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Wyblog

Wyblog

News and updates for the Patrick Wymark Boardroom - a website about the Power Game actor.

Maintained by Harry Dobermann. Email me at harry@wymark.org.uk

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Uncategorised Posted on Mon, July 12, 2021 08:39:11
Patrick Wymark, Geoffrey Sasse & Anthony Quayle (RSC photo)

On 12 July 1955, the day after his 29th birthday, Patrick Wymark appeared in the first performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor as the jovial Host of the Garter Inn.

Glen Byam Shaw’s production at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford starred Anthony Quayle as Falstaff. Wymark had been performing at Stratford since 1955, mainly in comic roles. The Times noted Wymark, “particularly good as the jovial Windsor innkeeper who devises and sets afoot the duel between Caius (Michael Denison) and Evans (William Devlin).” William Devlin would, of course, become Sir Gerald Merle, the antagonist of Wymark’s John Wilder in The Plane Makers.

In his Old Vic Prefaces, Hugh Hunt noted that the Host of the Garter was proprietor of a focal point in Windsor society which accommodated the overflow of foreign visitors to Windsor Castle. “These visitations from foreigners, not only taught the host much about life as a whole, giving him an easy tolerant view of the ways of human beings, they also brought him riches and a reputation for astuteness in business matter. The foreigners and courtiers who frequent his inn have, moreover, had a marked influence on his manner of speaking.”

On 2nd October 1955, the BBC screened a telerecording of the Stratford production as part of the Stratford festival. Although the whole performance was recorded, only the second half was screened. This would be Patrick Wymark’s TV debut. By a strange twist of fate, Barbara Murray, who would later play Pamela Wilder , appeared in the play preceding the adaptation as Shakespeare’s Dark Lady of the Sonnets. Even more ironically, Ann Firbank, who would cover the role of Pamela Wilder in the third series of The Plane Makers, also appeared in the Stratford production.



Patrick Wymark – 95 years today

Uncategorised Posted on Sun, July 11, 2021 07:47:16

Patrick Wymark, born in Cleethorpes, 95 years ago today, 11 July 1926. Stage, radio, TV and film actor. “His friends are to be found in every walk of life and to all of them he was passionately loyal.” wymark.org.uk/life.html



Devils Advocates: Blood On Satan’s Claw

Uncategorised Posted on Wed, May 26, 2021 15:38:32

The Blood on Satan’s Claw by David Evans-Powell is one of the latest books in the Devil’s Advocates range from Liverpool University Press.

Priced at £19.99 for a pocket sized paperback, it devotes 116 pages to every aspect of the 1971 release Blood On Satan’s Claw.

Evans-Powell breaks the movie down into several themes such as Nature and Civilisation and The Fiend and Its Followers and explores the sub-dermal content which ensures the movie’s immortality.

The actual production and release of the movie is covered in the first 16 pages of the book. The production of the film has been well covered in other areas, and in any case this is more a book about the interpretation of the film, rather than its construction. Nevertheless, this opening section does include an interesting discussion about the period in which the story takes place. Evans-Powell explores the alternatives, just as he thoroughly examines each thematic aspect of the movie. He concludes that the film is deliberately ambiguous: both the Judge and Angel are “unsympathetic and dangerous” – the film refuses to take sides.

You can buy The Blood On Satan’s Claw direct from Liverpool University Press at Liverpool University Press: Books: The Blood on Satan’s Claw https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/books/id/54986/



Wymark’s Eagles

Uncategorised Posted on Sun, May 02, 2021 15:34:20

In Where Eagles Dare, Patrick Wymark briefs the small team of “Eagles” on their secret mission. Although they may seem to be an ill-matched group of strangers, they all have previous connections with Wymark.

As Thomas, William Squire was an established member of the Old Vic theatre company when Patrick Wymark made his debut. Squire (who would go on to play Hunter in Callan) played Benvolio in the 1952 production of Romeo and Juliet where Wymark appeared as Friar John.

As Berkely, Peter Barkworth had, of course, vied with Wymark as Kenneth Bligh in the first two series of The Power Game. And as Christiansen, Donald Houston had previously been on the opposite side to Wymark’s detective in the 1961 play The Takers.

While Michael Hordern (Admiral Rolland) had previously appeared with Wymark in the Disney version of Dr Syn it appears that Wymark and Richard Burton had never appeared together (Burton joining the Old Vic as a lead actor, the year after Wymark left the company).



A Question About Hell

Uncategorised Posted on Wed, April 28, 2021 09:27:36

27 April 1964 – Patrick Wymark and Caroline Mortimer star in A Question About Hell – Kingsley Amis’ update of The Duchess of Malfi.



