1990 Radio Plays

O'Rourke's First Case....1990
By Vincent MacInerney R4 17 March 1990 SNT, with James Ellis/Maureen O'Brien.

Ken Cumberlidge writes: this play was a funny little piece - my only starring role! The guy singing rather tunelessly at the start is the playwright himself, Vincent MacInnerny. It was done at one of my favourite drama studios - Christchurch Hall in the Clifton area of Bristol, not far from the famous suspension bridge. In fact, that was the first radio studio I ever worked in, before I got to join the RDC. A converted church, developed exclusively for recording drama, it was a lovely place to be. Very peaceful (no tube trains rumbling under you every two minutes) and with a cosy little pub right next door for lunch. The biggest part of its magic, though, was the fact that, unlike at BH and the other regional centres, in which the drama departments were just part of a bigger BBC complex, Christchurch was a self-contained island of creativity which existed purely for the purpose of recording plays. Good people were based there, too: Alec Reid...Brian Miller...Shaun McLoughlin.

The Organgrinder's Monkey ....1990
By Stephen Wyatt 3.3.1990/1945
Stephen Garlick/Steve Hodson.

Naples, 1820. The young Rossini, who only wishes to write operas and spend time with his lover, is caught up in the world of political intrigue. Other cast members: Melinda Walker, David King, John Moffatt, Michael Kilgarriff, Joe Dunlop, Danny Schiller, Nicholas Gilbrook, Anna Cropper, Michael Siberry. harpsichord played by Martin Goldstein; barrel organ effects by the BBC radiophonic workshop; produced by Richard Buckham. Saturday Night Theatre, 90m.

31 Mar 1990.By Bernard Pomerance. The story of a man with a hideously deformed body but sensitive and intelligent; his transformation from fairground freak to social celebrity. This was made into a film; radio version stars Gerrard Murphy as John Merrick, along with Jeremy Clyde, Charles Kay and Anna Massey.

l2thJun90, thirty minute theatre; ghost story. By Richard Walker.

.....I am grateful to G.G., Chorley, who writes: ....... This is a beautifully crafted 30-minute play in three sections, in which the characters engage in a meditation on life in a medieval church. It's a two-hander, wonderfully played by Anne Stallybrass as Celia and Ian Holm as Edward, both firm-minded but fully alive to the foibles which beset them.

In the first part they separately reflect on life and how it has brought them to where they are.

They converse as they go around the church; their contributions are searching and quick-witted.

They enter the crypt where they are forced to share self-reflections with each other. At the end, it seems that the play is headed for an understated ending, but it finishes on a generous and optimistic note.

The play says as much in thirty minutes as most say in sixty. The writer succeeds in making the listener care as much about the characters as he obviously did.

14 Jul 1990, by David Buck, adapted from the stage play by Bernard da Costa. This play explores the later years of George "Beau" Brummell..."I am Brummell; I exist for your benefit, to please you; to set you an example on earth as it is in heaven. I set my style on an age, and the age set its style on the future. You seekers after truth - what further proof do you need of the immortality of man?"

Yet for all his fine words, Brummell despised those who had to earn a living. He had plenty of funds, mainly from his high-class friends, until his indiscretion with the Prince of Wales, who objected to being called "Fatty".

Stars Trevor Peacock as Brummell and Donald Gee as his devoted manservant Justin; other cast members Peter Linford, Madweleine Smith, Oriel Smith, Stephen Garlick, Stuart Harrison, Sue Broomfield. Produced in Manchester by Michael Fox. 90m.

The Petition....1990
4 Aug 90. Saturday Night Theatre. By Brian Clark. 75m. Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills. Producer Glyn Dearman. Not to be confused with the play by Len Rush (same title), broadcast c1970.

A Craving For Gold....1990
by John Naismith (Ronnie Smith). 11th Aug 1990 (Saturday Night Theatre).

Eddie Manson returns to London from Australia and is soon brought into the race to find the loot from a big heist that his father had been involved in. Martin Jarvis as a hard-boiled detective with a Strine accent.

With Martin Jarvis [Eddie Manson], Vincent Brimble [Dectective Constable Robbins], Jane Wittenshaw [Diana Martel / Barmaid], Penelope Lee [Tracy Darling], Sean Barrett [Vinny O'Neil], Geoffrey Matthews [Nosha], Cyril Shaps [Stompy Miller], Fraser Kerr [Wiesel Hales], Danny Schiller [Crawford], Michael Kilgarriff [Ritzo], John Hollis ['Specs' McGiver / Sergeant Bone] and Simon Treves [Detective Inspector Coutes / Detective Superintendent Rowe]. Directed by Gerry Jones.

*ROCK & ROLL BABY....1990
13 Aug 1990, 90m. By Leslie Davis. A heartwarming story about the relationship between a teenage youth -old for his years- and one of his teachers.His English teacher is witty, enthusiastic, but twenty years older than him...and she is going out with Mr. Pollard- another teacher, who's steady, reliable and dull. A nice twist at the end lifts the spirits; an excellent play. Directed by Cherry Cookson. Clive Lever found this for me; many thanks Clive.

BBC World Service, 14 Oct 90. A plumber has a wonderful voice, but will he be accepted into the choir? By Carl Sternheim. 55m.

By Gillian Cross. BBC Radio 5. Late Oct 1990.

Starting a new school after the long summer holidays can be a chore at the best of times, but for Dinah, her first day is worrying as she realises that something in wrong. The little horrors are strangely neat and well-behaved: they even work during playtime. What is wrong?

Adapted for radio in four parts by Jim Eldridge from the first two books in the Demon Headmaster series by Gillian Cross: "The Demon Headmaster", first published in 1982 and "The Prime Minister's Brain", first published in 1985. Music by Malcolm Clarke. Produced by John Taylor.

Cast: Edward de Souza, Lucy Speed, Simon Fenton, Daniel Ison, Lisa Tidy, Natasha Pyne, Catherine Clarke, John McMahon, Mary Allen, Danny Newman, Robert Jeffries, Mirrem Bibby, Ben Waters.

By John Ash. It all starts with some extramarital sex in a wood. Unfortunately there's a photographer watching, and the woman is the wife of a member of the Government. What follows is a tale of blackmail and murder.90m. Monday play, I think.



Judge Jeffreys
Written, produced and directed by Richard Shannon and Tim Crook. An LBC Crown FM production (Drama Showcase series). Cast: Mike Shannon, Mike McCormack, Alec Linstead, Kay Clayton, Douglas Blackwell, Dallas Carrell(?). Year given as 1989; LBC transmission date 01/01/90. (information from Madeleine Midgeley, Bournemouth University; many thanks. This play is not in VRPCC collections. )

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Most of above in VRPCC collections

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