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Work and travel in India


Staying On
Wolfgang Suschitzky Film-maker
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Another film I would like to mention was a television film. It’s the first part of The Jewel in the Crown. The first volume written by a Paul Scott, made for Granada Manchester in the mountains of India – Shimla it is called now; it was Simla before, where the British officers went for their summer holidays. Because it’s high up in the mountain on a very steep hill everything has to be carried on the back. I’ve seen a piano being carried uphill. The story was touching, about a British army officer who decides it’s cheaper to live in India on his pension and the film was called... Staying On. Staying on. The cast was wonderful. It was Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson. They hadn’t played together for 20 years since Brief Encounter. Hadn’t seen each other for 20 years, and Trevor was on his best behaviour. He didn’t drink much, and Celia was such a wonderful actress. She moved us hardened technicians to tears on one or two spots. It was a beautiful place... interesting place. The only thing was that some of the crew from Manchester had never been out of Manchester, so they were very unhappy about the food they had, although it was so-called European food, and Indian food was also available. And there was a Chinese restaurant in the town. And... but one day they took over the kitchen of the hotel they made their Lancashire hotpot, and they were happy for a... for a while. The film turned out quite nicely I think, but was only shown on television and not in London at all, as far as I know.

Born in Austria, Wolfgang Suschitzky (1912-2016) trained as a photographer and became one of the first in his field to take portraits of animals. After coming to England he worked with Paul Rotha as the cameraman on various documentaries and films such as “No Resting Place”, “Ulysses” and “Get Carter”.

Listeners: Misha Donat

Misha Donat is the son of Wolfgang Suschitzky. He has composed music for the theatre and the cinema (including films directed by Lindsay Anderson, and by Albert Finney). For more than 25 years he was a senior music producer for BBC Radio 3, where he planned and produced the prestigious lunchtime concerts at St John’s, Smith Square, at which many of the world’s leading artists appeared on a regular basis, and also instigated a Young Artists’ Forum as a showcase for musicians of the coming generation. As a broadcaster himself, he has given many radio talks. Misha Donat has contributed a large number of programme notes to the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, South Bank, Aldeburgh Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Brighton Festival and other venues, and he has written CD booklets for such labels as Decca, DG, RCA, Philips and Hyperion. He has been a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine since its inception more than 10 years ago, and has written articles for The London Review of Books, The Guardian, The Musical Times, The Listener, Opera, and other publications. He has taught at the University of California in Los Angeles, and has given lectures and seminars at Vassar College and Bard College in New York State, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), and in the UK at Durham University, the Barbican Centre, the Royal Festival Hall, and the Norwich Music festival. He is currently working as a producer for the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Tags: Staying On, The Jewel in the Crown, Granada Manchester, India, Brief Encounter, Shimla, Paul Scott, Trevor Howard, Celia Johnson

Duration: 2 minutes, 47 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2008

Date story went live: 06 August 2009