Peter Vaughan 1923-2016

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

You and Me and Him. Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The character actor, Peter Vaughan, died today (6th Dec 2016) aged 93. He is perhaps best known for his role as Harry Grout, in Porridge, although many people will recognise him as Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones. Vaughan also played the role of Coster, in the 1973 Pebble Mill  Thirty Minute Theatre: You and Me and Him. It was written by David Mercer, and directed by Barry Hanson. David Rose was the producer, and the production designer was Michael Edwards.

Thanks to Ian Collins for making the screen grab available.

Ironically, I was only messaging director Paul Vanezis last night about You and Me and Him, and he told me the following story about how he saved the TX tape:

“I found the tape in the basement [of Pebble Mill] in 1990; the spool number had been changed, but it was the original TX tape. It still had the VT card inside. John Lannin edited it and Tony Rayner was his assistant. I think they kept it because it was a very complex show to edit. I recall that it had written in red biro on the card 283 edits!!! That would have been a a lot for 1973. It had also been copied for the BFI in 1975, but then sent to be wiped, hence the VT guys intercepting it and changing the number so it couldn’t be wiped. When I found the tape I sent it to Windmill Road, but only when they promised to keep it safe.”

Fortunately the programme does still exist in the archive.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Wendy Critchlow: ‘I remember watching this and Steve talking about the work that had gone into it in VT.’

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Barry Hanson’s Memorial & his Pebble Mill credits

Barry Hanson

Barry Hanson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A memorial is going to be held for Barry Hanson, who died in June 2016, at Channel 4 on 29th September at 6.30pm. If anyone is interested in attending please contact Peter Ansorge (message me for details if necessary).

Here is a list of Barry Hanson’s numerous Pebble Mill credits:

1970s

You and Me and Him – Director, 1973, Thirty Minute Theatre

The Medium – Producer, 1973, Second City Firsts

Mrs Pool’s Preserves – Producer, 1973, Second City Firsts

If a Man Answers – Producer, 1973, Second City Firsts

The Movers – Producer, 1973, Second City Firsts

King of the Castle – Producer, 1973, Second City Firsts

Patrons – Producer, 1973, Second City Firsts

Humbug, Finger or Thumb – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Girl – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Bold Faced Condensed – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

The Actual Woman – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Match of the Day – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Lunch Duty – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Pig Bin – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Too Hot to Handle – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Sunday Tea – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Fight for Shelton Bar – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Squire – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Silence – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Match of the Day – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

The Festive Poacher – Producer, 1974, Second City Firsts

Gangsters – Producer, 1975, Play for Today

Early to Bed – Producer, 1975, Second City Firsts

Swallows – Producer, 1975, Second City Firsts

Waiting at the Field Gate – Producer, 1975, Second City Firsts

The Permissive Society – Producer, 1975, Second City Firsts

Released – Producer, 1975, Second City Firsts

1990s

Broke – Producer, 1991

Out of the Blue – Producer 1991

Olly’s Prison Part 1 – Producer 1991

Olly’s Prison Part 2 – Producer 1991

Olly’s Prison Part 3 – Producer 1991

 

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Broke TX Card

 

 

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

Thanks to Ann Chancellor-Davies for sharing this TX card for the drama Broke. Ann’s husband, Gavin, was the production designer on the production.

The drama was part of a series called ScreenPlay; it was transmitted on 10th July 1991, at 9pm on BBC2.

There is the entry from the Radio Times, courtesy of the BBC Genome project:

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/8c31098b76534c8c8cd27660354c29be

“Starring
Timothy Spall
Winner of the Radio Times
Drama Awards, this week’s
ScreenPlay is a black comedy written by Stephen Bill. It is the story of a small businessman and a deal that is about to break his family.
Producer Barry Hanson, Director Alan Dossor”

 

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Gregory M Hallsworth: ‘I went down to Leamington Spa one Sunday morning to do an OB for CWR from a film location for this production’

 

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Barry Hanson – Aug 1943-June 2016

Peter Sasdy & Barry Hanson on Witchcraft. Photo by Willoughby Gulachsen, no reproduction without permission

Peter Sasdy & Barry Hanson on Witchcraft. Photo by Willoughby Gullachsen, no reproduction without permission

Gavin Davies, Barry Hanson, Alan Dosser, Tom Beech, perhaps on Muscle Market. Photo by Willoughby Gulachsen, no reproduction without permission

