Nuts in May article

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This interview with Alison Steadman about the 1976 Play for Today, Nuts in May, must have taken place in 2009 (which is when the Alan Bennett play mentioned at the end of the article was on), but I’m not sure of where it appeared, or why. Perhaps it was simply an interesting article with Alison Steadman, which promoted Alan Bennett’s, Enjoy? David Rose gave me a photocopy of the cutting a few years ago, but it doesn’t say where it’s from.

Please add a comment if you can add any more information.

Here is the synopsis of the improvised drama, Nuts in May, from the Radio Times, from the BBC Genome project. It must be one of the strangest synopses ever, and tells the reader nothing, and everything, about the drama – which was no doubt the point:

Synopsis

“Camp Rules:
1: No open fires.
2: No music after 11.0 pm.
3: Positively no drains to be dug around any tent.
4: No crockery or cooking utensils to be washed up in toilet block.
5: These rules are imposed for the benefit and enjoyment of all during their holiday.
BBC Birmingham

Contributors

Film Cameraman: Michael Williams
Film Recordist: John Gilbert
Film Editor: Oliver White
Producer: David Rose
Devised and directed by: Mike Leigh
Keith: Roger Sloman
Candice Marie: Alison Steadman
Ray: Anthony O’Donnell
Honky: Sheila Kelley
Finger: Stephen Bill
Miss Beale: Richenda Carey
Quarryman: Epic Allan
Farmer: Matthew Guiness
Farm girl: Sally Watts
Policeman: Richard Ireson”

http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/6ba7ee595baf45749dd2742c67e47055

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

David Crozier: ‘I was the Designer on this superb film, Nuts in May. Tim Dann (then Design Assistant) and I had to have our wits about us to keep up with Mike Leigh’s ever developing improvisation. A thoroughly enjoyable experience which I constantly recall with warm thoughts!’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘I thought it was fantastic. Never to be forgotten and the brilliant Alison Steadman who has gone on to do more brilliant things. Thanks to all those people who were involved in it.’

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All Memories Great & Small – part 1

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from All Memories Great & Small’ (memories of the popular drama series, All Creatures Great & Small)

Memories from David Crozier (Designer): ‘In the first series we had large animals in the Pebble Mill studios, with sets for farm barns and cow sheds, which were later filmed on location. So for a horse stable there are all sorts of things you have to take into consideration, not least of which is how you are going to dispose of the animal’s waste, so we were effectively building these stables and cow sheds in the studio for real! So those challenges were unique in terms of working with animals – which of course they say you should never do!’

60 cast and crew have shared their memories for this new book, which is available to preorder now from Miwk – http://bit.ly/2d7p5ts 

Thanks to Oliver Crocker for sharing this excerpt.

 

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All Memories Great and Small

all-memories-great-and-smallOliver Crocker’s  All Creatures book is now available to Pre-order.

BREAKING NEWS! NEW ALL CREATURES BOOK COMING SOON!

Released as part of the 100th birthday celebrations for James Herriot, a new book “All Memories Great & Small” is being released by Miwk Publishing as an ideal companion to the classic BBC series. Every episode is accompanied by exclusive memories, thanks to 60 new interviews with cast and crew.

THE REGULAR CAST

Christopher Timothy (James Herriot), Robert Hardy Esq, CBE, FSA (Siegfried Farnon), Peter Davison (Tristan Farnon), Carol Drinkwater (Helen Herriot), Andrea Gibb (Deirdre McEwan), Jean Heywood (Mrs Alton) and Ali Lewis (Rosie Herriot).

GUEST CAST

Peter Alexander (St. John), Lois Baxter (Margery Egerton), Paul Clayton (Brian Weeting), Fine Time Fontayne (George Forsyth/Joe Bentley), Gillian Hanna (Betty Sanders), Derek Hicks (Willie Bannister), Pete Ivatts (Mr. Blackburn/Tom Maxwell), Vivien Keene (Mary Trenholm), Ray Mangion (Franco Pedretti), Norman Mann (Richard Edmundson), Nicholas McArdle (Mr. Worley), Joanna McCallum (Lady Hulton), Elizabeth Millbank (Alice McTavish), Suzanne Neve (Joan Clifford), Jonathan Owen (Peter Gillard), David Quilter (Andrew Bruce), Pamela Salem (Zoe Bennett), Jessica Sewell (Mary Clarke), Madeline Smith (Angela Farmer/Anne Grantley), Amanda Waring (Elizabeth Rayner) and Susan Wooldridge (Daughter of Margaretta Scott).

PRODUCTION TEAM

Bob Blagden (Director), Sandy Byrne (Widow of Writer Johnny Byrne), Alex Christison (Film Sound), Carol Churchill (Make-up Designer), David Crozier (Designer), Nigel Curzon (Designer), Roger Davenport (Writer), Rowena Dean (Make-up Artist), Mike Duxbury (Film Editor), Paul Finch (Son of Writer Brian Finch), Graham Frake (Lighting Cameraman), Roderick Graham (Director), Joyce Hawkins (Costume Designer), Terry Hodgkinson (Writer), June Hudson (Costume Designer), David Hughes (Sound), William Humble (Writer), Brian Jones (Gaffer), Peter Loring (Film Cameraman), Richard Martin (Director), Christopher Penfold (Script Editor/Writer), Les Podraza (Scene Hand), Janice Rider (Costume Designer), Tony Redston (Production Associate), Michael Russell (Writer), Helen Scarsbrook (Wardrobe), Bill Sellars (Producer), Pip Short (Grip/AFM/Location Manager), Sam Snape (Writer), Maggie Thomas (Make-up Artist), David Tilley (Assistant Floor Manager), Tony Virgo (Director) and John Williams (Film Cameraman).

