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Not Pete Atkin >> Off-topic >> After Henry
(Message started by: Keith M on Today at 22:24)

Title: After Henry
Post by Keith M on Today at 22:24
Am I right in thinking that the Radio 4 series 'After Henry' was one that Pete produced?  If so (or perhaps even if not), can anyone please identify the piano theme music?  

Title: Re: After Henry
Post by Pete Atkin on 31.03.06 at 07:05
Hi Keith

Yes, you are right.  I produced all the radio episodes of this one in the 80s: four series of 8 plus two Christmas specials.   James Gilbert picked it up for ITV immediately after the beginning of the first series (but not until after Gareth Gwenlan had turned it down for BBCtv), but Simon Brett loyally continued to write it for radio firsty.

The music (on radio) came from an LP on Nonesuch by William Bolcom of George Gershwin's piano music.  It began with 'Three Quarter Blues' and ended with 'Impromptu in Two Keys.'   They kept 'Three Quarter Blues' on ITV, but they used a new version, specially recorded.

Incidentally, ITV kept Prunella Scales and Joan Sanderson, but they reduced the role of Russell, the owner of the bookshop where Pru's character worked (and also in the first series totally suppressed his being -- it was important there should be no chance of a romantic attachment between the two),t to such an extent that Benjamin WHitorw no longer wanted to play him;  and they thought that Gerry Cowper (now in East Enders) was too old to play the daughter (hah!).

Happy listening!


Title: Re: After Henry
Post by Kevin Cryan on 31.03.06 at 07:12
If memory serves me well, I seem to recall that both TV and Radio programmes had the same theme, and that was part of a work for piano entitled Three Quarter Blues by one George Gershwin.

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: After Henry
Post by Keith M on 02.04.06 at 00:14
Thank you both for this information.  (I must say I feel deeply honoured to have elicited a reply - and such a rapid one - from Pete himself.  Do I detect a particular attachment to this series or does he feel this way about all his 'children'?)    

I shall try to track down the sheet music.  It will give me something else with which to torture the rest of the family, but it has been haunting me for many years.

Title: Re: After Henry
Post by Pete Atkin on 02.04.06 at 10:38
'Atfer Henry' was certainly an entirely postive, even joyful experience, helped greatly by the fact that it was made by a very small, exceptionally mutually compatible team, starting with Simon Brett, whose scripts were as close to ideal as is imaginable.  After having written the first one in the vacuum of not knowing who would be performing it (as is the case in most kinds of serial drama), he subsequently tailored them to be a superb fit with the basic cast of four.  Many episodes featured only those four, but we had some great visitors:  I remember Tom Wilkinson in one, for instance (though he wasn't then the star he is now, of course).

It may not be all that surprising that I've always attached a lot of importance to the choice of music for programmes, both opening and closing (radio tends not to use music during - The Glittering Prizes was a big exception for me).  A compilation of the heterogeneous stuff I've used over the years would be a contender for Quirky Album of the Year.  I keep mental list of likely things, but when a need comes along I almost always end up finding something not on the list.  ('Use Your Brain' by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has been waiting for ages -- but I did hear it used in the background of something on TV just a week or so ago.)

We are in 'Off-Topic', aren't we?

Title: Re: After Henry
Post by Seán Kelly on 02.04.06 at 17:55
Um Sorry Pete but I think if you're here it's back on-topic  :)

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