Annie Caulfield Radio Plays

Annie Caulfield has been writing radio plays for about twenty years. They cover a wide range of subjects; one of them ('Almost Always African') was the first radio play in which Lenny Henry appeared.

Her plays are extremely varied; for example, she has written about soldiers in Afghanistan, Paul Robeson, the Irish writer Flann O'Brien, Leighton & Johnson, and 'The Sound of Music'. She has also appeared in 'Quote, Unquote' with Nigel Rees, and has done feature programmes for Radio 4.

Some of her plays are listed below, in reverse chronological order.

Her website is at www.anniecaulfield.com

30 Apr 15: Credit Card Baby
Drama by Annie Caulfield. A couple are unable to conceive naturally so they attempt to find a suitable egg donor. A doctor suggests that they seek help from a Spanish clinic where there are plenty of donors. They meet a woman who has fallen on hard times because of Spain's economic troubles. Sally: Helen Baxendale, Sean: Claran McMenamin, Ines: Beatriz Romilly, Rai: Ben Cura. Produced by Mary Ward-Lowery.

R4, Tues 12 Feb 2013.The true story of Dusty Springfield’s refusal to perform in front of segregated audiences in South Africa, in the days when apartheid was regarded by many in the UK as perfectly acceptable. The play looks at the harrowing days of her short South African tour, using eye witness accounts. To remind you in the language of the day: the 'terrorist' Nelson Mandela had just been jailed for life, and liberals were spied on, detained and destroyed.

At the height of her fame, Dusty Springfield was popular worldwide, having hit records and presenting the television show Ready Steady Go. Glamorous and outspoken, she took a sharp interest in politics but underestimated the trouble her personal stand in South Africa would cause. Cast: Charlie Brooks, Jack Klaff, Vincent Ebrahim, Jonny Freeman, Danny Lee Wynter, Rasmus Hardiker. Director Marilyn Imrie, producer Gordon Kennedy.

Annie Caulfield adds: ...... I always felt there was something cool and interesting about Dusty Springfield. I loved the fact that she developed her look from watching Jean Luc Godard films and was elegantly feisty in interviews. The story about her stand in South Africa, ahead of her time, seemed a way in to her enigmatic character. I was very lucky that people like backing singer Simon Bell and bass player Doug Reece, who knew Dusty, were so helpful. The detail that the black airport baggage handlers took their hats off to her when she left South Africa made me wonder about their story and re-examine the South Africa Dusty was challenging.... (more on the absolutely.biz website.

One day in the 1970s Tommy Cooper meets Eugene Ionesco...A new work for BBC Radio 3 and Absolutely productions. With Russ Abbot, Alan Corduner, Harriet Walter, Hugh Ross and Emily Bruni. A comedy about comedy. Directed by Marilyn Imrie. Produced by Gordon Kennedy

21 Feb 2010; rpt 2011. Lenny Henry was the lead in this BBC Radio 3 drama about actor and singer Paul Robeson. The play also featured Corey Johnson, Alex Lanipekun, Alibe Parsons and Adjua Andoh.

    1 May 11 R3; play about the life of the singer and political activist Paul Robeson. Apparently he was an apologist for Stalin and a pursuer of civil rights. He was disliked by the CIA which got him into a number of scrapes. With Lenny Henry as Robeson, Adjoa Andoh, Corey Johnson, Joanne Monro. Producer Claire Grove. 90m.

27 Dec 09, R3. Based on the life of Irish writer Flann O'Brien / Myles na cGopaleen, this 90 minute comedy drama on BBC Radio 3 starred Dara O'Brian, Ardal O'Hanlan, Pauline McLynn, Dermot Crowley and Lloyd Hutchinson. Producer Gordon Kennedy. (note- Eric Ewens also did some dramatizations about thirty years ago based on Flann O'Brien's writing)
    Jim adds......
    Broadcast: Sunday 31st August 2008 @ 9:45 p.m; Annie Caulfield's "Your Only Man" is a new, anarchic, surreal comedy about the world of Irish writer Flann O'Brien,

    Born in 1911, Brian O'Nolan – author of "The Third Policeman", "At Swim Two Birds", "The Poor Mouth" and countless comic newspaper columns – wrote under the pseudonyms Myles na Gopaleen and Flann O'Brien. He was academically brilliant and, despite an image as a hard-drinking, dissolute genius, held a respectable post in the Irish civil service for most of his adult life, never quite giving up on his faith in the Catholic Church.

    Flann O'Brien regarded himself as a failed writer. "The Third Policeman" wasn't published in his lifetime and his anger at himself and the world was vented in his newspaper columns.

    He eventually lost his civil service job in the Fifties, which is when he really started drinking to excess, but still managed to churn out comic journalism until his death in 1966. He made fun of Dublin trendies and religious hypocrisy. A fluent Gaelic speaker, he loathed anything that smacked of the fashionable Celtic revival. He mocked rural stupidity and city snobbery; he hated ignorance and intellectuals with equal venom. Nothing happened in Irish politics that he didn't have a scathing opinion about, but there wasn't much he believed in.

