Judith Adams Radio Plays

Judith Adams was Writer-in-Residence at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield 1997/8 and is a member of the Writersí Guild of Great Britain and Yorkshire Playwrights. She began writing in 1990 and has a degree in English from New Hall, Cambridge (1973) and a Post-Grad Teaching Certificate in English/Drama from Bretton Hall (1975). Judith has worked extensively in radio and theatre and her projects include the following:


...12, 19 & 26 Aug: Classic Serial. 3 x 55m.
Thomas Mann's Nobel Prize winning story of a 19th Century merchant family struggling to keep pace with changing times.Dramatised by Judith Adams with music by Nico Muhly. Technical presentation by David Fleming Williams. Narrator ....... Pip Carter, Elizabet Buddenbrook ....... Barbara Flynn, Thomas Buddenbrook ....... Joseph Millson, Toni Buddenbrook ....... Clare Corbett, Christian Buddenbrook ....... Carl Prekopp, Gerda Buddenbrook ....... Colleen Prendergast, Hanno Buddenbrook ....... Gene Goodman, Hanno Buddenbrook ....... Harry Lawtey, Kai, Count Molln ....... Thiago Los, Kai, Count Molln ....... Hugo Docking, Pfhul ....... David Thorpe, Dr Grabow ....... Stephen Critchlow, Ida Jungmann ....... Alison Pettit, Dr Brecht ....... Gerard McDermott, Master 1 ....... Ben Crowe, Master 2 ....... Shaun Prendergast, Boy 1 ....... Liam Maslov-Boxer, Boy 2 ....... Scott Smith, Boy 3 ....... George Sanderson, Clementine ....... Judith Adams. Producer ....... Chris Wallis.

Classic Serial - The Hireling....2011
19 Jun 11. By L.P Hartley, dram. Judith Adams. 2 x 55m. Ex-Sergeant Stephen Leadbitter, raised from an unhappy working class childhood between the wars, is on a peacetime mission to business success, as a chauffeur and car-for-hire. He despises his clients, especially the ladies, until the young, widowed, naive and immensely rich Lady Franklin hires him to take her on trips to cathedrals which she had visited with her late husband. Lady Franklin has been in mourning for two years, and is finding it impossible to return to normal life. In the car, and in search of a cure for her depression, she shares her story with him. He obliges with one of his own, a fiction, which grows to plague him. Cast: Narrator ..... Kenneth Cranham, Steve Leadbitter ..... Simon Day, Lady Franklin ..... Lisa Dillon, Hughie ..... Joseph Millson, Constance ..... Ursula Burton, Clarice ..... Nicola Duffett, Simmonds ..... Anthony Gleave, Bert Standing ..... Kevin James, Landlady ..... Jane Purcell, Porter ..... Andrew Cullimore, Producer: Chris Wallis. Indie. (Autolycus production)

Out of Africa, The Cuckoo....2011
By Karen Blixen. 25 Apr 11. 5 x 12m. Dramatised by Judith Adams. BBC notes for episode 1 : The Cuckoo: Soon after Karen Blixen relocates to East Africa, she finds herself alone in a foreign land with the enormous responsibility of trying to operate a successful coffee plantation. In order to accomplish this, she must get to know the land and the East Africans who work for and with her. In the process, she learns more about herself. In 1913, Karen travels to Kenya to marry her second cousin and start a farm in Africa. Karen Blixen ..... Emma Fielding, Denys Finch-Hatton ..... Tom Goodman-Hill, Kamante .... Beru Tessema, Farah ..... Maynard Eziashi, Wilhelm ..... Sean Baker; produced by Gaynor Macfarlane.

17 4 2008 Thursday 14:15; Judith Adams's play is based on the writings and letters of Charlotte Bronte describing her experiences when she travelled to Brussels to study at a girls' school; as humble and obscure as the heroines of her later novels. Charlotte Bronte 1; or Reason ...... Laura Molyneux, Charlotte Bronte 2; or Passion ...... Rosie Cavaliero, Constantin Heger ...... Julian Rhind-Tutt, Priest ...... David Shaw-Parker, Chappelle ...... Mark Meadows, Mme Heger ...... Elaine Claxton, Mary Taylor ...... Anne-Marie Piazza. Directed by Jonquil Panting.

MRS. MABB....2008
18 3 2008 Tuesday 14:15 Susanna Clarke's short story, dramatised by Judith Adams. Handsome Captain Fox has been spirited away by the amazing Mrs Mabb; and audacious heroine Venetia wants him back. But she has Mrs Mabb's malign magic to contend with. Narrator ...... Emma Fielding, Venetia ...... Jasmine Hyde, Fanny ...... Lucy Akhurst, Captain Fox ...... Bertie Carvel, Mr Hawkins/Mr Grout ...... Philip Fox, Lucas/John Purvis ...... Sam Pamphilon, Marje ...... Poppy Friar, Nan ...... Millie Binks .

