairground barker is changed to a club comedian (Harry Fowler). Woyzeck is called Watt (Dudley Sutton), though he is still a batman to a demanding captain (John Nettleton). The flashy fellow who seduces Watt's girl (Geraldine Sherman) was originally a drum major; in the Muller version he is a pop star (Charles Stuart) with a group, The Majors. Muller wrote his first draft several years ago and since then, by happy coincidence, there has been a pop vogue for old and fancy military uniforms (Sergeant Pepper, for example), thus making the concept of The Majors all the more contemporary and convincing. Death Of A Private makes liberal use of pop songs. The lyrics - based on the snatches of song sprinkled throughout Woyzeck - are Muller's first ventures into a genre he describes as "banal but immediately effective". The music was written by Ron Grainer (whose many compositions include the themes of Maigret, Boy Meets Girl, Steptoe And Son, and Doctor Who). "A most interesting assignment," says Grainer. "It was made quite clear to me that I wasn't expected to compete with Alban Berg or I wouldn't have attempted it. The numbers are in today's pop idiom and some were created in rehearsal with the group. Paper Blitz Tissue, playing The Majors. I hope plenty of pop stars are watching the programme because I think a couple of songs could easily be taken up and maybe turned into hits!". (Radio Times, December 7, 1967 - Article by David Griffiths).

Cast :
Dudley Sutton (Private Watt), Liam Redmond (The Doctor), John Nettleton (The Captain), Geraldine Sherman (Mary), Harry Fowler (The Comedian), John Little (The First Redcap), Ralph Watson (The Second Redcap), Dev Douglas (Andy), Charles Stuart (The Pop Singer), The Paper Blitz Tissue (The Majors), Margaret Nolan (Margie), Harry Hutchinson (The Sandwich Man), Dennis Golding (His Boy), Kenneth Cranham (The Young Intellectual), Godfrey James (The Sergeant), David Bedard (The Clergyman) and Jack Bligh (The Shopkeeper).

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

Music for the episode was provided by Ron Grainer.

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

An Officer Of The Court
Transmitted : 20th December 1967
Script : Nemone Lethbridge
Director : James MacTaggart

Publicity : An Officer Of The Court - The bent solicitor Plantagenet King goes into commerce in Nemone Lethbridge's latest television play: Tonight the old firm returns to complete Nemone Lethbridge's trilogy about the law, and those who skate over it. The scene is, of course, the Old Bailey, and the Judge is about to pass sentence in a case involving the robbery of a very large amount of money. The solicitor for the accused is our old friend Platagenet King, as incompetent but as ambitious as ever. No matter that his client is being sentenced to twenty years, the ebullient Mr King is dreaming of involving his practice from the East End to the Barbican and the grandeur of commerce. The fact that he is a cheat and a liar, a treble-talking con-man who couldn't lie in a bed straight, can only be a help in big business. This may seem a strange world to those who earn an honest living. We hope you see the funny side of it. But if you think it is entirely fictional - well, the characters you will see tonight will be grateful for your naivete.

James MacTaggart again directs a cast which includes Tommy Godfrey, Yooth Joyce, Bryan Pringle, Ronald Radd, Alec Ross, and Glynn Edwards. And a riper lot of lovable rogues you couldn't hope to meet - unless you are one of their victims. Stand-up comic Tommy Godfrey turns actor for tonight's production. Here he talks to Mark Cleveland: Tommy Godfrey, who plays Plantagenet King in An Officer Of The Court, has the true clown's stage background - comic mime. Born and bred in Lambeth - he has lived in the same road all his life - he was a dancer at eleven and developed as a comic feed in music-hall. Soon he had a worthy act of his own. A mixture of Keaton and Marceau that won him a place in the Ronald Frankau review Beyond Compere. Jack Hylton spotted him and booked him for the Palladium. It was 1940. Tommy got his calling-up papers on Monday and battle-dress on Saturday. The Army must have been something of a rest-cure. He'd also been playing the Holborn Empire that week, rushing frantically between the two theatres every night.

