Bruce Bedford Radio Plays

Born and educated in Leeds, Yorkshire. Lives in Somerset. Extensive career in journalism - various newspapers & magazines. Then became a freelance author, journalist (working for The Sunday Times and The Observer, etc.), editor, copywriter and commercial script editor. Now established as a playwright:


Radio plays:

1) Night Business - 60 mins.
Winner, from 350 scripts, of the BBC Radio Bristol playwriting competition, principal judge Fay Weldon.

2) Clagthorpe Viva
- 60 mins. BBC R4 commission. 15.10.1981 With John Duttine / Jack May / Magnus Magnusson. Lovely comic play about a young man from a northern village who takes part in a television quiz. Recording sent to me by Tim Tuggey - many thanks, Tim - N.D..

3) Carnival King
- 60 mins. BBC R4 commission.

4) Under a Stone Moon
- 60 mins. Winner of the IBA/Radio Clyde Radio Drama Commission. IBA Radio Drama Nomination for the Prix Italia (made shortlist of three), and the Sony Awards - in shortlist of three for Most Creative Use of Radio; Bronze Medal for Best Sound Effects (arranged by writer) in the International Radio Festival of New York. Translated versions broadcast in Norway and Czechoslovakia.

5) Mire Farm - 60 mins.
BBC R4 commission.

Comment from ND:
The plot had me a bit puzzled for the first few minutes, but once I'd sorted out the odd characters in my mind, it was highly entertaining. It's a comic play about the way insular people react to those who are different. There are some choice characters: moronic villagers who don't like outsiders (reminded me of a well-known writer's comment about bigots in Barnsley, treating her badly when she was a girl because her mother was French.....), the nutty inventor with his head in the clouds, the sister who's a different person every day... very good radio. Stephen Thorne on top form, too, as the man with a mind of his own.

6) The Gibson
- 6-part serial, BBC R4 commission. Classed by the then Head of BBC Series & Serials as "flagship" of season. Broadcast 1992. With Robert Glenister / Sharon Duce / Freddie Jones / Kate Binchy / Sam Dastor An ancient power source is buried under a hill outside a town ... for hundreds of years two rival factions have been battling to control it.

Bruce Bedford's time-hopping thriller stars Robert Glenister, Sharon Duce, Freddie Jones and Timothy West. Itís 1999 and strange events start happening to Saul, an aspiring poet from Bath, after he has won a poetry competition. The Gibson was first broadcast in 1992 and was directed by Andy Jordan. (BBC7 blurb to the Jan 2008 repeat)

7) Rope Burn - 30 mins.
BBC R4 commission. 23.11.1993. With Robert Glenister / Marilyn le Conte / Alan Moore / Jane Whittenshaw.

8) Weatherwoman
- 90 mins. BBC R4 commission. Monday Play. 12.8.1995. With Eliza Langland / Crawford Logan.

Comment from ND... A much darker play than "Mire Farm". There were echoes of Ken Whitmore's "The Gingerbread House" and James Brook's "The Missing Piece". The plot concerns a guy who is designing a dam to go across a remote valley. He stays at a nearby hotel, where there are two very odd individuals - an unmarried lady of about 40, who runs it, and who is looking for a man, and her brother who is mentally handicapped.... it's only fairly late into the play that we realise why the title is "Weatherwoman".........there are supernatural overtones; a killing, and a surprising twist, but no happy ending....this is an excellent production, but you are warned - the play will not be to everyone's taste.

9) Black Ice
- 45 mins. BBC R4 commission for series Who Sings the Hero?

10) The Ladykillers
- 90 mins. BBC R4 commission for the series on adaptations of four classic Ealing comedies.

Stage plays 1) Under a Stone Moon. Shortlisted by Arnold Wesker for the John Whiting Award. Winner in the TSW/SW Arts Open Play Competition. 2) Listenstone. Community play commissioned by the Colway Theatre Trust.


Challenge Underground - Allen & Unwin. Underground Britain - Collins.
The Gibson - novel based on radio serial; in preparation. .........................................................................................................................


Comments on his Writing

Fay Weldon
Bruce Bedford has many fans, myself amongst them. He is an energetic, intelligent, witty, idiosyncratic and original writer.... An accomplished playwright with a lively style, an excellent sense of character, action, a real gift for language, an understanding of form and a sense of the absurd. He is a serious writer, who can also be very, very funny.

Time Out
...(reviewing THE LADYKILLERS, BBC R4) .... For once, though, this very variable series [Cinema 100, R4] has picked a rich enough source to carry the baggage: the brilliant script makes up for everything.

Arnold Wesker
Bruce Bedford submitted his play for the John Whiting Award. I was one of the judges and placed it on my short list... I have had to read many plays in my time and this play revealed a talent which is not ordinary.

Alan Ayckbourn (of Under a Stone Moon)
It is a powerful piece of writing - vivid and imaginative...

Peter Thomson (Professor of Drama, Exeter University - for SW Arts)
I do a lot of reading of new plays... but it has to be said that a script that stuns is a rarity. I do not know Bruce Bedford, but I know his play [Under a Stone Moon] and I found it stunning. He is, in the first place, a wordsmith, able to generate force and activity through language alone. The thrust and parry of the dialogues of which the play is primarily composed is quite brilliant.... He composes and frames the events and interactions with the wit and passion of a real writer.

Bruce Bedford, 1 Wych Cottage, Langport Road, Somerton, Somerset. TA11 6HX. Tel: 01458-273238/ e-mail: b.bedford@yahoo.com

A Teeny Weeny Biography

Bruce Bedford cut his writing teeth on diverse facets of journalism, freelancing for The Sunday Times, The Observer, and news agencies. Then he decided to bercome a script writer. His particular forte proved to be in writing plays and serials for BBC Radio 4; his first won the BBC Radio Bristol playwriting competition, and a later one was shortlisted for the Prix Italia and the Sony Award. He is now writing for the small and large screen.

He taught creative writing at Yeovil College in Somerset, and has given writing workshops and talks - all without having to resort to the administration of anaesthetic. He enjoys roaming the countryside, and claims that a pointless ramble has often given him the resolution to a particularly knotty script-plotting problem. Consequently, he advocates a pair of walking boots* as an indispensable part of the writer's hardware.


13 Jan 96: Saturday Playhouse: The Ladykillers
Bruce Bedford's adaptation of the Ealing comedy screenplay by William Rose. The perfect crime. With John Hartley. Ross Livingstone , Stephen Critchlow , David Timson , David Collings , Zulema Dene , Patience Tomlinson, Tessa Worsley and Jonathan Keeble. Producer Andy Jordan. The Professor: Edward Petherbridge, The Major: Donald Sinden, Louis: Gary Waldhorn, Harry: Daniel Peacock, One Round: Martin Hyder, Mum: Margot Boyd, Parrot: Johnny Morris, Sgt MacDonald: ..Stratford Johns

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