Colin Haydn Evans Radio Plays

In his book "Writing for Radio", from about twenty years ago, Colin says the following:

"Most ideas beginners have for radio plays are wrong ideas. The common feeling seems to be that the more sensational the plot the greater the impact on the audience. More often than not, the reverse turns out to be the case".

"Sound drama is much more about lifting surfaces than polishing them".

"Imply as much as you can get away with, and describe as little as can be tolerated".

a person contacting the website ("J") adds:

    Colin Haydn Evans was born in Sept, 1940, the only child of Welsh parents. He spent his early childhood in Rhodesia, returning to Britain in the late 1940s. He could never see the point of school and left at 15 to a host of temporary jobs with the intention always of becoming a writer.

    From an early age he was passionate about film and theatre and poetry and, at one time, particularly the work of Dylan Thomas. He was one of the first to campaign to save the Boathouse at Laugharne from falling into disrepair as well as into American hands.

    Colin's first success came with his semi-autobiographical television play, Name for the Day, for the BBC in 1980, after which followed a prolific couple of decades writing plays for BBC Radio Drama. An intensely private person, Colin chose to stay out of the more public world of Theatre and television, preferring to carve an anonymous niche for himself as a Radio Dramatist.

    His book, Writing for Radio, published in 1991, is still regarded highly for the sound advice it offers on the craft. He was married three times and with his third wife, Pam, settled first in Shropshire and finally in the heart of rural Wales, where he died in August 2009. (.......thank you, "J").

Here are details of the plays I've managed to trace, in reverse order.



Testimonies*....2002, 55m
P. O'Brien, dramatised by C.H.E. A sad tale set in rural Wales. An Oxford prof. goes to stay in his holiday cottage and falls ill. A local farmer's wife puts him up and helps him recover. All would be well were it not for the visit of a pompous, sexually-frustrated priest.

Taming the Wart*....2000, 45m
Medical detectives....

Holy Marriage*....1999, 45m
Apocalypses and conflicting priests

Envelopes*....1998, 45m
A soldier writes home. The letters are to his friend's wife. In return, his friend does the cooking.....

A frightening tale in the "Fear on Four" series.

Forest Tales....1996, serial
3 x 30 min, R4, 7.8.1996 to 21.8.1996, with Manon Edwards/Christine Pritchard/Nia Davies/Eluned Jones

Brigid of Kildare....1995
R4 11.4.1995/1400; Moir Leslie/Mary Wimbush/William Eedle.

Falling Heads....1995, SNT
R4, 25 March 1995,19:50 hrs- with Ronald Pickup/Leslie Phillips/ Celia Imrie

The Spring Queen....1993, serial
R5, 25.4.1993 to 16.5.1993, 4 x 30min; with Graham Crowden/Jerome Flynn/Maggie McCarthy

A Walk Across The Green*....1990, SNT
R4,7 April 1990,19:45 hrs- with Christopher Good/Steve Hodson. Protestants, Catholics and the conflict between them, three hundred years ago.

The Speciality Of The House*....1988
20 Mar 88; by Stanley Ellin, adapted by Colin Haydn Evans: Timothy West, David March, Paul Gregory, Tim Reynolds. Dir - Gerry Jones.

Name For The Day....1984, AFT
12.4.1984, with Christopher Ettridge/Ingrid Hafner/Angela Phillips

Visiting....1984, AFT
28.3.1984, with Roger Hammond/Eva Stuart

Figures....1984, AFT
15.2.1984, with Anna Massey/Blain Fairman. First in a series of "spine chillers".

An Unfortunate Occurrence at Hounslow....1984, AFT
8.1.1984, with Gary Cady/John Livesey/John Turner/Maurice Denham/John Warner. (Rpt; details as below). A flogging in the army a little over a century ago leads to a change in the law.
Note from ND - Understanding the mindset of the characters in the play is not easy. Why would one flog, almost to death, a soldier on one's own side?