    "Your Only Man" focuses on the crushed and alcoholic Brian on the day he's fired from his job, wandering Dublin trying to find the courage to tell his wife what's happened. All the time he's arguing and reminiscing with his alter egos – the pub wit and satirist Myles and the raving, frustrated genius Flann. The three of them, and his wife Evelyn, look down from the world beyond to see the folly of his life and at last discover the truth of it all.

    With Ardal O'Hanlon [Brian O'Nolan], Dara O'Briain [Myles na gCopaleen], Dermot Crowley [Flann O'Brien], Pauline McLynn [Evelyn O'Nolan, Brian's Wife / Miss Fahy], and Lloyd Hutchinson [Mr. Garvin / The Brother / Eddie Fahy / The Policeman and the Other Male Characters].

    Directed by Marilyn Imrie.

    Produced by Gordon Kennedy.

    90 min.

OH, MARGATE....2009
A comedy about art and political asylum at at the seaside, with Stephen Critchlow, Ashvin Kumar Joshi and Layla Farzad.

30 Jan 09; rpt. 28 Sep 10. Part 3 of this dark comedy series about British soldiers sees an unexpected renuion with an old Iraqi friend in Istanbul. Cast includes Paul Chahidi, Osi Okerafor, Carl Prekopp, Paul Mundell, Sal Ozbay and Hakian Silahsiz.

"A high water mark in radio drama" - Observer.

1 May 09. Part 2: starring Paul Chahidi, Rasmus Hardiker, Paul Rider, Ricardo Coke Thomas, Endy McKay and Stephen Critchlow. The British soldiers and Iraqi personel leave Basra.
    Life on the army base in Basra is closing down - they would all rather be in Afghanistan. Terry has got no money; the CO wants him to sing in a talent contest to boost morale and he has woman trouble. But he is just about to get his lucky break. Cast: Mahmoud ...... Paul Chahidi, Terry ...... Ricardo Coke, Thomas Padre ...... Stephen Critchlow, Conor ...... Rasmus Hardiker, Angie ...... Helen Longworth, Jocelyn ...... Endy McKay, Sgt. Billy ...... Paul Mundell, CO ...... Paul Rider. Directed by Mary Ward-Lowery.

3 Oct 09. The Sound Of Music story from the point of view of the jilted baroness. Was Maria really that nice? What was the true story about Captain Von Trapp? What did the children think about it all?

    The famous story of the Von Trapp family singers from the perspective of the Princess Yvonne; the woman Captain Von Trapp jilted in order to marry Maria. Princess Yvonne ...... Helen Froggatt, Helena ...... Helen Baxendale, Captain Von Trapp ...... James Fleet, Maria ...... Helen Ayres, Boy ...... Benjamin Askew, Girl ...... Lizzy Watts, Reverend Mother ...... Caroline Guthrie, Sam ...... Mark Meadows. Producer Mary Ward-Lowery.

A COUP....2007
28 Sep 07, afternoon play, based on a true memoir by Bruce Chatwin, caught up in a revolution as the small African republic of Benin erupts into chaos.

Bruce Chatwin ...... James Purefoy
Colonel ...... Ben Onwikwe
Commander ...... Mo Sesay
Amazon Colonel ...... Clare Perkins
Domingo ...... Christopher Simpson
Consul ...... Ben Onwukwe
Jacques ...... Olivier Breuils
Young soldier ...... Christopher Simpson
Driver ...... Aryon Bakare
Directed by Marina Caldarone.

ON THE FIELD....2007
10 Sept 07, rpt. Jan 09. A dark comedy about life among the Iraqi personel and soldiers on the Basra base.

Craig has joined the army to get away from football; but somehow the game has followed him all the way to Basra. Has he got what it takes to be a hero?

Craig ...... Daniel Abelson, Mahmoud ...... Paul Chahidi, Limping Ibrahim ...... Hassan Calaph, Padre ...... Alan Coveney, Julie ...... Sheila Hannon, Laundry Ibrahim ...... Stephan Kalipha, Hamilton ...... Chris New, Sergeant Billy ...... Jonjo O'Neill, Dave ...... Freddy White. With Mike Ingham as himself. Directed by Mary Ward-Lowery.

23 May 07, Afternoon Play. A series of plays looking at how Charles Dickens, as the head of a daily paper, would have tackled bringing the news to the masses.

4/6. Captain Swing, by Annie Caulfield.

Staying at her father's country residence, Agnes finds herself at the centre of a story when her father's beloved steam plough is destroyed. Dickens begins an investigation but Agnes realises that there is much more at stake than broken and burnt property.

Dickens ...... Jamie Glover
Agnes ...... Jasmine Hyde
Jack ...... Freddy White
Patty ...... Jasmine Callan
Tom ...... Anthony Glennon
Joseph Paxton ...... John Dougall
Mrs Drake ...... Ann Beach
Directed by David Hunter.

A drama-doc for BBC World Service,updating Mayhew's study of 1830, written and presented by Annie Caulfield and Timothy West. Producer Marina Calderone.

