Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

"Follow the Yellow Brick Road" (1972) by Dennis Potter - not a Play for Today this time, but part of a BBC 2 series called Sextet.
The played featured Denholm Elliot as an actor who is undergoing psychiatric treatment; he believes himself to be trapped in a television play. He explains to his doctor how he has only been able to find work in television commercials, although he prefers these to plays as he finds the latter morally corrupting.
The production is lively, with the action broken up by a series of mock commercials for cereal and dog food. The former sees Elliot getting up in the night for a midnight snack, stepping down a metal spiral staircase into a living room bedecked with jewels and a beautiful woman reclined on a couch. His hand tentatively pushes open the pantry door to reveal his wife secretly helping herself to the Krispy Krunch. This scene is recalled later in the play, this time to reveal his wife in bed with his agent.

Here is Potter on the subject of television advertising, speaking shortly after the release of The Singing Detective

Friday, 16 December 2011

Double Dare

Double Dare (1976) by Dennis Potter

Martin (Alan Dobie), a writer, invites Helen (Kika Markham), an actress, to meet him at a London hotel to discuss an idea for a play about a businessman who meets a call girl at a hotel. As he explains the story to her he notices a businessman and an escort girl (also played by Markham) at a nearby table who appear to be speaking lines from his yet unwritten play.

Speech Day

Speech Day (1973) Play for Today written by Barry Hines.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Land of Green Ginger

Land of Green Ginger (1973) by Alan Plater

Semi-documentary style Play for Today which records Hull at the point of relocation of the working class from terraced housing to council estate.
Features a soundtrack and an appearance by the folk group The Watersons.