24.02.83 Jogger
13.07.88 A Change in the Weather, 5-part series
01.06.92 Sort of a Hero
10.08.92 Voyage of the Swallow
17.04.93 Meeting Bea*
??.08.93 Dancing with Jacques*, tmt
01.01.94 Ways of Escape-Sarah*
25.02.95 Ways of Escape-Elizabeth
07.02.96 Paupers and Pig Killers* series 1
04.02.98 Hard Row to Porlock*
16.11.98 Life's little ironies-an imaginative woman
29.10.99 Paupers and Pig Killers* series 2
10.02.00 The July Ghost (A.S.Byatt), dram
11.02.00 The New People (R.Tremain), dram
16.08.00 The Last Piano Player*
17.03.01 Something Strange
02.08.01 Henry's Leg *(Anne Pilling), dram. 2 x 45m
31.08.01 Stone Trees (Jane Gardam), dram
04.08.02 The Good Companions* (Priestley), dram 3 x 55m
11.11.02 The Tears of War (C.Fyfe), dram
28.08.03 Scenes from Provincial Life, serial

date nk Is there anybody there? Serial R5(?)
date nk Goodbye Simple Girl, tmt, R4
date nk It's Cold Outside, tmt, R4

Asterisked plays located by VRPCC


With Malcolm Stoddard & Alison Fiske. No other details available.

A five-part series recently rebroadcast on R4X (Jul 2019): Two innocent ladies from Shropshire become entangled with a couple of Cockney crooks. (...Thanks to Angus R for alerting me) Production team for ep. 1: Producer: Ian Cotterell. Jiffy Perkins: Peter Craze, Burco Madrid: John Hollis, Henrietta: Dilys Laye, Louise: Polly James, Billy: Norman Bird, Driver: Richard Tate.

    Ep.2: (20 Jul) Jiffy and Burco are hotly pursued by the avenging arm of the law and the underworld.
    Ep.3: (27 Jul) 4: Two ladies from Shropshire have now joined the pursuit.
    Ep.4: (3 Aug): Still on the run from assorted pursuers.
    Ep.5: (10 Aug): A climax on the Lakeland Fells.

SORT OF A HERO....1992
1 Jun 92. Afternoon play.

10 Aug 92. Afternoon play.

With Stephanie Cole/Clive Swift. Interesting biographical play about the later life of Beatrix Potter, who wrote the books about Jemimah Puddleduck, Mrs. Tiggywinkle, and other familiar children's characters. Potter had overbearing upper-class parents who made her early adult life very unhappy; in fact she was well over forty before she broke away from them and married her publisher. She spent about a decade writing and illustrating the works for which she is so famous.

Afterwards, she put the books behind her, moved to the Lake District and bought land and farmed sheep.

The play looks at her life from the point of view of the young Sally Worboyes (now also a well-known artist and writer) and her American publisher.

Potter became a big landowner who eventually left fifteen farms to the National Trust, to help keep hill farming alive. When about sixty she was approached by an American who wanted her to write another 'Beatrix Potter' book for the American market. Eventually she agreed, and produced, after much labour, "The Fairy Caravan". It wasn't in the same class as her other work, but it enabled her to save another farm from the developers at a time when preserving the countryside for the future wasn't in fashion.

Stephanie Cole plays the hard-bitten Beatrix Potter, and Clive Swift her second husband. The producer was Adrian Bean.

By Eric Pringle. London 1959: A young girl's first night "working the streets" ends in a ghostly encounter with a man with a wind-up gramophone who calls himself Jaques. Jackie - Alice Arnold, Jaques - John Evitts, Alice - Theresa Streatfield, Producer: Adrian Bean. Repeated on R4X; first broadcast in Thirty Minute Theatre, Radio 4, May 1993. (...details from AJ - thank you)

With Stephen Moore, Anna Massey, Deborah Findlay. No other details available.

With Stephen Moore, Anna Massey, Deborah Findlay. The rector's sister befriends a poor family, with unforeseen consequences. Social story set in 1815. ND comments......very sad tale of what life was like in the 1820s on the north-east coast; the rector, the squire and their friends have as much as they want; the poor, living close by, are almost starving. They could be deported to Van Dieman's Land or hanged for the relatively trivial offence of poaching. This play is a reminder of how short and brutish a person's existence could be only a few generations ago......Good use of period music in some scenes (Field nocturnes).

Series 1: ep. 1. 7 Feb 96; ep. 2 The Fruits of the earth 14 Feb 96; ep 3 'Pastoral', 21 Feb 96.

