British Universities Film & Video Council

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The Tempest

Summary
1939 BBC Television studio production of Shakespeare’s final play The Tempest.
Theatre play
The Tempest by William Shakespeare [more information]
Date of transmission
Sunday 5 February 1939
Time
9.05-10.35pm
Channel
BBC Television
Production company
BBC

Credits

Producer
Dallas Bower (1907-1999)
Playwright
William Shakespeare
Music
Sibelius
Musical Arrangements by
Hyam Greenbaum
Designer
Malcolm Baker-Smith
Choreographer
Antony Tudor (with members of the London Ballet)
Cast
John Abbott (1905-1996)Prospero
Richard AinleyFerdinand
Peggy AshcroftMiranda
Charlotte Bidmead
Oliver BurtSebastian
Erik Chitty (1907-1977)Boatswain
George DevineCaliban
Charles FarrellStephano
Richard GooldenTrinculo
Stephen HaggardAriel
Elizabeth Hamilton
Hugh Laing
Thérèse Langfield
Basil LangtonAntonio
Stuart LathamAdrian
Vera LindsayIris
Guy Massey
Graham PaynFrancisco
Dennis Price (1915-1973)Ship’s Master
John Regan
John TurnbullGonzalo
Peggy van Praagh
Alan WheatleyAlonso

Additional details

Origination
Live from studio
Vision original
Monochrome
Later transmissions
Presented again at 3.00pm on Wednesday 8 February 1939.
Notes
'A field-day for experimental-minded Dallas Bower on Sunday, February 5—he will produce The Tempest, a play that cries aloud for special television treatment [...] There will be two penumbrascopes (popularly called "umbrellascopes" at Alexandra Palace), and Ariel will be made far more of a tricksy spirit with the help of the cameras’ ('The Scanner’, ‘Intelligent "Ribbernecks" ', Radio Times, 27 January 1939, p. 16).
Extant status
No archival copy is known to exist.

Print sources

Title
Radio Times, 27 January 1939 (Magazine)
Linking notes
brief article by ‘The Scanner’, p. 16
Title
Radio Times, 3 February 1939 (Magazine)
Linking notes
listing, p. 14
Title
Shakespeare on Screen: An International Filmography and Videography (Book)
Author/creator
Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer (Authors)
Reference
London: Mansell, 1990
Linking notes
entry 610, p. 283
Title
To-Day’s Home Programmes (Newspaper listing)
Reference
Sunday Times, 5 February 1939, p. 22

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