Radio Plays, 2005

By David Szalay, 16 Nov 07. A dead Russian wearing 52 pieces of clothing. Dir. Sally Avens.

By Josephine Tey, Saturday Play 8 Oct 05. The Franchise is a dark and ugly house on the outskirts of the village and the two women who live there keep themselves to themselves. But when they are accused of abducting and torturing a young girl, people begin to take notice, and suddenly local solicitor Robert Blair finds himself involved with the most extraordinary case of his life. ......Marion ...... Tessa Peake-Jones, Mrs Sharpe ...... Margaret Tyzack, Robert ...... Ben Daniels, Josephine Tey ...... Alison Skilbeck, Kevin ...... Aidan McArdle, Inspector Grant ...... Steven McNicoll, Betty Kane ...... Emily Pennant-Rea, Nevil ...... Guy Fearon, Stanley ...... Samuel James, Rose Glyn ...... Francesca Dymond, Gladys Rees ...... Laura Rees, Chadwick ...... Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Mrs Chadwick ...... Leila Hackett, Miles Allison ...... Sam Parks, Stanley ...... Samuel Jones. Producer/director Ellen Dryden.

By Hazel Marshall, 5 Sep 05. Afternoon Play. Maria hopes tango classes will help breathe new life into her marriage, Rose is searching for new love and Connor is about to discover something that could change his life forever. Rose ...... Juliet Cadzow, Abbie ...... Louise Ironside, Angel ...... John Kazek, Hugh ...... Crawford Logan, Connor ...... Grant O'Rourke, Maria ...... Alison Peebles, Andrew ...... Simon Tait. Directed by David Ian Neville.

By Peter Nichols. 27 Aug 05; WS. The central character, Ernie, is a musician whose life has been devoted to the swing and jazz of the nineteen thirties. With the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, he finds himself much in demand for his memories of the band he led during the War -- a propaganda jazz band set up by Joseph Goebbels and featured in daily broadcasts to the UK alongside Lord Haw Haw. The play itself is fiction, but it's based on a band ("Charlie & His Orchestra", see below) which really played and broadcast in these extraordinary circumstances. "Jam Yesterday" stars Warren Mitchell, best known for his TV role as the bigoted Alf Garnett in Til Death Us Do Part. Through specially recorded music it tells a unique, intriguing, and even chilling story of music and survival. Cast: OLD ERNIE..........Warren Mitchell, CLAIRE........Janet Dibley, FREDDIE.........Philip Pope, YOUNG ERNIE.........John Telfer, GOEBBELS.......Nicholas le Prevost, MAGDA GOEBBELS.......Lynsey Baxter, BAND.........Simon Greenall, BAND........Rupert Degas. Music by Philip Pope & Roger Moon. Director: Pete Atkin. Producer: Jo Wheeler. Executive Producer: Bruce Hyman...... (notes by GL.)

By Mark Wilson. 5 Jul 05, 1415, afternoon play, 45m. 1854. In the criminal wing of the Bethlem Hospital for the Insane, a poet and a painter are caught in the middle as two rival doctors try to reform the treatment of the mentally ill. With Alison Pettitt, Nigel Anthony, Jonathan Tafler, Jonathan Keeble, Joan Walker; producer David Blount.

17 Jun 05, R4, Friday play. A comedy of heroism - how three supermarket workers fight back against the world of supersales. Katie Douglas, the author, is one of the playwrights to have come out of one of the BBC's schemes. She's worked since at the Liverpool Playhouse.

R4, 31 May 05. By Abigail Docherty. A journey across London, where a young man, desperate to win back his girlfriend, grapples with the language of flowers. There were a few real interviews with Londoners spliced in, but the drama stayed more or less intact. With Karl Prekopp as the thoughtless young man, and Susam Jameson as the wise old flowerseller. Director Claudine Toutoungi. I never realised that certain flowers had special significance, and that generations ago, lovers might use them as a way of revealing their feelings for each other. Fascinating.

MRS. BOSTON....2005
R4, 24 May 05. By Alan Drury. When Andrew's wife lies dying in hospital, the one person to whom he can talk is Mrs. Boston - an absolute stranger. His children don't like it. With Zoe Wanamaker, Peter Wight, John McAndrew, Monica Dolan, John Milroy, Peter Acre. Director - Jane Morgan.

MOVING DAY....2005
R4 11 May 05. By Alexandra Campbell. Two very different couples are moving on the same day. A mix-up occurs with the delivery vans, and they go through each other's belongings. The rediscover some forgotten things about themselves and each other. With William Gaunt, Joanna David, Alan Cox, Daniela Nardini, Sean Barrett, Roger Watkins. Dir. Celia de Wolff.