In 1946, transition from foot-slogging to the footlights was just as speedy. Demobbed on Friday, he was back to his mime act on the Monday, at Victoria Palace variety. A lengthy national tour followed. Tommy did sketches, feed scenes, patter. He still remembers most of his jokes. "Now I went along to the doctor and he said take your clothes off and I said but I've only got earache and he said take them off all the same. So I went into a room and there was a fellow standing there without any clothes and I said I've only got earache and he said you're lucky because I've only come to read the gas-meter". Tommy, whose round face has been likened to a pleasant-looking plaice, told me: "Then Hylton cast me as second lead in the hit Hippodrome musical High Button Shoes. Audrey Hepburn was in the chorus and the late Alma Cogan was one of the singing quartet. After three years in Australia, I've concentrated on straight acting. Doing so many sketches has helped. The BBC were looking for a Plantagenet King when they saw me in their play The Coming-Out Party. It was simply the way I watched". Lambeth, I think I said he comes from. (Radio Times, December 14, 1967 - Article by Tony Garnett and Mark Cleveland).

Cast :
Tommy Godfrey (Plantagenet King), Yootha Joyce (Miriam Green), Bryan Pringle (Trumper), Ronald Radd (Pigseyes), Glynn Edwards (Bernie The Tweedler), Alec Ross (Job Anson), Coral Atkins (Shereen Anson), Kate Williams (Janice), Joan Benham (Lady Bondleigh), Nancy Nevinson (Rachel), Charles Hill (Mr Sutton), John Moore (The First Investor), Dorothy Black (The Second Investor), Mona Bruce (The Third Investor), Simon Mead (Nigel), Desmond Cullum-Jones (The First Customer), Frank Jarvis (The Second Customer), Frank Seton (The Removal Man), Douglas Milvain (Reader-Digby), Noel Howlett (The Lord Chief Justice), Colin Rix (Harold Snide), Erik Chitty (The Old Bailey Judge), Cyril Renison (The Clerk Of The Court), Kenneth Keeling (The Mayor), Brenda Dunrick (The Woman Outside The Flats), Andrea Lawrence (The Girl In The Club), Bill Burridge (The First Snatchback), Alan Rolfe (Prison Officer Grape), Joby Blanshard (The First Prisoner), Terry Duggan (The Second Prisoner), Steve Peters (The Police Constable In The Old Bailey Yard), Winnie Holman (The Woman In The Old Bailey Yard), Sheila Beckett (The Ward Sister), Raymond Farrell (The Barman In Trumper's Pub) and Ray Ford (The Stunt Man).

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 Bert Chappell.

An Officer Of The Court was the third and final instalment in a loose trilogy by Nemone Lethbridge featuring a recurring set of characters first introduced to British audiences in The Portsmouth Defence (first transmitted on March 30,th 1966) and seen again in its sequel, Little Master Mind, transmitted on December 14th, 1966.

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

The Fat Of The Land
Transmitted : 27th December 1967
Script : Jack Russell
Director : Toby Robertson

Publicity : The Fat Of The Land - Tonight's Wednesday Play by Jack Russell stars Joan Greenwood: Having fun but feeling a bit overweight? Well, it's a funny sort of Christmas for the five fat and distinguished people who decide to spend it at Concordia Park Health Farm (Proprietor Mrs Suez). For four days of expensive deprivation they are given the Treatment, but there's more to Mrs Suez's courses than bitter orange juice, milk-free tea, and a diabolical puddingless pudding. There is also what she calls "the pursuit of the Golden Aureole" and supposedly a valuable prize for the competitor who does best. Who wins - the famous restaurateur; the Lady MP; the ex-Resident of our smallest colony; the starlet getting her bust down to play Little Nell; or Arny Carnaby, magnate in pop fashion?

They all lose pounds - money as well as weight - because Cass and Polly, Mrs Suez's twin assistants, have their own idea as to what slimming should be about. So does Mrs Suez herself. "Outer fatness means inner thinness," she declaims enigmatically. What's thin inside a sweating politician or an over-fed boutique owner? What's a sexy actress got to do with Florence Nightingale? Who is getting secret chocolate supplies? Could you in the Golden Aureole? The Fat Of The Land takes a sly peep through the keyhole at the extraordinary festivities in the slap-bang sauna-bath world of Concordia Park. There isn't anywhere else like it in the world - or is there …? The star of Jack Russell's third Wednesday Play is Joan Greenwood, one of the superb comedy actresses of our time. Mrs Suez is the first original role she has created for television. She is supported by a distinguished cast and the play is directed by Toby Robertson. (Radio Times, December 21, 1967 - Article by Kenith Trodd).