PRE-ORDER NOW http://bit.ly/2d7p5ts

Basil Brush Front Page

Basil Brush front page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

This is the rehearsal script front page for The Basil Brush Show from 1975.

The rehearsals took place in a church hall in west London, whilst the recording would have taken place in Studio A at Pebble Mill. Basil Brush was a London production, hosted at Pebble Mill.

Thanks to sound supervisor, Roger Guest, for sharing the front page, and keeping it safe since 1975.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

David Crozier: ‘I was that designer. Was it really forty years ago? Good grief.’

Peter Trevena: ‘I worked on this,great fun’

Susan Astle: ‘Really enjoyed working on this. Used to have breakfast on the train with design on the way to rehearsals in London. Charlie Bond on Bloody Mary’s and lovely Ian Fisher and Nigel Jones. ‘

Philip Morgan: ‘Through the kindness of Roger Nash I got a radio interview with “Basil”. I also sat in at one of the Saturday afternoon dress rehearsals in Studio A. As part of the banter the sidekick (Mr Derek?) asked Basil if he had any friends. “Of course I’ve got friends” replied Basil “I’ve got friends I haven’t even used yet!” That certainly drew a hearty laugh from the crew…’

Kenny Ball plays Saturday Night at the Mill

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In 1977 Kenny Ball and his band were the house band for the entertainment show from Pebble Mill, ‘Saturday Night at the Mill’. The show was a spin off from ‘Pebble Mill at One’. Here is the title track of the band’s 1977 album, which was also the show’s title music.

Thanks to David Ackrill for sharing the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Donny MacLeod and the Kenny Ball band by John Burkill, no reproduction without permission.

The following comments were added on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

David Crozier: ‘I was the designer on a number of these shows. I remember them as being huge fun and with a very real sense of being live. It was working on Sarurday Night at The Mill which gave me the first yearnings for becoming a live programme, multi-camera TV director, which I later became. Great times!

Stuart Gandy: ‘It certainly was a fun programme to work on and like so many programmes we did, put Birmingham on the broadcasting map, something it sadly no longer seems to be.’

Julian Hitchcock: ‘I was Floor Assistant / AFM on any number if these and recall it all vividly. As David says, “great fun”.’

Kevin Lakin: ‘I remember Bruce Forsyth taking a very dim view of trays of beer being bought down from the bar on the 2nd floor during rehearsals . . . . pillock’

Janice Rider: ‘I earned the nickname Strobe Rider from Rob Hinds after the Hollywood movie star Joseph Cotten threatened to walk off the programme if he couldn’t wear his very inappropriate black & white dogtooth jacket which flared dreadfully during his interview !’

Julian Hitchcock: ‘Now this is interesting. I remember going on the studio directors’ course and wanting, in my final project piece, to show a scene in a cinema (it was an adaptation if Graham Greene’s short story, “A Place off the Edgware Road”. Cinemas are, of course, dark. However, the technical manager was adamant that if the scene was dark, no one would be able to see anything,- as if this could not possibly have been intended. I pathetically agreed, with the consequence that the cinema was entirely visible. On this basis, what would be wrong with a person appearing with a “strobing” jacket? When, having left TV, I found myself having to be interviewed in the foyer, I deliberately put on a check jacket because I wanted to strobe…’

Jane Mclean: ‘I did autocue. Maggie Walne (Kidger) was PA. Yes, a beautifully alcoholic programme to work on. And afterwards we always went to The Strathallan on Hagley Rd to wind down. Remember Roy Norton directing the early morning traffic! He directed with Roy Ronnie (I think I’m right).’

Julian Hitchcock: ‘I can never remember Roy Ronnie directing, but it’s possible. They were each great fun in different ways. Norton was wonderfully nervy. I well recall him ordering us ( the floor crew) to “make them laugh”. And thereon hangs another tail.’

Kevin Lakin: ‘Does anyone remember the ” The James Last Orchestra ” fiasco . . . the 50 piece Orchestra were going to be performing in the courtyard, then at 7 o clock we were told they would coming into the foyer, at 7.30 the whole Orchestra went back outside, and that’s when the two Roys went and hid on the 5th floor.’

Julian Hitchcock: ‘I do! Better with hindsight than at the time. I was the guy who had to tell Herr Last. I think this was one if the things that lead to the building of the quadrangle roof.’

Carol Churchill: ‘Oh l loved working on it , l remember making Kate Bush up on her first TV appearance .’

Tim Dann: ‘I did twelve of these beauties!!…& it certainly was off to the Srathallan afterwards!!…tho I don’t remember ‘winding down!!!’…The milkman beat me home every time!!!!…After the ‘credits’ Roy Norton the director, who was always in a state of high excitement…used to leap to his feet sending his chair crashing into the gallery window & screamed “Take me Pres, take me Pres!!!”….I can only imagine ‘Presentations’ enjoyment & envy of what fun we, in the Midlands were having!!…Designed the ‘Kate Bush’ prog too…which morphed into ‘Dave Brubeck’ & then we took the set to Glasgow for an ‘Andy Williams Special.’…. Thwarted tho by Production A’s/managers/managers industrial action!!…Roy Ronnie produced & Roy Norton directed them all.’

Kevin Lakin: ‘Andy Williams was cursed then, I worked on an Andy Williams Special from Warwick University which was thwarted by the Musicians Union, all the orchestra walked out 2hrs before the show started, and fair play to Andy Williams he did the whole show to just a piano accompaniment, it was recorded, but never went out. I think the two Roys were behind it, Mary Spencer was the Designer.’