Lavinia Murray Radio Plays

Lavinia has written a wide range of plays, including some for stage. In 2009 she took part in a creative project by North West Playwrights. She was shortlisted in 2014 for the Imison and Tinniswood awards for her play about Beatrix Potter, which received a special commendation.

There is a lengthy note / interview to be found at:
(location is on http://www.inkpantry.com)

The interview mentions notably her work on His Dark Materials trilogy:
04.01.03 Northern Lights (Philip Pullman, dram), 150m
11.01.03 The Subtle Knife (Philip Pullman, dram), 150m
18.01.03 The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman, dram), 150m
and her reaction to it, which makes interesting reading.

LM: "...the adaptation Iím fondest of is The Anatomy of Melancholy (the commissioner gave me an hour [broadcast time] for a book composed of nearly 1000 pages in tiny print) and Gargantua and Pantagruel."

11.01.99 Lady Susan
08.04.00 A Marble Woman 60m
08.05.00 As it is in heaven, reading, 5 parts, abridgement.
17.07.00 Love is where it falls. 5 parts. Abridgement.
25.11.00 Swallow
16.10.01 Mary Barton, dram. in 20 12m episodes.
24.06.02 5 x 12m The Love Child
26.12.02 Edward Lear: Abominable Bestiary 45m
04.01.03 Northern Lights (Philip Pullman, dram), 150m
11.01.03 The Subtle Knife (Philip Pullman, dram), 150m
18.01.03 The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman, dram), 150m.
14.02.04 Man of all work
28.02.03 Lottie the Mermaid
05.08.04 Ammo (R3), 58m
08.08.04 A Certain Smile (Francoise Sagan), dram, 60m "Classic Serial"
30.05.05 5 x 12m The Nocturnalist
30.11.07 The Tiger Hunt (about William Blake)
10.04.08 Tarzan of the Antirrhinums
28.06.09 Confessions of an English Opium Eater, Classic serial (de Quincey)
11.12.11 Gargantua & Pantagrua (Rabelais)
03.07.12 The Beautiful Ugly (about Hans Christian Andersen)
11.04.13 Once upon a Time...Beatrix Potter, 45m
30.07.14 Elephants all the way up (Hatch, Match & Dispatch series)
18.08.14 The Vicar, the Automaton and the Talking Dog (Alexander Graham Bell)
13.05.16 Zola: Sex & Money (several episodes adapted in May & October - see below)
06.05.18 Henry James: The American, dram in 2 episodes "Classic Serial"

date nk......A Distinctive Child


Lady Susan....1999
R4, 11.01.99; by Jane Austen. Adapted by Lavinia Murray. Lady Susan Vernon, a beautiful society widow decides to visit her brother-in-law. Will she be a welcome guest? Her friend Alicia Johnson narrates her story. With Harriet Walter and Maggie Steed. Director Jocelyn Boxall. In ten parts.

A Marble Woman....2000
By Louisa May Alcott, dramatised by Lavinia Murray. Sexual repression, opium addiction and love collide in this gothic tour de force. Recently orphaned Cecilia Stein turns up at the door of brilliant sculptor Bazil Yorke. Jilted by the child's mother many years ago, Yorke decides to use the daughter to punish the sins of the mother. With Bill Paterson, Amanda Root and John McArdle. Director: Pauline Harris.

As It Is in Heaven....2000
By Niall Williams, read by Owen Roe and abridged by Lavinia Murray. A passionate and haunting love story of isolation and renewal set in Venice and the west of Ireland.

Love Is Where It Falls ....2000
17 Jul 00; late book. Simon Callow reads his moving account of his extraordinary friendship with the legendary literary agent Peggy Ramsay and his love affair with Aziz, a tragic young Egyptian film-maker. Abridged by Lavinia Murray.

16 Oct 01. By Elizabeth Gaskell, dramatised in 20 parts by Lavinia Murray. With David Calder, Emma Rydal.

The Love Child....2002
By Edith Olivier, adapted by Lavinia Murray. Agatha Bodenham's imaginary child becomes more and more visible, and after a trip to the seaside she returns with Agatha. Woman's Hour serial; rpt. 7.45 pm.

Abominable Bestiary: By the Coast of Coromandel....2002
26 Dec 02. Featuring Edward Lear's nonsensical characters on a quest to find their creator. With Derek Jacobi, Floella Benjamin, Samantha Spiro, Joanna Monro.

Lottie The Mermaid....2003
R4, 28 Feb 03. By Lavinia Murray and Susan Vale. A surreal adventure comedy in which Lottie the mermaid swaps her tail for legs and is sent on a mission to save the people of seaside town Doursby-on-the-Turn from the evil machinations of Mayor Alfred Big.

