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Episodes cast for
"Performance" (1992) More at IMDbPro »

Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Year: 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1998


Season 1


Season 1, Episode 0: Uncle Vanya

22 February 1991
A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother and brother still live there and manage the farm. For many years the brother (Uncle Vanya) has sent the farm's proceeds to the professor, while receiving only a small salary himself. Sonya, the professor's daughter, who is about the same age as his new wife, also lives on the estate. The professor is pompous, vain, and irritable. He calls the doctor (Astrov) to treat his gout, only to send him away without seeing him. Astrov is an experienced physician who performs his job conscientiously, but has lost all idealism and spends much of his time drinking. The presence of Yelena introduces a bit of sexual tension into the household. Astrov and Uncle Vanya both fall in love with Yelena; she spurns them both. Meanwhile, Sonya is in love with Astrov, who fails even to notice her. Finally, when the professor announces he wants to sell the estate, Vanya, whose admiration for the man died with his sister, tries to kill him.

David Warner ... Vanya

Ian Holm ... Astrov

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Yelena

Ian Bannen ... Prof. Serebryakov

Rebecca Pidgeon ... Sonya

Rachel Kempson ... Mariya Vasilyevna
Sandra Voe ... Nanny

Roger Hammond ... Waffles
Jimmy Flint ... Workman
James Warrior ... Workman

Season 1, Episode 1: Absolute Hell

5 October 1991
Black comedy set in Soho, London, right after WW2. Half of the fun is seeing a slew of very familiar faces kick up their heels as gay men, lesbians, party-girls, drunks, and drag queens.

Judi Dench ... Christine Foskett
Susan Porrett ... Doris, Christine's sister
Paul Birchard ... Butch
Sylvia Barter ... Julia Shillitoe

Bill Nighy ... Hugh Marriner

Ronald Pickup ... Siegfried Shrager

Francesca Annis ... Elizabeth Collier
Eileen Page ... Mrs. Marriner, Hugh's mother
Gregory Floy ... Michael Crowley

Charles Gray ... Maurice Hussey

Nathaniel Parker ... Sam Mitchum
Moyra Fraser ... Lettice Willis
William Osborne ... Cyril Clatworthy
Susan Brown ... Bill
Betty Marsden ... R. B. Monody
Sheelagh Fraser ... Madge

Anthony Calf ... Douglas Eden

Pip Torrens ... Nigel Childs
Barbara Hicks ... Mrs. Pratt

Ray Winstone ... P. C. Molson
Sussanah Morley ... Fifi
Cordelia Roche ... Club Member
Gary Fairhall ... Club Member
Mark Gillis ... Club Member

Season 1, Episode 2: Nona

19 October 1991

Les Dawson ... Nona
Liz Smith ... Anyula

Jim Broadbent ... Carmello

Timothy Spall ... Chico
Susan Brown ... Maria

Jane Horrocks ... Marta
Maurice Denham ... Don Francisco

Season 1, Episode 3: Old Times

26 October 1991

Season 1, Episode 4: Top Girls

2 November 1991


Deborah Findlay ... Isabella Bird / Joyce / Mrs Kidd
Beth Goddard ... Waitress / Kit / Shona
Cecily Hobbs ... Pope Joan / Louise
Sarah Lam ... Lady Nijo / Win

Lesley Manville ... Marlene

Anna Patrick ... Patient Griselda / Nell / Jeanine

Lesley Sharp ... Dull Gret / Angie

Season 1, Episode 5: The Trials of Oz

9 November 1991
Dramatization of the famous 1971 trial in which the editors of the British underground magazine "Oz" were charged with obscenity.

