British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

The Man with the Flower in His Mouth

Summary
BBC Television production of Luigi Pirandello’s The Man with the Flower in his Mouth, about which John Wyver writes as follows: ‘This offering was part of John Logie Baird’s experimental television service, and although there are other contenders for the title of "first television drama", it does seem to be the earliest production of an existing play’ (source: http://screenplaystv.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/100-television-stage-plays-1-1930-1939).
Theatre play
The Man with the Flower in his Mouth [L’uomo dal fiore in bocca] by Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) [more information]
Date of transmission
Monday 14 July 1930
Time
3.30pm (22 mins)
Channel
BBC Television
Production company
BBC; Baird Studios

Credits

Producer
Lance Sieveking
Playwright
Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936)
Scenic Artist
C. R. W. Nevinson
Assistant Producer
Sydney A. Moseley
Cast
Earle GreyThe Man, a role which was to have been played by Val Gielgud who was ill on the day
Lionel MillardThe Customer
Gladys YoungThe Woman

Additional details

Extant status
No archival copy is known to exist.
Play tags
Italian drama

Print sources

Title
100 television stage plays: [1] 1930-1939 (Blog article)
Author/creator
John Wyver (Author)
Reference
http://screenplaystv.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/100-television-stage-plays-1-1930-1939, published 22 August 2011
Title
Adventure in Vision: The First Twenty-Five Years of Television (Book)
Author/creator
John Swift (Author)
Reference
London: John Lehmann, 1950
Linking notes
pp. 46-47, and four images facing p. 40
Title
Baird Versus the BBC (Website)
Author/creator
Richard G. Elen (Author)
Reference
http://www.transdiffusion.org/tv/baird/bairdvbbc, accessed 19 November 2012
Title
British television’s first play, 81 years ago today (Blog article)
Author/creator
John Wyver (Author)
Reference
http://screenplaystv.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/british-televisions-first-play-81-years-ago-today, published 14 July 2011
Title
First Television Play: The Man with the Flower in His Mouth (Newspaper review)
Reference
The Observer, 6 July 1930, p. 10
Title
Radio Times, 24 July 1959 (Magazine)
Linking notes
discussed in an article on p. 4
Title
Television’s very first drama (review) (Blog article)
Author/creator
John Wyver (Author)
Reference
http://www.illuminationsmedia.co.uk/blog/index.cfm?start=1&news_id=747, published 14 July 2011
Title
The First Play by Television: BBC and Baird Experiment (Newspaper review)
Reference
The Times, 15 July 1930, p. 12
Title
The Man with the Flower in his Mouth - All About the First Ever TV Play (Blog article)
Author/creator
Derek Brady (Author)
Reference
http://www.tech-ops.co.uk/page142.html, accessed 19 November 2012

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