Saturday 28 January 2023

a Play opening


Watch and listen not for the play itself but the intro / title sequence for Play For Today in 1973 - a cool if brief slice of avant electronic crash bang wallop. The starkness and abrasiveness seem to be preparing the viewers: "gird yourself for some grim, barebones social realism". I noticed this when watching Mike Leigh's debut TV play Hard Labour (there is a season of Leigh on Telly running at the Criterion streamer, things like Grown-Ups, Nuts in May, etc) and that is indeed some grim, barebones social realism. (Oooh... the scene where the put-upon wife rubs rheumatic ointment into her husband's ginger-hairy back and shoulders...)

Here's another Play for Today title sequence which captures a different flavor of the 1970s  - the vibe here is friendly, relaxed, Alan Price-y.... cultured yet softened by a new informality...  it makes me picture Melvyn Bragg's hair....


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