BBC Radio Plays from 1970

R3 18-Dec-1970. By Tom Stoppard. With Carleton Hobbs, Lockwood West, John Humphrey, Rolf Lefebvre, Timothy West, John Wood, Kenneth Fortesque, Geoffrey Owen, Anthony Barnett, Martin Baker, Charles Pinner, William Long, David Howe. Produced by John Tydeman.

By Eduardo de Filippo, ad. Peter Tinniswood. 22 Oct 70, R3, Sunday Play. 155m. Play about an Italian Sergeant Major living inside a monument in Naples 25 years after the end of World War II. Cast: Michael Angelis [Eduardo], Tom Georgeson [Ascanio Penna, a former Sergeant Major], Anna Keaveney [Sabina, Ascanio's wife], Michael Mears [Paganini, a 'tenant'], Chris Darwin [Arthur], Sharon Muircroft [Rita], Ian Brooker [Roberto, an appliance salesman], Sonny Ormonde [Teresa, a prostitute], Gavin Muir [Guarnaschelli], Brian Miller [Salvatore], Stanley Townsend [Agostino, an octopus vendor], Eileen O'Brien [Marie Rosaria, an old beggarwoman], and Ben Roberts [Inspector Delledonne]. Music by Anthea Gomez. Performed by Anthea Gomez, David Gregory and Nigel Woodhouse. Directed by Sue Wilson in Birmingham.

Double Entry....1970
By R.D.Wingfield. 45m, 7-10-70 R4. There is no known recording of this play. It is a police thriller.

Science fiction by Friedrich Durrenmatt. 7 Oct 70. 60m Afternoon Theatre. There is war on Earth. Some officials from Earth land on Venus to make sure that the people there are, nominally at least, on their own side. This is an exercise in complete futility because the people there have only one interest: trying to survive in an environment which is far more severe than that of Earth. Cast includes: Leo Maguire, Henry Stamper, Patrick Tull, Anthony Jacobs, Diana Robson, James Thomason. Translated by Victor Price; producer R.D.Smith.

By W. S Maugham, ad. Joan O'Connor. 12 Aug 1970. Set just after the ending of the First World War. The wife of a military man publishes a set of poems. To begin with he regards he writing as just a harmless hobby, but when the volume becomes a best-seller, and he learns that parts of it are perhaps autobigraphical, he has to re-think. 45m. With Carleton Hobbs, Hector Ross, Dorritt Wells, Myrtle Reed, John Gabriel, Frederick Bennett, Wilfred Carter, Andrew Sachs, Peter Tuddenham, Monica Grey, Anne King, John Bryning. Producer David H. Godfrey.

SUMMER OF THE 17th DOLL....1970
BBC World Theatre; made by ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 10 Aug 70. Adapted by Joy Hollier; with James Condon, Nigel Lovell, June Salter.

25 Jul 70. Play about the succession and haemophilia in the Russian royal family in the early 1900s, by Royce Ryton. Rachel Gurney, Margot Boyd. 90m.

6 Jul 70; Monday Play. By Ada F. Kay. There used to be a chip shop in Leicestershire called "300 Spartans". This play told me, many years later, where the phrase came from.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ada F. Kay turned to historical and social themes trying to make sense of the changing world around her. She wrote "The Man from Thermopylae" in 1945, a powerful allegory on the human condition set against the background of the ancient Spartans' fateful battle against the mighty Persian army.

Greece, 480 BC. Pantites, a member of the forces of King Leonidas, is the sole survivor of the battle at the pass of Thermopylae. On his return to Sparta, he finds that though his homeland had honoured him as a hero when it was thought he died a heroic death as one of the fallen 300, he is now, to them, just an ordinary man. Shocked as how society has turned against him, with the state and his family condemning him as a coward because he had not died as he should have done, will Pantites turn his back on society as society turned its back on him?

This production is a revival of the 1956 production of "The Man From Thermopylae" broadcast on BBC Home Service on Monday 17 Dec 56. It had been dramatised for radio from the 1945 stage production of "The Man From Thermopylae" by Ada F. Kay (the pen name of Scottish playwright, A. J. Stewart).

Cast: John Westbrook [Géron, an Itinerant Priest / Hermes, Messenger of the Gods], Robin Browne [Pantites, a 25-year-old Spartan Soldier], Hilary Mason [The Old Woman Innkeeper / Orlea, an Old Friend of Melissa], Judy Bennett [The Baby / A Boy], Pamela Craig [The Girl at the Inn], Seymour Green [Iolaos, the Father of Pantites], Joan Matheson [Melissa, the Mother of Pantites], Jessica Shaw [Penthesilea, the 16-year-old Sister of Pantites], Ralph Truman [Hippias, the Uncle of Pantites], Jane Knowles [Helena, Wife of Pantites], Alexander John [Frixos, Pantites's Former Rival for Helena's Hand], Alaric Cotter [Skorpios, Spartan Guard at the Gate], Alan Dudley [Koryander, a Travelling Salesman], and Edward Burnham [Philander, a Circus Showman]. Other parts played by members of the company. Produced by David Geary. Re-broadcast R4, Sun 28 Jan 73. .........(thanks to 's-j' of 'radiofans').

