Blue Remembered Hills

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Blue Remembered Hills
Blue Remembered Hills.gif
GenreComedy drama
Written byDennis Potter
Directed byBrian Gibson
StarringMichael Elphick
Robin Ellis
Colin Welland
Helen Mirren
Janine Duvitski
Colin Jeavons
John Bird
Narrated byDennis Potter
Theme music composerMarc Wilkinson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
ProducerKenith Trodd
Original networkBBC1
Original release30 January 1979 (1979-01-30)
Preceded byPennies from Heaven (1978)
Followed byBlade on the Feather (1980)

Blue Remembered Hills is a British television play by Dennis Potter, originally broadcast on 30 January 1979 as part of the BBC's Play for Today series.

The play concerns a group of seven-year-olds playing in the Forest of Dean one summer afternoon in 1943. It ends abruptly when the character Donald is burnt to death partly as a result of the other children's actions. Perhaps the most striking feature of the play is that, although the characters are children, they are played by adult actors. Potter first used this device in Stand Up, Nigel Barton (1965) and returned to it in Cold Lazarus (1996).

The dialogue is written in a Forest of Dean dialect, which Potter also uses extensively in other dramas incorporating a Forest of Dean setting, most notably A Beast with Two Backs (1968), Pennies from Heaven (1978) and The Singing Detective (1986).


The stars of the original production were:

Robin Ellis (John), Michael Elphick (Peter), Colin Welland (Willie), John Bird (Raymond), Helen Mirren (Angela), Janine Duvitski (Audrey), Colin Jeavons (Donald).

The screenplay has also been adapted for the theatre. The play is now a standard text for GCSE Drama in Great Britain.


The title comes from the 40th poem in A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad.[1] The poem is read by Potter himself at the end of the BBC version of the play.

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

"Blue remembered hills" is also the title of Rosemary Sutcliff's autobiography (1984).

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "XL by A.E. Housman". Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.