May at the BFI

The BFI’s remembered to send me the brochure this month, so here’s our regular look at what’s on TV-wise at the South Bank in London in May.

  • 9th: The Best of Ianucci
    Armando Ianucci’s choice of his best work as performer and writer-director
  • 9th: Ianucci in person
    A career interview in which Armando Ianucci will talk about his TV work. Asking the questions: Graeme Garden of The Goodies. No, seriously.

However, other than that, everything else is dedicated to a John Mortimer retrospective.

  • 4th/22nd: The Sunday Night Play: The Wrong Side of the Park; Monitor: Mortimer’s Hampstead
    A play about a malicious lodger and a Monitor item providing context.
  • 8th: Television Playhouse: Collect Your Hand Baggage; Shades of Greene: Special Duties and The Invisible Japanese Gentleman
    Kenneth More as a man who has never grown up; John Gielgud as a CEO who hires a nun to buy him out of purgatory; Denholm Elliot musing on the curse of ‘the writer’s eye’.
  • 10th/18th: A Voyage Round My Father; The South Bank Show
    Mortimer’s best-loved play, followed by a special devoted to Mortimer’s methods and philosophy.
  • 14th: Thirty Minute Theatre: Bermondsey; Knightsbridge; King’s Cross Lunch Hour; and Mill Hill.
    A heady and controversial mix of gay sex and class; high farce; Mortimore’s most Pinteresque play; and a dentist’s sexual fantasies.
  • 17th: Play for Today: Rumpole of the Bailey
    The very first appearance of Rumpole. BBC4 showed it recently and it’s very good. Followed by:
  • 17th: John Mortimer Remembered
    A panel of guests who knew John Moritmore discuss his work and influence. Includes Daisy Goodwin, Jacqueline Davis, Colin Rodgers and Alvin Rakoff.
  • 21st: Will Shakespeare (episodes one and two)
    Tim Curry plays William Shakespeare in this demonstration of how events in his life fed into his plays.
  • 22nd/28th: Playhouse: Unity
    A dramatisation of the English aristocracy’s collusion with fascism.
  • 23rd: Titmuss Regained
    A three-part satire of the Thatcher era starring David Threlfall.
  • 29th/31st: Edwin; On Reflection: Mortimer on Oscar Wilde
    Alec Guinness wonders whether a friend’s son really is his son. And Mortimer refelcts on Oscar Wilde – obviously.

Meanwhile, back in the Mediatheque, there’s a season of ‘Funny Girls’ that includes episodes of Sykes, Fawlty Towers, Wood and Walters and The Mrs Merton Show, as well as the pilot of Meet The Wife.

Members’ priority booking opens: 11.30am April 7
Public booking opens: April 14

As always, visit the BFI web site for more details

UPDATE: Yes, Tim Curry as Shakespeare:


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.