By Patricia Moyes. The editor of a magazine is murdered. Police mystery.

The Joke About Hilary Spite....1970
by Christopher Bidmead. Producer: John Tydeman. A mystery adventure which recounts the consequences when a clinically depressed young woman with a talent for computers gets mixed up with spies. The title role features Angela Pleasence, and the cast includes Nigel Anthony.1-6 Jul 70, R4. Rebroadcast by CBC 2004.

By Ronald Johnston. 27 Jun 70. A collision between two ships just off Dungeness, and the subsequent trial. 55m. Bruce: James Grant, Penman: Paul Young, Helmsman: Arthur Boland, with Calum Mill, Clem Ashby, Paul Kermack, Sandra Buchan, Martin Heller, John Sheddon, Harry Gray. Producer Gordon Emsley.

THE BRIDGE....1970
By John Leslie. 30 May 1970. Play taking place in two time zones, a little like "The House on the Strand". Will a tragedy from two centuries ago be repeated? With Anant Wheatley, Monica Grey, Andrew Sachs, Hilda Fenimore, Leonard Fenton, Jo Manning Wilson, Griselda Hervey, James Thomason, Sonia Frazer, Brian Hewlett, John Gabriel, Alan Barrie, Peter Tuddenham. Music composed by John Leslie; play directed by Norman Wright. Pianist Anna Barenska. 90m.

By R.C.Sherriff. 25 May70

MISS ANYA....1970
By Anton Chekhov, R4, 15 May 70. 56m. A tale of russia before the revolution, dramatized by Joan O'Connor. Times have changed.... you're not supposed to beat the peasants any more....Margaret Wolfit, David Spenser, Norman Shelley, Hester Peyton-Brown, Wilfred Carter, Gordon Faith, Patricia Leventon, Margaret Ward, pianist Frederic Stone, guitarist George Elliott. Producer Betty Davies.

By Dorothy Gray, 6 May 70. 50m. A nagging wife is exasperated by her husband, who has a much more exciting way of looking at life than her. Things come to a head when he jumps into the harbour to rescue a young woman who has fallen in. Cast: Heather Gibson, , Joe McPartland (sp?), Michael Copeland, Finaula Rollesden, Wolsey Gracie, Stella Mckusker, Michael Duffy, Harold Goldblatt, Sam Macready, Trudy Kelly, Daphne May. Produced in Northern Ireland by Roger Pine.

By Frank Drake, R4 2 May 70. Well-paced thriller. A man unjustly convicted of murder escapes from prison and hopes to prove his innocence. 53m. John Bentley, Sonia Frazer, Deborah Dallas, Peter Tuddenham, Brian Haynes, Clifford Norgate, John Pullen, Kerry Francis, producer Norman Wright.

29 Apr 70. By Doris Greene. 45m. Curious play about a famous female writer and pacifist who gets a job as a governess and eventually meets (and gets a job working for) Alfred Nobel. Cast: Denis McCarthy as Alfred Nobel, Penelope Lee as Berthe Kinsky, Philip Bond as Arthur Von Suttner, with Harold Caskett, Betty Hardy, Patricia Gallimore, Chris Solte(sp?). Alan Dudley, Noel Hood. Produced by John Powell.

The night they deliver the money....1970
By R.D.Wingfield. 60m, 4-4-70, 2.00 R4 .

Murder Remembered....1970
By T.C. Hudson R2 25.3.1970/2030 Sean Arnold/Paul Douglas/Henry Stamper. ....Recording from T.C.Hudson - many thanks.

The Little Palaces ....1970
By Jean Barnes. 4 Mar 1970. John Hollis/Anne Jameson/Joyce Latham/James Mellor. Interesting social story set in the North. A middle aged couple are forced out of their house because the council needs it for a young family. Then there's the young man who's expected to go to university but has quite different plans. ....Recording from Jean Barnes & Chris Frear - many thanks.

By John Hyatt. 7 Feb 70. Witchcraft, and a murder. Police thriller. 90m.

By R.D.Wingfield. Taut little thriller with a surprise in store. With Robert Lang, Dudley Foster, Malcolm Tierney, Patrick Newall, Beth Harris, Patrick Tull, John Nightingale, Geoffrey Segal, Matthew Walters, Ian Thompson, Claire Ballantyne. Produced by Robert Cushman.

10 Jan 70; by Michael Gilbert. Murder story where the key to the plot is the last chapter of a book written by a murder victim. What was in that chapter? And did he really write it? 90m.

compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website.

All of the above recordings are known to exist in private collections.

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