British Universities Film & Video Council

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Understudy, The

Synopsis
Television programme. This was the penultimate segment in the first series of a six-part anthology of half-hour plays written by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, who also appear in most of the episodes. THE UNDERSTUDY is subdivided into five acts and the plot and characters mirror those in Macbeth. Pemberton plays Tony Warner, an actor starring in a West End production of Macbeth. Shearsmith is Jim, his understudy, and his girlfriend Laura, who is understudying Lady Macbeth, and who is much more ambitious about his career. She hatches a plan to sabotage Tony’s performance so that Jim will get his big break. One evening Tony goes on stage drunk and falls off the battlements and Jim becomes a star but is increasingly disturbed by visions of blood in the dressing room (where the entire action takes place). But who is the real ‘Lady Macbeth’ behind the scenes? In the final ‘Act’ we see Jim preparing to go on stage in Richard III. Snatches of the play as performed on stage are heard via the intercom system playing in the dressing room.
Series
Inside No. 9
Language
English
Country
Great Britain; United Kingdom
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
2014
Transmission details
5 Mar 2014 (Channel: BBC2)
Duration
30 mins

Credits

Director
David Kerr
Producer
Jon Plowman
Writer
Reece Shearsmith; Steve Pemberton
Cast
Lyndsey Marshal 
Reece ShearsmithJim
Roger Sloman 
Steve PembertonTony Warner

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Plays
Macbeth
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); theatre companies

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Distributor

Name

Retail outlets

Distributor (Sale)

Name

2 Entertain Video

Email
DVDenquiryline@bbc.com
Web
http://www.2entertainvideo.co.uk/ External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7612 3000
Fax
020 7612 3003
Address
BBC Worldwide
33 Foley Street
London
W1W 7TL
Notes
Specialises in distributing archival film and television titles, predominantly licensed from the BBC (the principal shareholder is BBC Worldwide). Sale on DVD through retail outlets. As of 2016 2Entertain is being gradually wound down and its output reduced. If something is not available via them it is advisable to try the BBC Store at https://store.bbc.com/

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