Gavin Davies, Barry Hanson, Alan Dosser, Tom Beech, probably on Broke. Photo by Willoughby Gulachsen, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barry Hanson sadly died in June 2016. Here is his obituary in The Guardian, written by Christopher Hampton and Stephen Frears:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/aug/14/barry-hanson-obituary

Barry Hanson, who has died aged 72, moved through several branches of his profession before finding his true vocation as a television producer. At Pebble Mill, the BBC’s broadcasting centre in Birmingham, under David Rose, he produced a series of plays known as Second City Firsts (1973-74). Next, for ITV, came a film that was to come fourth in the BFI’s list, made in 2000, of the 100 best TV shows of the century: The Naked Civil Servant (1975), based by Philip Mackie on Quentin Crisp’s memoir about his battles for sexual freedom, directed by Jack Gold and starring John Hurt. This won a Bafta award for Hurt, and the Prix Italia. Almost immediately it established itself as one of the most memorable and groundbreaking programmes of its era.

After several more hard-hitting plays and series for TV came Barry’s most celebrated project. The Long Good Friday (1980) was written by Barrie Keeffe for Thames Television, where Barry had arrived to work with Verity Lambert. When the company’s nerve failed in the face of the script’s uncompromising power, Barry had it bought back from them and decided to launch it as a film for the cinema.

Financed by Lew Grade’s ITC Entertainment, it was directed by John Mackenzie. However, its central premise, that the carving-up of London’s Docklands between Bob Hoskins’s London mobster and the New York mafia is disrupted by the IRA’s attempt to muscle in on the action, so alarmed decision-makers that it was decided to remove this crucial element and bury the film in some ITV graveyard shift.

Barry’s response was, with Mackenzie, to hijack the negative and head for Los Angeles. There, after much intricate manoeuvring, a sale was eventually arranged to George Harrison’s Handmade Films: and so emerged what, as last year’s re-release reminded us, is almost certainly the finest British gangster film since Brighton Rock.

I first knew him as a member of the small – but tolerated – heterosexual minority when I arrived to work at the Royal Court theatre, London, in 1968. He had stepped sideways from the publicity department to become an assistant director to Peter Gill in his DH Lawrence productions and to Robert Kidd on my play Total Eclipse. He then progressed to directing Sunday-night productions without decor (as they were known) and a collective satirical piece in the Theatre Upstairs called The Enoch Show, about the wave of racism stirred up by the speeches of the Conservative MP Enoch Powell.

His Yorkshire roots always remained of great importance to him and he shared with many of his friends from the area – the playwrights Mercer and David Halliwell and the actor Victor Henry – a keen nose for metropolitan bullshit and a healthy mistrust of authority. These qualities stood him in particularly good stead when it came to the troubled realisation of The Long Good Friday.

The following year, 1969, he left for Hull to run the first arts centre in Britain, where he worked closely with Alan Plater and presented Richard III with Hoskins, among many other plays.

From the Royal Court, Barry brought with him an instinctive sense of commitment to the directors he worked with – including Stephen Frears, Michael Apted and Ken Russell – and, even more strongly, to the writers: John Osborne, David Mercer, Howard Brenton, David Rudkin, Trevor Preston and Stephen Poliakoff. In disputes with management, he invariably took the side of the artist, but the colder winds that began to blow in the 1980s, as television was prised from the fingers of the creators and handed over to ever thicker layers of administrators, created a climate that no longer suited his buccaneering temperament.

There was other work – The Wine Programme on Channel 4 (1982), the first-ever series on the subject, Russell’s Lady Chatterley series and A Year in Provence (both 1993) – which engaged him and kept him moving. But the glory days were over and the increasingly debilitating effects of his rheumatoid arthritis made matters considerably worse. He continued in TV till 1995, and returned to film production for a one-off, Creep (2004), a horror story set under the streets of London, with the disused Aldwych tube station among its locations.

Barry was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, to Harry Hanson, a compost salesman, and his wife, Irene (nee Raistrick), a burler and mender, removing and remedying imperfections in cloth at the local wool mill. Educated at Bellevue grammar school in the city, he began, along with his fellow pupil the future actor Edward Peel, to take an interest in theatre there, and went on to read English at Newcastle University. A year’s teaching at Bradford grammar school made it clear to him that his fate lay elsewhere, and he took a job in publicity at Harrogate theatre, from which he moved on to the Royal Court.
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His Yorkshire roots always remained of great importance to him and he shared with many of his friends from the area – the playwrights Mercer and David Halliwell and the actor Victor Henry – a keen nose for metropolitan bullshit and a healthy mistrust of authority. These qualities stood him in particularly good stead when it came to the troubled realisation of The Long Good Friday.

