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The Changing Spaces of Television ActingFrom Studio Realism to Location Realism in BBC Television Drama$
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Richard Hewett

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992989

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992989.001.0001

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Scaling down in early studio realism

Scaling down in early studio realism

(p.25) 1 Scaling down in early studio realism
The Changing Spaces of Television Acting

Richard Hewett

Manchester University Press

Though still commonly referred to as the ‘early’ era of television, by 1953 it was possible for actors working in the medium to have acquired over a decade of experience. The Quatermass Experiment features a cast taken from a variety of backgrounds, with differing amounts of television experience. The ways in which this informs performance style are examined alongside the exigencies of live multi-camera television studio production, which required the continuity to which actors versed in theatre would be accustomed, while imposing severe technological limitations on freedom of movement and the need for physical and vocal projection. The extent to which the nascent studio realism of Quatermass was representative of its time is examined via Viewer Research Reports and contemporary press reviews, which already reveal a notable divergence of opinion with regard to what was acceptably verisimilitudinous in television acting.

Keywords:   1950s, actor experience, live production, television studio, multi-camera, studio realism

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