Lance Sieveking

- died 6 January 1972

Older St. Catharine's men - and unhappily they are few- will certainly recall Lance Sieveking (Mat. 1919) as one of the more colourful in the avalanche of warriors that flooded the College after the First World War. During this costly upheaval, he had joined the Royal Navy Air Service, won the D.F.C. and finally been shot down over the Rhine and into captivity in 1917. Add to this a creative urge that led him to start writing at the age of six, and at thirteen embark on a novel that was eventually published when he was twenty-six- during the interval actively supporting the suffregattemovement before going to the war- and one can hardly express surprise at finding him described as a formidable personality, or that he married three times.

It is, however, with the BBC that he made his name in the widest field. Starting as an assistant to the Director of Education, he went on to introduce the first running commentaries and adapt numerous classics for radio drama. To him, broadcasting was clearly a challenge, and it has been argued that the production of the first television play springs from his ingenuity. Of him, it has been written that 'in his striking presence and dealings with his colleagues, his independent spirit was always apparent'. For ten years he was drama script editor, and he finally retired six years later in 1956.

Now he has passed on, as indeed have most of his college conpanions who, some 50 years ago, kept on D staircase with him. Certainly by those surviving he will never be forgotten.

He was 75.




22.04.44 If: Lord Dunsany/Lance Sieveking; with Lewis Stringer/Molly Rankin/Leslie Perrins
01.07.44 Robert's Wife: St. John G. Ervine/Lance Sieveking; with Edith Evans/Laidman Browne
22.07.44 The Burgomaster of Stilemonde: Maurice Maeterlinck/Lance Sieveking & Muriel Pratte; with Bryan Powley/Richard Williams/Barry Morse
02.09.44 Thunder In The Air: Robina Millar/Lance Sieveking; with Ivan Samson/Carl Bernard/Philip
17.03.45 General John Regan: George A. Birmingham/Lance Sieveking; with Cyril Cusack/James Stewart/Nita Hardy
14.04.45 Payment Deferred: C.S. Forester/Lance Sieveking; with Ivor Barnard/Louise Hampton/Patricia Hayes
21.04.45 Nothing But The Truth: James Montgomery/Lance Sieveking; with Richard Williams/Cyril Gardiner/Valentine Dyall/Gldays Spencer/Marjorie Westbury
04.08.45 Ambrose Applejohn's Adventure: Walter Hackett/Lance Sieveking; with Laidman Browne/Jane Barrett/Norman Shelley/Arthur Ridley
09.03.46 Laburnum Grove: J.B. Priestley/Lance Sieveking; no details in "RT"
13.09.47 If: Lord Dunsany/Lance Sieveking; with Ronald Sidney/Elsa Palmer 13
17.09.49 Keep Murder Quiet: Lance Sieveking & Selwyn Jepson; with Hermione Baddeley/Leslie Perrins
29.04.50 Silence In Heaven: Lance Sieveking; with Norman Shelley/Gladys Young
02.02.57 The Secret Battle: A.P. Herbert/Lance Sieveking; with David Spenser/Simon Lack/Ronald Simpson/Laidman Browne
20.07.57 A Private Volcano:Lance Sieveking; with Norman Shelley/Frank Windsor
28.19.58 A Deal in Ostriches: H.G.Wells/Lance Sieveking; with Manning Wilson/Michael Shipley
date nk (but pre 1954) Mr. Leadbetter's Vacation , by H.G.Wells/Lance Sieveking
08.02.56 Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde: R.L.Stevenson/Lance Sieveking, with Cyril Shaps, Richard Williams


BBC 25/5/62 - 6/7/62 7eps x 40min re-edited, with a running time of about 180min; from the novel by Jules Verne,adapted by Lance Sieveking

Light Programme. Tall story by H.G.Wells, adapted for radio by Lance Sieveking. An Indian gentleman has his priceless diamond stolen in a way no-one could have foreseen. Thirty minute theatre starring Manning Wilson as the Indian, with Michael Shipley, Lee Crutchley, Geoffrey Segal. Produced by H.B.Fortuin.

*DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE....1956
dramatised by Lance Sieveking; broadcast 8 Feb 1956. With Cyril Shaps, Richard Williams, Manning Wilson, Gordon Davies, James Thomason, Geoffrey Lumsden. Very effective dramatisation of this well-known classic.

Interesting thirty minute play sent to me by Martin Fennell, adapted by L.S. and based on a short story by H.G.Wells. Mr. Leadbetter is in holy orders, and for more years than he cares to remember has led a virtuous, worthwhile and very dull life. After drinking a little more than is good for him whilst on holiday, he rashly decides to commit a crime. It has consequences he could never have imagined - he ends up on the other side of the world. Producer - Martyn C. Webster. Not sure of the broadcast date, but this play was repeated by NBC in their "Showcase" series on 16 Oct 1954.

Asterisked items known to exist in VRPCC collections.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website.
SNT information supplied by Roger Bickerton.

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