British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Cema

Alternative title
C.E.M.A.
Synopsis
A documentary about the precursor to the Arts Council, the wartime Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA), featuring an introduction by education minister R A Butler, an art exhibition in a factory and live music and theatre performances in various English locations.

One sequence shows a view of Burnley, in Lancashire and a shot of a poster advertising a play by William Shakespeare performed by the Old Vic Company. Inside the local theatre, a female stage director supervises a line rehearsal by the actresses playing the parts of Mistress Ford and Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor whilst carpenters and stage hands prepare the set. The actor playing Sir John Falstaff rehearses a scene with Mistress Ford, fluffs one of his lines and calls for the female prompter to correct him. As the two actors continue rehearsing their lines, stagehands are seen backstage sorting out the curtains and moving stage props. A woman cleaning and polishing the seats in the stalls pauses from her work to look at a scene in which Falstaff cosies up to Mistress Page, at which point a boy actor steps forward to announce that Mistress Page has arrived. The director interrupts the boy and comes up on stage to give him some direction. The cleaning woman watches this going on and then continues her cleaning and polishing. An unseen stage manager’s voice calls out, "OK. Right through, please!" [With acknowledgement to the cataloguers of the Imperial War Museum, Film and Television Archive for the synopsis].
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Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Black-and-white / Sound
Year of release
1942
Duration
17 mins; 11,564 feet

Credits

Director
Alan Osbiston; Charles de Lautour; Desmond Dickinson; Dylan Thomas; John Banting; Peter Graham-Scott
Producer
Alexander Shaw
Cinematographer
Charles Marlborough
Writer
Alan Osbiston; Charles de Lautour; Desmond Dickinson; Dylan Thomas; Peter Graham-Scott
Music
Muir Mathieson
Contributor
R.A. Butler

Additional Details

Theatre company
Old Vic Theatre Company
Production type
Documentary/Educational/News
Plays
Merry Wives of Windsor, The
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
propaganda; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Rehearsals

Production Company

Name

Strand Film Company

Sponsor

Name

Ministry of Information

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
Name

Imperial War Museum, Film and Video Archive

Email
film@iwm.org.uk
Web
http://www.iwm.org.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7416 5293
Fax
020 7416 8299
Address
Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HZ

Record Stats

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