Steve Walker

Between 1988 and 1993 Steve Walker wrote 40 radioplays, mostly for the BBC but a few for foreign networks. In addition, several of the BBC plays have had separate productions in Europe and America, and some have made the jump to other media. His plays THE POPE'S BROTHER and MICKEY MOOKEY won Giles Cooper Awards for Best Radio Play in successive years, the only occasion on which a writer won two years in a row in the awardís history. Among his other radioplays, comedies, histories and tragedies are: HOLUS BOLUS, THE FIVE LINES OF SHERIDAN CRUMMEY, ROMAN EPIC, CRIBB & THE BLACK, HABBAKUK OF ICE, the series WHOPPERS and 21st CENTURY BLUES.

Steve's view of the present state of radio drama is on the Radio Plays page (Articles 4). There's an interview with Steve on a website brought to my attention by Stella Harper, devoted to Nathaniel Parker, who stars in Steve's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" adaptation:


and another interview with Steve on Emon Hassan's website, in newsletter 8:

-it's in a large pdf file so if you're on dialup you'll be better to use Google to find the hassberry site and then look at the cached version. ...

Here are the plays he's written.

UPDATE: Steve has written two more plays (2004) including one for RTE. Details of "The Birth of Olympia", for BBC World Service, are shown below.

Him and ItR4 10.198845m
The Pope's BrotherR428.7.1990/194575m
also various productions USA,
Hungary; Giles Cooper Award,
published by Methuen
The Francophile at the Frog Huntunproduced30m
Haunted by more cake R4 24.6.199045m
Oates after his fingers R4 2.12.199175m
Whoppers (9 x 30m; 2 series):R5 8.1991-11.1991
 1.1 Bees will be Bees
 1.2 Mickey Mookey;
Giles Cooper Award
 1.3 The Zaratan
 1.4 A Mammoth Whopper
 1.5 The Iceman Cometh
 1.6 The Shaggy Beast
 2.7 The thing at the top of the tree
 2.8 Taromosulata
 2.9 The Poshest Ever Whopper
Boot (Kofferaum) Suddeutscher Rundfunk 1992 15m
The Grassy Knoll R3c1992 60m
The Pipsqueak WS1992 60m
The 5 Lines of Sheridan Crummey RTE1993 30m
Holus Bolus R4 4.10.1993/194575m
Roman EpicR4 14.5.1994/1950
21st Century Blues (6 x 30m):R4 9.1994-10.1994
 1.1 The Golfing Chaffinch
 1.2 The exploding Mrs. Chaffinch
 1.3 Severiano's Spiritual Exercises
 1.4 Venusian Sex Survey
 1.5 The Sleepless Chaffinch
 1.6 Hans Feet and Bumpsadaisy
Journey to the Centre of the Earth R428.12.199490m
The Dolphinarium R4 15.1.1996/1402 60m
Cribb & the Black R4/WS26.2.199960m
The Animals of Farthing Wood: Talking Book, BBC Enterprises150m
One of God's Little Jokesunproduced15m
The Balloonunproduced15m
Habakkuk of Ice R4/WS2001 60m
The Birth of Olympia WS2004 60m

Compiled from ND catalogue & information supplied by Steve Walker, Sue Walker & Roger Bickerton.

Unfortunately Steve Walker's interesting website www.swalks.com is no longer available. However he is active in many fields; he is an artist with a liking for pencil sketches and linocuts; and his "Total Government" cartoons are a wonderful send-up of the lunacies of Whitehall. His latest radio work Prosper Merimee’s Carmen Retold (2017) was entered for the IRDF (International Radio Drama Festival) in Herne Bay (see notes below).


HIM AND IT ....1988
Here's a fairy tale like no other. What is the gender of the commissioner? Why is fungus growing in his HQ? Why does he have only squirrels for company? Will the eggs hatch, and what about gasmasks for the badgers? Starring Nicola Macauley as Maurice, James Saxon as commissioner Sylvia, with Gart Whitaker, Anthony Jackson and Joanna Mackey. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

We are in the territory of the very very odd... I am going to a concert, and I can hear a tea-party going on in my stomach...why is the attractive young lady (also down there) playing tennis with Mario, and has she heard his conversation before? And why are there thousands of old balls in no-man's land behind the tennis court? Stars Graham Crowden as Uncle Ginger, Joan Mattheson as Aunt Maud, and Stephen Tompkinson as their nephew Lional. Also stars Victoria Carling, John Bull, Richard Pearce, Philip Sully, John Warner, Joan Walker, Nicholas Courtney, Jo Kendall. SMs Peter Novis, Jane Napier, Keith Graham; directed by Ned Chaillet.

Awarded a prize for being one of the 2 best plays of 1990; hugely entertaining and witty. Sydney and Gregory Collyweston are twins; Sydney wallows in every indulgence, goes to the racecourse every day, and does everything to excess. After hearing of the new Papal appointment, he visits the Vatican, where his illustrious brother asks him to stay to help him combat his unworldliness...which is when the trouble starts. With Dinsdale Landen as Sydney, Ben Onwukwe as the Cardinal with the unspellable name, John Bull, Jenny Howe, Denis Hawthorne as Pope Gregory, Henry Goodman, David Bannerman, Vincent Brimble, Jenny Howe. SM Wilfred Acosta; directed by Peter Kavanagh.

WHOPPERS ....1991 Series of nine 30-minute plays for children, produced by Sally Avens. More details on Steve Walker's website; url as above.

