What TV’s on at the BFI in March? Including Cheat, The Macra Terror and Walter Iuzzolino

Walter Presents

Every month, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

If you like European plays, you’ll love March at the BFI, as there’s going to be a season of TV adaptations of European plays from down through the ages. Centrepiece of the season is a Q&A with Walter Iuzzolino of Walter Presents… fame, discussing with others including Cherie Lunghi, the British attitude to European TV.

If you dislike European plays, there’s some animated Doctor Who with assistant Anneke Wills and a preview of ITV’s Cheat that includes a Q&A with cast and crew. Full details after the jump…


Friday 1 March

18:20 NFT2
World Theatre: Henry IV
BBC 1959. Dir John Harrison. With Paul Scofield, Margaretta Scott, André Van Gyseghem, Dennis Quilley. 85min

As with his better-known Six Characters in Search of an Author, here playwright Luigi Pirandello addresses the blurring of fantasy and reality – and in this case, the very nature of insanity. Following a riding accident, Scofield’s character believes himself to be Henry IV of Germany and those around him are enrolled to act out his fantasy… but just who is mad? Seize the opportunity to see a rarely performed European classic, and Scofield at the height of his powers.

Tuesday 5 March

18:15 NFT3
European Connections Today: a discussion with All4’s Walter Presents supremo Walter Iuzzolino, actor Cherie Lunghi and producer John Wyver
TRT 90min

What does the representation of Europe on our TV screens today tell us about how we view Europe, and will this change with Brexit? Our panel of experts address this and explore the subject of European TV drama. Illustrated with clips of influential series such as Heimat and Das Boot, as well as the current crop of contemporary European favourites such as Deutschland ‘83, Spiral, Versailles, The Last Panthers and the many fascinating series brought to us by Channel 4’s Walter Presents strand, the discussion examines the current taste for European drama and where this might lead in the future.
Please check bfi.org.uk for additional guest announcements

Wednesday 6 March

18:15 NFT3
TV Preview: Cheat + Q&A with actors Katherine Kelly and Tom Goodman-Hill, writer Gaby Hull and director Louise Hooper
ITV-Two Brothers Pictures 2018. Dir Louise Hooper. With Katherine Kelly, Molly Windsor, Tom Goodman-Hill, Lorraine Ashbourne, Peter Firth, Adrian Edmondson. Ep 1, 54min + Q&A

Brought to you by the makers of The Missing and Fleabag, Cheat is a brand-new psychological thriller written by rising star Gaby Hull and screening in spring 2019. At the heart of the drama is the dangerous relationship between university professor Leah (Kelly) and her student Rose (Windsor). What begins as a seemingly open-and-shut case of academic deception quickly spirals out of control, triggering a devastating sequence of events that threaten to engulf them both.

Saturday 9 March

14:45 NFT2
La Ronde
BBC 1982. Dir Kenneth Ives. With Dorothy Tutin, Michael Gambon, Daniel Massey, Amanda Redman, Anthony Andrews. 122min

Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial 1897 play of sexual manners was not to receive its first production until 1920. With a clever structure that unites all the classes through sex and comments on the nature of society’s pretensions, it has inspired several film adaptations. This production is a lavish and prestigious affair. It features music by Carl Davis (sung by Kiri Te Kanawa), a superb cast and exquisite fin-de-siècle designs, which provide a suitably erotic visual flair to the proceedings.

Monday 11 March

18:20 NFT2
Play for Today: The House of Bernarda Alba
BBC 1976. Dir Claude Whatham. With Mary Morris, Patience Collier, Betty Hardy, Sylvia Kay, Jane Lapotaire. 95min

Federico García Lorca’s powerful play of sexual repression and sibling jealousy is given an impressive production by director Claude Whatham. Mary Morris captures the full uncompromising force of Bernarda, a woman determined to bring her daughters to heel and uphold the tyrannical traditions by which she and her community have always lived. Such tyranny, however, comes at a terrible cost.

Saturday 16 March

12:00 NFT1
DVD Preview: Doctor Who – The Macra Terror (Animated) + Q&A with actor Anneke Wills
UK 1967. Dir John Davies. With the voices of Patrick Troughton, Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Michael Craze. 4x25min. Courtesy of BBC Studios

The Doctor (Troughton) and his companions arrive on a human colony in the far-flung future. The colony appears to be a giant recreational complex – a holiday camp for rest and relaxation. Everyone looks happy and carefree, but all is not as it seems. The colony has been infiltrated and its members brainwashed by a race of giant parasitic crab creatures called the Macra. Although the majority of this story was believed to have been lost, by using a complete audio recording and a new animation, we invite you to sit back and enjoy The Macra Terror over 50 years since it was first broadcast.
All tickets are £27, restricted to two per booker (Members pay £2 less, no concs). The price includes a copy of the DVD, which will be available to collect after the screening on the day. Please note that the Blu-ray version is not available with this offer.

20:40 NFT2
Vicious Circle
BBC 1985. Dir Kenneth Ives. With Omar Sharif, Jeanne Moreau, Cherie Lunghi, Nickolas Grace. 100min

Frank Houser’s adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic play Huis Clos attracted a stellar cast. Three totally incompatible people locked in a room torment each other about their pasts, and gradually come to realise that they’re dead and condemned to spend eternity in each other’s company. Sartre’s clever conceit gives perfect dramatic expression to the terrible notion that ‘hell is other people’. We offer a rare opportunity to see these legendary stars in such complex and compelling roles.

Tuesday 19 March

18:00 NFT2
Time Remembered
BBC 1961. Dir Michael Elliott. With Edith Evans, Topsy Jane, James Maxwell. 85min

Edith Evans gives a remarkable performance in Jean Anouilh’s sparkling comedy of manners. When a prince (Maxwell) loses the woman he loves, his aunt (Evans) recreates the special places of their romantic meetings and hires a local shop girl to play the part of his lover. With many overtones of Pygmalion, the girl comes to win the prince’s heart by learning to simply be herself. Jane and Maxwell make a charming couple who perfectly capture a growing attraction.

Booking times

Patrons and champions’ priority booking: Monday 4 February from 11.30am
Members’ priority booking opens: Tuesday 5 February from 11.30am
Public booking opens: Tuesday 12 February from 11.30am


Members: £10.50
Member concs: £8.20
Non-members: £12.50
Non-member concs: £10.20
Under 16s: £6

Reduced prices for weekday matinees. Concessionary 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.