Lottie the Mermaid ...... Alison Pettitt
Simeon ...... Ben Crowe
Mayor Alfred Big ...... Martin Hyder
Grenville ...... Jonathan Keeble Shamela/Mrs Morhua ...... Joanna Monro
Directed by Marc Beeby

Our heroine, 11 year old Lyra Balacqua, goes on a journey through the frozen Arctic, parallel universes, and even the world of the dead. Director David Hunter. (...Penny Fabb; Complete guide to science fiction on British Radio 1927-2004)

The second book of "His Dark Materials" starts in our world, when 12 year old Will accidentally kills a man. He escapes into a parallel world where he meets 11 year old Lyra, and together they acquire the most powerful weapon in the world - the subtle knife. Director - Janet Whitaker. (...Penny Fabb; ib.)

A colossal war is brewing in heaven, and Lyra and Will have been separated. They must find each other and journey onward - for only together can they protect the future of the cosmos. Director - David Hunter. (...Penny Fabb; ib.)

Man of all Work....2004
by Richard Wright, rev. Lavinia Murray.

Just how far will a man go to provide for his family? Richard Wright's play centres on Carl, a black man in 1950s America struggling to make ends meet for his family.

Turning on its head the view held by some whites that 'blacks all look the same', Carl adopts the name of his wife, Lucy, and poses as a female maid, securing a position in a white family. The performance is all too convincing for the father of the house, who tries to make Carl submit to the sexual advances that have driven away his predecessor. Through the wife's outrage, which turns to violent retribution, Carl identifies the articulation of race and gender that characterises this period of America's history. Saturday Play. 14 Feb 04.
Carl ...... Paterson Joseph
Dave ...... John Sharian
Lucy ...... Nicola Hughes
Rosie ...... Josie Kook-Clark
Henry ...... Anton Rice
Anne ...... Barbara Barnes
Revised for radio by Lavinia Murray; produced by Pauline Harris.

R3, 5 Aug 2004.Part of the series "The Wire". The unthinkable happens in a Manchester inner city secondary school; a teenage girl who, bullied and an outcast, takes two of her fellow students hostage at gunpoint. But is it all real or imagined? (58m)

Martha/Gun ...... Joanne Froggatt
Finolla ...... Rhea Bailey
Faq ...... Charlie Ryan
Russell ...... Gary Damer
Directed by Pauline Harris

R4, 8.8.04. In the "Classic Serial" slot, 55m. A sensual love story, written by Francois Sagan, set in Paris in the 1950s. When Dominique meets her boyfriend's married uncle, mutual attraction soon leads to an intense affair. Dram. by Lavinia Murray. With Kate Maberly, Robert Glenister, Carl Prokopp, Adjoa Andoh, Katherine Parkinson, Joanna McCallum, John Rowe. Directed by Claudine Toutoungi.

The Nocturnalist....2005
Woman's Hour serial, 5 x 12m. Part verse, part comic, fairly surreal and spookily atmospheric. This is the tale of two zoo-keepers on the night shift during a power failure.
Keeper Triggs ...... Bernard Wrigley
Keeper Hardwick ...... Rachel Davies
Directed by Pauline Harris.

info from Hans Olsson, Stockholm

Radio Times had a peculiar way of writing the word 'tiger' in the description of this play; they might have updated the spelling..... it was about a day in the life of the young William Blake, played by Barney Clarke, broadcast as part of the Blake season to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. Contains some vivid scenes of London as it was two and a half centuries ago. Produced by Pauline Harris. Rpt. 29.7.08.

10 Apr 08. Comedy; a meteor crashing into one of his greenhouses is the final straw for Marx's failing garden centre. Tarzan; a man raised entirely by pot plants; emerges from the bushes and announces that he will save Marx from financial ruin. Unfortunately; MI5 get involved. Marx ...... Mark Chatterton, Tarzan ...... Reece Dinsdale, Engels ...... Graeme Hawley, Trotsky ...... James Nickerson, Catherine ...... Rina Mahoney, Scientist ...... Julian Eardley.

28 Jun 09: Classic Serial, dramatized by Lavinia Murray. Thomas De Quincey's account of his consumption of the liquid opiate laudanum; a legal painkiller of the time; and his painful and surreal descent into addiction. Published 1821. Older Thomas ...... Oliver Cotton, Younger Thomas ...... James Nickerson, Brunnel/Tutor ...... Mark Chatterton, Able Big/Ong ...... Eric Potts, Betsy ...... Lisa Allen, Groaty/Wordsworth ...... David Fleeshman, Edith ...... Gemma Harvey, Ann ...... Sara Bahadori. Producer Gary Brown.

