The Insect Play (1939b)

UK, 7 June
broadcast live, black and white, 4:3
mono, English

A British fantasy television play. It was the second of three live performances of the same production, the others being broadcast on 30 May 1939 and 12 June 1939.


Production: Stephen Thomas
Play: Karel Capek
Adapted by: Paul Selver
Freely Adapted for the English Stage by: Nigel Playfair, Clifford Bax
Music: Frederic Austin
Musicians: The BBC Television Orchestra
Leader: Boris Pecker
Conductor: Hyam Greenbaum
Costumes: Hugh Stevenson
Settings: Malcolm Baker-Smith
Choreography: Andree Howard

Wilfred Grantham (the lepidopterist)
Edmund Willard (the tramp)
Pamela Standish (the chrysalis)
Frank Birch (Mr Beetle)
Maire O'Neill (Mrs Beetle)
Charles Peters (robber beetle)
Rupert Bruce Lockhart (the ichneumon fly)
Sheila Kay (the larva)
Leslie French (Mr Cricket)
Wendy Toye (Mrs Cricket)
Geoffrey Wincott (the parasite)
Wilfred Frank (the blind ant timekeeper)
George Hayes (chief engineer)
John Boxer (second engineer)
Douglas Allen (messenger)
Rupert Bruce Lockhart (inventor)
Bruce Adams (signal officer)
Charles Peters (journalist)
Maire O'Neill (philanthropist)
Frank Birch (commander of the yellows)
Wilfred Grantham (first snail)
Leslie French (second snail)
Charlotte Bidmead, Celia Franks, Ann Gee, Elizabeth Hamilton, Mary Hatton, Anthony Kelly, Hugh Laing, Belinda Smith, Therese Langfield, Alec Ravsman, Susan Reeves, Brenda Seth (the butterflies and moths)