BOOT ...Suddeutscher Rundfunk, 1992
A German youth finds a naked girl in the boot of his car. It begins his involvement in a terrorist adventure. (no casting details; please email if you can help)

The biography of a minor civil servant from Galaxy HQ who is sent to Earth in the early 1960. (more information on Steve Walker's website)

Sheridan Crummey has had a small part in a whodunnit play in London for 29 years - the same part in the same play. Now begins a ghost story which started two generations ago in Ireland ...(no casting details; please email if you can help)

Following on from his Giles Cooper Award-winning play "The Pope's Brother", this play shows Captain Oates in the year 2065, alive and thawing out in the Antarctic. What will the old- fashioned explorer think of an England laid waste by drought and famine, where everyone speaks with an American accent? With Stephen Dillane as Oates, Vincent Marzello as Archie; also starring Lorelei King, David Graham, Pauline Letts, Sam Dastor, Charles Millham, Nigel Carrington, Peter Penry-Jones, Norman Jones, Tom Watt, David Bannerman, Colin McFarlane and Irene Sutcliffe. Directed by Peter Kavanagh.

HOLUS BOLUS ....1993
Monday Play - Graham Baffner, the handsomest, most intelligent man in the world, offers Mr. Placketts, a Yorkshire businessman, the opportunity not to be himself....with Peter Woodthorpe as Placketts, Richard E Grant as Baffneralso stars Geraldine Fitzgerald, Harry Towb, Irene Sutcliffe, John Baddeley, Hugh Ross, Julian Rhind- Tutt, Oona Beeson, James Telfer, Barry J Gordon, John Evetts. Song arranged and performed by Neil Brand. Directed by Eoin O'Callahagn.

ROMAN EPIC ....1994, 90m
You will not hear another Roman Epic like it - a talking lion with an American accent, Caractacus, dog-dealer and ex-British hero betting on chariot races in the Circus Maximus, and Seneca, Boadicea, Mr. Jones, the Great Rabbit, Imhotep, and a Vestal Virgin putting in sundry appearances. With Dinsdale Landen as Caractacus, Nicholas Grace as Nero, Harry Towb, James Larkin, Susannah Corbett, Don McCorkindale, Frances Jeater, James Taylor, Malcolm Ward, David Jason, Steve Walker (as Jesus), Paul Panting, Gavin Muir, Peter Whitman, Tina Grey, David Jarvis, Tom Bevan; directed by Eoin O'Callahagn.

A loose and stylish adaptation of the Jules Verne classic. With Nathaniel Parker as Axel Lidenbrok, Nicholas le Prevost as Professor Lidenbrok, also stars Kristin Milward, Oliver Senton, Deborah Berlin, Peter Yapp, Michael Tudor-Barnes, Joshua Towb, Eva Stuart and Steve Walker (as Heinrich). SMs: Roger Danes (panel), Ian Harker (grams), Rebecca Kirby (spot). Directed by Eoin O'Callahagn.

THE DOLPHINARIUM ....1996, 60m
A famous explorer discovers a plot to turn the human race into mindless automata- by destroying all the dolphins on the planet ...with Michael Cochran as Sir Hartley, Bill Paterson as Duncan McNab; also stars Mardav Sharma, Ed Bishop, Bryony Glascoe, Avril Clarke, Helen Horton, Michael Tudor Barnes. SM: Graham Harper, production assistant Nicky Hildebrand; directed by Gordon House.

CRIBB AND THE BLACK ....1999, 60m, WS and R4
Dramatisation of the true story of Tom Cribb, world champion boxer in the bareknuckle era, and the challenge by Tom Molyneaux (Tom the Black), an American slave who eventually became a free man. With Shaun Parkes as Tom Molyneaux, Pat Roach as Tom Cribb. Also stars Burt Caesar, James Cosmo, Robert Bathurst, Cecilia Noble, Justine Midda, William Roberts, Justine Miller, Chris Emmett, Harry Myers, Ben Crowe, Giles Fagan, Chris Pavlo. SM Peter Ringrose. Directed by Gordon House.

One of the most amazing ideas never to be put to the test during WW2 : the Habakkuk Project - building battleships out of ice ...or in Churchill's words "cutting a bit off the North Pole and paddling up the Channel". Churchill was sent a 250- page report on the Habakkuk project but in the words of the world's Most Important People... "I never read more than one page........I never turn over". With Tim McInnerney as the mad inventor Geoffrey Pike, with Dermot Crowley, Melanie Hudson, Chris Emmett, David Holt and Kerry Shale. Directed by Andy Jordan.
repeated BBC7, Nov 07.

Saturday 7 August 2004, 6.30-7.30pm; BBC World Service "Play Of The Week" Steve Walker gives Homeric myth a modern twist, as he tells the story of the first Olympic Games in a play which features a soundtrack by Cold Cut. When the demi-god, Heracles, founds the Olympics in 776BC, he sows seeds of strife by forbidding women from the Games. His half-sister, Aphrodite, goddess of love, is furious and decides to compete herself. Needing a disguise, she takes possession of the champion most likely to make the great Heracles look foolish: Hipponax, the unfittest man in Greece. Producer:Frank Stirling.

Prosper Merimee’s Carmen Retold .... 2017
By Steve Walker. 57m , UK, The Works Partnership (English)
Steve Walker is a pioneer of Radio Drama as animation. This is the centerpiece of his Interactive Radio Drama in which anyone can create and edit a number of alternative re-imaginings of the celebrated Carmen story. It was entered for the Third International Radio Drama Festival (2017) in Herne Bay, UK. Feb 2017.

    Steve Walker comments:
    "I did a project a few years ago - a Carmen adaptation. It had the unique feature of a play's worth of extra scenes that made up a new play. I also acted a dozen parts in it. My last radio project to date. It was a very progressive piece indeed, recorded in Edinburgh with a cast of improv. actors and me. My last radio project to date."

More about Steve Walker

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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