23 1 2008 Wednesday 14:15; Judith Adams's dramatisation of the famous short story by Japanese author Ryunosuke Akutagawa. After an encounter with a bandit on the road; a samurai lies dead and his wife has been raped. But there are three very different accounts of the event. Travelling Monk ...... Derek Jacobi, Woodcutter ...... Rod Arthur, Old Woman ...... Frances Jeater, Bounty Hunter ...... Stephen Critchlow, Tajomaru ...... Shaun Prendergast, Masago ...... Catherine Kinsella, Voice of Takehiro ...... Mia Soteriou. Directed by Chris Wallis.

Almost Blue....2006
By Judith Adams. 10 Feb 06; rpt 2007. Friday Play. Dramatization of the thriller by Carlo Lucarelli. Simon is a blind man with synaesthesia, a condition which enables him to hear sounds in colour. A loner and a radio-hack, Simon spends his nights alone in his room surfing the air-waves of Bologna, picking up mobile phone conversations, chat rooms and police walkie-talkies. He listens to other people's business, tracing the shape of the city through his headphones. He begins to follow the journeys of two voices - one blue, one green. The first compels him, the second terrifies him, and both voices become instrumental in propelling him out of his bedroom into the world outside. Simon ...... Grant O'Rourke, Grace ...... Lesley Hart Scorpio ...... Simon Donaldson Matera ...... Steven Cartwright Anna/ Mrs Martelli ...... Monica Gibb Victor/ Lab Technician ...... Simon Tait Topaz ...... Samantha Young.

By George Eliot, adapted for BBC R4ís Womanís Hour Serial in 20 episodes. First episode 28 Mar 05. Sir James Chettam/Mr Vincy ...... Roger Allam, Mrs Vincy ...... Rachel Atkins, Celia Brooke ...... Candida Benson, Mr Bulstrode ...... Ron Cook, Mrs Cadwallader ...... Sally Dexter, Will Ladislaw ...... Richard Dillane, Mary Garth ...... Laura Doddington, Fred Vincy/Hawley/Neumann ...... Nick Fletcher, Lady Chettam/Mrs Farebrother ...... Elizabeth Garvie, Mr Featherstone ...... William Gaunt, Mr Causabon ...... Robert Glenister, Doctor Lydgate ...... Tom Goodman-Hill, Reverend Farebrother/Chichley ...... Martin Hyder, Rosamund Vincy/Mrs Waule ...... Katherine Igoe, Mr Brooke ...... Karl Johnson, Mr Cadwallader/Standish ...... Matthew Marsh, Dorothea Brooke ...... Caroline Martin.

Adapted for BBC R4ís Womanís Hour Serial, beginning 2 Jun 03. By George Eliot. 20 x 12m. Start date 2 Jun 03. BBC info: Maggie Tulliver is a rare free spirit in Victorian society who has to look outside the love of her own family to find the companionship and life she craves. George Eliot ...... Deborah Findlay, Bob Jakin ...... Tom George, Tom Tulliver ...... Tom Goodman-Hill, Maggie Tulliver ...... Jasmine Hyde, Uncle Moss ...... Paul Jesson, Mrs Tulliver ...... Alexandra Mathie, Aunt Glegg/Aunt Moss ...... Anna Niland.

ME AND I....2002
Original play for BBC R4ís Afternoon Play, 18 Nov 02.
Comedy following the adventures and double lives of a Scottish Abba tribute band.

Adapted for BBC R4ís Sunday Play, Spring 2002. Nominated for a Sony Award. By Thornton Wilder. 12 May 02. The play examines the reactions of superstitious 18th-century Peruvians to the death of five villagers when a bridge collapses.

Original play for BBC R4ís Afternoon Play broadcast 1 Feb02. A modern myth about transformation and joyous liberation. Three modern women find themselves in everyday encounters with fabulous beasts.

ROB ROY....2002
Adapted for BBCR4ís Classic Serial, Spring 2002. By Walter Scott, dramatised by Judith Adams. Start date: 20 Jan 02. The son of a rich London merchant is banished to his family seat in the North. 3 x 55m.

Adapted for BBC R4ís Sunday Play, July 2001

    R3, Sunday Play. By Margaret Edson, 8 Jul 01,adapted for radio by Judith Adams. A brilliant scholar discovers that she has cancer. Through several courses of exhausting chemotherapy treatments, she is forced to learn about wit, compassion and - finally - death. With Nancy Crane (Professor Vivian Bearing), Jasmine Hyne (Technician/Student/Clinical Fellow), John McGlynn (Doctor Harvey Kelikian), Stuart Milligan (Mr Bearing/Code Team Head), Margaret Robertson (Professor Ashford), John Sharian (Jason Posner), Adam Sims (Technician/Student/Clinical Fellow), Tracy Wiles (Susie Monahan). Producer Gaynor Macfarlane.

