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
Another type of ABC extravaganza was On the Spot, in which adapter Clive Exton and director Philip Saville took the mickey out of Edgar Wallace’s famous comedy thriller play of Chicago in the Roaring Twenties to close the Armchair Theatre season.
The picture above, like an old movie still, shows David McCallum putting a rival gangster on the spot, whilst Ted and Julie Allen left brought Toni Perelli and Minn Lee to life again.
Yvonne Romain as Maria guys the giddy flapper below in Voytek’s baroque set
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