Screen plays

Theatre plays on British television

Edited by Amanda Wrigley and John Wyver

Screen plays


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9792-8
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: April 2022
  • BIC Category: Theatre direction & production, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Stagecraft, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Direction & Production, Society & social sciences / Media studies, Theatre Studies, Television Studies, Theatre studies, Theatre management, The arts / Cinematography, television camerawork, Theatre Management, Theatre Direction & Production, The arts / Television, The arts / Theatre studies


Screen plays is a ground-breaking collection that chronicles the rich and surprising history of stage plays produced for the small screen between 1930 and the present. The volume opens with a substantial historical outline of how plays originally written for the theatre have been presented by the BBC and ITV, as well as independent producers and cultural organisations. Subsequent chapters utilise a variety of critical methodologies to analyse a wide range of outside broadcasts from theatres, screen adaptations of existing stage productions, along with original television productions of classic and contemporary drama. Making a compelling case for the centrality of the theatre to British television's past and present, Screen plays opens up new areas of research for all those engaged in theatre, media and adaptation studies.


Introduction - Amanda Wrigley and John Wyver
1 Stages and the small screen: theatre plays as television drama since 1930 - John Wyver
2 A duchess, a shoemaker and a knight: early modern drama, early British television - Lisa Ward
3 'This genuine theatre condition': Basil Dean and the 1938 BBC outside broadcast of J. B. Priestley's When We Are Married - Victoria Lowe
4 'Our other Shakespeare': Middleton's tragedies on television, 1965-2009 - Susanne Greenhalgh
5 A revival, a reworking and an original: the Harold Pinter season on Theatre 625 (BBC2, 1967) - Amanda Wrigley and Billy Smart
6 Regional drama from stage to screen: television adaptations by Peter Cheeseman's Victoria Theatre company - Lez Cooke
7 Granada Television's experiment with The Stables Theatre Company, 1969-70 - John Wyver
8 From radical Black theatre production to television adaptation: Black Feet in the Show (BBC, 1974) - Sally Shaw
9 Cedric Messina: producing theatrical classics with a decorative aesthetic - Billy Smart
10 Abigail's Party: 'It's not a question of ignorance, Laurence, it's a question of taste' - Ruth Adams
11 Screen and stage space in Beckett's theatre plays on television - Jonathan Bignell
12 Television's natural disposition? An analysis of Naturalism and performance in relation to BBC productions of Ibsen's plays - Stephen Lacey
13 Remediating the real: verbatim plays on television in the new millennium - Cyrielle Garson
14 The impact of television on scholarly editions of Shakespeare's plays - Neil Taylor


Amanda Wrigley has held research posts on several AHRC-funded projects, including 'Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television' (University of Westminster) and 'Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies' (University of Reading).

John Wyver is Professor of the Arts on Screen at the University of Westminster. He is also Director, Screen Productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company and a writer and producer with the independent media company Illuminations.

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