Cast :
Joan Greenwood (Mrs Suez), Willoughby Goddard (Sir Jumbo Tewksbury), Roy Holder (Cass), Hazel Hughes (Mabel Trench, MP), Peter Jones (Cyril Kitsch), Helen Fraser (Polly), Russell Hunter (Arny Carnaby) and Yvonne Antrobus (Teeny Mordern).

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

Incidental Music for this episode was provided by Carl Davis.

Transmitted : 3rd January 1968
Script : Ian Roberts
Director : Waris Hussein

Publicity : "Uncle" Rory (Alan Badel) with Toggle (Anthony Kemp), the innocent victim of a parental break-up - The Wednesday Play - Toggle - Ian Roberts' first play centres round the problems of an adopted child in a fast-breaking-up marriage: Torquil is how he was christened, a rare and rather snooty name for a little boy, but he is mostly called Toggle. He is now eight and the people he meets tend to find him somewhat untalkative, a bit solemn for his age.

In fact, the grown-ups in Toggle's world tend to say things for him. "Where's your daddy?" and his mother answers, perhaps a little too brightly, "We don't know where daddy is! Because we know we're adopted, don't we? We knew from the start". The house is an expensive one, the family have close noble connections. And both the husband and wife appear to be handsome, enlightened people. What better home could a child have? Certainly he seems to be very lucky - fortunate even to be among the twenty-thousand or so who are found adoption parents in this country every year. There are, of course, very many far less happy ways of being an orphan. But something is very clearly wrong in Toggle's life. In his case, well-meant plans and excellent intentions have gone adrift.

His "parents" Nigel and Valerie, unable to have children of their own, seem to need each other only as a junkie needs his fix - desperately and self-destructively. Hopeful well-wishers believed that an adopted child would "bring them together" more creatively, but to Toggle's cost this hasn't happened. When the play begins Valerie is about to walk out leaving husband (and Toggle) behind. What will become of the child?

Ian Roberts explores his prospects through the interplay of the adults involved, not always willingly, in the crisis which develops around him. Alan Badel stars as Toggle's adoptive "uncle", with Helen Lindsay, Mary Webster, Moray Watson, and Rosemary Leach. Waris Hussein directs. (Radio Times, December 28, 1967).

Cast :
Alan Badel (Rory Farquhar), Helen Lindsay (Celia Farquhar), Moray Watson (Nigel Selwyn), Mary Webster (Val Selwyn), Rosemary Leach (Jean Marfield), Daphne Heard (Nan), Raymond Armstrong (Tom Sackville) and Anthony Kemp (Torquil).

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

Incidental Music for this episode was composed by Michael Dress.

This episode was repeated on May 31st, 1969.

House Of Character
Transmitted : 10th January 1968
Script : David Rudkin
Director : Alan Cooke

Publicity : House Of Character - Author David Rudkin moved house - and got the idea for tonight's play which takes a number of macabre and mysterious twists: The script of tonight's Wednesday Play has a slightly unusual history. David Rudkin is a busy writer. He is currently writing a film for Fred Zinnermann and only recently completed a mammoth play for the Royal Shakespeare Company which will take several hours to perform.

Normally such a writer would not undertake a television play without a specific commission, but the experience of moving into a new flat, following his recent marriage, struck him as being so full of dramatic possibilities that he couldn't resist writing a play about it, which he then set on one side. Shortly afterwards, the BBC did commission from him a Wednesday Play on another subject. In the course of discussing this he mentioned House Of Character.

Irene Shubik, the producer, then read it and liked it so much that it has, in fact, been produced before Rudkin's commissioned play, which will be put on later in the year. Of course, only the basic situation of a newly-married writer taking a flat is drawn from actual experience. The play soon takes a number of macabre and unusual twists which have the same menacing power as his stage play Afore Night Come.

The demanding role of the writer, Bisthorpe, is taken by Alfred Lynch, probably known best to television audiences as Hereward the Wake in the Sunday serial. Bisthorpe's austere tormentor, Doctor Kings, is played by Shelagh Fraser, whose last appearance in a Wednesday Play was as Mrs Jones in A Game - Like - Only A Game by John Hopkins. (Radio Times, January 4, 1968 - Article by Michael Imison).

