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A one-day conference at the University of Westminster

The first conference arising from the AHRC-funded research project Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television will be held at the University of Westminster in central London on Friday 19 October 2012.

The conference will tackle issues and topics within the broad area of theatre plays on British television from 1930 to the present. In order to encourage a truly interdisciplinary discussion we warmly welcome participation from scholars and postgraduate students working on the histories of broadcasting, media, drama, theatre and culture.
The Screen Plays project is concerned with all plays written for the theatre that have been produced for British television since 1930. The project is documenting and developing new critical approaches to the television presentation of these plays, and seeking to understand the institutional, production, technological and aesthetic contexts for these adaptations within both television broadcasting and British theatre. More can be read about the project’s aims and activities on the Screen Plays blog.

Conference programme

The conference will open with coffee at 8.45am, followed by a welcome and the first panel at 9.15am; we expect to break for lunch at 12.30pm and the day will come to a close at 6.15pm. The programme will consist of four panels, a plenary discussion and a special screening event with wine reception. The four panels will be as follows

The classical repertoire

Lisa Bolding (Department of English, University of Georgia)
‘The Duchess of Malfi and early British television’

Russell Jackson (Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, University of Birmingham)
‘Stage to TV, Britain to America: the case of Peter Hall’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1959

Daniel Rosenthal (independent scholar)
‘Public vs. private: how the BBC and British Home Entertainment fought to televise National Theatre productions, 1963-67’ 


Regional theatre, regional television

Lez Cooke (Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London)
‘From stage to screen: the television plays of Peter Cheeseman’s Victoria Theatre Company in Stoke-on-Trent’

John Wyver (School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster)
‘Granada’s experiment with the Stables Theatre Company, 1969-1970’

Ben Lamb (Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan)
‘The Roses of Eyam: reassessing the theatrical legacy of studio-shot television drama’

Society and politics, media and genre

Ruth Adams (Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London)
‘Abigail’s Party: “It’s not a question of ignorance, Laurence, it’s a question of taste” ’

Amanda Wrigley (School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster)
‘Theatre, Education, Television: the BBC and the Open University in the 1970s’

Cyrielle Garson (Département d’études anglophones, Université d’Avignon)
‘Remediating the real: an examination of verbatim plays on television in the new millennium’


Spaces of television, spaces of theatre

Billy Smart (Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of Reading)
‘Three different Cherry Orchards, three different worlds: Chekhov at the BBC, 1962-1981’

Jonathan Bignell (Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of Reading)
Screen and stage space in Beckett’s theatre plays on television’

Stephen Lacey (Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan)
‘Television’s natural disposition? An analysis of Naturalism and performance in relation to the BBC’s Performance series’

Plenary discussion

Wine reception and special screening event, with clips from productions of plays by Fugard, Gorky and Shakespeare:

Lisa Kerrigan (Television Curator, British Film Institute)
‘Recordings and rediscoveries: the WNET collection at the Library of Congress and the BFI National Archive’


This one day conference will take place on Friday 19 October, 2012. The fee for registration will be £25, to cover conference documentation, refreshments, lunch, wine reception and administration costs.

Registration now open 

To register please download the registration form and submit to Amanda Wheeler [email protected]

Download the Registration form here

General enquires:

Please email: [email protected]