Hugh Grant ... Richard Neville

Peter O'Brien ... James Anderson

Kevin Allen ... Felix Dennis

Leslie Phillips ... Judge Michael Argyle

Nigel Hawthorne ... Brian Leary

Simon Callow ... John Mortimer
Alex Langdon ... Vivien Berger
David Troughton ... Detective Inspector Luff

Alfred Molina ... George Melly

Jemma Redgrave ... Caroline Coon

Nicholas Farrell ... Dr. Michael Schofield
Helena Kaut-Howson ... Dr. Josephine Klein
Damien Thomas ... Dr. Edward de Bono

Nigel Planer ... John Peel
Joe Melia ... Feliks Topolski

Rolf Saxon ... Professor Ronald Dworkin
Lee Cornes ... Marty Feldman
Michael Tudor Barnes ... Clerk of the Court
Jon Rumney ... Usher

Season 2


Season 2, Episode 1: Tales from Hollywood

19 October 1992
A slightly ironical description of the colony of German artists in Los Angeles, who had to leave their country during the Nazi-regime. A young playwriter (von Horvath) joins them and finds out, that there are gaps between the artistical attitudes and the real live behavior of authors like Thomas or Heinrich Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger or Bertold Brecht.

Season 2, Episode 2: A Doll's House

29 March 1992
Nora Helmer has years earlier committed a forgery in order to save the life of her authoritarian husband Torvald. Now she is being blackmailed lives in fear of her husband's finding out and of the shame such a revelation would bring to his career. But when the truth comes out, Nora is shocked to learn where she really stands in her husband's esteem.

Juliet Stevenson ... Nora Helmer

Trevor Eve ... Torvald Helmer

Geraldine James ... Kristine Linde

Patrick Malahide ... Dr. Rank

David Calder ... Nils Krogstad
Sonia Ritter ... Helene
Helen Blatch ... Anne-Marie
Dennis Clinton ... Porter
Joe Anderson ... Ivar
Max Anderson ... Bob
Alexandra Gill ... Emmy

Season 2, Episode 3: Roots

28 November 1992

Adie Allen ... Pearl Bryant

Christopher Eccleston ... Frankie

Pam Ferris ... Mrs. Bryant
Ewan Hooper ... Mr. Bryant

Jane Horrocks ... Beatie Bryant
Keith Osborn ... Mr. Healey
Bryan Pringle ... Stan Mann

Timothy Spall ... Jimmy Beales

Imelda Staunton ... Jenny Beales

Season 2, Episode 4: After the Dance

5 December 1992


Celia Bannerman ... Miss Potter
Geoffrey Beevers ... Arthur Power
Simon Beresford ... Dr. George Banner
John Bird ... John Reid

Ben Chaplin ... Cyril Carter
Georgina Hale ... Moya Lexington

Gemma Jones ... Joan Scott-Fowler

Richard Lintern ... Peter Scott-Fowler
Malcolm Mudie ... Williams
Anton Rodgers ... David Scott-Fowler

Graham Seed ... Lawrence Walters

Imogen Stubbs ... Helen Banner
Roberta Taylor ... Julia Browne

Season 2, Episode 5: Six Characters in Search of an Author

12 December 1992
Six fictional characters in an unwritten play appear to a theatrical company and demand that the company act out the characters' tragic story.

John Hurt ... The Father

Brian Cox ... The Director

Tara Fitzgerald ... Emily

Susan Fleetwood ... The Mother
Keith Baxter ... Actor
Nicholas Gatt ... The Little Boy
Brian Glover ... Production Assistant
Patricia Hayes ... Madame Pace
Tamara King ... The Little Girl

Steven Mackintosh ... The Brother

Peter Wingfield ... Actor

Season 3


Season 3, Episode 2: The Maitlands

13 November 1993
In the secluded coastal resort of Betworthy, the Maitland family has fallen on hard times and the eldest son Roger, a schoolmaster, is forced to give a young boy after-school tuition in order to pay for his jet-setting wife Dorothy's trip to the French Riviera. His mother, Mrs. Maitland, puts her hope in a legacy from her brother while their live-in cousin Phyllis plans to escape poverty and the tedium of Betworthy by accepting a marriage proposal from Major Luddington. Everything changes, however, as the younger Maitland brother, Jack, returns home for a visit and Phyllis falls in love with him. Jack, who left the family years ago to seek his fortune in London, is now a rich and successful actor, a career choice of which his family never approved, which, in his opinion, gives him the perfect excuse to treat them just as badly as he wishes. Further trouble comes along as Joan, an old friend of Phyllis's, suddenly pays a visit to the house and falls in love with Roger.

