1 9 6 3 – 1 9 6 4 (UK)
32 x 60 minute episodes
Premiering on 9 October 1963, this hour-long dramatic anthology series of Wednesday night plays was produced by the BBC with a total of 32 episodes adapted from writers ranging from William Shakespeare to Samuel Beckett.
The first production was a version of Noel Coward’s vintage play ‘Fallen Angels’, first performed at the Globe Theatre in 1925 when it was described by critics as “amoral and disgusting”. Moira Redmond and Ann Moorish starred as two wives who had both had a grande affaire before their marriages with the same fascinating Frenchman, Maurice (David Ritch). While their husbands are away on a golfing weekend, they both receive nostalgic postcards and await the return of Maurice.
‘The Human Voice’ starred a solo performance from French actress Anouk Aimee (the star of La Dolce Vita) having a 35-minute telephone conversation with no one on the other end. The play – written by Jean Cocteau – had never been performed on television before.
Jean-Paul Satre’s ‘The Respectful Prostitute’ dealt with a black man in a Southern American town who is falsely accused of raping a prostitute to save the neck of a guilty white boy, while Oscar WIlde’s ‘The Florentine Tragedy’ starred real-life husband and wife Robert Shaw and Mary Ure.
Stars included Judi Dench, John Le Mesurier, Judi Dench, Cyril Cusack, Ron Moody, Billie Whitelaw, Diane Cilento, Peter Sallis, Sheila Hancock, Diana Rigg, Leonard Rossiter, Ian Richardson, Peter Vaughan, Donald Sinden, Milo O’Shea, Alfred Marks, Mollie Sugden and Annette Crosbie.
Fallen Angels | The Duel | I Want to Go Home | Stephen D | The Human Voice | Krapp’s Last Tape | The Bald Prima Donna | Stalingrad | The Fire Raisers | Little Eyolf | The Comedy of Errors | The Respectful Prostitute | Lysistrata | August for the People | Trevor | The Lady of the Camellias | Say Nothing | The Master of Santiago | Under Milk Wood | A Florentine Tragedy | The Old Lady Says No! Or Who Wounded Maud McCutcheon? | Murder in the Cathedral | The Inner World of Miss Vaughan | Ring Round the Moon | Justin Thyme | John Bull’s Other Island | The Life of Galileo | The Keep | Everyman | Police | Six Characters in Search of an Author | Bloomsday