Some interesting comments on the BBC messageboard about this one- mainly positive. This one was representative. I've paraphrased it a little...

.....One couple is getting old and stale and suburban; the other couple is shallow and forever chasing the latest fashion. When their packing cases are mixed up, and they are looking at the other couple's possessions, it forces them to question their values a little....all sorts of little secrets were raked up, and there is a certain nosey pleasure in going through other people's things, which the audience became privy to.

The choices of objects in the packing cases were fairly obvious - Leonard Cohen albums, 'The Female Eunuch' etc., but what was interesting was what the writer did with them - the young couple showing all sorts of prejudices about older people having sex when they look at the bearded man in 'The Joy of Sex' and then discussing the death of their own sex lives. It was perhaps wrapped up a bit too neatly, but there were a few surprises along the way. I'd recommend it for acting, production values and the story too...the best play I've heard in a while. (a.w.)

Saturday Play 30 Apr 05. By Donna Leon, dramatised by Nick McCarty.Venetian police Commissioner Brunetti has to delve into the mysteries of the Church when a young nun comes to him with an unlikely story.... Brunetti ...... Danny Webb, Paola ...... Emma Gregory, Vianello ...... Steve Hodson, Elettra ...... Jenny Funnell, Padre Pio ...... Michael Jayston, Signorina Lerini ...... Angela Pleasence, Maria Testa ...... Tracy Kearney, Donatella ...... Ann Bell, Chiara ...... Tilly Gaunt, Raffi ...... Sam Collard, Patta ...... Douglas Livingstone, Miotti ...... Peter Acre, Da Prč ...... Philip Fox, Contessa Crivoni ...... Frances Jeater, The voice of Venice ...... Valerie Sarruf. Directed by Jane Morgan.

THE DON....2005
R3, 3 Apr 05. A modern-day version of "Don Quixote"; a clapped-out entertainer and his roadie, Sancho, tour the clubs in an old van. Each gig ends in the Don saying something tactless and the two of them getting beaten up. It's only the warmth of their relationship which keeps them together. They return home to London one Christmas and reality breaks in.

The action is interspersed with some excellent music.

ICE DREAMS....2005
Sci-fi play set in the future. there's been a nuclar war, and rich people had the foresight to be deep frozen so that they might be defrosted in the future. The play is about an administrator whose job it is to decide who is defrosted and who is not, based on tape recordings of the candidates. There were some interesting psychological insights - a good listen.

MY MS AND ME....2005
Jim Sweeney: actor, comedian, improviser and writer with the Comedy Store players talks framkly about his experience of living with multiple sclerosis. This isn't really a play, but it was put out in the Friday Play slot: a monologue delivered by the man himself. Well worth hearing. Producer - Liz Webb.

ED REARDON'S WEEK....2005, 6 x 30m
Ed Reardon is a writer who's become middle-aged and cynical. He's had some success in the past, but is now not keen on everything being run by (as he sees it) twelve-year-old producers who can't string two coherent sentences together. This is a masterly comedy serial by Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds. The cast is good - Chris Douglas plays Ed, and we have Stephanie Cole, George Dalton, John Fortune, Ronnie Golden, Sally Hawkins, Martyn Hyder, Philip Jackson, Rita May, Geoffrey McGivern, Alice Lowe, Dan Tetsell, Geoffrey Whitehead. The producer is Simon Nicholls. It originally went out at 11.30am during February and is currently being broadcast in the 1830 slot (April).

By Edmund White, who imagines a meeting in prison between Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber, and writer Gore Vidal. Timothy McVeigh was executed for his crime. With Ian McKellen, Troy Hill, Stuart Milligan. Director Maria Aitken.

By Tessa Hadley. Three girls are working for their Oxbridge exam. They meet in the old Wendy house in Jenny's garden. Many years later, two of them meet up again, their lives disrupted by some unexpected sex between the third of them and Jenny's dad.......with Harriet Walter, Jasmine Hyde, Vineeta Rishi, Eleanor Tremaine, John Telfer. Director Tim Dee.

20 Mar 05, R3. Glengarry Glen Ross: David Mamet's radio adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning drama in which Chicago real-estate salesmen grind out a living in a never-ending scramble for their share of the American dream. Cast: Richard Roma ........ Alfred Molina, George Aaronow ........ Stacy Keach, Shelly Levene ....... Hector Elizondo, James Lingk ......... Bruce Davison, John Williamson ........... Richard Cox, Dave Moss ......... Kristoffer Tabori, Officer Baylen ......... Chris Hatfield. Directed by Rosalind Ayres.

