BEE GEES TV PLAY?
(New Musical Express,
April 8, 1968)
Transcript by Anne Marie
Screenplay for the Bee Gees’ first full length feature film
“Lord Kitchener’s Little Drummer Boys” is being specially written
by Johnny Speight, creator of the BBC1 series ‘Til Death do Us
Part’. To enable Speight
to complete work on the script, shooting of the film has been delayed
until October. The group
may also have singing and acting roles in a television play, also
written by Speight, which has been rejected by the BBC and Rediffusion
as “too controversial”.
The movie casts the
five Bee Gees as youngsters press ganged into the army ass bandsmen
during the Boer War. It
will be produced by Associated London Films, with the group’s manager
Robert Stigwood as executive producer, and will be filmed in colour with
a budget of £500,000.
It was only last week
that Johnny Speight agreed to write the screenplay when, after the Bee
Gees’ concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, he attended a reception
and enthused about the group’s music.
The idea of the picture was then outlined to him.
Six new songs will be written by the group for the film, which is
described as ‘a comedy with music’.
Speight will join the
Bee Gees for a few dates on their current tour in order to familiarise
himself with their personalities. After
the tour the group will take acting lessons as, with the exception of
Colin Petersen, they have no previous dramatic experience.
The Speight TV play is
titled ‘If There Weren’t Any Blacks, You’d Have To Invent Them’
and was originally commissioned by the BBC two years ago. It went into production but was halted because it was
considered, “too offensive”. Rediffusion also rejected it for the
same reason. Speight told
NME that public opinion had now changed and that fresh offers were being
considered. If a deal was finalised the Bee Gees would have major roles
in the production.
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