Blackadder II TV - Henry James - Kenneth Tynan - Alfred Hitchcock - Tom Stoppard - Jose N Harris - George Orwell - P G Wodehouse - Edward Albee - W H Auden - Tennessee Williams - P S Baber - David Mamet - Frank Capra - Arthur Miller - Noel Coward - Ellen DeGeneres - George Bernard Shaw - Michael Scott TV - Drama out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today TV -
My father blew it all on wine, women and amateur dramatics. Blackadder II: Money, Blackadder to Percy, with Baldrick, BBC 1986
The ever-importunate murmur, ‘Dramatize it! Dramatize it!’ Henry James, The Altar of the Dead, 1909
The historian, essentially, wants more documents than he can really use; the dramatist only wants more liberties than he can really take. Henry James, The Aspern Papers
A good drama critic is one who perceives what is happening in the theatre of his time. A great drama critic also perceives what is not happening. Kenneth Tynan, English theatre critic
Drama is life with the dull parts cut out. Alfred Hitchcock
We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else. Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Taking on too much of other people’s drama is just a poor excuse for not taking ownership and control over your own life. José N Harris, Mi Vida
If there really is such a thing as turning in one’s grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise. George Orwell, All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays
Has anybody ever seen a drama critic in the daytime? Of course not. They come out after dark, up to no good. P G Wodehouse
I am not interested in living in a city where there isn’t a production by Samuel Beckett running. Edward Albee
Drama is based on the Mistake. W H Auden, The Complete Works of W H Auden: Prose III
Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama. Tennessee Williams
The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen, a neutral territory outside the jurisdiction of Fate where stars may be crossed with impunity. A truer and more real place does not exist in all the universe. P S Baber, Cassie Draws the Universe
All drama is about lies. All drama is about something that’s hidden. A drama starts because a situation becomes imbalanced by a lie. The lie may be something we tell each other or something we think about ourselves, but the lie imbalances a situation. If you’re cheating on your wife the repression of that puts things out of balance; or if you’re someone you think you’re not, and you think you should be further ahead in your job, that neurotic vision takes over your life and you’re plagued by it until you’re cleansed. At the end of a play the lie is revealed. The better the play the more surprising and inevitable the lie is. Aristotle told us this. David Mamet
I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries. Frank Capra
Great drama is great questions or it is nothing but technique. I could not imagine a theatre worth my time that did not want to change the world. Arthur Miller
If by any chance a playwright wishes to express a political opinion or a moral opinion or a philosophy, he must be a good enough craftsman to do it with so much spice of entertainment in it that the public get the message without being aware of it. Noël Coward, A Talent to Amuse: A Biography of Noël Coward
So many people prefer to live in drama because it’s comfortable. It’s like someone staying in a bad marriage or relationship – it’s actually easier to stay because they know what to expect every day, versus leaving and not knowing what to expect. Ellen DeGeneres
A drama critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned. George Bernard Shaw
The Trojan Women director Mihalis Kakogiannis … One of the most shocking stories ever written. Dr Michael Scott, Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show on Earth I: Democrats, BBC 2013
Love, War, Sacrifice, Fear, and Death …. Utterly gripping today. ibid.
Ancient drama changed our world. ibid.
The story of theatre is the story of Athens ... One of the greatest shows on Earth. ibid.
Drama was perhaps the biggest innovation of them all. ibid.
Oedipus the King by Sophocles: It tells the story of Oedipus – a man who is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. ibid.
They poked fun at contemporary Athens. ibid.
Today just 32 of them survive in full ... Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides. ibid.
Comedy was irreverent, rude and bawdy. ibid.
Theatre was an institution that plugged into religious, civic, political, military aspects of ancient Athenian society … essential part of Athenian life. ibid.
Drama – that most Athenian of inventions – would thrive, spreading throughout the Greek world and beyond. Dr Michael Scott, Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show on Earth II: Kings
Theatre had become a central part of any Greek community. ibid.
Seneca wrote nine tragedies which retold stories from Greek myth. Dr Michael Scott, Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show on Earth III: Romans
Play for Today: a series of single dramas broadcast by BBC television between 1970 and 1984: years of crisis when the consensus politics of Britain’s postwar world began to unravel, when industrial relations, education and the health service faced fundamental challenges … Play for Today reflected and responded to all this and more in more than 300 dramas shown in prime time. Drama out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today, BBC 2020
The Wednesday Play ran for six years and featured a much wide range of drama. ibid.
Only Make Believe 1973: writer Dennis Potter, director Robert Knights … Mike Leigh: Hard Labour 1973 … Nuts in May 1976 … Abigail’s Party 1977 … Ken Loach: Up the Junction 1965 … Cathy Come Home 1966 … The Rank & File 1971 … Ann Scott: Angels are so Few 1970 … Stocker’s Copper 1972 … Only Make Believe 1973 … Richard Eyre: Comedians 1979 … The Imitation Game (1980) … Country (1981) … ibid.
The After Dinner Joke 1978: writer Caryl Churchill; director Colin Bucksey … Shakespeare or Bust 1973: writer Peter Tarson; director Brian Parker … Stocker’s Copper 1972: writer Tom Clarke; director Jack Gold … Leeds United! 1974: writer Colin Welland; director Roy Battersby … All Good Men 1974: writer Trevor Griffiths; director Michael Lindsay-Hogg … Licking Hitler 1978: writer and director David Hare … The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black Black Oil 1974: writer John McGrath; director John McKenzie … ibid.
136,275. Destiny 1978: ‘Cause first there’ll be the blacks and Asians. Then the Jews and Irish. And this ain’t easy speeches – this is true. And then it’ll be the unions. Oh ar make no mistake. The Labour Party: that’ll do. The others too. All in the interests of the nation. And to save the nation, they’ll destroy the nation. All of it except themselves. And if we let ’em, we’ve got ourselves to blame. Our fault. We turned our back.’ ibid. Destiny: Play for Today 1978: White shop steward addresses need for solidarity with Asian colleagues
The troubles in Belfast also framed the acclaimed Billy trilogy by Graham Reid made for BBC Northern Ireland in the final years of Play for Today. The dramas explore tensions and violence in a protestant working class family. ibid.
Out of 300 Plays for Today only a dozen were directed by a woman. ibid.