Did you see… 1965 

25 February 2023 tbs.pm/78438

Did you see…

Thursday 25 February 1965

Radio Times

 

 

Richard Pasco and Madeleine Christie

 

Traveller Without Luggage

 

“You are one of the most disquieting eases in psychiatric history, one of the most heart-rending enigmas of the war, and … it makes you laugh. You are the living Unknown Warrior, and it makes you laugh.” The speaker is the slightly absurd Duchess Dupont-Dufort; the man who laughs so irreverently is Gaston, the hero of tonight’s play. But although this is a comedy his laughter has the ring of mirthless desperation which is at the heart of Anouilh’s pièces noires — of which this is one.

Traveller Without Luggage is really a postscript to the first world war. Gaston is an amnesia victim; he is without the burdening luggage of memory. He has spent seventeen years in an asylum while its director and the indefatigable Duchess try to “place” him. They have shown Gaston to family after family, but none has brought even a flicker to the dead embers of his memory.

As the play opens Gaston, who is otherwise sane and anxious to rediscover his past, but has by now become somewhat sardonic, arrives to be displayed by the Duchess to yet another family — the rather snobbish Renauds. Very soon it is apparent that this particular visit is to be more revealing than previous ones. Slowly a picture of the young Gaston Renaud who went to war is constructed. Evidence that the boy was a lecherous, violent young predator is drawn painfully from the Renauds, and ominous signs that Gaston has at last tracked down his past begin to appear…

First performed in 1937, this play was Anouilh’s first real commercial success. In tonight’s production Richard Pasco takes the part of Gaston, and Madeleine Christie that of the Duchess.

 

The three children, Bernie, Jean, and Peter, who follow the mysterious stranger to the Blue Mountains

 

The Stranger

A six-part adventure set in Australia

Australia is a land full of chances for open-air adventure and action, and since today’s new film serial is set there it promises to be an exciting one. Made by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC for short), which is the Australian equivalent of the BBC, The Stranger is a science-fiction story, but at the same time it is concerned with very human characters.

At the centre of the adventure are a brother and sister, Bernie and Jean Walsh, both in their middle teens. Their father is the headmaster of St. Michael’s School, somewhere in south-west Australia. Also involved is a friend, Peter Cannon, who is a pupil at the school along with Bernard and Jean.

One night a stranger arrives at the Walshes’ home, which is near the school, apparently suffering from loss of memory. Because of illness among the school staff the stranger is taken on as a languages master and soon the three children make friends with him. However, they are intrigued and rather worried by a number of lengthy expeditions he makes to the Blue Mountains. So Bernie, Jean, and Peter decide to follow him on one of these trips…

Who is this mysterious stranger and what is he up to? Before long the mystery involves not only the three children and their parents but the local police, and even Security Branch detectives from Australia’s capital, Canberra.

Playing the mysterious stranger is Ron Haddrick, an actor well known to Australian theatregoers, while appearing as the three youngsters are Janice Dinnen, Bill Levis, and Michael Thomas.

 

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