Cast :
Alfred Lynch (Bisthorpe), Shelagh Fraser (Doctor Kings), John Collin (Twigg), Rex Garner (Gerald), Elroy Josephs (Thelonius), Robin Parkinson (The First Man), Charles Hodgson (The Second Man), Brian Badcoe (The Third Man), Norman Pitt (The Fourth Man), Bettina Dickson (The Loopy Woman), Sylvia Coleridge (Veronica), Nan Braunton, Beatrix Carter and Mercia Mansfield (The Bridge Players).

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

Music featured in this episode was provided by Norman Percival.

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

Jamie, On A Flying Visit
Transmitted : 17th January 1968
Script : Michael Frayn
Director : Claude Whatham

Publicity : Jamie, On A Flying Visit - Tonight's Wednesday Play is by the "Observer" humorist, Michael Frayn: A sunny afternoon, like many others on a chic, newish housing estate fairly deep in the Southern Counties - children playing, a postman on his round, dogs under control - everything in its place, indoors and out. The people's lives here are, like the houses, handy, compact, up-to-date, but maybe a trifle small.

The peace of this quiet residential heaven is suddenly threatened by the loud din of a purple sports car - much more expensive than anything usually seen in these parts - which roars into view taking corners with tyres screaming hysterically, and engine note rising to explosion point. At the wheel is a tall, incongruous man, and with him a dazzling girl in dark glasses, apparently fast asleep. In a frenzy of sudden stops, abrupt reversings, and desperate cranings, they are trying to find a particular house. This is Jamie about to make a flying visit.

The journey is a somewhat sentimental one because Jamie is going to see Lois, an old and dear flame whom he hasn't met since they left Oxford ten years ago. He is "still the same old Jamie" - expansive, clumsy, aristocratically breezy - but Lois has changed quite a bit during the decade and is now domesticated in one of those small houses with a noisy brood of children and a sold schoolmaster husband. Jamie, On A Flying Visit is the first television play by novelist and Observer humorist, Michael Frayn. It stars Anton Rodgers as Jamie, Caroline Mortimer as Lois, and Dinsdale Landen as the husband. (Radio Times, January 11, 1968).

Cast :
Anton Rodgers (Jamie), Caroline Mortimer (Lois), Dinsdale Landen (Ian), Felicity Gibson (Poppa), Gareth Glynn and Meredith Glynn (The Twins), Norman Mitchell (Tommy), Pamela Buckley (Dibs), Brian Longstaff (Michael), Alan Paxford (Pip), Ian Price (Jack), Claire James (Ziz), Reg Whitehead (Jimpy), Shirley Dynevor (Ginnie), Robert Hamilton (The Confidential Man), Iain Reid (The Ingratiating Man), Jane Enshawe (Jane), John Scott Martin (The Postman) and Sheila Beckett (Mrs Hammond).

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

Incidential Music for this episode was provided by Wilfred Josephs.

This episode was repeated on August 7th, 1968.

Monsieur Barnett
Transmitted : 24th January 1968
Script : Jean Anouilh
Director : Donald McWhinnie

Publicity : Monsieur Barnett - Tonight's Wednesday Play is by Jean Anouilh, and stars Sir Michael Redgrave: One of this country's most celebrated actors, Sir Michael Redgrave, stars tonight in an important new play by one of Europe's foremost contemporary playwrights, Jean Anouilh. Monsieur Barnett is the first work that Anouilh, author of such successes as The Waltz Of The Toreadors and Becket, has written specifically for television, and he has taken great care that it should precisely fit the medium.

The single setting is a fashionable hairdressing salon in Paris - one of those vastly expensive, luxurious establishments where many women and some men come to try to buy back their youth in an atmosphere calculated to convince them that such a transaction might conceivably be possible. Monsieur Barnett is an ageing millionaire, and a regular client. As he sits swathed in spotless sheets, the barber applies himself tenderly to what is left of his client's hair, while the manicurist busies herself with his powerful, carefully-preserved hands. The barber is fascinated by Barnett's business triumphs and tries to quiz him on these, while the manicurist, a still-hopeful forty-year-old, is obsessed with the rich physical life she believes he must have enjoyed. But as Barnett says at one point, "It is probable that what one wanted very much when young and never had, remains one's only valid possession".

