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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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

 

Second City Firsts screenings Sun 24 April 2016

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a series of screenings at the Midlands Arts Centre on Sunday 24 April 2016, starting at 2pm, as part of the Flatpack Film Festival. Below is the publicity information from organiser, Ian Francis:

SECOND CITY FIRSTS

During the 1970s, a key strength of the drama department at BBC Pebble Mill was its ability to unearth new talent; not just through flagships like Play For Today, but also the entry-point offered by the likes of Second City Firsts. Running from 1973 for ten series, this half-hour slot took a chance on a spectacular range of ‘regional talent’ including Willy Russell, Julie Walters, David Rudkin, Brian Glover and many others. Just as importantly, it offered a diversity of representation that often compares favourably with today’s TV drama. This afternoon we’re joined by Tara Prem, a script editor and subsequently series producer on Second City Firsts, to explore six very different episodes from the strand.

Girl 1974

Girl 1974

Early to Bed

Early to Bed 1975

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volume One:

A Touch of Eastern Promise; Girl; Early to Bed

Our first film, A Touch of Eastern Promise (1973), is not officially a Second City First, though it emerged from a very similar slot. Written by Prem herself, it’s the tale of a daydreaming shop-boy who has the opportunity to meet his favourite star. Partly shot in Balsall Heath, all the cinema scenes were captured at the now-demolished Imperial on Moseley Road. To follow, an Alison Steadman double-bill: studio-shot military drama Girl (1974), which features the first lesbian kiss seen on British TV; and then Early to Bed (1975), with Steadman smouldering on location in a depressed mill town. This claustrophobic tale of infidelity was the first television script by Alan Bleasdale, who later went on to Boys From the Blackstuff and GBH.

 

The Permissive Society 1975

The Permissive Society 1975

Jack Flea's Birthday Celebration 1976

Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration 1976

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volume Two:
The Permissive Society; Club Havana; Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration

It was at the Midlands Arts Centre where Mike Leigh first embarked on his unique approach to devising scripts, and Pebble Mill which commissioned much of his early TV work. Made a year before camping comedy Nuts in May, The Permissive Society (1975) is an overlooked gem. Also confined to a single set, Club Havana (1975) is a tense portrait of a Handsworth speakeasy by playwright Barry Reckord, featuring Don Warrington as the landlady’s son newly arrived from Jamaica and an incredibly young Julie Walters as the barmaid. We conclude with Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration (1976), a psychosexual nightmare from the pen of Ian McEwan which is very much in keeping with his short stories of the time.

Flatpack Film Festival – Second City Firsts

A Touch of Eastern Promise

A Touch of Eastern Promise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Flatpack Film Festival are going to be screening six 30 minute dramas made at Pebble Mill by the English Regions Drama Department, in April 2016 at the Midlands Arts Centre, Edgbaston:

“SECOND CITY FIRSTS

During the 1970s, a key strength of the drama department at BBC Pebble Mill was its ability to unearth new talent; not just through flagships like Play For Today, but also the entry-point offered by the likes of Second City Firsts. Running from 1973 for ten series, this half-hour slot took a chance on a spectacular range of ‘regional talent’ including Willy Russell, Julie Walters, David Rudkin, Brian Glover and many others. Just as importantly, it offered a diversity of representation that often compares favourably with today’s TV drama.

 

Volume One:

A Touch of Eastern Promise; Girl; Early to Bed

A Touch of Eastern Promise (1973), is not officially a Second City First, though it emerged from a very similar slot. Written by Tara Prem, it’s the tale of a daydreaming shop-boy who has the opportunity to meet his favourite star. Partly shot in Balsall Heath, all the cinema scenes were captured at the now-demolished Imperial on Moseley Road. To follow, an Alison Steadman double-bill: studio-shot military drama Girl (1974), which features the first lesbian kiss seen on British TV; and then Early to Bed (1975), with Steadman smouldering on location in a depressed mill town. This claustrophobic tale of infidelity was the first television script by Alan Bleasdale, who later went on to Boys From the Blackstuff and GBH.

 

Volume Two:

The Permissive Society; Club Havana; Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration

It was at the Midlands Arts Centre where Mike Leigh first embarked on his unique approach to devising scripts, and Pebble Mill which commissioned much of his early TV work. Made a year before camping comedy Nuts in May, The Permissive Society (1975) is an overlooked gem. Also confined to a single set, Club Havana (1975) is a tense portrait of a Handsworth speakeasy by playwright Barry Reckord, featuring Don Warrington as the landlady’s son newly arrived from Jamaica and an incredibly young Julie Walters as the barmaid. We conclude with Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration (1976), a psychosexual nightmare from the pen of Ian McEwan which is very much in keeping with his short stories of the time.”

 

 

Early to Bed + Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration

The BFI are screening two Pebble Mill Second City Firsts, Early to Bed and  Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration as part of a series of forgotten dramas. The screening is to be held on Tuesday 3rd February, at 6.10pm at the BFI Southbank, NFT3. You can book tickets online: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=CBAD85AB-44CD-4D30-ACE5-F25672CFAB42&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=4159993E-A281-42E4-A299-3431E39987B4

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early to Bed was Alan Bleasdale’s first television play. It was directed by Leslie Blair, and starred David Warwick, Alison Steadman, Johnny Meadows and Patricia Leach. The 1975, ‘Second City First’ is set in a Lancashire mining village, it tells the story of an eighteen year old, played by David Warwick, who has an affair with his married, next door neighbour – Alison Steadman. Bleasdale thought that Blair’s direction turned an average script into a very watchable play.
Jack Flea's Birthday Celebration
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the link to the synopsis of Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration from the BBC Genome project: http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/689430d99ef64c58a1b6c3c947b854fc

Synopsis

Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebration by IAN MCEWAN
Jack Flea finds himself living with a woman nearly twice his age, who decides to make him her fantasy child. It is a role our young hero cannot resist.
Script editor PEDR JAMES
Designer MALCOLM GOULDING Producer TARA PREM Director MIKE NEWELL

Contributors

Editor: Pedr James
Designer: Malcolm Goulding
Director: Mike Newell
Ruth: Sara Kestelman
David: David Wilkinson
Mrs Lee: Eileen McCallum
Mr Lee: Ivor Roberts