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Back To Methuselah (BBC 1952, John Justin, Sydney Tafler)



With an introduction from Harold Hobson Back To Methuselah was a five part production of George Bernard Shaw’s epic cycle of plays which track from 4004BC to the very far future beginning with Adam And Eve with the second play taking place in the present day. The final episode takes place in the year 31,920 where people live to a very advanced age.

Written between the years 1918 and 1920 the plays were an attempt by Shaw to come to terms with the ravages of world war one and his belief that we all need to adapt and live as long as we can.

The episodes were titled In The Beginning, The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabus, The Thing Happens, Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman and As Far As Thought Can Reach.

production details
UK / BBC / 5 episodes various durations from 75 minutes to 110 minutes / Broadcast 6 May – 3 June 1952

Play: George Bernard Shaw / Production Design: Stephen Bundy / Choreography: Felicity Gray / Producer: Harold Clayton / Directors: Harold Clayton, Alan Bromly

John Justin
Heather Stannard
Ellen Pollock
Sydney Tafler
André van Gyseghem
Philip King
Francis Rowe
Ernest Clark
Ursula Howells
Hugh Griffith
Andrew Cruickshank
Edward Chapman
Donald Eccles
David Horne
Ernest Clark
Ida Shepley
Maurice Colbourne
Dorothy Primrose
Edward Jewesbury
John Byron
Maxine Audley
Hamlyn Benson
Susan Richmond
Iris Williams
Michael Redington
William Devlin
Jane Barrett
Tony Britton
Ellen Pollock
Sheila Shand Gibbs
Avis Scott
Robert Urquhart
Andrew Osborn
David Markham
Peter Rendall
Rosaline Haddon
Heather Stannard