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The Ascent Of F.6. (BBC Drama, William Devlin, Barry Barnes)



The Ascent Of F.6. was a verse play broadcast live in the earliest days of British television. Re-staged the following year with William Devlin again taking the lead.

The setting was based around an attempt to climb a mountain, the F6 of the title. Heavy on symbolism as lead character Ransom (William Devlin) making a few realisations about the nature of life itself. Ransom and his team have been persuaded to undertake the mission to claim the mountain for the British empire before a rival country can do so. Only Ransom reaches the summit and then dies. In another moment of symbolism he dies in his mother’s arms.

The play was first staged in 1936 and written by legends W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood. The cast was largely the same stage cast that had performed the play at the Mercury Theatre on it’s original run.

Cast: William Devlin as Michael Forsyth Ransom; Barry Barnes as David Gunn; Norman Claridge as Ian Shawcross; Peter Ashmore as Edward Lamp; Philip Thornley as Doctor Williams; Stuart Latham as Announcer; Alan Aldridge as Monk

Producer: J. Royston Morley / Play: W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood

UK / BBC / 1×30 minute episode / Broadcast 31 May 1937