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Alice Through the Looking Glass
+ Drums Along the Avon (The Wednesday Play)

Alice Through the Looking Glass (Year: 1973. Directed by: James MacTaggart. Featuring: Sarah Sutton / Brenda Bruce / Judy Parfitt / Freddie Jones / Stephen Moore. Running time: 65min)
Drums Along the Avon (The Wednesday Play) (Year: 1967. Directed by: James MacTaggart. Featuring: Leonard Rossiter / Valerie Newman / Rafiq Anwar / Amita Mall / Salmaan Peer. Running time: 73min)

Two plays directed by the high priest of non-naturalism, James MacTaggart. Read more

Synopsis

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Two plays directed by the high priest of non-naturalism. MacTaggart was quick to realise the potential in the new Colour Separation Overlay technique that allowed actors to be electronically superimposed on any background. Physical scenery could be dispensed with and whole visual worlds conjured up. In this production (the BBC’s official entry to the prestigious Prix Italia competition), MacTaggart pushes the new technology to evoke Lewis Caroll’s psychologically complex dream world. The beautiful visual style is complemented by performances that create a memorable array of eccentrics.

Drums Along the Avon (The Wednesday Play)

Produced by Tony Garnett and described as ‘a fable’ by writer Charles Wood, this is an audacious riff on race, immigration and prejudice. Employing a variety of Brechtian techniques, from actors addressing camera to a complex use of montage and music, the play testifies to MacTaggart’s brilliance as a director. As the councillor who ‘goes native’, Leonard Rossiter is funny and entertaining, displaying his usual flashes of comic genius.

Screening as part of Beyond the Fourth Wall – Experiments in TV Drama

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