Dan Sefton Radio Plays

The Wit and Wisden of Martin Truelove
shortlisted for Tinniswood Award 2003

This comedy is set almost entirely in the Radio 4 cricket commentary box at Lords. Peter Truelove is pushing fifty but remains Old Harrovian through and through. The newspaper column might keep the pennies rolling in but Peter has cricket running through his veins. Peter's mostly silent partner is Martin Truelove. Martin is Peter's younger brother and a real walking Wisden. Martin's always been the quiet one - the kind of man who finds a peculiar sort of peace in the rows and columns of an immaculately completed score book. The bad news, though no-one has noticed, is that Martin's wife has just left him. The third commentator is Keith Ainsworth a retired Lancashire player and a pathologically proud recipient of several England caps.

Keith and Peter don't get on. Peter finds his partner's tendency to call a spade a bloody great shovel slightly wearing (and rather predictable). Keith finds Peter's predilection for endless circumlocution (and his continuous use of words like circumlocution) bloody annoying. Indeed the regular listener could come away with the (accurate) impression that they spend a fair percentage of their time together quietly hating one another's guts… So far however, everything appears to be going swimmingly. Peter is still waxing lyrical about the state of the game when an insistent thumping and banging begins to emanate from the outside the commentary box. The door opens and a figure bursts through… Keith stands to face the interloper, but hostage-taker Trevor puts paid to any heroics by waving his automatic pistol in an appropriately menacing fashion. Confusion reigns for a second as Trevor races to the microphone. He describes the scene to the listening producers (and the rest of the world). He's holding a gun to Peter's head… (Peter dryly confirms that this is…indeed… the case). Peter attempts a detailed description of the firearm for the benefit of the listening public but Trevor cuts him off in mid flow. Trevor insists that both the broadcast and the match are to continue. If he's taken off the air then he'll shoot a hostage. Trevor's got what he wants - a platform to broadcast from and three high profile captives to bargain with…

Cast: Jon Glover (Between Iraq and a Hard Place), Adam Godley (Around the World in 80 Days), Martin Hyder (Motel), Ewan Bailey (The Kidnap), Alison Pettit (Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon), Stephen Critchlow (A Line in the Sand), Jonathan Keeble (Judge John Deed) and Liza Sadovy (Company).
Producer: Marc Beeby
Broadcast: 01/08/2003, BBC Radio 4

Dan Sefton’s Martin Truelove is his first radio play and was written whilst he was still working as a doctor at University College London.

His television credits include: Doctors; Holby City; Casualty; EastEnders; Born and Bred and Monarch of the Glen.

His first comedy screenplay The Rise and Falls of Eddie Preston has recently been optioned and his second screenplay Bittersweet Chicken was written for the First Film Foundation Writer’s Course and has found a producer.

Information from Jo Hodder, Society of Authors; reproduced by permission.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

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