The Blood On Satan’s Claw at 50

Uncategorised Posted on Sun, April 18, 2021 15:48:50

It seems particularly eerie that I was advised sometime after Midnight Friday night of this 117 page magazine celebrating 50 years since The Blood on Satan’s Claw or ‘Satan’s Skin’ first hit British cinemas. I was just uploading a comment when unearthly forces took down Twitter. Coincidence or not, it gave me more time on Saturday to read through “Horror Homeroom Issue Number 4”. until the Dionysian forces of Twitter reassembled themselves.

I won’t pretend to have read through the whole magazine yet. There’s far too much to think about in the ten articles analyzing the movie. Editor Dawn Keetley gets off to a good start in her introduction by presenting a link to the 1970 Kine Weekly article which first described The Devil’s Touch (as it was filmed) as, “a study in folk horror, ” underlining the fact that this sub-genre is far from being a recent attempt to superimpose 21st century concerns on 20th century film-making.

Of immediate interest here, of course, Paul A. J. Lewis examines Patrick Wymark’s performance as The Judge, whose “morality…is not uncomplicated.” Drawing on earlier performances (not least the original stage production of The Devils and John Mortimer’s production, The Judge) Wymark brings what Piers Haggard identified as , “a wit and power,” that more traditional horror film casting would not. The final freeze-frame poses the question what the unintended costs are of authority crushing troublesome ideology.

Michael Jacob suggests the demon offers a purpose to the downtrodden through membership in a cult, and discusses the transformation of The Judge from impotent elitist intellectual to a heroic communal agent of action.

The magazine covers every aspect of Blood on Satan’s Claw : David Annwn Jones argues that Angel Blake (Linda Hayden) reflects public perceptions of then-current child murderer Mary Bell, Matthias Hurst reflects on the struggles of the young against authority, Jessica Parant examines the film’s contrasting view of bad girls and good women to include Isobel (Avice Landon) and Ellen (Charlotte Mitchell). Michael Cerliano argues that the demon battles Enlightenment rationalism rather than Christianity, Kern Robinson asks why the demon of the movie is so ineffectual, Lynsey Townend discusses the fur that infects its victims, and Dawn Keetley traces the history of the ruined church used in many of the scenes and suggests that it ties in with anxities about the declining British birth rate at the time the movies was filmed.

It would be wrong of me to go on at more length, when you can download the magazine yourself at www.horrorhomeroom.com



The Takers (April 2 1961)

Uncategorised Posted on Wed, April 07, 2021 11:18:01
Donald Houston and Dorothy White in The Takers

Patrick Wymark played Boucard, the French private detective with an eye for detail in The Takers, an episode of ATV’s Drama ’61 strand, on April 2 1961. Written by prolific New Zealander Jacques Gillies (Cash On Demand), the play starred Donald Houston (Where Eagles Dare) as Hartley Dowling, an ingenious Irish crook who tells his associates Wilkie (Alan Dobie) and Boyd (Kenneth Cope), “We’re not going to do any of the things that people expect us to do. We’re going to be un-English and unsporting and just the three of us are going to pull off the biggest take in history.”

Baron Van Der Zost (Guy Deghy), the fifth richest man in the world. Van Der Zost moves his family and jewel collection into the heavily guarded penthouse of a London hotel. While the Baron holds a light-hearted press conference, his security team led by Boucard finalises arrangements for the jewels.

Guy Deghy as Van Der Zost

Downing’s scheme exploits the resemblance of Charmian Scott (Dorothy White) to Van Der Zost’s daughter Inga (Joy Webster). Despite Charmian’s nerves, Downing’s plan seems to succeed and the gang begins to check out of the hotel. However, Boucard’s eye for detail derails Downing’s scheme at the last minute when he recalls that Charmian was wearing sunglasses, but Inga left hers on the plane. Downing is shot by one of his own men, aiming for Boucard. (Gillies’ script was remade by NBC in 1963 with Walter Matthau as Downing and William Hansen as Boucard).



The Plane Makers: How Can You Win, If You Haven’t Bought A Ticket?

Uncategorised Posted on Wed, March 31, 2021 14:45:21
Peter Madden, Jack Watling, Reginald Marsh and Patrick Wymark

“The Sugden’s of this world are obsolete. Like Bedsocks!”

The 31st March 1964 episode of The Plane Makers brings the conflict between Wilder and Sugden to a head with the end of Sugden’s six-month trial as General Works Manager. Wilder carries a campaign of small insults to undermine Sugden, but the rivalry comes to a head when Sugden is invited to deliver a paper at the Aero Engineers Conference. Wilder plans to sign a deal for six Sovereigns with Gilbert Corey of the Anglo Air Company at the conference. It’s going to be a touch sell, but then Wilder discovers that Corey and Sugden know each other from the War. “How Can You Win If You Haven’t Bought A Ticket?”



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