Amritsar....1983, SNT
R4,16.7.1983/2030. With Frederick Treves as Brigadier General R.E.H. Dyer, T.P. McKenna as Sir Michael O'Dwyer and Saeed Jaffrey as the Guru. On 13th April 1919 at Amritsar, the administrative capital of the Punjab, General Dyer opened fire on an 'illegal' assembly of Indians packed into the high-walled Jallianwala Bagh. With their exit blocked by the soldiers the crowd panicked. More than 1,500 men, women and children were killed or wounded. Roderick Langston ..... Cornelius Garrett, Udham Singh, as a man ..... Renu Setna, Udham Singh, as a boy ..... David Bisoni, Gita ....... Shireen Shah, Prosecuting Counsel ..... Michael Drew, Kitchlew ...... Zia Mohyeddin, Mrs Hardinge ...... June Barrie, Lord Hunter ....... Garard Green, Eleanor Dyer ..... Peggy Ann Wood, Commissioner Irving ..... Gabriel Woolf, Chand ........ Sam Dastor, Matthew Casson ..... John Rye, Sir Edwin Montagu ..... Paul Nicholson, General Hudson ...... Jack Watson. Producer Shaun MacLoughlin BBC Bristol. Stereo. (info...from Jim)

Novice....1983, AFT
16.11.1983, with Hugh Burden/Gabriel Woolf/Meg Davies/Timothy Bateson

Tell Me When The Feeling Stops....1983, AFT
12.11.1983, with Jane Knowles/Gabriel Woolf/Christian Rodska/ Diana Bishop

An Unfortunate Occurrence At Hounslow....1982, SNT
R4, 22 May 1982, 20:30 hrs- with Gary Cady/John Livesey/John Turner /Maurice Denham. A young army man is flogged to the point of death for a misdemeanor in 1840. Such floggings were not rare, were carried out for relatively trivial offences and were, to our minds, incomprehensible. For the colonel who ordered the flogging, there were repercussions. He found himself in court. This was a landmark case where it was finally decided that the army did not have the right to treat its own members with brutality in the name of "discipline". Recording sent by David Carvin; many thanks David.

    ...based on 'The Strange Death of Private White' by Harry Hopkins, with ballads set and sung by John Bull. With Gary Cady as Private Frederick, John Livesey as Colonel Ralston, John Turner as Dr Wakely, John Warner as The Rev Trimmer, and Maurice Denham as The Duke of Wellington.

    'John Frederick, a native of Yorkshire,
    Brought up in the famed town of Leeds,
    Had been a hosier and a soldier,
    Though scarce in his prime as we read.
    Tied hands and feet to a ladder
    While the sound of the Cat reached afar,
    O Britain, thy deeds make me shudder,
    Remember poor John, the Hussar.'

    Captain Shirley ...... Stephen Thorne, Sgt Darley ....... John Bull, Marianne Ralston ...... Jean Trend, Dr Taggart ...... Andrew Crawford, Dr Hall ....... Godfrey Kenton, Sarah Trimmer ...... Wendy Murray, William Brent ...... David Gooderson, Bette Brent ....... Theresa Streatfeild, Private Sparkes ...... Fraser Downie, Private Matthewson ...... Stephen Garlick, Dr Wilson ...... Alan Dudley, George Clark ...... Hugh Dickson. Directed by Ian Cotterell. Stereo.

The Future Is Not What It Used To Be....1982, AFT
12.11.1982, with Cyril Shaps/Gabriel Woolf/Sonia Fraser/Cornelius Garrett/Patricia Brake

Tell Me When The Feeling Stops....1981, AFT
13.8.1981, with Jane Knowles/Gabriel Woolf/Christian Rodska/Diana Bishop

A Fall Of Leaves*....1980, AFT
17.7.1980, with Colin Baker/Sarah Sutton/Meg Davies. Rpt. 12.2.1982. A naive schoolmaster with marital difficulties spends a bit too much time with his star (female) pupil.

The Spring Queen....date nk
by Colin Hadyn Evans in 4 x 30m. R5. (children's story)

AFT=Afternoon theatre, SNT=Saturday Night Theatre

Asterisked items known to exist in VRPCC collections.

.....Thanks to Jim for production details and other info.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website

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