The world of British television off and on the screen, as it was sixty years ago.

Going Dutch

In the Daily Express, Cyril Aynsley reports on actress Ellen Blueth who, five years ago, came to England from Holland to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where she won the Flora Robson award. After that, apparently the Home Office wouldn’t let her remain in the country unless she worked in domestic service. So for three years she did, but now she’s been told she can stay and she’ll be appearing in Sunday’s play The Whole Truth… as a Dutch maid. Hey, and indeed, ho.

Aynsley has less complimentary things to say about the BBC’s practice of taking their cameras to West End theatres and televising excerpts from live plays, describing it as “ersatz television”, “maddening for viewers” and making the point that “the BBC is not a publicity agent for theatrical ventures.”

No theatrical ventures of that kind on the BBC today. Music from the Castle comes from Chirk and features Osian Ellis (harp), Donald Youngman (virginals), Richard Adeney (flute), Max Gilbert (viola) and Patricia Kern (contralto) with a commentary from the architect and creator of Portmeirion, Clough Williams-Ellis.

There’s a second edition of Life with the Lyons, the first of which is much-praised on The Stage‘s TV Page which noted “how successfully Life with the Lyons has transferred from radio to TV. It is fast, slick and funny. Keeping the same style as the production – Ben’s bombast deflated by family jibes, catty Bebe, penny-pinching Richard [and] helpful Barbara.”

The same reviewer enjoyed Holiday Hotel too declaring that “Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss compered a scintillating show” and finding Jimmy Clitheroe a “big hit”. In one of the less convincing notices, the reviewer adds, “It was good to see Norman Evans looking so fit after his painful accident. One would not have thought he had lost an eye in it.” Does that faint praise mean he wasn’t actually funny but it would have been mean to say so, or…?

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