Blue Remembered Hills
|Blue Remembered Hills|
|Written by||Dennis Potter|
|Directed by||Brian Gibson|
|Narrated by||Dennis Potter|
|Theme music composer||Marc Wilkinson|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Original airing||30 January 1979|
|Preceded by||Pennies from Heaven (1978)|
|Followed by||Blade on the Feather (1980)|
The play concerns a group of silly seven-year-olds playing in the Forest of Dean one summer afternoon during 1943. It displays how victimisation and stereotypical views occur even in young children, and ends abruptly when the character of "Donald" is burned to death as a result of the other children's actions. The play, despite seeming very frivolous (bar the final scene) on first reading, is in fact reflecting on the human capability for brutality, especially in children, and is in a similar vein to William Golding's The Lord of The Flies.
The most striking feature of the play was that though the characters were children they were played by adult actors. Potter first used this device in Stand Up, Nigel Barton (1965) and would return to it in Cold Lazarus (1996).
The dialogue is written in a Forest of Dean dialect, which Potter also uses extensively in other dramas incorporating a Forest of Dean setting - most notably A Beast with Two Backs (1968), Pennies from Heaven (1978) and The Singing Detective (1986).
The stars of the original production were:
The screenplay has also been adapted for the theatre and, as such, remains one of Dennis Potter's best known and most successful plays. The play is now a standard text for GCSE Drama. It is featured in the 2008 AQA English Language and Literature Specification B A2 pre release material.
- Into my heart an air that kills
- From yon far country blows:
- What are those blue remembered hills,
- What spires, what farms are those?
- That is the land of lost content,
- I see it shining plain,
- The happy highways where I went
- And cannot come again.