Moya O'Shea Radio Plays

Moya O'Shea has been writing radio drama for about 20 years. Her work includes the popular play 'Theo' about a child's teddy bear which passes from one owner to the next over several decades, and the comedy series 'Kalangadog Junction'. Her adaptation of 'A Town Like Alice' won a 1998 Sony Award. Since 2011 she has written another comedy 'Digging for Victory', a play about a custody battle over two Nigerian children, and a Classic Serial dramatization of 'Show Boat'.

BBC Broadcasts

07.09.17 *Snake, 45m
17.10.14 *Super Chief, 45m
13.01.13 *Digging for Victory, 45m rpt 1 Apr 15
14.01.11 Ob'awa
20.02.11 Show Boat, dram (Ferber), Classic Serial
??.??.05 *September Tide, dram (du Maurier)
07.06.03 *A night in '54
??.??.01 The Group, 2 x 60m, adap
??.??.01 The Chocolate Lovers' Club, 5 x 15m
??.??.00 Treasures of the British Library: Michael Field, 10 x 15m
??.??.97 *A Town Like Alice, dram.
??.??.96 *Kalangadog Junction, 6 x 30m
04.01.96 Late In The Day, 60m
28.12.95 *Theo, 90m, repeated several times on BBC7
??.??.95 Lovely Witches, 60m
25.01.94 *CQD
16.02.93 *Day off


7 Sep 2017: Snake
By Moya O'Shea. An Australian businessman needs a new managing director for his company. He takes four candidates into the bush to test their strength of character. Greg: Richard Dillane, Jarrod: Harry Richardson, Tingting: Elizabeth Tan, Alessia: Sarah Kants, Stephanie: Vivien Carter. Producer: Tracey Neale.

17 Oct 2014: Super Chief
By Moya O'Shea. The story opens as the 'Super Chief', a train of the rich and famous, pulls out of Union Station in Los Angeles. Nathan, a porter, is shocked to find that his son Benji has also been assigned a job on the train. When things start to go wrong for Benji, he and his father wonder if the harsh conductor Munsden is responsible. Benji: Alex Lanipekun, Nathan: Steve Toussant, Munsden: Morgan Deare, Mr. Drexly: Steven Hartley, with Laurel Lefkow, Samantha Dakin and Damian Lynch. Producer: Tracey Neale.

Afternoon play. 13 Jan 13. A family desperately needs more space; the house is no longer big enough. Unfortunately, digging another room under the flat isn't simple... Mum .... Cathy Murphy, Dad.... Don Gilet, Gran..... Christine Lohr, Gil.... Harry Livingstone, Alec..... Scott Smith, Henry..... Daniel Cooper, Tess..... Rhianna Hosmer, Mick..... Carl Prekopp, Doctor... Tracy Wiles, Mr. Mowson ... Paul Moriarty. Producer: Tracey Neale. Rpt. 1 Apr 15.

SHOW BOAT....2011
20 Feb 11. Classic Serial. 2 x 55m. Edna Ferber's epic tale of Magnolia Hawks and her remarkable life aboard a Show Boat, dramatised by Moya O'Shea.

Magnolia Hawks spent her childhood on a show boat on the Mississippi. Her daughter Kim, a famous actress, tells the tale to a journalist from 'The New Yorker'.

Andy Hawks, Magnolia's father, a river boat captain, buys the Cotton Blossom Floating Palace Theatre, much to the dismay of Parthenia, his wife. Parthy doesn't approve of the stage but Magnolia loves the actors and actresses who play to the audiences each night on a glittering show boat which proceeds up and down the river.

For Magnolia the Show Boat is a magical place full of wonderful company members. There's the beautiful and talented Julie, kind Schultzy, and Jo, a black member of the crew who plays the banjo and has an amazing soulful voice.

Edna Ferber's research for the novel took her to the Deep South and a voyage aboard one of the last of the show boats. She trained as a journalist and worked on the Chicago Tribune. Then she began writing short stories and novels.

Cast: Kim....Lysette Anthony, Magnolia....Samantha Spiro, Parthy........Laurel Lefkow, Andy....Morgan Deare, Young Magnolia....Shahrazad Matthews, Gaylord......Ryan McCluskey, Julie.....Samantha Dakin, Steve....Henry Devas, Elly.......Leah Brotherhead, Schultzy......Jude Akuwudike, Jo....Nonso Anozie, Queenie......Tracy Ifeachor, Sophy....Joanna Monro, Windy....Sean Baker, Pete......Mark Caven, Mr. Mowson.....Iain Batchelor. Music by Neil Brand; banjo played by Mike Hammond. Producer Tracey Neale.

14 Jan 11, R4, Friday Play. A child's holiday to Nigeria turns into an eight month custody battle. Ob'owa is the story of when eight-year-old Francesca and her brother six-year-old Joseph were kidnapped by their father and taken to Nigeria. Life was very different to the one they left behind in Peckham.

