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The Wednesday Play: Dan, Dan, The Charity Man (BBC Drama)



Publicity: The Wednesday Play – Dan, Dan, The Charity Man. They are rapidly becoming a part of our daily lives, the men who knock at our doors in what looks like fancy dress, offering free gifts, something for nothing, vouchers worth five pounds, fortunes for the answer to a simple question “Why does brand X clean cleaner than clean?”. But who are the men who ring the bells and knock the knockers?

Are they like Dan Sankey, hero of tonight’s play Dan, Dan, The Charity Man? Dan, from out-of-work actor to Vita Moo farm-boy, ends up a national figure, beloved by housewives, a saint of the supermarket. Somewhere along the line, though, he loses his girlfriend Siggy, somewhere along the line he is “conned” by his bosses. In this riotous farce by Hugh Whitemore be prepared for the unusual. At times your picture will flicker like a silent film and the characters burst into mad chases, double time, like something from the Keystone Cops. At other times they might move in slow motion like goldfish in a bowl. This is an unusual comedy which tells its story in unusual ways.

For a television play the author is breaking new ground. He comes up with many surprises. Don Taylor has directed the play using all the resources of the Television Centre and the BBC’s film studios. He has cast in the role of Dan one of the most popular of our young actors, Barry Foster. Seen in a number of television plays on BBC Television recently, his latest film is King And Country. He can also be heard at present on Sunday nights in the Light Programme serial The Quarry. In all Dan, Dan, The Charity Man should prove good entertainment. (Radio Times, January 28, 1965 – Article by Roger Smith).

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 5

Cast: Barry Foster (Dan Sankey), Ernest Clark (Pritchard), Philip Locke (Pentelow), Dora Reisser (Siggy), Antony Carrick (Plunkett), Carmel McSharry (Mrs Hartridge), Madge Brindley (Fat Housewife), Arthur Mullard (Huge Man), Richard Jacques (Photographer), Michael Brennan (Patient), Michael Barrington (Reverend Cobbold)

Writer: Hugh Whitemore / Director: Don Taylor

UK / BBC One / 1×75 minute episode / Broadcast 3 February 1965