And as the play proceeds, the rich man looks back on his gains and on his losses. Supporting Sir Michael is a notable cast which includes Miriam Karlin as the yearning manicurist. Harold Lang is the garrulous, mean-spirited barber, and Imogen Hassall plays Yasmina, a beautiful shop-girl, and occasional courtesan, who succeeds in making herself a part of Monsieur Barnett's imagined journey back through life. (Radio Times, January 18, 1968).

Cast :
Sir Michael Redgrave (Monsieur Barnett), Miriam Karlin (The Manicurist), Harold Lang (The Barber), Imogen Hassall (Yasmina), Janette Sattler (The Girl) and Kim Lotis (The Boy).

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

Incidental Music for this episode was provided by Humphrey Searle.

The Drummer And The Bloke
Transmitted : 31st January 1968
Script : Rhys Adrian
Director : Herbert Wise

Publicity : The Drummer And The Bloke - Producer Irene Shubik sets the scene for tonight's Wednesday Play - a zany look at a mini "who does what" dispute: If you laugh at the absurdities of an old Laurel and Hardy film, the Wednesday Play, Rhys Adrian's bizarre satire, is sure to appeal to you. In an isolated quarry a miniature industrial dispute is taking place. Alf and Jack (played by Irish actor, Donal Donnelly, and Michael Robbins) are refusing to resume work until their job has been properly defined. Locked in conflict with them are the two boss-men, Eric and Ron. Eric (Peter Sallis) is "bouncy" and bowler-hatted, full of sophistry and infuriating self-confidence.

Ron (Peter Vaughan) is large and foxy; he has risen in the hierarchy and is determined not to fall. "Where there is a job sheet, there must be a job" is the dictum of these two, whose only concern is to keep the bureaucratic system working in their favour. On the periphery of the play lurk two mysterious figures: the Drummer and the Bloke.

A complicated battle of wits develops between labour and management on all levels, as each man struggles to justify his position, and everyone strives to be boss. Rhys Adrian, whose last BBC play was Stan's Day Out on Theatre 625, has created some memorable comic characters. (Radio Times, January 25, 1968 - Article by Irene Shubik).

Cast :
Peter Sallis (Eric), Peter Vaughan (Ron), Donal Donnelly (Alf), Michael Robbins (Jack), David Glaister (The Drummer), John Dearth (The Man) and Michael Feast (The Bloke).

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

Rebel In The Grave
Transmitted : 7th February 1968
Script : Marc Brandel
Director : Raymond Menmuir

Publicity : Rebel In The Grave - A tantalizing game of bluff, intimidation, and terror is played out in Marc Brandel's mystery thriller: The Wednesday Play rarely ventures into the territory of mystery, suspense, murder, and detection. When it does, you can be sure of two things: that the author will be a past-master of the art, and the play will be anything but a "straight" thriller.

Rebel In The Grave the mystery develops not from a series of puzzling actions but from a violent collision of character between two men. What do they want? What extraordinary confession is each trying to drag from the other? Where have they come from, and who are they anyway? Above all, which will win the tantalising game of bluff, intimidation, and terror they play with each other? Apparently one of them is Wexford Bourne, a fanatically English country squire. He makes a living by selling off the paintings of an old friend who has been acknowledged posthumously as a great ultra-modern artist.

Apparently the other man, Porlock, is this dead artist's nephew, and apparently he merely wants Bourne to help him with his uncle's biography. Wexford Bourne is played by the Anglo-French actor, Gregoire Aslan and as Porlock we have Michael York, praised for his work in the films Accident and The Taming Of The Shrew. (Radio Times, February 1, 1968 - Article by Kenith Trodd).

Cast :
Gregoire Aslan (Wexford Bourne), Michael York (Roger Porlock), Tristram Jellinee (The Reverend Edwin Rush), Diana Coupland (Mrs Hammond) and Michael Raghan (The Gravedigger).

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

There was no episode of The Wednesday Play transmitted on February 14, 1968, owing to BBC Television's commitment to broadcasting the Pairs' Figure Skating Championships from the Winter Olympics.

Transmitted : 21st February 1968
Script : Piers Paul Read
Director : Moira Armstrong

Publicity : Coincidence …: Three men who have kept apart since their lives interacted violently in Germany five years ago, meet unexpectedly one evening in Sloane Square - a coincidence?

Tonight's Wednesday Play is by novelist Piers Paul Read. His first television excursion is an exciting drama of political intrigue set in cold-war Germany. A Germany where a young English diplomat finds himself hopelessly equipped to combine the games of love and party politics. (Radio Times, February 15, 1968).

