No Tram to Lime Street

John Timbers

From luxury yacht in the Mediterranean to a cargo boat in Liverpool docks, Armchair Theatre wrenched viewers back to contemporary Britain with Alun Owen’s first play for television, a warmly rumbustious story of three young seamen on shore leave which was one of the outstanding critical and audience successes in the history of the programme.

William Kotcheff directed, with designs by Voytek; Jack Hedley, Alfred Lynch and Tom Bell were the sailors and Eynon Evans the tough old father who triggered off Lynch’s drinking spree

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