BALDI-The Devil's Eye....2005
By Bill Murphy. 24 Feb 05. Paolo is confronted with Gaelic shipwrecks off a remote island. With David Threlfall, Tina Kellegher. Director Lawrence Jackson.

By Maurice Leitch, 23 Feb 05. Setting- a Spanish bar, during the off season. Rose and her daughter sit and wait for something to happen. Two strangers appear.... with Linda Marlowe, Jim Norton, Alyson Coote, Bruno Lastra, Claudio Rojas. Director Ned Chaillet.

By Lloyd Peters, 22 Feb 05. A child prodigy who's an ace at quizzes thinks that a TV quiz-show host is his long-lost Dad. Eventually he discovers the truth. With Adam Paulden, Philip Jackson, Andrew Dunn, Sue Jenkins, Rachel Spencer, Rita May, Gary Brown. Director Katherine Beacon.

21 Feb 05; by F.Todhunter. A comedy drama set in a vocational college for the disabled. (Vocation...where a person works for peanuts, by choice....) Callum just wants to keep his head down and get his gardening qualification, but it looks like the boss won't let him. With Deka Walmesley, Mark Benton, Jonathan Lewis. Director Gary Brown.

Life Assurance....2005
By Chrissie Gittins, 19 Feb 05, 60m. The Black Widows of Liverpool. In 1884, two sisters were accused of murder by poisoning. There were questions in the House and their images were in Madame Tussaud's. In comparison, Crippen was harmless.....with Sorcha Cusack, Gillian Kearney, Jan Ravens, Anny Tobin, Stephen Hogan, Nicholas Boulton, Robert Hastle, Hugh Dickson, Susam Jameson. Produced by Claire Grove.

Number One Devonshire Street....2005
-by Conal Creedon, 18 Feb 05, R4. Jerome and his girlfriend move into their first house together. The only cloud on the horizon is Audrey's mother, who thinks the old boyfriend, Trevor, was better. So Jerome starts on some D.I.Y. to prove his worth.....this was an entertaining comedy-drama with Alan Shortt, Caroline Lennon, Doreen Keogh, Del Henny, James Scales and Irish accents - it's set in Dublin. Producer: Jim Poyser.

By Mark Tavener, six episodes beginning 18 Feb 05. First-class comedy drama set in an obscure Cambridge college. Stars Geoffrey Palmer and Samuel West. Excellent one-liners and backstabbing; probably just like the real thing.......producer Dawn Ellis.

15 Feb 05; by Karen McCarthy.RT: 1779, and the artist Zoffany comes to paint two beautiful young women who live ini Kenwood House. One is white, the other, Dido, is black....

The play is based on actual events, and the painting concerned is in a museum in Scotland.... Dido's mother was transported on a slave ship to Plymouth. The conditions on board were appalling: death, disease, sickness... she became pregant by the captain, and gave birth at sea - hence the name, Dido. The captain, a titled man, at least acted honourably afterwards and found her somewhere decent to live in England, though he never married her.

The play is intesting in the way it's constructed; first we hear the thoughts of the mother in the slave ship; then we are with the artist as he tries to put together a good composition, and the scenes alternate. It's an effective device. Dido was a rarity - in the language of the day, she was a "mulatto" or half-breed - but she was also the cousin of a high-class lady, so was different to other negroes - she was not in a menial position. The play has Lit Eziefula as Dido, with Kerry Shale as Hutchinson (Dido's father), Ndidi Del Fatti, Victoria Brazier and Malcolm Raeburn. The producer was Gary Brown.

By Rhiannon Tise. 14 Feb 05. Pippa has lost most of her belongings in a house fire. Her ex-boyfriend James is getting rid of everything on eBay. He wants a new start. But it can sometimes be harder than expected to begin again. This play was by an ex-Imison Award winner; it starred Julia Ford and Pippa, Lloyd Hutchinson as James, Tracey Wiles as Erica and Mark Bonnar as Ben. The producer was Claire Grove.

11 Feb 05. A childhood prodigy of a violinist goes on strike - even parental bribes won't get her playing. By Philip Palmer. This was a well-written play, showing lots of musical know-how: techniques, tensions, and how to overcome them (I know- I'm a musician). A pleasure to hear it , and it was well-cast. Stephanie Fearon was the prodigy, Tilly Vosburgh was Mum, and Ray Fearon and Nicholas Farrell were the concert violinist and the father. Sonia Slany played the violin, Carol Bayne directed.

