1997 Radio Plays

Cookbook of Apicius
By Jim Miller. Excellent light comedy series; several episodes - stars Keith Floyd as a Roman cook. Weekly, beginning 29 Jan. More information in REVIEWS section.

By Nevil Shute [1950], adapted in 6 parts by Moya O'Shea; with Becky Hindley, Bernard Hepton, Virgina McKenna and Jason Connery. Music by Neil Brand; directed by David Blount.
Broadcast on Radio 2, 4 Feb to 11 March 1997

A classic tale of love and war. Jean Paget, who had been a prisoner of war in Malaya during World War II, returns there after receiving a legacy. What she finds leads her on a search for romance to a small outback community in Australia.

The novel's wikipedia page says that the main characters, Jean and Joe, were based on people Shute met after the war.

The serial was in the BBC Radio Collection in 1997 but is no longer available.


by Graham Swift. A fenland story in three parts.

by Robert Forrest. Multiple murder mystery involving the Turin shroud.

The Hollow Man
by J.D.Carr. With Donald Sinden as Dr. Gideon Fell. Opinions vary greatly on this radio drama. Some find it one of the best plays ever produced. Others find it stilted and unlistenable.

By Stuart Fortey; Monday Play 24 Feb 97. 75m. Adapted by the author from his stage play. It follows the period in Chekhov's life during the first production of 'The Seagull', in 1896, which had a disastrous reception. The play illustrates how the writer's life often ran in parallel with the characters in his plays, and how two very different kinds of relationship with women dominated his life and creative spirit. Moving across three time-zones and many layers of narrative, it follows the actors rehearsing "The Seagull" while flashing forwards to the death of Chekhov and backwards to a wistful old romance. Cast: Ciaran Hinds [Anton Pavlovich Chekhov], Kate Buffery [Sonya Stepanovna], Helena Bonham-Carter [Olga], John Carlisle [Belikov], Julian Rhind-Tutt [Yuri Garshin, Anton's Old Friend], Hugh Dickson [Professor Dimitry Kokoshkin], Ioan Meredith [Semyon Petrovitch], and Chris Pavlo [The Man]. Produced by Cherry Cookson.

Famous poisoning case. 5 Mar 97.

12 Mar 97, R4. For a short time in the late 1800s, the Florence Maybrick case made world headlines. Did she poison her husband?

by Greg Cullen. A colliery dispute in South Wales, but this is treated in a way you never heard before.

Following a divorce, a mother and her three young children move to rural Wales. 90m.

Rocco don't eat greens
by Nick Pullin. A very peculiar and original comedy. Nick Pullin has written some interesting plays - does anyone know anything about him?

Call from the Dead
by Carey Harrison. Unpleasant little play, 30m, with very original use of a mobile 'phone. Gave me the creeps, but it's good radio.

Missing Mandy
by B. Dooley. 30m. Afternoon play. Peter is dumped by his girlfriend - how will he cope? With Ian Dunn, Joanne Sheridan, Val Lillee. Directed by Melanie Harris.

The Hydro
Superior "soap" set in a hotel. See Robert Frame page.

By Godfrey Hamilton. Monday Play, 12 May 97. R4 Extra, 1 Jan 13. Hawaii exerts a strange hold on Hugh, a young man on a quest for identity in this road movie for radio. His search for a new life starts in the granite streets of Glasgow, leads him beneath the open skies of America, to the azure Pacific. With Mark Bonnar, Ioan Meredith, Alex Lowe, Katy Murphy, Anthony Ofoegbu, Chris Pavlo, Devon Scott, Kate Harper, Janet Maw, Kathryn Howden and Mark Pinkosh. Producer Cathryn Horn.

Based on an original idea by Margaret Wilkinson and Julia Darling. Thirty Minute Theatre, 13 May 97. Two noisy, squawking, crazy sisters from New York venture to Whitley Bay to run a cafe. They fall out, and one flies off in search of real adventure. With Ann Mitchell, Jane Hollowood and Rosalind Bailey. Directed by Melanie Harris. - GL

by J.Peacock. The story of a light Cape diamond. 3 self-contained, linked episodes of 45 minutes. Begins 19-5-97.

P.S.I Love You
by Graham Curry. A search for the rarest record in the world.60m. Saturday afternoon play, I think.

by Robert Harris. Weird story based on the premise that Hitler won the war. As far as I recall, 2 parts lasting around 2 hours.

The Flight of Eric Strapp
by Ronnie Smith. Comedy written for George Cole, where he plays the part he's famous for - a cockney rogue.

Black Narcissus
by A. de Angelis. Nuns in the himalayas.

Postcards from the swamp
by Y.Stajno. Light comedy set on safari.

Handel's Ghost
by Paul Barz. Handel meets J.S.Bach. Radio 3 play, of interest to musicians and to fans of JBS and GFH. No-one knows whether these two composers met - this play assumes they did, and we hear the encounter. Lasts about an hour.

Raising Patrick Docherty
by Jessica Townsend. 1 July 97. An Irish family denigrate their dead patriarch's reputation, only to be faced with his resurrection.

15 Jul 97. By Barry McKinley; with James Fleet as Billy. Question: You have just arrived in a mental asylum. Who do you ask for help when filling in the assessment form? Answer: The other inmates.

Barry McKinley adds (in 2009): "We didn't have a proper script for Lithium Waltz. The piece had been a 45 minute stage play, a prize winner in the society of Irish playwrights competition, 1994, I think. It was filled to the brim with profanity which we took a blue pencil to in the studio at broadcasting House. It was also quite static in nature, being set in a ward in a psychiatric hospital. For the radio version we took a walk through the basement at broadcasting House and recorded different characters, trying to give the listener a sense that we were moving further and further into the hospital, and possibly into the mind. The producer was Peter Kavanagh from Belfast.

We adapted on-the-fly. Depending on the actor's strengths and weaknesses, lines were added and lines were taken away. Despite this the radio actors remained totally professional and the experience I had with the adaptation is something I remember fondly."

................thanks, Barry, for taking the trouble to contact us - ND.

Cold Call
by Collin Johnson. Excellent play set in an advertising agency call centre. 22.7.97.

Libel barrister Manuel Barca presents the five maverick courtroom dramas which created a sensation in their day. Episode 5: This I Cannot Forget, 19 Sep 97, dramatised by Chris Miller. In his bestseller, `Exodus', Leon Uris mentioned by name a prisoner-doctor at Auschwitz who performed experiments in surgery without anaesthetic. The doctor sued and both won and lost his case. Cast: Bogdan Kominowski, Alastair Danson, John Rowe, Ewan Thomas, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Carolyn Jones and Jenny Lee. Produced by Matt Thompson.

29 Sep 97; Monday play. By Peter Ackroyd: dramatised by Alan Drury. Matthew Palmer is left an old house. Once owned by an Elizabethan scholar who was reputedly involved in black magic: the house hides dark and mysterious secrets. With Philip Glenister and Nigel Anthony. Director Claire Grove.

...remarks from ND: ....Curious fictional tale about an old house in Clerkenwell which was once inhabited by a black magician. The SMs had a lot of work to do in this production; the effect is slightly unsettling. You may have had the feeling of being watched, but when you turn around no-one is there. That's the atmosphere the play creates.

Monday Play by Geoffrey Beevers. 13 Oct 97. Jude gives up all his possessions to work with the homeless. In an uncertain world he wants moral certainty. His wife suspects there is another woman. With Larry Lamb and Susan Wooldridge. Director Claire Grove.

The Olivetti
By O.O'Neill. The story of how a typewriter changed a woman's life. 2 Dec 97.

All of the above known to exist in VRPCC collections.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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