A new television playwright

One of Britain’s most distinguished novelists, Angus Wilson, signed a contract in Autumn 1959 to write exclusively on television for Armchair Theatre.

His first TV play was After the Show, adapted by the author from his own short story and directed by William Kotcheff with designs by Assheton Gorton.

Starring Jeremy Spenser and Ann Lynn, it told with gentle irony the story of a young man’s first painful brush with love on meeting his uncle’s delectably youthful mistress.

Below the young lover reflects on the capriciousness of women

John Timbers

A ring of cameras converge on the seated figure of Jeremy Spenser

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The military mind

Sir Donald Wolfit was another famous player who created a period role for Armchair Theatre.

Philip Saville directed him in The Last of the Brave, Stanley Mann’s powerful story of a retired French colonel, obsessed with the ideal of discipline, who drives his son to the 1914 War and later shoots the wounded boy when he reveals himself as a coward.

Paul Massie played the son and Rosemary Scott the mother.

Assheton Gorton designed the sets

Warwick Bedford

Play of the year

Roger Mayne

Playwright of the year 1960 has undoubtedly been Harold Pinter, whose work in the theatre and on television has made him the most talked-about young dramatist in Britain.

ABC commissioned his first TV play, A Night Out: it broke all records by being the only play ever to head the list of audience ratings in TAM’s Top Ten.

The author himself appeared in this story about young insurance clerks; his commentary on the firm’s football team to Philip Lock top was in the best Pinter vein.

Above they discuss their night out with Tom Bell.

The pictures at right have captured the stoical solitude which is a signature of the Pinter plays, brilliantly caught on this occasion by the direction of Philip Saville, at his peak on this production, whose cameras orchestrated the author’s intention as exactly as the settings by Assheton Gorton

1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM