Theatre Night is the umbrella title under which adaptations of classic and contemporary stage plays were usually broadcast on BBC 2 between 15 September 1985 and 21 July 1990.

Theatre Night
GenreStage drama
Country of originUK
Original language(s)English (including translations)
No. of series5
No. of episodes28
Production company(s)BBC (some co-productions)
Original networkBBC 2
Original release15 September 1985 (1985-09-15) –
21 July 1990 (1990-07-21)
Preceded byPlay of the Month
Followed byPerformance

List of episodesEdit

The main source for compiling this list was the BFI Film and TV Database. The website's master list is here. IMDb was also used, but some significant errors were found; these are noted,

Legend: Se = Season; Ep = Episode

Se Ep Title Author Producer/
Performers UK
1 1 Lady Windermere's Fan[1] Oscar Wilde Louis Marks (p);
Tony Smith (d)
Helena Little,
Tim Woodward,
Stephanie Turner,
Kenneth Cranham,
James Saxon
15 September 1985
1 2 The Father August Strindberg Louis Marks (p);
Kenneth Ives (d)
Colin Blakely,
Dorothy Tutin,
Irene Handl,
Edward Fox,
Robert Lang
22 September 1985
1 3 Absent Friends Alan Ayckbourn Shaun Sutton (p);
Michael Simpson (d)
Tom Courtenay,
Julia McKenzie,
Dinsdale Landen,
Hywel Bennett,
Maureen Lipman
29 September 1985
1 4 Playboy of the West Indies J. M. Synge
(play The Playboy of the Western World);
Mustapha Matura (adaptation)
Alan Shallcross (p);
Nicholas Kent (d)
Joan Ann Maynard,
Rudolph Walker,
Jim Findley,
Ram John Holder
13 October 1985
1 5 Trelawny of the 'Wells' Arthur Wing Pinero Louis Marks & Cedric Messina (p);
Tom Kingdom (d)
Michael Hordern,
Nicholas Jones,
Avril Angers,
Samantha Bond,
Patricia Brake,
Philip Locke,
Vivian Pickles,
Linda Polan
20 October 1985
1 6 Molière Mikhail Bulgakov (play);
Dusty Hughes (adaptation)[2]
Cedric Messina (p);
Bill Alexander (d)
Antony Sher,
David Bradley,
Penelope Beaumont,
Sylvia Coleridge,
David Troughton,
Christopher Bowen
27 October 1985
1 7 Tartuffe Molière Cedric Messina (p);
Bill Alexander (d)
Antony Sher,
Nigel Hawthorne,
Alison Steadman,
Sylvia Coleridge
3 November 1985[3]
2 1 The Devil's Disciple[4][5] George Bernard Shaw Shaun Sutton (p);
David Jones (d)
Mike Gwilym,
Ian Richardson,
Elizabeth Spriggs,
Patrick Stewart,
Patrick Newell,
John Cater,
Patrick Godfrey,
Larry Lamb,
Benjamin Whitrow
17 May 1987
2 2 What the Butler Saw Joe Orton Shaun Sutton (p);
Barry Davis (d)
Dinsdale Landen,
Tessa Peake-Jones,
Timothy West,
Prunella Scales
24 May 1987
2 3 Miss Julie August Strindberg Shaun Sutton (p);
Michael Simpson (d)
Janet McTeer,
Patrick Malahide
31 May 1987
2 4 Make and Break Michael Frayn Shaun Sutton (p);
Michael Darlow
Robert Hardy,
Judi Dench,
David Graham,
Martin Jarvis,
Wolf Kahler,
Arnold Lee
7 June 1987
2 5 Ghosts[6][7] Henrik Ibsen Louis Marks (p);
Elijah Moshinsky (d)
Judi Dench,
Kenneth Branagh,
Michael Gambon,
Freddie Jones,
Natasha Richardson
14 June 1987
2 6 The Birthday Party Harold Pinter Rosemary Hill (p);
Kenneth Ives (d)
Joan Plowright,
Harold Pinter,
Kenneth Cranham,
Colin Blakely,
Julie Walters,
Robert Lang
21 June 1987
3 1 The Miser Molière Shaun Sutton (p);
Michael Simpson (d)
Nigel Hawthorne,
Jim Broadbent,
Kate Buffery,
Janet Suzman,
Christopher Benjamin,
Ron Cook,
John Gill,
Simon Sutton,
Cyril Shaps
1 April 1988
3 2 The Master Builder[7] Henrik Ibsen Shaun Sutton (p);
Michael Darlow (d)
Leo McKern,
Jane Lapotaire,
Sebastian Shaw,
Miranda Richardson
15 May 1988
3 3 The Importance of Being Earnest[1][8] Oscar Wilde Shaun Sutton (p);
Stuart Burge (d)
Paul McGann,
Rupert Frazer,
Amanda Redman,
Natalie Ogle,
Gemma Jones,
Alec McCowen,
Joan Plowright
29 May 1988[9]
3 4 The Rivals Richard Brinsley Sheridan Shaun Sutton (p);
Elijah Moshinsky (d)
Donald Sinden,
Sheila Hancock,
Michael Maloney;
Patrick Ryecart,
Amanda Redman,
Ronald Pickup,
Suzanne Burden
5 June 1988
3 5 Strife John Galsworthy Shaun Sutton (p);
Michael Darlow (d)
Peter Vaughan,
Timothy West,
Kate Buffery,
Anna Calder-Marshall,
Tenniel Evans,
Andrew Burt,
Bernard Archard,
John Nettleton,
John Woodnutt,
Patsy Smart
12 June 1988
4 1 Arms and the Man[5] George Bernard Shaw Shaun Sutton (p);
James Cellan Jones (d)
Helena Bonham Carter,
Kika Markham,
Pip Torrens,
Dinsdale Landen,
Patsy Kensit,
Nicolas Chagrin
16 April 1989
4 2 The Contractor David Storey Shaun Sutton (p);
Barry Davis (d)
Timothy West,
Kenneth Cranham,
Jimmy Jewel,
Roger Lloyd-Pack,
Gawn Grainger
23 April 1989
4 3 The Winslow Boy[10] Terence Rattigan Shaun Sutton (p);
Michael Darlow (d)
Rosemary Leach,
Gordon Jackson,
Gwen Watford,
Emma Thompson,
Ian Richardson,
David Troughton
30 April 1989
4 4 Knuckle David Hare Tim Ironside-Wood (p);
Colin Ludlowe (p);
Paul Marcus (p);
Moira Armstrong (d)
Tim Roth,
Emma Thompson,
Bernard Hepton,
Peter Hawkins,
James Appleby
7 May 1989
4 5 Metamorphosis[11] Franz Kafka (short story);
Steven Berkoff (adaptation)
Martyn Auty (p);
Jim Goddard (d)
Tim Roth,
Steven Berkoff,
Linda Marlowe,
Saskia Reeves,
Gary Olsen
21 May 1989[12]
4 6 Benefactors Michael Frayn No producer credited;
Barry Davis (d)
Barbara Flynn,
Michael Kitchen,
Alan Rickman,
Harriet Walter,
Howard Cooke
28 May 1989
5 1 Othello[13] William Shakespeare Greg Smith (p);
Trevor Nunn (d)
Willard White,
Ian McKellen,
Imogen Stubbs,
Zoë Wanamaker,
Sean Baker,
Michael Grandage,
Clive Swift
23 June 1990
5 2 Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death Edward Bond Tim Ironside-Wood (p);
Don Taylor (d)
David Suchet,
Kenneth Haigh,
Peter Jeffrey,
Brenda Bruce,
Tim Preece
30 June 1990
5 3[14] Pentecost Stewart Parker (writer);
Lesley Bruce (adaptation)
No producer credited;
Nicholas Kent (d)
Dearbhla Molloy,
Adrian Dunbar,
Barbara Adair,
Michelle Fairley,
Sam Dale
14 July 1990
5 4 Iphigenia at Aulis Euripides Louis Marks (p);
Don Taylor
Roy Marsden,
Fiona Shaw,
Imogen Boorman,
Eric Allan,
Tim Woodward,
Jason Durr
21 July 1990


  1. ^ a b This version of the play is contained with The Oscar Wilde Collection, a BBC 3 DVD box set
  2. ^ This is a videotape recording of the RSC stage production.
  3. ^ While the RSC stage production, from which this episode of Theatre Night derives, was first performed in 1983, IMDb is inaccurate in dating this videotaped version from that year. The BFI Film & TV Database indicates the start date for this programme's production was in 1984, while the copyright date is for 1985. See the BFI Film & TV Database outline page.
  4. ^ The Devil's Disciple, Theatre Night, BBC Two. 1987.
  5. ^ a b This production is contained within The Bernard Shaw Collection, a BBC 6 DVD box set.
  6. ^ This production is contained within The Judi Dench Collection, a BBC 6 DVD box set
  7. ^ a b This production is contained within the Henrik Ibsen Collection, a 6 DVD BBC box set (Region 1/N. America only).
  8. ^ The Importance of Being Earnest, BFI Film & TV database
  9. ^ IMDb dates this programme to 1986. While it is quite possible this production was recorded during that year, no evidence has been traced suggesting that it was transmitted elsewhere in the world before its British television premiere on this date.
  10. ^ The Play of the Month production from 1977 is contained within The Terence Rattigan Collection, a 5 DVD BBC box set.
  11. ^ John Williams "Goddard, Jim (1936-2013)", BFI Screenonline
  12. ^ Tim Roth starred in the play at the Mermaid Theatre in 1987. IMDb dates this episode from 1987, which is the year of copyright, but it was not transmitted in the UK until 1989. It was produced in association with Viva Theatre Productions.
  13. ^ Michael Brooke "Othello (1990)", BFI Screenonline, December 2003
  14. ^ IMDb suggests (in error) that there were five episodes in the last season. At the time this article was begun (May 2014) the compilers had left 5:3 in a place holding state.

External linksEdit