12 Mar 06; Classic Serial, 2 episodes, by Nella Larsen, dramatised by Annie Caulfield.

BBC note for first episode: Novelist Larsen's mixed parentage gave her a profound insight into racial issues in 1930s America. This story deals with these issues in the context of middle class Black families, their passions and ambitions, and the remarkable phenomenon of 'passing for white'.

Narrator ...... Bonnie Greer
Irene ...... Andrea Harris
Brian ...... Paterson Joseph
Clare ...... Nicole Charles
John Bellew ...... Martin McDougall
Hugh Wentmore ...... Robert Jezek
Gertrude ...... Tanya Moodie
Saxophonist ...... Adam Waldmann
Director Marina Caldarone.

31 Mar 05; Feature programme by Annie Caulfield, who visits Fespaco, an African film festival held in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

5 Aug 03, afternoon play. We often associate Edith Piaf with the streets and dingy clubs of Pigalle. But her most enduring friendship was with one of France's most respected artists and aesthetes, Jean Cocteau, author of 'Les Enfants Terribles'. Annie Caulfield's touching play charts their relationship until their deaths, within hours of each other.

Jean Cocteau ...... Simon Russell Beale
Edith Piaf ...... Frances Barber
Paul ...... Patrick Baladi
Producer: Peter Kavanagh.

29 Jul 02; series of 5 vignettes by Annie Caulfield, based on the life of 50s pop star Alma Cogan. BBC note for ep. 1: With strong parental support, Alma begins her singing career in bleak postwar Britain.

24 Mar 01 The Saturday Play: a comedy of manners by Martha Gellhorn, adapted by Annie Caulfield. Attractive Rose Answell has spent ten years manoeuvring her husband up the political ladder - and nothing is going to stop her reaching the top. With Simon Russell Beale, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Gordon Reid and Selina Cadell. Directed by Claire Grove.

THE TRUCK....2001
17 Jan 01. By Annie Caulfield, six 15m episodes. BBC note for ep. 1: The rubbish safari continues - until the grouchy driver reveals some terrible news about the truck. With Melanie Hudson, Stuart Graham, Vincent Ebrahim and Richenda Carey. Directed by Toby Smith.

A six part comedy series about an ill-matched group of tourists in Africa. - AC

10 Jan 01, Afternoon Play. The second of three plays charting the history of the peace movement looks at how thousands of women took to Belfast's streets in the summer of 1976, following an incident in which the car of an IRA gunman - who had been shot by British soldiers - killed three children. With Diane O'Kelly, Dillie Keane, Anny Tobin and David Thorpe. Directed by Claire Grove.

18 Sep 2000. By Miles Franklin, adapted by Annie Caulfield. Ten 15m episodes. BBC note for ep. 1: Possum Gulley, Southern Australia, 1902. Would-be adventuress Sybylla Melvyn leaves school and embarks on her career as an imitation autobiographer. With Nicola Quilter, Peta Lilly and Danny Webb.

14 Feb 00. A Paolo Baldi story; series 1 no. 6; a murder mystery based on the sleuthing Franciscan prior.

The last of six murder mysteries set in Ireland. `Devil Take the Hindmost' by Annie Caulfield. Paolo and Tina investigate the death of a student on campus, following the trail to an arrogant clique that dabbled in the occult. Is there a rational explanation, or was the Devil really involved? With David Threlfall, Tina Kellegher and T P McKenna. Created by Barry Devlin. Director: Lawrence Jackson. Rpt. 26 Oct 01.

10 Dec 99, Afternoon Play: Sarah frets in hospital over a minor operation. A bittersweet comedy about healing a divided family. With Margaret D'arcy and Alison Pettit. Director: Claire Grove.

LIKE THAT ....1997
29 Nov 97 Late Night Theatre: When two childhood friends are reunited, their friendship begins to crack under the strain of secrets and lies. Perhaps they never really knew each other at all. With Linus Roache, Lenny Henry and Adjoa Andoh. Director Sally Avens. Martha Burne, David MacFarlane and Ken James. Director Gregory J Sinclair. (Repeat)
    A Jamaican soldier comes home to find his white journalist friend has stolen his identity. With Lenny Henry, Adjoah Andoh and Linus Roache - AC

23 Mar 96; Saturday Playhouse, 90m.

Drama about the first National Lottery winner. With Suad Farres and Kulvinder Ghir.

A play about the singers Layton & Johnstone. With Lenny Henry and Clarke Peters. This play won a Race in the Media Award from the Commission for Racial Equality . R4 2.02pm, 1.11 92, rpt. 11 Nov 93.

The first radio play in which Lenny Henry appeared. An African superstar musician props up the career of a British Rock Legend. With Lenny Henry,Curtis Walker and Bill Nighy.



Annie was one of the originating writers. Westway was a medical drama with audience of 11m which ran for 7 years worldwide.

Adaptation of play by Eritrean writer Alamgaset Tesfai.

Nigel Deacon, Diversity website

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