Cast :
Clive Revill (Hermann Boff), Caroline Blakiston (Matilda Boff), Donald Douglas (Adrian Brinton), Diana Hoddinott (Annabel Brinton), Emrys James (Peter Florenberg), John Franklyn-Robbins (Philip Green), Angela Galbraith (The Embassy Secretary), John Savident (Hans von Dorring), Vivien Heilbron (Helga von Dorring), Llewellyn Rees (Hugo), Bella Emberg (The Maid), Kenneth Colley (Bethold Florenberg), Roger Avon (The West German Policeman), Michael Sheard (The East German Interrogator), Douglas Milvain, Desmond Cullum-Jones, Anne Marzell, Pat Symons, Willy Bowman and Michael Mulcaster (The Guests).

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

Incidental Music for this episode was provided by James Patten.

The edition of The Wednesday Play transmitted on February 28th, 1968, was a repeat of The Retreat, originally broadcast on May 11th, 1966.

The Wednesday Play took a four-week break through March 1968 to make way for a highly-publicised repeat broadcast of John Hopkins' critically-acclaimed quartet Talking To A Stranger, which was transmitted on March 5th, 12th, 19th and 27th, 1968.

This episode was repeated on July 16th, 1969.

Light Blue
Transmitted : 3rd April 1968
Script : Gerald Vaughan-Hughes
Director : Alan Cooke

Publicity : This isn't a play about the colour problem, even though one of its two main characters happens to be a Negro. An American trumpet player spends a few hours in an English provincial town with a girl who happens to be white, and as a result each learns to care for the other, not as a "cipher of a divided society" but as a vulnerable human being. You will recently have seen Calvin Lockhart as Judi Dench's husband in the John Hopkins quartet, Talking To A Stranger, while Maureen O'Brien is about to play Miranda in The Tempest as Chichester. (Radio Times, March 28, 1968).

Cast :
Calvin Lockhart (Damon Page), Maureen O'Brien (Jane Peel) and Robert Gillespie (Bruce Maslin).

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

Music for this episode was provided by Ralph Dollimore.

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on July 23rd, 1969.

Let's Murder Vivaldi
Transmitted : 10th April 1968
Script : David Mercer
Director : Alan Bridges

Publicity : Portrait Of A Playwright - Gay Search talks to David Mercer - the award-winning author whose latest play for television, Let's Murder Vivaldi, can be seen on Wednesday: David Mercer lives in a large, beautifully converted Victorian house in London's Maida Vale. The living room is white and smartly austere with plain polished wood furniture and white paper lampshades about ten feet long.

On the bookshelves between the Edna O'Briens, Iris Murdochs, and James Baldwins, was lying almost casually the Writers' Guild Award for the best play of 1967, which Mercer had won the night before I visited him for In Two Minds. Mercer, looking like a tubby, faintly oriental pixie in a black polo neck sweater and trousers, was surprised that he won the award, particularly because he'd won it once before with Morgan, and also because In Two Minds was in "a dubious category, like Cathy Come Home, not really drama. And anyway, it created life as it is, and I'm not interested in doing that any more".

The trilogy with which Mercer burst on to the television screen seven years ago - Where The Difference Begins, Climate Of Fear, and Birth Of A Private Man - were all praised for their realism and naturalism. They were partly autobiographical. The Yorkshire working-class background, the passionate belief in socialism, and, in the later plays, the sense of alienation, of exile from all these things, are very real to Mercer. But since then Mercer has moved on. "In the trilogy I allowed the political thing to come between the viewers and the play. As soon as you try to put over a political idea, you load your chances - people disagree with your ideas; they automatically won't like the play. Anyway, drama shouldn't be about politics and ideas. It's about people".

While Mercer remains as deeply politically committed as ever, he no longer uses his works as a platform. "Art can't change people, so what's the point? But in a play you try to express your whole self, so your views are bound to emerge indirectly". He finds the growing feeling of political impotence in Britain very depressing. "You can only stand up and be counted, protesting has little effect but it's better than no protesting at all". And Mercer protests frequently against any attempt to check freedom - of belief, of action, or of speech. His new play for television, Let's Murder Vivaldi, is "written rather like a string quartet, very tight and formal". It is about the need for acknoiwledging violence in relationships and the terrible consequences of concealing it. "Drama," Mercer says, "is the most deeply penetrating way of knowing what it is to be human". (Radio Times, April 4, 1968 - Article by Gay Search).

