December at the BFI

Time for our regular look at what TV’s on at the South Bank in London in December. One hell of a lot of tele this month thanks to the second part of the Radical Television Drama season that started last month and because it’s Christmas.

What will most be people interested in? I’m guessing the preview of David Tennant and Patrick Stewart’s Hamlet on the 14th. Notably, they don’t say who’s going to be at the Q&A, other than the director, but cross your fingers, hey?

  • 1st: King of the Ghetto
    Tim Roth stars as an idealistic squatter.
  • 3rd: Tumbledown
    Colin Firth stars in this Falklands drama.
  • 3rd: The Falklands Play + Q&A
    Shelved by the BBC before the 1987, this play about the lead up to the Falklands war was eventually made by BBC4 in 2002. Followed by a discussion with writer Ian Curteis, producer Jeremy Howe and director Michael Samuels.
  • 4th: The Deal + Q&A
    Dramatisation of the deal between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown over who would be party leader first, starring Michael Sheen and David Morrissey. Followed by a Q&A with Stephen Frears and (hopefully) writer Peter Morgan.
  • 5th, 10th: Tears, Laughter, Fear and Rage
    Sally Potter’s four-part documentary series for Channel 4.
  • 6th: Oliver Postgate: A Life in Small Films
    A new documentary looking at the life of Oliver Postgate. Followed by clips and on-stage recollections of Oliver from friends, family, admirers and colleagues.
  • 6th: The Wonderful World of Smallfilms
    Featuring classic episodes of The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Pogles Wood and Bagpuss. Fingers crossed, Peter Firmin will be attending.
  • 6th, 9th: The Government Inspector
    Dramatisation of the David Kelly WMD enquiry
  • 8th: TV preview: Shameless panel discussion
    The first episode of the new series, followed a panel discussing radical drama post-Thatcher. On the panel: Liza Marshall, Paul Abbott, Kenith Trodd, Bryan Elsley and Jonathan Powell. Tickets: £9.00; concs: £6.65 (member £1.40 less). You’ll need to enter a ballot to get tickets for this one – more on that later.
  • 10th: Road + Tina Goes Shopping
    One of Alan Clarke’s finest achievements, followed by an improv drama by residents of  Leeds council estates.
  • 11th: Our Friends in the North + Q&A
    Peter Flannery’s seminal series. Followed by Q&A with Flannery and producers Michael Wearing and Charles Pattinson.
  • 13th: TV preview: Ingenious + Q&A
    Jeanette Winterson’s forthcoming CBBC story. Followed by a Q&A with cast, crew and Jeanette Winterson.
  • 14th: TV preview: Hamlet + Q&A
    David Tennant’s Hamlet followed by a Q&A with the director and other guests (TBC). Tickets £12.90; consc: £9.65 (£1.40 less for members). You’ll need to enter a ballot to get tickets for this one – more on that later.
  • 15th: Women Call the Shots: I am an Ox, I am a Horse, I am a Man, I am a Woman
    Sally Potter’s documentary on the integration of women into Soviet film-making.
  • 17th: The Children of Green Knowe + Q&A
    All four episodes of the BBC drama, followed by a Q&A with star Alec Christie

The Mediatheque is also showing the BBC’s Ghost Story for Christmas version of A Christmas Carol, starring Michael Hordern.

Members’ ballots
This seems to be a new thing designed to cope with the fact that certain events are going to prove to be very popular. Members can enter the ballot for tickets by emailing [email protected] with the title of the event or screening as the subject. You’ll need to include your membership and phone numbers and let them know how many tickets you want. Alternatively, you can fill out the form in your brochure.

If you’re successful, they’ll get in touch for payment for all tickets except for up to one free ticket to each of the screenings. You’ll need to apply by November 6 to be in with a chance, and you’ll hear by November 10, when any remaining tickets will be released for sale to the public.

Good luck with that one, non-members.

Champions’ priority booking by phone: 11.30am November 2
Members’ priority booking opens: 11.30am November 3

Members’ ballot booking opens: 11.30am November 4
Members’ ballot booking closes: 20.30pm November 6

Public booking opens: 11.30am November 10

£7.60 (members)
£5.25 (member concs)
£9.00 (non-members)
£6.65 (non-members concs)
Under 16s £5.

All shows are £5 on Tuesdays. Conc prices are available to senior citizens, students, unwaged and disability visitors. Proof of eligibility may be required.

As always, visit the BFI web site for more details