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John Hurt

TV: Six Characters in Search of an Author

A strange family disrupts a studio film shoot, plus a short film revealing the ‘real’ John Hurt.

Image from TV: Six Characters in Search of an Author Performance

Performance. BBC 1992
Dir Bill Bryden
With John Hurt, Tara Fitzgerald, Brian Cox, Susan Fleetwood

Michael Hastings’ clever adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s classic play updates it to a 1950s film studio, and Bryden’s atmospheric production proves a fine way to translate its multi-layered themes of illusion and reality to the small screen. When a strange family interrupts the filming, their tragic story proves more ‘truthful’ than the film’s script; but just where does acting stop and reality begin? Hurt excels as ‘the father,’ turning in one of his finest and most subtle TV performances.

+ In Your Face. John Hurt painted by Stuart Pearson Wright
Ch4 2002. Dirs Bruno Wollheim, Christopher Swayne. 12min
In this short programme exploring the relationship between different portrait painters and their sitters we get a glimpse of the real John Hurt.


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