1415, 9 Feb 05. By Paul Dodgson. From childhood to old age, Lorenzo da Ponte's life was packed with excitement and intrigue. He was the librettist for Mozart's operas; he started as a nobody living in poverty; for a while he joined the priesthood; he ended up living in obscurity, but bankrupt and happy. Gerald Harper was Old Lorenzo, Bertie Carvel was Young Lorenzo, Adam Paulden was boy Lorenzo, and Paul Dodgson was Mozart. Pauline Harris directed.

By Melissa Murray, 8 Feb 2005, afternoon play. Two students steal a picture from the Tate gallery. With Owen McDonnell, Stephen Hogan, Marcella Riordan, Jim Norton, Renee Weldon, Jon Glover.

    I was contacted by Jill McKeagney about this play, who wrote as follows:

    ....I am currently undertaking research for my final project at Edinburgh Napier University, which is a feature film script. The story I'm writing about is something of a family legend, involving my great uncle, Billy Fogarty. As an Irish student in the 1950s, he and a friend of his, Paul Hogan, stole a painting from the Tate gallery as a publicity stunt in a bid to get the Hugh Lane collection of paintings back onto Irish soil.

    Recently I came across a newspaper clipping of a radio play that was made about this story, "Taking the Picture", in 2005, directed by Sally Avens. I have been searching for it online but there is very little information available. However, I noticed that it is listed on your website. It was written by Melissa Murray, was broadcast on R4. Would you have any advice for how to go about getting a copy of the play, or a recording?

    (Jill now has a copy; this correspondence is reproduced with her permission)

BBC World Service Drama, this time from Canada: 3 Feb 05. 60m. Mary Pickford and the early days of cinema, by Michael O'Brien.

    Mary Pickford was a silent film star and director, starring in films from 1909 - 1933. Her beautiful appearance and air of innocence on screen gave her enormous appeal. She was the most famous woman to star in silent films.

    Her original name was Gladys Smith, born in Toronto in 1893. She became a child actress at 5 after the death of her father. She was on Broadway at 14, and at 16 started working with D.W.Griffith at the Biograph Studio. She was married three times, including to Douglas Fairbanks (1920-36) and Charles Rogers (1937-1979). She died in Hollywood in 1979 after a long absence from films.

    She worked for many studios before starting her own film company with Douglas Fairbanks and Charles Chaplin: United Artists. She wrote three books: "Why not try God? (1934), and two autobiographies: "My Rendezvous with Life (1935) and "Sunshine and Shadow" (1955). She won a Special Academy Award for lifetime achievement late in life. She was a remarkable pioneer who became famous in a male-dominated industry. There is today a Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education in Los Angeles, CA; the web address is www.marypickford.com.

1 Feb 05; by Kate Clanchy. Gillian has been dumped. She's a successful lawyer, but back living with mother. She tries some speed-dating. But her mother and best friend have found her computer, and the secret correspondence she's not been sending to the man she fancies in the office.........with Helen Schlesinger, Annabelle Apsion, Susan Jameson and Stephen Hogan. The producer was Gary Brown.
.......ND: a very happy play, with some echoes of Leslie Davies's "Rock and Roll Baby". If only life could work out like this.....

Playing for Time - three days in May 1940....2005
by Robin Glendenning, R4 1430 29 Jan 05. A play about Churchill, who's been Prime Minister for a fortnight and is having to face up to the greatest defeat of the British Army at Dunkirk. He's challenged by the War Cabinet over the way he's conducting the war. If he loses the argument, he'll lose the premiership. Stars Robert Hardy as Churchill; cast includes Ronald Pickup,Jeremy Child, Geoffrey Whitehead, Bill Wallis. Director Jeremy Howe.

By Deborah Davis. 11 Jan 05. 45m. At the court of Louis XV...the reign of Madame de Pompadour, France's most celebrated royal mistress. But even the most beautiful mistress loses her beauty... and she died at the age of 43. Her life is told from an unexpected angle - that of the queen, who, like M de P, lost the love and the favours of the king to a younger woman. With Deborah Findlay, Lisa Dillon, ADam Levy, Hugh Dickson, Nicholas Boulton, Susam Jameson, Robert Hastle, Alex Tregear. Director: Tracey Neale.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Most of the above plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

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