Son of Man (play)

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Son of Man is a television play by British playwright Dennis Potter which was first broadcast on BBC1 on 16 April 1969, in The Wednesday Play slot.[1] An alternative depiction of the last days of Jesus, Son of Man was directed by Gareth Davies and starred Irish actor Colin Blakely.

The treatment of the subject matter led to Potter being accused of blasphemy by Christian morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse. Jesus was depicted as being tormented by self-doubt, repeatedly crying out "Is it me?" as he struggles with his own nature as God incarnate whilst being vulnerable to human frailty.[2] Potter's work focuses on Jesus's message of universal love, but eschews any mention of miracles or the resurrection. The character of Judas Iscariot is identified with the rich young man of the synoptic gospels. The play was shot on videotape over three days on a very limited budget: Potter was later to say that the set "looks as though it's trembling and about to fall down."[3]

It was also adapted for the stage and played at the Roundhouse, London, with Frank Finlay in the leading role. The stage version of Son of Man was first produced on 22 October 1969, at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester. [4]

Cast TV version[edit]

Phoenix Theatre staging[edit]


  1. ^ Radio Times looks at 14 years of distinguished contributions to BBCtv Drama, Radio Times, 27 January – 2 February 1979.
  2. ^ Marc Lee (8 March 2008). "Son of Man: Testaments to the power of Christ's story". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  3. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Son of Man (1969)". 1969-04-16. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  4. ^ "Son of Man A Play (1970) ISBN 057316004X". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  5. ^ ""The Wednesday Play" Son of Man (TV Episode 1969) - IMDb". Retrieved 2014-08-30.