Eileen Atkins ... Mrs. May Maitland
Amanda Drew ... Daisy

Jennifer Ehle ... Phyllis
Emma Fielding ... Joan Clareville

Edward Fox ... Major Luddington

Bill Nighy ... Roger Maitland
Henry Power ... Arnold Luddington

Harriet Walter ... Mrs. Dorothy Maitland

Samuel West ... Jack Maitland

Season 3, Episode 3: Hedda Gabler

27 March 1993
Hedda Gabler is a beautiful woman married to the solid and respectable academic George Tesman. Then an old flame, the dreamer Eilert Lovborg, turns up on the scene with tragic results.

Season 3, Episode 4: The Entertainer

4 December 1993
Uses the metaphor of the dying music hall tradition, specifically fictional music hall star Archie Rice, to comment on the moribund state of the British Empire in the 1950s.
George Beach ... Frank Rice

Michael Gambon ... Archie Rice
Nicholas Hewetson ... Graham Dodd

Helen McCrory ... Jean Rice
Bill Owen ... Billy Rice

David Ryall ... Bill

Billie Whitelaw ... Phoebe Rice

Season 3, Episode 5: The Changeling

11 December 1993
Just days before her wedding, Beatrice-Joanna has a chance encounter with Alsemero, and realizes that she has met her one true love. To marry the man she loves, she persuades the love-struck henchman De Flores to murder her fiance, but does not anticipate the tragic consequences of her actions.

Season 4


Season 4, Episode 1: Message for Posterity

29 October 1994
Cast member Bruce Alexander recalled: "'Message for Posterity' was remade as a tribute to [Dennis Potter] just after his death the original recording of the early 60's having been lost by the BBC. As a result we under the direction of David Jones reproduced the original script with painstaking (perhaps over-scrupulous) accuracy, honouring every comma and letter in a way for which television is not renowned. The play was intriguing as a result but in style smacked of an earlier era of televised drama with long scenes and a quasi-theatrical interest in the spoken word rather than action. It was all quite a bit different from the later more overtly iconoclastic Potter." Since the original 1967 BBC "Wednesday Play" production of PotterÕs "Message for Posterity" became a lost work, it survives only as a script. The BBC2 revival (for the "Performance" series of plays by major dramatists), featuring an introduction by Brian Walden (father of cast member Ben Walden), aired 29 October 1994, four-and-a-half months after Potter's death, with the American television premiere four years later (March-April 1998) on Ovation, the Arts Network. Potter was inspired by an incident in the life of Sir Winston Churchill, whose portrait was commissioned by the House of Lords and the House of Commons on the occasion of Churchill's 80th birthday. When it was presented to him at a 30 November 1954 Westminster Hall ceremony, Churchill remarked, "The portrait is a remarkable example of modern art. It certainly combines force and candour." In truth, Churchill hated the finished painting by Graham Sutherland (1903-1980), claiming "it makes me look half-witted," and it was never exhibited in public. A year later, Mrs. Churchill had the painting destroyed. Potter used this situation as a springboard for a drama symbolizing the power of the British Establishment to crush any challenge to its authority. In Potter's play, political radical James Player is commissioned by the House of Commons to paint Conservative statesman Sir David Browning. When the left-wing Player, who despises all that Browning represents, arrives at the former Prime Minister's country estate, the two have a confrontational clash of values and politics. Player intends to depict "the grotesque evil of power," so the portrait will serve as revenge for Browning's actions during the 1926 General Strike. Unable to forgive Browning for breaking up a miners' meeting by sending troops into "some common ground in the middle of the Forest of Dean," Player views his canvas as "a final judgment, the long-postponed moment of reckoning, the just revenge of a long-abused people." When Browning drifts into sleep, Player props him up and continues to paint, but Player suddenly becomes enraged "as if possessed by a demon," running about and smashing objects, proclaiming, "I'll 1926 you, you bastard." After Player is led away, Browning is told by his private secretary and granddaughter that no one will ever see the painting and that Player "won't trouble us again." Browning responds, "We always win in the end... Always win... in the end."

