Spring and Port Wine

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Spring and Port Wine
Written by Bill Naughton
Date premiered October 1959
Original language English
Genre comedy

Spring and Port Wine is a stage play by Bill Naughton which was turned into a film (1970).

It began life under the title My Flesh, My Blood as a BBC Radio play, broadcast on 17 August 1957 in the Saturday Night Theatre strand. By April 1958 a BBC TV version had been broadcast and in October 1959 a stage adaptation was presented at the Bolton Hippodrome.

Retitled Spring and Port Wine, the play was first produced in Birmingham prior to opening at London's Mermaid Theatre in November 1965, produced by Allan Davis and Michael Medwin in association with the Mermaid Theatre Trust; Davis was also the director. In January 1966 the production transferred to the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, with Alfred Marks, Ruth Dunning, John Alderton, Jennifer Wilson, Ray Mort, Gretchen Franklin and Melvyn Hayes in the cast. Subsequently moving to the New Theatre in July 1967 and the St Martin's in June 1968, it achieved a West End run of 1,236 performances. Alfred Marks, meanwhile, had left the cast and from 1967-8 played the lead role of Rafe Crompton in an Australian tour.

The story is set in Bolton and concerns the Crompton family, and in particular the father, Rafe, and his attempts to assert his authority in the household as his children grow up.

Film Version[edit]

Spring and Port Wine
Spring and Port Wine FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Peter Hammond
Produced by Michael Medwin
Written by Bill Naughton
Starring James Mason
Diana Coupland
Music by Douglas Gamley
Edited by Fergus McDonell
Release date(s) 1970
Running time 101 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The play was filmed in 1969 - produced, once again, by Michael Medwin - and the result is a valuable time-capsule in that it depicts a Bolton of large, long-gone chimneys. Other parts of the film show street scenes and wide shots of the town as it was at the time of filming, now very much changed. It was filmed as St. Peters Way was being constructed and whilst many of the old industrial buildings remained. The lives depicted are very real for the period and this film captures an industrial town in transformation.

In the film, Rafe was played by James Mason, and Diana Coupland played his wife Daisy. Susan George, Rodney Bewes, Hannah Gordon and Len Jones played the children, with Frank Windsor, Avril Elgar and Adrienne Posta as their next-door neighbours. It was directed by Peter Hammond. Naughton himself provided the adaptation, and it was filmed on location in Bolton and at Lee International Studios in Wembley, London.

The movie was the first film shot at Elstree Studios after Bryan Forbes took over.[1]

After the film version, Naughton's play returned to its radio roots no fewer than three times, featuring in the BBC's Afternoon Theatre strand in August 1975, July 1979 and July 1982.

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pearson, Kenneth. "The Great Film Gamble." Sunday Times [London, England] 13 Apr. 1969: 53. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

External links[edit]