A television play of the story by 'Vercors', "Le Silence de la Mer".
Translated by Cyril Connolly.
Dramatised for television and produced by Michael Barry.
The story is set in a small country house in France during six months early in the German occupation.
This play is an adaptation of the story "Le Silence de la Mer," which was written by Jean Bruller, under the pseudonym of 'Vercors,' during the German occupation, and published in Paris in 1942 by the underground press. Cyril Connolly translated the story into English and it was published in America as "The Silence of the Sea" and later in England as "Put out the Light." It was the first of a series representing the spirit of French literature alive under German conquest. The story covers six months during which a German officer is billeted on an elderly Frenchman and his niece. They meet him with silence and refuse to acknowledge his presence as he comes and goes about the house. "I read the story while still in the Services," says Michael Barry, who has adapted the story for television and is producing it this afternoon, "and made a treatment of it for a possible television play, as I believed that the subtle situation that develops between the three main characters to be the kind of drama that can be truly captured by television." J. H. Roberts, who plays the part of the Frenchman, has been an actor since 1909 and has appeared in many West-End successes. Antoinette Cellier, daughter of the well-known actor Frank Cellier, takes the part of the niece. She studied for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and will be remembered for her portrayal of Anne Hargraves in "The Wind and the Rain". She has also appeared in films. Kenneth More, who plays the part of the German officer, is a young actor who has just returned to the theatre after six years in the Royal Navy. He is also appearing in "They Flew Through Sand", a television play of the R.A.F. in the Western Desert, on Friday evening.
Dramatised for television and produced by:
The German officer:
A play by J. B. Priestley.
Scene: The drawing-room of the Caplans' house at Chantbury Close. After dinner.
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