Patrick Godfrey ... 1st Conservative MP
Nicholas Selby ... 2nd Conservative MP

Annette Crosbie ... 1st Labour MP

Tony Haygarth ... 2nd Labour MP
Edward Petherbridge ... Liberal MP
Eric Porter ... James Player

Sophie Thompson ... Gillian Player
Ben Walden ... Miles
Bruce Alexander ... Thompson

John Neville ... Sir David Browning

Bev Willis ... Barnes
Steven Crossley ... TV Newsreader
Stephen Moore ... Hawkins

Ronald Pickup ... Richard Browning
Brian Sewell ... Art Critic (voice)
Joe Jones ... Policeman
Abigail Cruttenden ... Clara Browning
Manuel Harlan ... Karl
Sarah Louise Mayne ... Emily

Season 4, Episode 2: Measure for Measure

5 November 1994
Modern dress version of Shakespeare's "problem comedy" emphasizing the darker elements of the play and eliminating most of the humor, as Claudio is dragged to the police station on charges of fornication, and given a rectal exam in front of a window.

Tom Wilkinson ... Duke Vincentio

Corin Redgrave ... Angelo

Juliet Aubrey ... Isabella

Ian Bannen ... Provost
Romy Baskerville ... Francisca
Geoffrey Beevers ... Friar Thomas

David Bradley ... Barnadine
Robert Demeger ... Abhorson
Rob Edwards ... Lucio
Sally George ... Juliet

Henry Goodman ... Pompey
Kristin Hewson ... Kate
Darlene Johnson ... Pa

Sue Johnston ... Mistress Overdone
Margot Leicester ... Mariana

Ben Miles ... Claudio
David Waller ... Escalus

Season 4, Episode 3: The Deep Blue Sea

12 November 1994
A woman unhappy in her passionless marriage leaves her husband for a younger and more ardent lover.

Season 4, Episode 4: A Summer Day's Dream

26 November 1994
An adaptation of JB Priestly's play set in a post-apocalyptic 1975.

Season 5


Season 5, Episode 1: Shadow of a Gunman

7 October 1995
The first part of O'Casey's "The Dublin Trilogy". Set in 1920, as the War of Independence rages, "Shadow of a Gunman" is the story of two young men, Donald & Seamus who share a flat in Dublin.

Season 5, Episode 2: The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd

14 October 1995

Gavin Abbott ... Miner
Christopher Brand ... Miner
Brenda Bruce ... Grandmother

Stephen Dillane ... Mr. Blackmore

Colin Firth ... Charles Holroyd
Wayne Foskett ... Rigby
Shane Fox ... Jack

Melanie Hill ... Laura
Peter Needham ... Mine Manager
Lauren Richardson ... Minnie
Mossie Smith ... Clara

Zoë Wanamaker ... Mrs. Holroyd

Season 5, Episode 3: Landscape

21 October 1995


Ian Holm ... Duff

Penelope Wilton ... Beth

Season 5, Episode 4: Bed

14 August 1995
Surreal drama about seven old people living in the same bed.
Renée Asherson ... Marjorie
Robin Bailey ... Charles
June Brown ... Spinster

Dora Bryan ... Bosom Lady
Phyllis Calvert ... Woman
Maurice Denham ... Man

Richard E. Grant ... Nurse / Bedhead

Lionel Jeffries ... Captain

Season 5, Episode 5: Henry IV

28 October 1995

Season 5, Episode 6: After Miss Julie

4 November 1995


Season 6


Season 6, Episode 1: King Lear

21 March 1998
King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly flatter the old man in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for support to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear's loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being told lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers.

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