Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television (a research project).

We've talked before, and often, about how somewhere along the line television became bored with theatre or at least filming classical theatre. If it's not school Shakespeare, it doesn't exist. So while it's pleasing to see The Henriad given the period drama treatment and with a great cast, a whole panoply of other plays are relegated to radio if recorded at all.

Perhaps in response to this, in an attempt to demonstrate the long legacy of theatre on television which isn't being respected, John Wyver (mentioned before and often as a producer at Illuminations Media) and Dr Amanda Wrigley at the School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster have begun a research project to ... well, see the contents of this email ...
Friends and colleagues,

Forgive this round-robin mail, but we are delighted to inform you of the start today of our research project Screen Plays; Theatre Plays on British Television.

Screen Plays is a three-year AHRC-funded project from the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster. We aim to document and explore the history of theatre plays on British television since 1930, and our deliverables will include a freely accessible online database of information about all of the productions.

We will also organise screenings and conferences, co-ordinate publications and contribute regularly to our Screen Plays blog which can now be found here:

Further details about the project are included in the post, The adventure begins...

We very much hope that the blog, and the project as a whole, will be a focus for lively discussion -- and we look forward to exchanging thoughts and ideas.

[admin related material then ...]

Also, if there are colleagues who you think might be interested in the project, please forward this mail -- and of course we would be delighted to include them in future mailings.

With thanks for your interest, and with best wishes,

John Wyver
Dr Amanda Wrigley

School of Media, Arts and Design
University of Westminster
Now, then. I'm very excited. The British Universities Film & Video Council already have a Shakespeare database in place, it stringently ignores everything else. No Middleton, no Fletcher, certainly no Marlowe unless in something directly connected to the bard.  The BFI has a database too, but it's difficult to use.  There are probably others but this is filling a much needed gap in the "market".

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