Sunday Night Theatre

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Sunday Night Theatre
StarringRichard Caldicot
George Woodbridge
Robert Brown
Michael Brennan
Brian Rix
John Vere
Carl Bernard
Patrick Barr
Larry Noble
Henry Oscar
Beatrice Varley
Victor Platt
Alan Wheatley
George Skillan
Peter Sallis
Nora Gordon
Timothy Bateson[1]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes721 plays (27 survive)
Original release
NetworkBBC Television
Release5 March 1950 (1950-03-05) –
20 December 1959 (1959-12-20)
BBC Sunday-Night Play

Sunday Night Theatre was a long-running series of televised live television plays screened by BBC Television from early 1950 until 1959.

The productions for the first five years or so of the run were re-staged live the following Thursday, partly because of technical limitations in this era, and the theatrical basis of early television drama. Some of the earliest collaborations between Rudolph Cartier and Nigel Kneale were produced for this series, including Arrow to the Heart (1952, 1956) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954). The Sunday night drama slot was subsequently renamed The Sunday-Night Play which ran for four seasons between 1960 and 1963.[2][citation needed] ITV transmitted its own unrelated run of Sunday Night Theatre between 1969 and 1974.

Archive status[edit]

The overwhelming majority of the run (1950–1959) of 721 plays are missing from television archives; only 27 are believed to still exist[3][citation needed] as telerecordings. The Thursday 'repeat performance; of Nineteen Eighty-Four survives in this form. (See Wiping.)

Also among the surviving episodes are at least two from 1953, It Is Midnight, Dr. Schweitzer[4][citation needed] and The Lady from the Sea.[5] A recording of the soundtrack of the production of Requiem for a Heavyweight broadcast in March 1957, which features Sean Connery in the lead role, was recovered in 2014.[6]


  1. ^ "BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1950-1959)".
  2. ^ "Missing or incomplete episodes for programme The Sunday-Night Play", According to IMDb, the series was called BBC Sunday-Night Play.
  3. ^ "Sunday Night Theatre (1950–1959)",
  4. ^ Sunday Night Theatre: It Is Midnight, Dr. Schweitzer,
  5. ^ John Wyver "Sunday Night Theatre: The Lady from the Sea (BBC, 1953)", Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television, 30 December 2011
  6. ^ Geoghegan, Kev (2 June 2014). "'Lost' Sean Connery play recording unearthed by director". BBC News. Retrieved 3 June 2014.

External links[edit]