Alan G. Melville

b. 9 April 1910, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, d. 23 December 1983, Brighton, Sussex, England. During World War II, Melville scripted radio shows and wrote sketches and lyrics for West…
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Artist Biography

b. 9 April 1910, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, d. 23 December 1983, Brighton, Sussex, England. During World War II, Melville scripted radio shows and wrote sketches and lyrics for West End productions, including Sweet And Low (1943), Sweeter And Lower (1944) and Sweetest And Lowest (1945). In the 50s he wrote plays including Castle In The Air (1951), Hot Ice (1952), Dear Charles (1953), which was staged on Broadway the following year starring Tallulah Bankhead, Simon And Laura (1956) and Devil May Care (1963). He wrote the book for the musical, Bet Your Life (1952), starring Sally Ann Howes, Julie Wilson, Brian Reece and Arthur Askey. For this show he also wrote lyrics for the songs (music by Kenneth Leslie Smith and Charles Zwar) ‘Now Is The Moment’, ‘What Care I?’, ‘I Love Being In Love’, ‘I Love Him As He Is’ and ‘All On Account Of A Guy’.

He also worked with Ivor Novello on Gay’s The Word (1951), writing ‘It’s Bound To Be Right On The Night’, ‘Ruritania’ (poking self-deprecating fun at the now old-fashioned British musical tradition), ‘Please Return’, ‘On Such A Night As This’ and a show-stopper for star Cicely Courtneidge, ‘Vitality’. Several of his stage plays were adapted for the screen, sometimes by himself, and he also wrote screenplays for Derby Day (1952) and As Long As They’re Happy (1955), which he adapted from Vernon Sylvaine’s play and which starred Jeannie Carson, Jerry Wayne and Jack Buchanan and featured songs by Sam Coslow. Apart from Dear Charles, Melville’s material featured on Broadway included sketches, song lyrics and contributions to the book for shows such as Leonard Sillman’s New Faces Of 1952 and From A To Z (1960). He contributed sketches for many artists on UK television in the 60s, including Dickie Henderson and Beryl Reid. He made occasional appearances on television shows including Before The Fringe (1967) and The Vortex (1969). He also wrote for the series, The Very Merry Widow And How and The Whitehall Worrier (both 1967), having created the latter. In the 60s and 70s many of his stage works were adapted as radio plays by the BBC. He also directed a six-part radio drama serial, Events At Black Tor (1968). Three plays for radio were transmitted during the last year of Melville’s life: Change Of View, Normal Service and Don’t Come Into The Garden (all 1983).