Play for Today – “Country”

Trevor’s film Country will be shown at 10.30 pm on Monday 12th October 2020 on BBC4 as part of the BBC’s celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the first Play for Today.

A major documentary about the origins, achievements and controversies of the series – Drama out of a Crisis: a celebration of Play for Today – precedes Country at 9pm on BBC4. Read more

Gabriele Salvatores slams the first clapperboard on Comedians

Filming has begun in Trieste on Gabriele Salvatores’ new title Comedians, a screen adaptation of the play of the same name which confirmed Trevor Griffiths’ playwright status. Written in the early 1970s, the play is set in a Manchester evening school, where a group of aspiring comedians reunite for a final rehearsal before performing for a London-based agent. Read more


Comedians has been selected as one of only 12 plays to screen in the BFI Play for Today 50th Anniversary season. This will be at the BFI Southbank in London between 19th October and 30th November (exact screening date will be announced later.) 

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BFI season

The British Film Institute ran a season of Trevor’s work for television at their South Bank cinema complex during May 2017.  

It started on Tuesday 9th May with an on-stage conversation at 6.15 followed in the evening by a showing of Food for Ravens.

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The Cherry Orchard at The Arcola

Trevor’s version of The Cherry Orchard opened at the Arcola Theatre in London on 15th February 2017 and ran until 25th March.  It was directed by Mehmet Ergen, with Sian Thomas as Ranevskaya and Jack Klaff as Gaev.   This was the final production in the Arcola’s season commemorating the centenary of the Russian Revolution.  (More details at

Reds at the Regent Street Cinema

On Sunday 25th October starting at 2 pm there will be a special showing of Reds at the Regent Street Cinema.

Celebrating Trevor Griffiths’ 80th birthday this year, Warren Beatty’s epic, Academy Award winning drama of the Russian Revolution (which Griffiths co-wrote) is showing where it needs to – on the big screen.

Trevor Griffiths will be in extended conversation with Gareth Evans after the film, talking about Reds and his life’s work on stage and screen.

Full details and to book tickets,

March Time

March Time, an original television screenplay written between 1987 and 1994, was published in the November 2012 edition of The Spokesman.

The Spokesman, which is the journal of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and which has published a number of Trevor’s other plays, is available from

The following are extracts from the editorial note that will preface the text of March Time, written by Tony Simpson, editor of The Spokesman.

“Trevor Griffiths is a friend and comrade of the Russell Foundation of many years, going back to the 1960s and visits to London’s Red Café.  In 1978 he served on the jury of the Third Russell Tribunal, which examined Berufsverbote, or bans on employment in the public service on political grounds and related aspects of human rights in what was then West Germany.  Ten years ago, in 2002, he travelled to Cordoba in Spain to participate in a dialogue on peace and human rights which brought together activists from the region and more widely.  The threat of coming war in Iraq hung over the assembly, which argued strongly and cogently for a “Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological.”

All the time, Griffiths was writing, adding to a distinguished and substantial body of work for the theatre, film and television.  In 1982, Spokesman published Sons and Lovers, his sparkling screenplay for the BBC’s memorable adaptation of Lawrence’s coalfield novel.  Twenty years on, in 2002, prior to Cordoba, we commenced publishing in The Spokesman an occasional series of Griffiths’s texts.  The first was Camel Station, a short play with a very good joke, set in Iraq’s Northern No-Fly Zone (Spokesman 75).

In 2005, at Ken Coates’s instigation, Spokesman published Griffiths’s full-length screenplay about Thomas Paine, These Are The Times.  Kurt Vonnegut loved it so much he declared that he wished he had written it, and requested dozens of copies to send to friends in Hollywood, some of whom did indeed promise to try to get the film made.  Subsequently the work was adapted for the stage, under the title A New World, and premiered at The Globe in London to wide acclaim in 2009.

Michael Billington, The Guardian’s erstwhile and humane theatre critic, remarked that “Trevor Griffiths is the godfather of British political theatre” and rightly described him as “our foremost socialist dramatist”. Billington went on to urge a new production of Occupations, Griffiths’s first full-length play for the stage about factory occupations in northern Italy in 1920, which received its first production at the Stables Theatre in Manchester in 1970.  Now that would be a timely revival.

Now, we are pleased to fulfil a longstanding commitment made by Ken Coates to Trevor Griffiths that The Spokesman would publish March Time, his screenplay homage to the Labour Movement down the ages.  Originally written in 1987, in the midst of Thatcherism, and revised in 1994 as Tony Blair stole the Labour Party, March Time has been revised again for publication here.  As neo-liberal destruction of public provision reaches deep into education and the health service, and ‘austerity’ is seen to be not for the rich but only for the rest of us, it couldn’t be more fitting.”

Tony Simpson

Bill Brand on dvd

All eleven episodes of this acclaimed 1976 tv series are now available on dvd from

Also now available from the first series of Adam Smith, written by Trevor Griffiths and starring Andrew Keir and Tom Conti, and first shown on Granada TV in 1972.