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ITV Playhouse: The Perfect House

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Mar. 17th, 1981 | 09:00 pm

There are two references to "The Perfect House" in “The Stage”, the first on 31 May 1979.

“Of eight single plays recorded by Thames for transmission in the one-hour ITV Playhouse slot later in the year, five have been produced by John Bowen well-known of course as a writer, and three by Rob Buckler ...

On film and tape, The Perfect House, by Patricia Chaplin, is directed by Ken Grieve. Among the actors are Brian Protheroe, Cathleen Nesbitt, Leonard Cavenagh, Helen Rappaport, Anna Cropper, Michael Gothard, Ann Lynn and Gary Waldhorn.”

“The Perfect House” must have been filmed early in 1979, before the producer, Rob Buckler, left his post with ITV Playhouse in April of that year. Evidently, it was supposed to be screened later in 1979, but – for some reason – this, and Rob Buckler’s other two plays, were kept under wraps.

The second article to mention “The Perfect House”, on 26 February 1981, was entitled “Thames plays at last”, evidently referring to the two-year gap between filming and transmission.

“Three Thames single plays, all produced by Rob Buckler during his year as producer in charge of the company’s ITV Playhouse productions, are to be shown next month.

… The Perfect House will … be shown from 9 pm in an hour slot. This production was directed by Ken Grieve and the large cast included Anna Cropper, Brian Protheroe, Leonard Cavanagh, Cathleen Nesbitt, Helen Rappaport, Ann Lynn, Danny Rae, Gus Roy, Frank Lee, Marcello Rono, Gary Waldhorn, John Cassaday, Rachel Warren, Charles Warren, Lizie Spender, Bob Curtis, Michael Gothard, Kevin Costello and Francesco Moralis.”

“The Perfect House” was finally broadcast on 17 March 1981 as episode 2 of season 13 of ITV Playhouse.

This is the entry in the TV Times.

The Perfect House 1

The accompanying article by Larry Ashe on pages 6 and 7, entitled, "The terror that could be on the street where you live" has this to say:

"They are all respectable enough today – but these houses and flats were not as innocent as they look. They were used as bomb factories, boltholes or transmitting stations for terrorists and spies. Neighbours were unaware of what went on behind those ordinary-looking doors and windows.

Today there will almost certainly be other houses and flats hiding similar deadly secrets – perhaps on the street where you live. Tuesday’s play, The Perfect House, is a story about terrorists and their need for what in the jargon of spying is called a 'safe house'."

It then goes on to give details of real life "safe" houses which could be harbouring dangerous terrorists or criminals in your own neighbourhood - so long as you live in London or Middlesex!

The Perfect House 2

The BFI's Reuben Library holds a copy of the play, which can be viewed by prior appointment.

IMDB entry

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