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By BETTY BEST, of our London staff
Inside the B.B.G's northern television studios giant arc lights re-created Australian sunshine, while outside fog blanketed Man chester. The actors took their places for a final rehearsal of
the TV play "Reunion Day."
THE setting was Sydney,
on a warm, sunny
In one corner of the studio a replica of a private bar in a Sydney Botel was crowded
with Australian actors.
In another corner was a North Shore home with sun patio, and nearby a fibro bun galow. A bachelor flat ad joined.
From these three homes the play follows the fortunes of three men, who meet four or five others each year to cele brate Anzac Day. Each year they joyfully recall the things that happened in war. Each year it becomes harder to re capture the spirit that united them in those distant days.
The author, Peter Yeldham, an Australian who came to London in 1956, is one of TV's busiest writers. He has several other plays scheduled for production, and "Reunion Day" is to be produced on Germany's major TV station.
Peter, who is 34, and his wife, Marjorie ("my best and sternest critic"), have a pleas
ant Kensington home and two lively children. But their first
two years in England were pretty tough.
He wrote hundreds of TV crime-series episodes before he could afford to concentrate on the work he wanted to do.
"Reunion Day" is not the first example of this. His "Thunder on the Snow" was televised all over Europe as well as Britain. His first
screenplay, "Wildfire At Mid night," has been bought by Associated British, and an other screenplay, "The Up starts," by Cabal Productions.
The cast of "Reunion Day" includes Ray Barrett as Major Tim Anderson, a major at 23, whose life since has been anti climax. Ron Haddrick is Dave Rubin, an indifferent soldier, now a successful real estate agent.
Ken Wayne plays Jacko, the ex-sergeant, now a garage mechanic, to whom this day is desperately important.
Jerold Wells plays the
owner of the hotel where their annual reunion is held. Reg Lye plays a humorous drunk, a cameo part that producer Vivian Daniels descibed as "a
gem of a performance." Alan Tilvern, the only English actor in the cast, is Colonel Bailey, the unit "Casanova," who lives on the memory of his reputation.
Madge Ryan, her (real-life) daughter, Lyn Ashley, Ethel Gabriel, Patricia Conolly, and Nyree Dawn Porter are the
On the British TV studio set after filming "Reunion Day" Front row (from left) are Frank Leighton, Madge Ryan, Ray Barrett, Lyn Ashley, Ethel Gabriel. Seated behind, Syree Dawn Porter and Ken Wayne. Back row, from left, Barry Linehan, Vivian Daniels (pro ducer ), Ron Haddrick, Patricia Conolly, Peter Yeldham (author), Jerold Wells, Reg Lye.
The boys are in a gay mood as they gather for their Anzac reunion. But reliving the past becomes increasingly more difficult.
# Dave Rubin (Ron Haddrick) is en couraged by his wife, Judith (ISyree Dawn Porter), to go to one Diggers' reunion a year.