In 1969 Barry met Susanna Capon – I believe I introduced them. They married in 1971 and their daughter, Katy, was born in 1978. For many years, they kept a convivial house in Hammersmith, west London, entertaining a wide range of friends.

An amicable divorce in 2012 did not prevent Susanna and Katy from supporting Barry through his long final illness, in Pembrokeshire, where they had moved to be close to Katy’s solicitor practice and their grandson and granddaughter.
Christopher Hampton

Stephen Frears writes: Barry Hanson was a terrific fellow – he came from the Royal Court where the writing was new, lively and serious and continued to put writing in the foreground when he went on to work in television. I made four films with him, all provocative and full of vitality, all about the new Britain that had emerged after the war, all serious but drenched in popular culture.

We made them very quickly with the best of young British actors (Richard Beckinsale was in two of them) and the best of young British technicians. Barry was always on the side of good work: he could make your head spin with excitement.

• Barry Anthony Hanson, film and TV producer, born 10 August 1943; died 20 June 2016

The following message was posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Lynne Cullimore: ‘Sad to hear this. I did not know him but used to work on the publicity for Second City Firsts, so of course came across him. Its always sad when you hear of a fellow “Pebble Miller” not being around anymore.’

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Alison Steadman – early dramas

At the Flatpack Film Festival on Sunday 24 April 2016, at the Midlands Arts Centre, there was a screening of two of Alison Steadman’s early films. The dramas were both in the Second City Firsts slot of 30 minute films, which brought new talent to the small screen.

freeze frame from Girl

freeze frame from Girl

IMG_1356

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first film was a studio drama, with an entirely female cast, and practically all set within a single room, which makes it feel quite claustrophobic. The copy was quite poor quality, presumably due to the transmission copy being lost. It tells the story of Jackie, played by Steadman, who is being discharged from the army due to being pregnant. She is portrayed as quite a vulnerable character, preyed upon by the predatory Corporal Harvey. The drama features the first lesbian kiss on British television. Below is the original entry from the Radio Times for 25th Feb 1974:

“A season of six original plays from Birmingham 2: Girl by JAMES ROBSON
Jackie is leaving the Army. While waiting for the car she re-encounters Corporal Harvey , her previous lover …
Script editor TARA PREM Designer MYLES LANG
Producer BARRY HANSON Director PETER GILL

Contributors

Writer: James Robson
Unknown: Corporal Harvey
Editor: Tara Prem
Designer: Myles Lang
Producer: Barry Hanson
Director: Peter Gill
Harvey: Myra Frances
Jackie: Alison Steadman
Maggie: Stella Moray
Bailey: Eileen McCallum”

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/df9338563bc143718869eb3742639393

Helen (played by Steadman), pops next door

Helen (played by Steadman), pops next door

Helen with Vinny

Helen with Vinny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second film was shot on location in Oldham. It was Alan Bleasdale’s first TV drama, and features the adulterous Helen, played by Steadman, who is brightening up her mundane life as a housewife, by enjoying some extra marital sex with Vinny, the young athletic next-door neighbour, who is about to leave for university.

Here is the original Radio Times entry for Early to Bed:

“A season of new plays from Birmingham Early to Bed by ALAN BLEASDALE
There’s Helen (top). She’s on her own in the mornings after Frankie (middle) goes to work. But young Vinnie (bottom) from next door comes calling …
The pupils of HiNBUY AND .RRAY GRAMMAR SCHOOL Designer Michael EDWARDS
Script editor William SMETBUttST Producer BARRY HANSON
Director LESI PEBLAiR ,i Birmingham*
Birmingham welcomes careful writert: see Jeature beginning page 13

Contributors

Unknown: Alan Bleasdale
Designer: Michael Edwards
Producer: Barry Hanson
Director: Lesi Peblair
Vinny: David W Arwicic
Helen: Alison Steadman
Mother: Patricia Leach
Frankie: Johnny Meadows
Mr Hughes: Clifford Kershaw
Postman: Ashley Thompson
Frankie’s mates: Charles Hatton
Frankie’s mates: Cliff Duncan
Diana Marina: Barbara Ruan
Musicians: Sylvia McPokald
Musicians: Jack McDonald”

[NB mistakes are in the Genome project entry]

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/schedules/bbctwo/england/1975-03-20