As a fellow scholar at Edinburgh College within the Nineteen Seventies, I keep in mind Michael Boyd’s brief play God, Herbert, Donne and the Satan. It was a superb piece of witty writing and tight directing, a glowing spotlight for the College Theatre Firm in its outdated premises in Hill Avenue.
The BBC adopted a ragtag scholar firm by which Michael was an actor performing the Sixteenth-century comedy Gammer Gurton’s Needle, in a documentary collection titled The Entertainers. Michael gave it its subtitle when seen, in vibrant costume, asking a bemused resident: “Hi there, are you coming to the present?” Maybe unfairly, the New Statesman devoted its complete TV column to evaluation the documentary saying it was “a play produced by a bunch of scholars with extra hang-ups than a college cloakroom”.
It was clear that Michael was headed for better issues, and on account of producing this relatively unusual tour of the Highlands, I obtained encouragement from the BBC documentary director Peter Carr and ended up as a tv producer/director.