Cast :
Denholm Elliott (Gerald), Gwen Watford (Monica), Glenda Jackson (Julie) and David Sumner (Ben).

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

This episode enjoyed a repeat broadcast on August 27th, 1969.

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

The Golden Vision
Transmitted : 17th April 1968
Script : Neville Smith and Gordon Honeycombe
Director : Kenneth Loach

Publicity : Alex Young is a small, quiet man. He looks delicate and tentative. But on a football field, when things are going well for him, he's a giant. The tough men of Goodison Park catch their breath and their faces relax and open up when he touches the ball. Alex is not a bit flash. He is precise and elegant and subtle.

Only sophisticates like Joe Horrigan really appreciate him. To them he is the golden vision. Joe and the men like him are married to Alex and the Everton team. It is a volatile marriage, but divorce is never even thought of. Life is football - to be talked about, dreamt of all the week and embraced on Saturday… The Golden Vision is at 9:05pm. (Radio Times, April 11, 1968).

Cast :
Ken Jones (Joe Horrigan), Bill Dean (John Coyne), Neville Smith (Vince Coyne), Joey Kaye (Brian Croft), Johnny Gee (Syd Paisley), Flora Manger (Annie Coyne - The Girl They Left Behind), Angela Small (Celia Horrigan - The Girl They Left Behind), Patricia Bush (Muriel Coyne - The Girl They Left Behind), Vera Gillan (Sylvia Croft - The Girl They Left Behind), Carol Williams (Carol Coyne - The Girl They Left Behind), Anne O'Sullivan (Doreen Coyne - The Girl They Left Behind), Sammy Shaples (Mr Hagan), Ian Doran (Johnny Coyne), Bert King (Ego), Austin Fearns (Everest), Mike Hayden (Father Macanally), Joe Kenyon (Avelook Ellis), Charlie Barlow (Tommo), Johnny Sandon (The Man In The Factory), Maria Gray and Tanya (In The Night Club), Ernie Mack and Elsie Jackson (Carol's Parents), Sylvia Wilson (The Bride), Mike Cordella (The Groom) and Ken Rose (The Photographer).

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

The edition of The Wednesday Play transmitted on April 24th, 1968, was a repeat transmission of the play The Head Waiter, first broadcast on November 9th, 1966.

This episode was repeated on May 14th, 1969.

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

The Man Behind You
Transmitted : 1st May 1968
Script : Jeremy Scott
Director : Moira Armstrong

Synopsis : Mister Burch divides his time between his aged cat, athletics training, and his job as head of the dispatch department in a film company. It is a lonely life and he rarely succeeds in communicating with the few people that he meets. However, a practical joke played by the messengers in his department coupled with the serious illness of Monty the cat, causes Burch's suppressed feelings to erupt with terrifying violence.

Cast :
Michael Bryant (Burch), Tony Steedman (Anderson), Jan Waters (Elizabeth), Alan Tucker (Chris), Frederick Piper (Brown), Stephen Whittaker (Roddy), Kim Goodman (Jack) and Andreas Lysandrou (The Bookshop Owner).

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

Incidental Music for this episode was Herbert Chappell.

Infidelity Took Place
Transmitted : 8th May 1968
Script : John Mortimer
Director : Michael Hayes

Synopsis : Divorce English Style might be a sub-title to this comedy by playwright-lawyer, John Mortimer. Leonard Hoskins, a fortyish mother-ridden divorce lawyer, receives a visit at his chambers from an intriguing new client. The client is Molly Panett, beautiful and innocent, and seemingly held in thrall by a wicked husband. Although Molly can produce very few real grounds for divorce, Leonard determines to rescue her from her unhappy marriage and, if all works out, to make her his own.

Cast :
Judy Cornwell (Molly), Paul Daneman (Bill), John Nettleton (Leonard Hoskins), John Graham (Frewin), Mary Chester (Miss Granger), Jumoke Debayo (Mrs O'Toole), Simone Lovell (The Barmaid), Marian Spencer (Mrs Hopkins), Patrick Newell (Major Rupert) and Jennifer Croxton (Lee).

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

The Wednesday Play was replaced by a new series of plays under the banner title of Playbill from May 15th, 1968.

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