Alistair McGowan: Radio Plays

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Alistair McGowan is a well-known comedy performer.

In recent years he has written a number of radio plays and has been involved with radio readings and feature programmes. He has also acted in some radio classics.

Some of this work is listed below.


26 May 2017: The 'B' Word
By Alistair McGowan. A play about the opening night of Shaw's 'Pygmalion' in 1913; the first time that the word 'bloody' was used on stage. Shaw: Alistair McGowan, Herbert Beerbohm Tree: Richard McCabe, Mrs. Patrick Campbell: Charlotte Page, George Alexander: David Sturzaker, Charlotte Shaw: Georgie Glen, Merivale: Philip Fox, with Simon Ludders, Charlie Clements and Sarah Ridgeway. Producer: Emma Harding.


BBC Radio 4 - 2016-12-24

14:00 - Munchausen
By David Spicer. Alistair McGowan stars as Baron Munchausen and all the other 43 characters in this comic drama. The original stories, The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, were the inventions of Rudolph Raspe, and inspired by the tall stories of the real Baron Munchausen, a soldier who spent most of his subsequent life attempting to sue Raspe. Raspe's stories went viral and for the next two hundred years his name has become synonymous with outrageous lying - through books, television, film; even a disease.

Munchausen's previous exploits have included riding a cannonball, being swallowed by a whale and flying to the Moon. He is now 231 years old, alive and well. He is arrested on a red carpet at the Cannes film festival. But is he really the Baron? Or is he lying?

In a police interview room, the strange old man begins to tell the story of his life to a detective. It sounds like a masterclass in lying. But what if he is telling the truth?

Performed by Alistair McGowan.


22 Dec 2016: Memories of a Cad
By Roy Smiles. Comedy drama; looks at the meeting in 1984 between Richard Briers and Terry-Thomas. Whilst holidaying in Majorca in 1984, Richard Briers decided to visit the movie actor Terry-Thomas who lived there. Terry had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for ten years. His memory was not so good and work had dried up. He lived quietly wth his wife. He was pleased to be visited by 'young' Richard Briers (only 50), whom he recognised from the telly. Readers will be aware that T-T was the raffish cad who was once famous all over the world. Terry-Thomas ........ Martin Jarvis, Richard Briers ....... Alistair McGowan, Belinda ....... Laura Shavin, Spencer Tracy ........ Lewis Macleod. Produced by Liz Anstee. Indie; CPL production.


BBC Radio 4 - 2016-11-09

14:15 - Michael & Boris: The Two Brexiteers
By David Morley. A play about Brexit: the decision of the UK to leave the European Union. The story spans the period from February to the end of June 2016 - from Boris Johnson's conversion to Leave, to his announcement that he will not stand for the Conservative leadership. Drawing on a range of sources and accounts, the play explores how Johnson and Gove might have managed to snatch personal defeat from the jaws of a collective triumph.

Boris Johnson ....... Alistair McGowan, Michael Gove ....... Luke Kempner, Ben Wallace ....... Philip Franks, Nick Boles ....... Nicholas Boulton, Andrea Leadsom ....... Felicity Duncan, Dominic Cummings ....... Joseph Kloska, Sarah Vine ....... Liza Sadovy, Beth Armstrong ....... Lauren Harris, Writer ....... David Morley, Producer ....... Dirk Maggs. Indie (Perfectly Normal).

    .......The second Brexit play was MICHAEL AND BORIS: THE TWO BREXITEERS (R4, 1415,9 Nov 2016), a political docudrama by David Morley about how Michael Gove and Boris Johnson's alliance during the EU referendum campaign descended into bitter political fallout. The portrayal of Boris reminded me of Bertie Wooster in the Jeeves stories; slightly dreamy, over-the-top and very funny, but there was no disguising the seriousness of the subject matter. Jane Anderson, writing in RT, said that the play covered a compelling slice of recent history. Boris was played by Alistair McGowan and Michael Gove by David Rintoul. The producer was Dirk Maggs; one of his 'Perfectly Normal' Indie productions. (.....ND, Diversity website review, Dec 2016.)


BBC Radio 4 - 2016-07-31

07:10 - Sunday World Youth Day, Erik Satie, Life after Ebola

Actor and Erik Satie fan Alistair McGowan talks about how this eccentric French composer expressed his faith. He is joined by Dr Caroline Potter, author of 'Erik Satie and His Music'. Alistair McGowan is presenting a special Prom on Monday to mark the 150th anniversary of Satie's birth.


BBC Radio 4 - 2016-05-21

15:30 - Field Notes: The Irishman Who Invented the Nocturne (Feature)

Alistair McGowan travels to Dublin to explore the sensational life of his musical hero - the 19th century Irish pianist and composer John Field. Born in Dublin in 1782, Field was a child prodigy who left Ireland at an early age to become apprentice to the great Italian composer and piano maker Clementi. Clementi took Field on a tour of Europe and Russia, where the Irishman demonstrated his considerable talents using Clementi's pianos.

Field was to live in Russia for the rest of his life and Russia welcomed Field with open arms - he became the darling of high society, as well as one of the most celebrated and influential pianists of his day. His playing and his invention of a new kind of piano piece, the nocturne, were to influence Chopin, Liszt, Schumann and Mendelssohn.

Interviewees include pianists John O'Conor, Finnuala Moynihan, Finghin Collins and architectural historian Finola O'Kane. Produced by Emma Harding.

    17 May: John Field: Field Notes (Drama)
    By Alistair McGowan. A play about the well-known Irish composer, member of the London Piano School, who is often described as the inventor of the 'nocturne'. In May 1832 John Field began his only tour of Europe, taking with him the illegitimate son he barely knew.
    Field: Alistair McGowan, Grace Field: Susan Jameson, Chopin: Rafael Ferenc, Clementi: Sean Baker, with Kieran Hodgson, Charlotte Page, Ewan Bailey, Scarlett Brookes, Brian Protheroe, Sargon Yelda, Adie Allen and Nick Underwood. Producer: Emma Harding.


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