Francesca reveals the story of their kidnap and life at their grandfather's house in Benin. His polygamy, mosquitoes, lizards, the sweltering heat of sub-Saharan Africa; animal slaughter in the backyard; a never-ending diet of yams, and tribal markings made on children with razor blades.

Ob'owa is inspired by real events, and created by director Christiana Ebohon and writer Moya O'Shea. The play examines themes of belonging and home; is it where your family originates or where you were born? It is told in the present day, with flashbacks to the 70s and the fateful trip to Nigeria.

Cast: Rhiannon Baccus, Jayden Jean-Paul-Denis, Tracey Ifeachor, Nonso Anozie, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, May Owen, Susan Agbabi, Isobel Akpobire, Abi Enola and Lorcan Bolger. Play partly recorded on location in Lagos, Nigeria. Producer: Frank Stirling; indie production (Unique).

by Daphne du Maurier. R4, 2005. Rpt. BBC7, 18 May 07. Adaptation: Moya O'Shea, producer Tracey Neale. Stella's daughter pays a visit, accompanied by her new husband.

Paul Wilcox ……….. Stella
Jonathan Firth …....... Evan
Alice Hart …………. Cherry
John Rowe ………… Robert
Susan Jameson …….. Mrs Tuggit

A NIGHT IN '54....2003
With the advent of "no-fault" divorce, this seems a very far-away world, but it's 1954, and Caroline wants to break with her husband. She pays for an actor to pose as her lover in a hotel.....producer Marc Beeby.

THE GROUP....2001
Adaptation of Mary McCarthy Novel. 2 x 60m drama series, R4, producer Tracey Neale.

5 x 15m comedy drama series for Woman’s Hour, R4. Producer Tracey Neale.

10 x15m drama series for Woman’s Hour, R4. Producer Tracey Neale.

Adaptation, 6 x 30m drama series, R2. Producers: David Blount/Tracey Neale. This series won the Silver Sony Drama Award,1998.

Long time since I listened to this, but it was an excellent comedy-drama series based on a gang of misfits living in the outback...R2, producer Liz Anstee. 6 x 30m. Music by Bill Bailey. With Caroline Quentin, John Duttine, June Whitfield.

4 Jan 96: Late in the Day
By Moya O'Shea. Since moving to their retirement home in Shell Cove, Western Australia, Myra has felt redundant, but then a call goes out on the radio to help with the rescue of a number of stranded whales. With Federay Holmes , Dominic Letts. Trevor Gare, Juliet Prew, Daniel O'Grady and Becky Hindley. Producer Tracey Neale. Myra: Lyn Ashley, Dan: John Turnbull, Tony: Stefan Dennis, Jeannie: Julie Balloo.

Made in Germany in 1908, a rare cinnamon plush bear with boot button eyes, still with the Steiff button in his ear, discovers he is Lot No 107, and the auction is about to begin. With Martin Jarvis as Theo. Produced by Tracey Neale.

Originally broadcast on R4, 28 Dec 1995; repeated 14 Dec 1996. Repeated on BBC7, 1 Aug 2004, 13:00 - 14:30 Drama following the adventures of Theo the teddy bear as he moves from owner to owner. This play was voted 'most popular drama' from the BBC archive as part of BBC7's 5th birthday celebrations, 2007.

JARVIS Martin....Theo
CONNOR Thomas....Little Tom
COLLINGS David.......Mr Lonsdale
BOND Jilly.......Mrs Lonsdale
CORMACK Henry....Charles Morgan
PRAEGER Jonathan.....Nicholas Birdwell / Adam
EDYVEAN Alexis.......George
HINDLEY Becky....Jessie
STRONG Caroline......Hannah
DENE Zulema......Mrs Tyler
KEEBLE Jonathan......Mr McKee
ALLONBY George.......Little Greg
ALLONBY Jack.....Young Greg
JENKINS Paul.....Greg
REGAN Linda......Mrs McKee
WHITTENSHAW Jane.....Imelda
JAMES-YOUNG Sandra....Janice
BRYDEN Gary......Mark
CRITCHLOW Stephen....Roland
TURNER John......Auctioneer

Afternoon play, 60m, R4, producer Tracey Neale.

For those who don't know, "CQD" was the distress call they used before "SOS" was ever thought of...... producer Tracey Neale.

DAY OFF....1993
Creepy drama about an Australian bush fire. 2.02pm, R4, afternoon play. Producer Tracey Neale. Such fires are not rare in this part of the world; there was a big one in Tasmania recently (2012) where an entire village was obliterated. Tinder-dry landscapes, very high temperatures, wooden house construction and nearby dense woodland compounded the problem. 48 people died. (.....recording from Moya; many thanks)

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

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