Rosemary - ITV Play 1963


1963 - United Kingdom

The end of a summer; pale sky; white sand; a small tent - enter small, immaculate, dapper Teddy singing "By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea!" Not the beginning of a musical but of Molly Kazan's comedy Rosemary

Teddy Varney (John Meillon) and his wife, Flo (Angela Douglas), do the rounds of American vaudeville theatres with their not-so-good song-and-dance act. From their conversation we gather they have decided to have some photos taken on the beach because, as Teddy says: "This'll be something new." (The time, 1910). A natural setting. 

Teddy and Flo have just had a daughter-Rosemary, whom we never see - and, as they talk on the beach they begin to argue about what to do with the baby while on tour. The Varney's are overheard by a young woman on the beach. When Teddy goes off to change into his stage clothes for the photos, Flo gets into conversation with the woman, Mrs Kittel (Maggie Fitzgibbon), a fighter for women's rights. She sides with Flo that they should take the baby on tour with them to Pittsburgh. While Flo changes, Teddy in turn talks to Mrs Kittel's German-born husband, Herman (George Murcell), who believes that women should be kept in their place. He agrees to take the photos, but Teddy is none too pleased when Herman starts ordering him about. And it is this interference that, in a curious way, settles the Varney's argument. 

Molly Kazan was an American dramatist and playwright who sadly passed away (aged 56), following a cerebral haemorrhage, in December of 1963 - just 10 months after the play was televised.

Angela Douglas, who gained her first on-screen credit in a 1958 episode of Dixon of Dock Green, appeared in numerous British TV shows, but is probably best remembered for her appearances in four Carry On films, namely Carry On Cowboy, Carry On Screaming, Follow That Camel and Carry On Up The Khyber

Australian actress and singer Maggie Fitzgibbon became a popular face on British television as Vivienne Cooper in the TV series The Newcomerswhich ran from 1965 to 1969. Like Fitzgibbon, John Meillon was an Australian character actor. He became known internationally as Walter Reilly in the two Crocodile Dundee films. 

George Murcell went on to develop a career playing snarling villains in both film and television, specialising in playing foreign characters, including Germans, Russians and South Americans. A number of these roles came from the stable of ITC, which created some of the best known adventure series of the 1960s and 1970s, including Danger Man, The Baron, The Saint, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), The Persuaders!, and Jason King

Rosemary was shown on the ITV Network on Sunday 10 February 1963 (some regions may vary). It was shown as part of the Drama 63 strand and was an ATV Network Production. 

Published on April 4th, 2020. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

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