Screen

Off-Cut: Five Women

Tony Parker was a small, unthreatening man who listened. He once told me that he’d never met anyone who bored him. I was always trying to avoid bores. He fascinated me, not least because of his methods. He would listen to his subjects for countless hours over long periods, patiently, sympathetically and without judgement, rather like a therapist would. He then distilled this material into a readable length, preserving the words and meaning of the speakers.

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Beautiful Thing

Off-Cut: Beautiful Thing

One evening I went to The Bush to check up on a new play by Jonathan Harvey, Beautiful Thing. I’d not been to the theatre for a while and wasn’t looking forward to a couple of hours on their hard seats being shouted at. I knew I’d be hungry for dinner. But I was entranced. This story of two teenage boys coming out as gay, first to each other and then to others, was delicate,

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Football is about family

I wrote this seeing my granddaughter in an Aston Villa shirt. Aila’s three. I wish Barry Hines had read it. He would have understood. Why do so many of us give pain to our children? We knowingly condemn them to suffer, year after year. Then watch this pain with pride. Are you one of the guilty parents?

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Details

TV Series

  • Ex Producer: Tony Garnett,
  • Producers: Paddy Higson,
  • Director: Margaret Matheson,
  • Writers: Various, John McLure

Details

The Wednesday Play

The family set off for a picnic in the country with all the paraphernalia – the cine camera the frozen barbecued chicken – all of which is looked on, with sixth-form cynicism and disgust, by the family’s son. Nor does he think he’s going to enjoy the trip round the Cheddar Gorge …

“A breakthrough in TV drama ” – ROBERT OTTAWAY, DAILY SKETCH
“Pure and hilarious farce” – MARTIN JACKSON , DAILY EXPRESS
“The funniest ever Wednesday Play… every laugh a wound – MAURICE WIGGIN , SUNDAY TIMES

  • Producer: Tony Garnett,
  • Director: Christopher Morahan,
  • Writer: Peter Nichols

Off-Cut: The Parachute

When I called David Mercer to ask him if he had something he was burning to write, he just said he had an image of a man on the end of a parachute. That’s all he knew. I called his agent, Peggy Ramsay, and put through a commissioning form. That was allowed in those days. As a producer I could commission a screenplay about anything from anyone. Producers were allowed some discretionary judgement.

Some months later a screenplay arrived.

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BBC Attachments

Off-Cut: Attachments

As the internet gained momentum I made plans to work on it, thinking everyone would be as excited as I was. The only way to learn to do it, is to do it.

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Off-Cut: Kes – the football scene

After my last post, ‘Football is about family‘, I was asked ‘Do you have any memorable moments from filming the football scene in Kes?’ Here’s my answer…

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Afternoon

Five Minute Films BBC Series: Episode 2/5

Producer
Director
Writer
Tony Garnett
Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh

Details

TV Series (BBC – 6 series 1996-2001)

  • Ex Producer: Tony Garnett,
  • Producers: Joy Lale -€“ Series 1,
  • Director: Chris Griffin -€“ Series 2,
  • Writer: Various,
  • Created by: Kieran Prendiville

Details

The Wednesday Play

  • Producer: Tony Garnett,
  • Director: James MacTaggart,
  • Writer: Nemone Lethbridge

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Details

The Wednesday Play

  • Producer: James McTaggart,
  • Director: Gareth Davies,
  • Writer: Dennis Potter,
  • Story Editors: Tony Garnett, Roger Smith

Off-Cut: Arturo Ui

A love hate relationship with Bertold Brecht had frustrated me for years. In the end I decided that his ideas might work in the theatre, but were of little use to me.

I had read Stanislavsky’s An Actor Prepares in my teens and had almost lived at Sadler’s Wells Theatre when the Russians played there in 1958. This was the most credible acting I’d ever seen in a theatre. In contrast I’d never seen a Brecht which enthused me,

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Details

Movie
(Kestrel Films)

  • Producer: Tony Garnett,
  • Director: Tony Garnett,
  • Writer: Tony Garnett
Kilmainham Gaol Prison Source: Wikimedia | Antonio Camelo

Off-Cut: Law and Order – 1916

The 1916 uprising in Dublin and the mini series about judicial corruption, Law and Order, are welded as one in my mind. Connection?

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A Light Snack

Five Minute Films BBC Series: Episode 1/5

Producer
Director
Writer
Tony Garnett
Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh

Details

BBC TV Series

  • Ex Producer: Tony Garnett,
  • Producer: Jane Fallon,
  • Director: Various,
  • Created by: Amy Jenkins

Details

The Wednesday Play

  • Producer: Tony Garnett,
  • Director: Jack Gold,
  • Writer: Jim Allen