TV UK TV

Dancers in Mourning (BBC 1959 with Bernard Horsfall, Denis Quilley, Vanda Godsell)

UK | BBC

RUNNING TIME: 30 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 6 | AIRDATES: 10 August – 14 September 1959

WRITER: John Hopkins | NOVEL: Margery Allingham | MUSIC: Christopher Whelan | PRODUCTION DESIGN: Reece Pemberton | PRODUCER: John Harrison

Crime drama serial Dancers in Mourning was a case for Albert Campion, the detective created by Margery Allingham (one of the big three writers from the golden age of detective fiction alongside Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers). Private Detective Campion is asked by old friend William Faraday to investigate a series of practical jokes that are happening back stage at the London Theatre where his play The Bluffer is being staged. The jokes are being targeted at star Jimmy Sutane but the stakes are raised when Jimmy reveals that he has accidentally killed fellow actor Chloe Pye.

This was the first time the character of Campion had been adapted for TV and a second six part serial called Death of a Ghost was broadcast the following year. During the late 1950’s the BBC were extremely adept at producing these six part thriller mysteries, especially those written by Francis Durbridge. In the late 1980’s the BBC revived character for two series of very glossy, high budget period productions with Peter Davison in the lead.

cast
BERNARD HORSFALL as Albert Campion
DENIS QUILLEY as Jimmy Sutane
NOEL HOWLETT as William Faraday
WALLY PATCH as Magersfontain Lugg
JOHN RUDDOCK as Chief Superintendent Oates
VANDA GODSELL as Chloe Pye
JONATHAN MEDDINGS as Benny Konrad
ROBERT LANKESHEER as Stage Director
LESLEY NUNNERLEY as Eve Sutane
SHEILA SHAND GIBBS as Linda Sutane
DAVID PHETHEAN as Sock Petrie
MICHAEL GOUGH as Squire Mercer
ROBERT JARVIS as Hughes
ROGER MAXWELL as Doctor Bouverie
RICHARD PEARSON as Superintendent Yeo
JOHN WILDING as P.C. Henderson