2006 Radio Plays

R4, 8 Nov 06. Story of a German war criminal, one of the Esterhazys, who lived the last 30 years of his life as a recluse in England, under a different name. 45m.

BORN FOR WAR....2006
24 Oct 06. By David Pownall. Two plays marked the invasion of the Suez Canal in 1956. Born For War featured Mark Arens as an angry young man as the big news event of the day highlighted uncomfortable divisions in his family. Tilly Black’s Sand was set in Port Said where a ten-year-old English girl played by sweet-voiced Holly Bodimeade unconsciously echoed the patronising cliches of the ex-pat community.
short excerpt from review by Moira Petty, in "The Stage", Oct 06.

R4, Friday play, 20 Oct 06. Dram. Penny Gold. This is about the attempted coup against President Gorbachev in 1991, complied from his wife's diaries and from news reports of the time. John Shrapnel stars as the Russian leader, and Frances Jeater plays his wife, Raisa. 55m.

by Tessa Hadley. 19 Oct 06. On a recurring Radio 4 theme. The heroine, Terry, has never read a word of her stepfather's fiction, so his books and papers don't mean much to her. She's trying to clear the house and sell it. A young academic, however, values it all - even the dross. Produced by Tim Dee. Music by Geoff Nichols; played by Imogen Triner (oboe) and John Welch (piano).

29 Aug 2006; another cricket play by Jane Morgan, passionate follower of the game; written by Martyn Wade. Gerald's winter refuge is the score box at the village cricket ground, where he's the official scorer in the summer. His wife doesn't know this, and he's determined she won't find out. Then one day a man turns up to disturb him with an important message. Stars David Troughton as Gerald, Sam Kelly asDerek, and the music was written and played by Neil Brand.

30 Aug 06. Interesting play about an inveterate walker, an elderly widow who is not prepared to sit out the rest of her days at home just to please her relatives. She embarks on some serious long distance walking. Stars Ann Scott-Jones as Jean; produced by Ian Neville.

DARKNESS .... 2006
31 Aug 06. A surgoen who's been on duty in Iraq learns that he's losing his sight. He volunteers for a dangerous experiment. With Steffan Rhodri; produced by Kate McAll.

By Rob John; 1 Sep 06. Amusing light comedy - drama about a woman who lives in a fantasy world and never tells the truth to her daughter. But after a series of misadventures and let-downs, there's a pleasant ending. Stars Elana Binysh, Victoria Hamilton, Lee Ross, Jon Glover; produced by Roland Jacquarello.

9 Oct 06; by R.K.Naryan; ad. Ronald Frame. This tale was last dramatised by Bill Ash in the early 90s, as a 90 minute play. Ronald Frame's treatment is quite different, at half the length. It's told from the point of view of an old tiger who was captured by humans many years ago and is little more than a house pet.. He observes the behaviour of his Indian masters with wry detachment, and goes back over his past. Then an old man talks to him....

Oct 06; by Ben Moor. Set in the fictional world of professional tree-climbing, this highly entertaining monologue contained lines reminding me of Milton Jones. His voice also sounds very like that of Stefan Buczacki, of "GQT" fame. The plot is this: Ben finds love with a tree climber, loses it, and finds happiness again, and there are bizarre happenings on the way.

The title comes from a creature rediscovered a little over 100 years ago, thousands of years after if was believed extinct. It had passed through the whole of recorded time without realising that human life existed. Its integrity, like Ben's love for his girl, was immune to the passage of time.

By Helen Dunmore. 5 Sep 06. Based on the letters of Helen Mirren's grandfather, Pyotr Mironov, a military attache cut off by the Russian Revolution in England from family, friends, and the country he loved.

Geoffrey Whitehead played grandfather, and Helen Mirren played her own aunt Lena, writing to him about the death of his mother, the changes in the country, and in their circumstances.

The old man grumbled that the play-acting of his grand-daughters would come to nothing, and that a profession was what mattered because no-one could take it away. He tries to tell them about his own history, about where their family home used to be, how wolves would come out of the forest at night, and how nightingales would sing.

This was a beautiful, moving play, produced by Mark Smalley.

Four chilling dramas inspired by existing ghost stories from around Britain. The cast includes Lesley Ash, Janet Brown and Geoffrey Beevers. These original plays are directed by Gemma Jenkins and Luke Fresle. Commissioned by BBC 7.

The Lie
by Lynn Ferguson
7 Mar 06. Buildings should consist of "beauty, utility and firmness". Angela says the same about people. Lose one and it all falls apart.

The Parson
by David Varela
8 Mar 06. Back from missionary work abroad, Reverend Martin Stokes stumbles into a nightmare of biblical proportions.

50 Berkeley Square
by Dylan Ritson
9 Mar 06. The setting is Victorian England and a house, rumoured to be the most haunted in London, is about to give up its dark secret.

by Lucy Catherine
10 Mar 06. It's midsummer in North Wales and an old woman waits for the curse of Aberthol Christmas to strike her village once more.

THE POWDER .... 2006
R4, 1415, 16 Feb 06, by Adam Thorpe. The play is about Jack, a young demobbed soldier, returning to the family farm. He saw some horiffic things in the war, when he was part of a tank crew. Back home, his father has rented their best field to a person who's growing barley, a crop which normally doesn't thrive there. It's actually an experiment with weed killer, developed with a manufacturer involved in concentration camp exterminations. Cast - Dominic Curran, Jason Done, David Fleeshman, Angela Curran. Chris Wallis was the director. (Adam Thorpe also did a couple of plays about Thomas Hardy a year or two back).

DEATH OF A SALESMAN....1993, rpt. 2006
Rpt. R4, 11 Feb 06, as the Saturday Play - on the first anniversary of Arthur Millers's death. This is the John Tydeman production, made for the writer's 80th birthday in 1993. It stars Timothy West and Rosemary Leach; casting which pleased Miller (G. Reynolds, Daily Telegraph). He heard the version, and approved of it greatly.

EX LIBRIS....2006
by Nicholas McInnerney, R4 1415, 31 Jan 06, attracted interesting comments on the Radio 4 messageboard. “It was a gripping journey through a matrix of affairs of the heart; it didn't wallow or focus on grief but took the reader on a fantastic journey through a huge gamut of emotional experiences. The academic context was spot-on, too, and readily accessible to the average listener.” (C.H.)

“From the opening strands of Bach´s cello suites to the last this drama had class written all over it”. …just the tonic I needed clearing up after last night´s New Years´Eve bash. Lets hope this sets the trend for the year ahead. (‘penguin’, a frequent contributor to the R4 messageboard).

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Most of the above plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

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