Jane Purcell Radio Plays

22.05.12 The Eggy Doylers (afternoon play)
05.11.12 The Righteous Sisters (15-min drama serial, 5 episodes)
23.07.07 43 Years in the Third Form (Woman's Hour drama)
13.01.06 Cooking for Michael Collins (Woman's Hour drama)
10.06.04 Beryl du Jour (afternoon play)


22 May 2012, afternoon drama. In 1978 before 'Risk Assessment' or even basic safety standards became the norm.... Ralph Ineson plays a child-hating PE teacher on a school trip from hell. This was reviewed by Laurence Raw on 'radiodramareviews.com'.

5-9 Nov 2012: The true story of Ida and Louise Cook, opera-loving sisters from Wandsworth who ended up smuggling Jews out of Nazi Germany. Details at www.bbc.co.uk

23-27 Jul 07, R4. Woman's Hour drama about the changing nature of girls comics, from Girl to Bunty to Jackie. An excellent listen, favourably reviewed in the Press.

    Moira Petty, in “The Stage”, 30 Jul 07, remarked ".... it depicted fifties life like a David Lynch film. On the surface was a spurious respectability, which could be cracked at any time."

    Young Elizabeth was trapped by fifties conventions, expected to iron her brother's shirts and make toffee for his tuck box. She would have preferred to tinker with the engine in her Dad's car.

    "Elizabeth took succour from Girl magazine which, with its call to readers to become ‘star adventurers,’ entertained an emancipated sub-text. Not that feisty Elizabeth needed much help - she was clearly in training to become Germaine Greer or a Kwik Fit mechanic. Which would it be? The last episode, we were promised, would see her reading Girl and Bunty with her granddaughter. Alas, my preview CD ended after episode three...."

    Dramatisations of the famous strips like The Four Marys and Angela the Air Hostess were threaded through the stories along with agony page dilemmas. They merged seamlessly with the narrative, just as they did in real life. Chris Wallis’ production featured a large cast including Sharon Duce, Jenny Lee, Coleen Prendergast and Alison Pettit - but not a single cliche.
And from Gillian Reynolds of the Daily Telegraph:
    ....Girls’ comics of the ’50s to the ’80s, celebrated in smart form by Jane Purcell as a daily serial, each day with a different decade and therefore a different comic. The uniting factor is the story of 12-year-old Elizabeth, reading Girl in 1952 when we meet her, growing older as the week progresses. Real features from the actual comics (Bunty, Jackie, Misty and Sleb) surround her. Today Donald Sinden is in Girl’s picture gallery but, back in real life, Elizabeth’s always in trouble for not being girly enough. Funny, ingenious and evocative.

Beryl Du Jour....2004
10 Jun 04.

It's Beryl's fiftieth tomorrow, and nothing's going right, not her hairdressing, not husband Harvey, certainly not son Freddie's parcels of washing. She has a deep sense of unfulfillment, which even her new job as a volunteer telephone counsellor can't fix. Then she discovers what the salon's used for in the evening. It could be a whole new life.

Beryl ...... Sharon Duce
Mim ...... Alison Dowling
Mrs H ...... Ann Beach
Tilly ...... Mia Soteriou
Harvey ...... Brian Capron
Freddie ...... Ben Crowe
Lucien ...... Peter Forbes
Mr Bannister ...... Roger Sloman

Directed by Chris Wallis

This play received a good write-up from Elizabeth Mahoney, in the Guardian, 13 Jan 06. Here's a summary of what she said:

...gripping...a drama based on the real-life story of Pidgie Rigney - spy, gunrunner and cook for IRA leader Michael Collins. This turbulent chapter in Irish history told from a woman's point of view. What did the women do in this struggle? "Everything the men did, plus the cooking", is how Pidgie describes it.

Niamh Cusack played the lead. She ends up sharing a prison cell with a Countess, who had the drama's best lines....

Radio Times gave the cast as:
Older Pidgie Rigney ...... Sorcha Cusack
Younger Pidgie Rigney ...... Niamh Cusack
Peg Rigney ...... Catherine Cusack
Maire Rigney ...... Jane Purcell
Constance Markiewicz ...... Joanna David
Kate Lyons ...... Colleen Prendergast
Mrs Lyons ...... Kate Binchy
Anne Cooney ...... Norette Leahy
Michael Collins ...... Finbar Lynch
O Neil ...... Dermot Crowley
Captain Drummond ...... David Thorpe
Interrogator ...... Jonathan Keeble
Harry Boland ...... Ben Crowe
Father O'Leary ...... John Burke
Soldier ...... Martin Maynard

Director Chris Wallis.


The Story of Everyone Who Ever Lived in Our House....2004
by Julie Myerson; 4 May 04; dramatised by Peter Kerry in ten episodes (Woman's Hour drama).

...introduction to episode 2.... Julie's search moves forward a hundred years to the family who sold the Myersons their house - from both sides, these are people most of us expect never to see again.

With Doon Mackichan as Julie Myerson, Michael Maloney as Jonathan Myerson and Chloe, Jake and Raphael Myerson as themselves.

John Pigeon ...... Michael Fenton Stevens
Julia Pigeon ...... Jane Purcell
Leon Pigeon ...... Tom George
Young Leon ...... Dominic Curran
Nick ...... David Thorpe
Beth ...... Mia Soteriou
Workman ...... Peter McCamley
Bank Clerk ...... Annie Rowe

Directed by Chris Wallis.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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