On The Level

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The Saville Theatre playbill for On The Level

Contents

Description

Delia and Brian Hodgson, working as Unit Delta Plus, created music and sound effects for Ron Grainer's second play On The Level, a musical which opened in late February 1966 at The Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool[1] and was repeated at the Saville Theatre in London, opening on 19th April 1966.[2]

Delia and Brian spent 67½ man-hours on it between 6th August 1965 and 18th February 1966, working with Ron Grainer, Wendy Toye and Diane Majue,[3] delivered 20 sound sequences lasting a total of 15m18s[4] and Delia and Brian went to Liverpool to attend the opening night and a party on the 25th as guests of the show's producer Martin Landau.[5][6]

Although a newspaper article previewing the show mentions "electronic music in the “Dr Who” vein which owes nothing to the men in the orchestra pit",[7] Unit Delta Plus are not credited in either of the theatre playbills.[8][2]

Tracks

                                             mins. secs.
Opening sequence                               1   25
Albert Hall head-ache                          1   26
Hieroglyphics                                      35
Wedding sequence (organ type)                      10
Thermodynamics (  ditto   )                        30
Strangely Attractive ( ditto )                     50
5 versions of "Thermo" phrases                     33
"Nicies" with extension                        1    4
"Nasties"                                      1
Planetarium                                    1   30
Stars, G & E                                       20
Bell sequence                                      30
Morse for headlines                            1
Clock rhythms + pen @ MM  = 100                1
Whoosh (for planetarium)                           15
Impacts                                            10
Chuck's inspiration                            1
Realisation of Land of Hope and Glory
  with separate rhythm track                   1   10
"Biscuit breaking"                                 15
Howler with twang                                  35
[4]

Papers

Availability

  • On Attic Tapes
    • DD010: "On the Level" Reel 1 of 3
    • DD011: "On the Level" Reel 2 of 3
    • DD012: "On the Level" Reel 3 of 3
    • DD077: "Ron Grainer Music, On The Level (Relays)"
    • DD196: "Unit Delta Plus Demo. On The Level etc."

References

  1. Brian Hodgson's obituary in The Guardian, 7 July 2001
  2. 2.0 2.1 Playbill for the Saville Theatre performances, on the Ron Grainer web site
  3. DD094630: Unit Delta Plus' timesheet
  4. 4.0 4.1 DD094616: Unit Delta Plus' final bill
  5. DD093852: Unit Delta Plus' reply to Martin Landau's letter, thanking him for his hospitality and for the party on Friday night; the only Friday between the 18th and the 28th is the 25th February 1966.
  6. DD093822: Envelope of Martin Landau's letter to Brian Hodgson, postmarked "Liverpool 28 Feb 1966".
  7. You, You and You Set To Music: Preview in a newspaper article by Gerry Dempsey.
  8. DD093707: First page of the theatre playbill for the Royal Court Theatre.
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