    7 Feb 96: Paupers and Pig Killers - RT notes
    The diary of William Holland, a Somerset parson, dramatized in three episodes by Eric Pringle. 1: At the turn of the 18th century, William began his diaries of life in a small West Country community; a unique picture of a wonderful collection of characters and the things which happen to them. William Holland was played by Ronald Pickup. With Andrew Branch, John Hartley , Stephen Critchlow and Jane Whittenshaw. Mary Holland: Rosemary Martin, Robert: Gavin Muir, Mr Amen: Gordon Gostelow, Miss Dodwell: Tessa Worsley, Farmer Morle: David Collings, William Frost: David Timson. Producer: Cherry Cookson.

Ella Marchmill longs to meet her favourite poet. The more elusive he remains, the more her desire increases. With Amanda Root, Sean Baker, Shirley Dixon; dir. Clive Brill

I was pleased to be contacted by Clive Lever (2004), who supplied the following information:
"You may be interested to know that my great grandfather once featured as a character in a radio 4 play. In the series 'who sings the hero', they did a play called Hard Row To Porlock', about the Lynmouth lifeboat rescue of 1897. They had to haul the lifeboat several miles over land and knock two houses down in order to launch and rescue. My great-grandad was Richard Ridler. He was credited on the play as the bowman, as in bows and arrows; he was of course the Bowman as in the bow of the ship. The bowman didn't have a speaking part but was named during the action of the play. Omitting him from the cast did seem to me rather like doing the Beatles story, and saying at the end: 'Oh and by the way, George Harrison was the lead guitarist'".

Cast list:
Rev Hockley- John Rowe
Billy Richards - Tom Bevan
Crowcombe- Chris Wright
Innkeeper - Hugh Dickson
Moore- Ewan Thomas
George Richards- Brian Parr
Tom Willis - Stephen Thorne
Crick - Gerard McDermott
Soames- Gerard McDermott
Director- Cherry Cookson

Clive also adds...Gerard McDermott tells me that Cherry Cookson wanted to feature the crew singing a sea shanty, but none of the actors knew any, with the exception of Gerard. He therefore had some fun in teaching the only one he knew (not from Somerset, or anywhere near) to the cast before they could include it in the play.

Three part series about life in a Somerset parsonage in the early 1800s. Ronald Pickup plays the parson, William Holland, and Rowena Cooper is Mary. Also stars Gavin Muir and Gordon Gostelow; dir. Cherry Cookson. 3 x 45m. Ep.1 'Don't look down your nose at me, Sir' 29 Oct 99; Ep 2 'Travel broadens the Seat 5 Nov 11; Ep 3 'The Year of the Cuckoo' 12 Nov 99. Afternoon plays.

I missed this one, so cannot say anything about the plot. Stars KateBuffery, Clive Owen, Gavin Muir, Oliver Cookson; dir. Tracey Neal.

Millicent's success as a poet is diminishing; she decides to move to Italy to have a fresh start with her partner Alison. But the influence of her past is still very strong. With Ursula Howells, Eleanor Bron; dir. Cherry Cookson.

It is 2020; in an empty Norfolk resort, a lone piano player continues his playing, uninterested in the technological world around him. A tatty quiz extravaganza, the "Simon Swain Show", finds out about his playing and features him on the show. It's easy to humiliate him in a superficial way, but the show organisers get more than they bargained for. With Bernard Cribbins as the piano player, and Philip Jackson; dir. Cherry Cookson: an outstanding afternoon play.

HENRY'S LEG....2001
A two-part dramatisation of Ann Pilling's children's story. Danny Crompton has stolen the dummy's leg; Henry is determined to recover it. Stars Adam Nagaitis, Robert Pollard, Brigit Forsyth; dir. Pauline Harris.

On love and loss: Lou's husband has died, leaving her in a state of shock. But perhaps her marriage wasn't quite as good as the picture she paints...

A psychological thriller, where an innocent flirtation develops into something menacing. Stars Beth Chalmers, Robert Glenister, Geoffrey Whitehead, Thomas Arnold. Dir. Tracey Neal.

The well-known story by J.B.Priestley. Stars Helen Longworth, Philip Jackson. Broadcast as "Classic Serial".

R4, 1415, 11 Nov 02. By Charlotte Fyfe; adapted by Eric Pringle. A true love story set against the background of the First World War, told with letters and poems written by the young poet May Cannan and the man she loved, Bevil Quiller- Couch. With Jasmine Hyde as May, James Purefoy as Bevil, Beth Chalmers as Dorothea, Derek Waring as Sir Arthur, also stars Emma Woollams, Scott Brooksbank, Simon Donaldson. Director Marc Beeby.

Scenes From Provincial Life....2003
27 Aug 03. Eric Pringle's four-part dramatisation of this ground-breaking comic novel by William Cooper, exploring the life and loves of a schoolmaster and his friends in pre-war Leicester.
Joe Lunn ...... David Thorpe
Myrtle ...... Alison Pettitt
Tom ...... Jonathan Keeble
Steve ...... Robert Harper
Bolshaw ...... Keith Drinkel
Frank ...... Clive Standen

©Nigel Deacon, Diversity website

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