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Memorable TV Plays

(56 Posts)
Eloethan Fri 22-Feb-13 00:48:49

There is still some good drama on TV but there isn't anything like Play for Today any longer. Are there any plays that you saw that have stuck in your mind? I saw Cathy Come Home when I was, I think, in my early teens and it made a big impression. Also a play called "The Year of the Sex Olympics". It conjured up a very dystopian future where everybody just sat watching TV and enjoying the suffering of others - was it a precursor to shows like "I'm a Celebrity, Get me out of here" do you think?

Greatnan Fri 22-Feb-13 05:09:12

'Goodbye Mister Tom' with the late much missed John Thaw.

whenim64 Fri 22-Feb-13 06:59:52

'Abigail's Party is one of my favourites. It rased my awareness of Mike Leigh and Alison Steadman, and I always expected something worth watching if they had their names on it.

Bez Fri 22-Feb-13 07:15:07

The year that 'Cathy Come Home' was shown there were several really good plays in the series.
There was a play or series in the early 70's I think called 'the White Rabbit' about a British spy during the war. Kenneth Moore played the lead and did the film on condition it was only shown once I believe. It was very disturbing but also very good drama.
I STILL watch 'Goodbye Mr Tom' if I come across it! The original 'Carrie's War' was good too although I think a series.
One of the loveliest films I remember is a French film with no speaking called 'The Red Balloon' -

absent Fri 22-Feb-13 07:21:24

Alan Bennet's Talking Heads series of plays. I particularly remember Maggie Smith as the alcoholic vicar's wife in A Bed among the Lentils. I still remember her comment about the virulent competitiveness of flower arranging and that, after drinking all the communion wine, she replaced it with Benylin cough mixture. Thora Hird also starred in one of these splendid one-handers – would it have been A Cream Cracker Under the Sofa?

kittylester Fri 22-Feb-13 07:32:28

'Cathy Come Home' was the first TV play that i remember and really emotive. I think Ray Brookes was in it and he always made my teenage heart beat a lot faster. I remember him in a play about a polio victim (I think) set in a hospital.

We have 'Abigail's Party' and 'Nuts in May' on DVD and have indoctrinated all three DDs but DSs are unmoved.

Currently, anything by Jimmy McGovern is well worth watching. It seems a shame that good drama seems to be televised more in the afternoons now as I keep forgetting to record it. sad

absent Fri 22-Feb-13 07:36:12

As well as Play for Today, there used to be the Wednesday Play which also featured shorter works of some of the leading playwrights of the 1960s.

Marelli Fri 22-Feb-13 09:48:43

'Cathy Come Home' sticks in my mind. My own life went along those lines rather, in the 60's.
'Up the Junction' - was that a play or a film? Really emotive issues in that. sad

Movedalot Fri 22-Feb-13 09:56:43

Goodnight Mr Tom is my most memorable. Saw it recently at the theatre as well and was delighted to find the Mr Tom part was played just as well as by John Thaw.

Snoozy Fri 22-Feb-13 09:57:58

Edna, the Inebriate Women with Patricia Hayes playing an alcoholic vagrant.

Marelli Fri 22-Feb-13 10:02:00

Snoozy - that was a brilliant play. She was such a good actress.

kittylester Fri 22-Feb-13 10:06:56

Snoozy I'd forgotten that (it's my age, y'know!) and the Alan Bennets! smile

Snoozy Fri 22-Feb-13 10:56:13

Just looked and a lot of these plays are on YouTube- even Edna!

grannyactivist Fri 22-Feb-13 12:24:36

When The Bough Breaks with Hannah Gordon. She played a social worker investigating a baby battering case. It would have been in the early 70's when I didn't have a TV, I remember watching it at a friend's house.

Gorki Fri 22-Feb-13 12:29:42

I remember liking that one too (When the Bough Breaks ) though I can't recall anything about it now. Was it really that long ago? Was there a nanny or two involved in it as well?

Ana Fri 22-Feb-13 12:31:09

Perhaps not a play - I think it was a TV film - but The Naked Civil Servant has always been one of my favourites.

Marelli Fri 22-Feb-13 12:39:14

I do remember that one, Ana. Did John Hurt play the part of Quentin Crisp?

Ana Fri 22-Feb-13 12:40:35

Yes, that's the one, Marelli.

Galen Fri 22-Feb-13 12:51:06

My favourite was the bar mitzvah boy?

feetlebaum Fri 22-Feb-13 12:57:37

The Theatre of Comedy TV productions of What The Butler Saw (Jo Orton) and When We Are Married (JB Priestley) were excellent.

Various Ayckbourn plays - Absurd Person Singular was particularly good. Then there was the famous 1950s TV 1984 that scared us all rigid, with Peter Cushing as Winston Smith...

I can't remember when I last saw a televised play - a 'proper' play, in three acts ...

Stansgran Fri 22-Feb-13 13:18:51

Judi Dench in Talking to a Stranger. 1966- I thought she was brilliant then and still is

soop Fri 22-Feb-13 13:22:53

Abigails Party was very entertaing. smile

soop Fri 22-Feb-13 13:43:11


BAnanas Fri 22-Feb-13 14:24:36

I remember A Play For Today, I think, which made a big impression on me when I was quite young about 8 or 9, in the Sixties, unfortunately I don't know the name of it. The story was set in the last days of the 2nd World War, a woman running away from German soldiers in rural France thrusts a baby in a peasant farmer's arms. He is left to bring up the girl who he calls Rogation, (I always remembered her name) think she was named after a religious feast in France. The farmer spends the rest of his life trying to reunite her with her family, he knows she is Jewish so he follows a trail across Europe in the post war years. The girl, who was played by a number of actresses, turns out to be a handful as she gets older, and if I remember rightly there wasn't a good outcome.

Ella46 Fri 22-Feb-13 14:37:49

Bez I saw "The Red Balloon" at the cinema with my parents and it really scared me. I remembered it for years!

I saw most of the above plays, they were really good and well worth watching again.