Rabelais, Classic serial, 2 episodes beginning11 dec 11. Dramatized by Lavinia Murray.

3 Jul 12, rpt 5 Dec 14. Play about Hans Christian Andersen....This is an imagined day in his life, when a child. Combining fact with fantasy we explore the remarkable roots of Andresen's magical creativity and enter an icy, snowy, surreal landscape.Christian finds himself on a quest to save his father's life from the chilling grip of the Ice Maiden. Andersen was an awkward, unusual child,- unable to reconcile the poverty and dullness into which he was born. This is the day he becomes aware of his tremendous and exquisite gift for storytelling. Christian ..... Ellis Hollins, Merman ..... Jonathan Keeble, Mother ...... Fiona Clarke, Ice Maiden ..... Kathryn Hunt, Father ...... Seamus O'Neil, Producer/Director - Pauline Harris.

11 Apr 13. An imaginary day in the life of Beatrix Potter, when she was a teenager living with her parents in Kensington. The date is 1888 and Beatrix is 14 years old. She visits a cemetery and finds herself at the centre of a hunt for a young rabbit. This play gives an interesting insight into the life of one of our best-known children's writers. Cast: Amelia Clarkson as Beatrix, with Fiona Clarke, David Fleeshman, Conrad Nelson, Brigit Forsyth. Producer Pauline Harris.

30 Jul 2014: Hatch, Match and Dispatch
6/6 Elephants All the Way Up, by Lavinia Murray. A surreal comedy. Harper is a simple soul who works in a zoo. His wife desperately wants a baby and his angry father is a bare-knuckle boxer. His own job is to compose music to soothe the troubled thoughts of animals. Harper - Graeme Hawley, Yolanda - Kate Coogan, with Seamus O'Neill, Chris Jack, Lloyd Peters, Malcolm Raeburn, Lisa Allen. Producer - Gary Brown.

18 Aug 2014: The Vicar, the Automaton and the Talking Dog
By Lavinia Murray; rpt. 26 Jul 16.. A fact-based drama chronicling a day in the life of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. It is set in the engineer's childhood and focuses on how his mother's impending deafness led him to his ground-breaking discovery. Aleck - John Bell, Ben - Keir Beckwith, Rev. McReady - Stuart McQuarrie, with Seamus O'Neill, Morag, Stephen Fletcher. Producer - Pauline Harris.

13 May 2016: Zola 2-7 Affairs
Dramatised by Lavinia Murray. Octave Mouret moves into an apartment block where there are desirable women on each floor. Glenda Jackson, Jack Lowden (Octave), Alison Steadman, Verity Henry, Eric Potts, Rachel Austin. Producer: Pauline Harris.

    14 May 2016: Saturday Play: Zola 2-8 Lust
    Dramatised by Lavinia Murray. Octave runs the Ladies' Paradise - the greatest shop in Paris. Glenda Jackson, Jack Lowden (Octave), Chris Bisson, Shobna Gulati, David Fleeshman, Zoe Iqbal, Katie West.Producer: Pauline Harris, Director: Kirsty Williams.

    15 May 2016: Classic Serial slot: Zola 2-9 (conclusion) Flesh
    Dramatised by Lavinia Murray. A famous courtesan returns to Paris. The third and final series, 'Money', was broadcast in October 2016. Glenda Jackson, Holliday Grainger, Kate O'Flynn. Producer: Kirsty Williams.

    25 Oct 2016: Zola: Money, 4
    Dram. Lavinia Murray. Producer: Pauline Harris (?). No other details in RT. Cast - as 22 Oct.

    26 Oct 2016: Zola: Money, 5
    Dram. (?)Lavinia Murray, producer: Pauline Harris. No other details in RT. Cast - as 22 Oct.

    27 Oct 2016: Zola: Money, 6
    Dram. (?)Lavinia Murray, producer: Pauline Harris. No other details in RT. Cast - as 22 Oct.

6 May 2018: Classic Serial: The American
By Henry James. Dram. in 2 parts by Lavinia Murray. An American businessman falls in love with a French aristocrat. Henry James: John Lynch, Christopher: Lee Ingelby, Claire: Olivia Hallinan, Mme de Belgarde and Mrs. Bread: Richendra Carey, Valentin: Ashley Margolis, Urbain and M. Nioche: Jonathan Keeble, Noemie and Mrs. Tristram: Alais Lawson, Mr. Tristram and Deepmere: Ryan Early. Producer: Pauline Harris.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website, with thanks to Stephen Shaw for the biographical information.

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