Afternoon Play: The Midnight Fox....2000
By Betsy Byars, dramatised by Judith Adams. 8 Aug 00. Tom is fed up because he has to go and stay on a boring farm when his parents go on holiday. But when he arrives, he sees a rare black fox - the trouble is that Tom's uncle wants to kill it. With Buffy Davis, Barclay Wright and David Hallissy. Producer: Gaynor Macfarlane.

For a series entitled Storyline.

Abridged into 5 x 15í episodes.

AGNES GREY....1997
By Anne Bronte, dramatised by Judith Adams. Classic Serial slot, 22 Jun 97. A young woman dismays her family when she decides to earn her own living as a governess. Will her trials lead her to true love? With Poppy Miller, Robert Whelan and Alison Darling.

Original play adapted for R4ís Monday Play, repeated 1997.
By Judith Adams. rpt. 20 Oct 97. Mad Lady Grange, abandoned by her husband on St Kilda after three mock funerals, battles to recover her mind and identity. But the island itself is involved in a bitter struggle for survival. With Kathryn Hunter, Campbell Morrison and Alistair Galraith. Director Michael Fox.



SWEET FANNY ADAMS IN EDEN Commissioned by Stellar Quines Theatre Co. First performed at Pitlochry Memorial Gardens in August 2003 and due for performance at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens during the Edinburgh Festival in 2006.

FOOLíS MATE Commissioned by the Royal National Theatre and workshopped in the Studio.

QUEUEING FOR EVEREST Commissioned/produced by the Crucible Studio, Sheffield March 2004. Awarded a four month residency at the University of Sheffield Department of Drama in Autumn 2000 for further development.

THE LITTLE MERMAID Produced at the Crucible Studio December 1997

THE BONE ROOM Workshopped and produced by Theatre Alba at The Young Vic June 1998. Runner-up and special mention in the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 1999.

VILETTE Produced at the Crucible Studio in 1996 directed by Deborah Paige following workshopping in the Studio


BURDALANE Workshopped at the National Theatre Studio directed by Abigail Morris with Fiona Shaw. Shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 1998. Adapted for radio and broadcast as The Monday Play during 1997 on radio 4.

Judith's website is at:


Judith writes (in 2005):
.......My projects often develop and mutate over years. Burdalane is now an Esmee Fairbairn funded project with students at the RSAMD, (see attachment) and Sweet Fanny Adams in Eden is Arts Council Scotland and England funded to be published on the web as an interactive visual show with my sister company 59 ltd - so: see their website too: www.fifty-nine.com. We're blue-screening the actors at Easter in our barn to be webbed in front of virtual reality versions of Eden, designed by community groups.

But that's live performance and virtual live performance....

.....to answer your question...why do I write for radio?

......My academic background has helped my passion for dramatisation (as long as I care about the books) - I stumbled into it to earn money and found I loved it - releasing what is often fabulous dialogue from the prose, and adding a blend of my own response to the text - which, within reason, is a joyful relationship to have with another writer, dead or living.

After Mill on the Floss, me and my producer Gaynor Macfarlane, were called "two of the safest pairs of hands in radio" - not sure if that's good or bad.

Writing for radio and live performance seems to have one thing in common: words carve pictures - whereas, the skill in film is to let the pictures tell as much of the story as possible.

Radio puts no limits on an audiences' imaginations - and I suppose I seek to free up live theatre process in the same way: not to present a series of blocked pictures, but to make the process and product seamlessly and constantly inventing itself anew - using language as more image-making than truth or narrative making. I assume every story is seen differently by every person and attempts to control this are rather futile and power-crazed.

Common themes to my radio work? Lost histories - which mainly turn out to be women's stories. Dislocating Aristotelian linear structures. Gender balance - strong men and strong women in alternative parallel universes - as in the reinvention of the community on St Kilda in Burdalane (radio/stage/current project).

I attend all my radio recordings as expert on the text, to work with the producer.

I've just spent 9 days in Maida Vale studio recording Middlemarch, boldly going where no man has gone before by not using a narrator; and am hiking to Scotland for next week's workshop on Burdalane....

Many thanks, Judith, for spending time on our behalf........

ND / Diversity website. Page updated again during Dec 2013.

Back to top

Radio Plays
Wine Making
Cosby Methodist Church
Gokart Racing
Links to other sites
Contact Us