Look and Read: Shadow Play

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started1st Mar 2004
ended29th Mar 2004
last rpt1st Dec 2009
7 school years
duration20 mins
subject 📚EnglishLanguage & Reading
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English
Look and ReadHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: Spelling with the Spellits

Shadow Play is a unit of the BBC schools TV series Look and Read from the 2000s, covering Language and Reading for primary school pupils.

This page about the Look and Read story Shadow Play is not yet finished.
But you can still read my old web pages about the story at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine on this link:
Look and Read.myby.co.uk - Shadow Play

A part-historical, part-contemporary story, a bit like Spywatch. The story will start with a present-day lad on a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads with his new step family, getting caught in a storm and sheltering in an old manor house. The lad then becomes embroiled in a Victorian plot through an old diary he finds that comes to life.

Modern lad (Ben) and Victorian diary writer (Hester) then apparently meet up and go off for an adventure in nineteenth century Norfolk, which will involve Victorian wherries (canal boats), Victorian fairgrounds, Victorian technology and inventions including the beginnings of cinema (probably developed from the camcorder that Ben has with him) and all sorts of Victorian riverside goings-on.

The carefully researched Victorian stuff and local activities like reedcutting and those wherries will help link it in to the history curriculum in schools.

Ben's coming to terms with his step family will be contrasted with Hester's rights, responsibilities and education in the Victorian period - the experiences of the past used to reflect on the present blah, blah, blah. That links it in to the citizenship curriculum.

The whole thing will be a mystery adventure serial, but in a return to the traditional Look and Read format, there will also be distinct educational segments in each episode, including songs! It was originally thought that there wouldn't be any (like Zzaap and the Word Master didn't have any) because its so difficult to find new songs that are good and catching and useful and don't end up ruining the whole thing - these criteria have apparently now been met. Anyway, that content links it in to the literacy curriculum.


Quick episode list

# Title Broadcast
1. A Light at the Window 1 Mar 2004
2. The Girl in Blue 8 Mar 2004
3. A Flicker at the Fairground 15 Mar 2004
4. Phantoms and Photographs 22 Mar 2004
5. A Secret Comes to Light 29 Mar 2004
- "Omnibus edition" 31 Oct 2004

Num Title Broadcast
1. A Light at the Window 1 Mar 2004
  When Ben and his family take refuge in an old mansion, he discovers that he can see into the Victorian world through his camcorder.
2. The Girl in Blue 8 Mar 2004
  Hester meets Nathan, who takes her to meet his family on board a big cargo wherry. Nathan helps Hester find out about the mysterious happenings at the house.
3. A Flicker at the Fairground 15 Mar 2004
  Ben follows Hester and the servant, Katie, to a local fair. Ben tries to talk to Hester about the Girl in Blue who seems to be haunting him.
4. Phantoms and Photographs 22 Mar 2004
  Ben helps Hester to escape from the Wherry after she makes a discovery. He finds out a bit more about the girl in blue.
5. A Secret Comes to Light 29 Mar 2004
  Uncle Augustus comes to the rescue of Nathan, who is in the clutches of Bob Trimby.
"Omnibus edition" 31 Oct 2004
  An 85-minute long extended version of the story, shown on the CBBC Channel for a general child audience.


Starring Jack Bannon as Ben

Naomi Miller as Emma
Patrick Robinson as Cal
Sophie Aldred as Roz
Anabel Barnston as Hester Moreton
Timothy Bentinck as Uncle Augustus
Laura Davenport as Aunt Sophie
Janine Duvitski as Katie
Faye Jackson as the Girl in Blue
Cameron Crighton as Nathan
Francis Magee as Mr Bob Trimby
Patience Tomlinson as Mrs Alice Trimby
Adam Donnelly as George Moreton
Ben as Meg the dog

Presenter Angellica Bell
With Doreen Mantle as Queen Victoria
Paul Bigley as Dogsbody
Written by Carolyn Sally Jones
Music by Alan Coates
Kim Coody
Executive producer Sue Nott
Producer Sarah Miller
Director Dirk Campbell
With thanks to Broads Authority
Norfolk Wherry Trust
Galliard School, Enfield
Beaver Road School, Manchester
Hillhead School, Glasgow
Eric Edwards & How Hill Trust
Filmed on location in Norfolk
Sketch writer Peter Corey
Sketch music Big George
Studio technical manager John d'Souza
Studio lighting cameraman Graham Banks
Studio make-up Judith Barkas
Studio production co-ordinator Michelle Parr
Studio engineer Simon Storey
Vox pops cameraman Edward Capes
Vox pops editor Alex Morgan
Researcher Kieron Schiff
Chaperone Diana Thompson
Graphics Adams Trainor
Production design Alan Spalding
Jo Manser
Art director Jo Manser
Props Anne Carlyle Gall
Paul Halter
Ben Grist
John Hemsley
Costume design Ros Little
Costume Ros Little
Judy Pepperdine
Amanda Harward
Miranda King
Naomi Gurdol
Make-up design Christine Penwarden
Make-up Christine Penwarden
Jenny Lenard
Celia Baxter
Tracy Gaines
Marine co-ordinator James Wakeford
Divers Ian Nichols
Ross Waters
Emma Jones
Josh Richardson
Assistant director Gerry Wigzell
Diane Kasperowicz
Locations manager Tom Hamilton
Production accountant Emma Lynch
Script supervisor Justine Hatcher
Casting Angela Grosvenor
Jeff Capel
Runners Adam Campbell
Kieron Schiff
Craig Scrivener
Katie Ward
On-line editor Simon Warner
Colourist Nick Adams
Dubbing mixer Richard Stillitto
Location sound Steve Phillips
Jeff Milner
Camera assistant Nora McGoldrick
Gaffer Steve Arthur
Electrician David Thom
Grip Tim Critchell
Off-line editor Bob Cook
Lighting cameraman Jerry Kelly
Series consultants Sue Palmer
Sallie Purkis
Line producer Helga Dowie


Here is a list of all of the broadcasts of this story on the BBC. See the Schedules section for precise dates and times.



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