Play for Today and Northern Ireland in the 1970s

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This article sets out to explain the factors influencing the making of Plays for Today about Northern Ireland during the 1970s and how these partly account for the characteristics of the work that was produced. The discussion initially identifies the problems posed by filming in Northern Ireland and the managerial scrutiny to which plays dealing with the ‘troubles’ – such as Carson Country and The Legion Hall Bombing - were subject. It then goes on to examine how these factors encouraged the ‘oblique’ artistic strategies evident in Taking Leave and Your Man from Six Counties and the more self-reflexive and anti-naturalist approach adopted by Come the Revolution, Catchpenny Twist and The Last Window Cleaner. In doing so, the article aims to retrieve a largely ‘forgotten’ period of television drama production and add to our understanding of how television drama first tackled the contemporary Northern Ireland ‘troubles’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-240
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • BBC
  • Play for Today
  • Forgotten Television Drama
  • Northern Ireland
  • The Troubles
  • Censorship

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