Television Drama and Northern Ireland: the First Plays 1959-67

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Downloads (Pure)


This article sets out to map the largely forgotten history of the first television dramas about Northern Ireland by Northern Ireland writers during the 1950s and 1960s. It examines the first experiments in drama production by BBC Northern Ireland and Ulster Television alongside the work by Northern Irish writers produced by ITV companies and the BBC in London. It looks at the institutional and ideological contexts in which the work emerged before going on to examine the patterns of representation that resulted. Made prior to the emergence of the Troubles in 1969, the article considers the first attempts to show Northern Ireland in television drama and assesses the ways in which the individual plays - ranging from rural comedy to working-class realism- addressed – both obliquely and explicitly - the social tensions and anxieties of the time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-304
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Issue number3
Early online dateJun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2023


  • BBC
  • Armchair Theatre
  • ITV
  • Northern Ireland
  • Troubles
  • television drama

Cite this