Television World Theatre (1957–1958)
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Strange Interlude: Part 1 

After Nina Leeds finds out that insanity runs in her husband's family, she has a love child with a handsome doctor and lets her husband believes the child is his.

Director:

John Jacobs

Writers:

Ian Dallas (adaptation), Eugene O'Neill (play)
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Diane Cilento ... Nina Leeds
William Sylvester ... Dr. Edmund 'Ned' Darrell
David Knight ... Sam Evans
Catherine Lacey ... Mrs. Amos Evans
Oliver Johnston ... Prof. Henry Leeds
Noel Willman ... Charles Marsden
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Betty Woolfe Betty Woolfe ... Servant
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Storyline

After Nina Leeds finds out that insanity runs in her husband's family, she has a love child with a handsome doctor and lets her husband believes the child is his.

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 1958 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Successful adaptation of O'Neill's "upmarket soap opera"

This 1958 telerecording of O'Neill's 1928 play (aptly described by writer John Wyver as an "upmarket soap opera") remained unseen in any format until it was shown at BFI Southbank in 2015. The play's original running time (sometimes between 4 and 5 hours depending on the number and length of intervals) was cut by Ian Dallas to 3 hours. Because the action covers 25 years, ageing make-up is required, and therefore the play couldn't be broadcast live. Instead it was telerecorded in sections and then broadcast in two parts. There were no re-takes and so fluffs are retained. O'Neill's family saga was an experiment, almost psychodrama, because the characters' thoughts are spoken as asides. Here, as with the (much shorter)1932 movie, they're done as voice-overs. The device works well; Noel Willman is the most adept at the hard job of reacting as he listens to his own thoughts. The leading female role requires a Hamlet-style tour de force; Diane Cilento does well and she gets strong support, even from David Knight, not remembered as a great actor. He's one of two Americans in the cast but, oddly, none of the Brits attempts an American accent. Given the simple story, it's a long haul, even at 3 hours, but in the unlikely event of this programme ever getting another public screening, it's worth seeing as a considerable technical feat for its time and for its performances. (It's possibly far superior to the "laughable" 1932 version).


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