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Television Playhouse (1957(?) - 1965(?))



The Series

Television Playhouse was an anthology series on the ITV network. Episodes were apparently produced by various ITV companies, including ATV and Granada.

According to the ratings shown on Television Heaven, Television Playhouse was the fifth most watched TV show in the UK in August 1963, with around 5 million viewers.

Television Playhouse

Leonard Rossiter, pictured in another role from the same era!

Ilona Ference

Ilona Ference (1917-96) was born in the US in 1917, and received a diploma from RADA in 1935. As an actor, she had many roles in theatre and British television, including parts in Quatermass II (1955) andStar of My Night (1954).

As a writer, her credits included several scripts for Television Playhouse, and a production of De Maupassant's Act of Separation (1970), which was directed by her then husband Antony Kearey (1920-97).

In correspondence with Ray Bradbury, she expressed a wish to also adapt "The Dwarf" for Television Playhouse, but the rights to the story were not available at the time.

Bradbury Episode

One Bradbury story was adapted for the series:

"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" (8 Aug 1963)
This episode was adapted by Ilona Ference, based on Bradbury's short story from Golden Apples of the Sun.

It starred Leonard Rossiter in the role of Acton, a man who obsesses over fingerprints after he has committed murder.


Information sources:
Jon Eller (private correspondence)
Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)
Obituary: Ilona Ference, by Peter Cotes, The Independent, 26 June 1976
Obituary: "Antony Kearey, The Father of British Lather", The Guardian, 18 Sept 1977

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(c) Phil Nichols 2019

Page updated 8 March, 2019