BBC Radio Plays from 1974

Excellent dramatisation of the first Holmes story, where Watson and Holmes meet. Watson played by Dinsdale Landen, Holmes by Robert Powell, Lestrade by John Hollis. Repeated 1978. Sherlock Holmes.........Robert Powell, Dr. Watson............Dinsdale Landen, Insp. Gregson........Frederick Treves, Insp. Lestrade............John Hollis, Jefferson Hope............Don Fellows, P.C. Rance................John Samson, Mme. Charpentier............Maddi Hedd, Alice Charpentier.........Carole Boyd, Mr. Sawyer..............Nigel Lambert, Stangerson..............Peter Whitman, Commissionaire............Alan Dudley, Enock J. Drebber............Paul Maxwell. Adapted by Michael Hardwick; produced by Roger Pine. (cast details from Andrew J - thank you)

By William Keenan. Thriller; Anna Cropper, John Bennett. There is a full review of this play on the William Keenan page (q.v.). Broadcast R4, 21.9.74, 90m.

By Algernon Blackwood, dramatised by Sheila Hodgson. A creepy tale about a giant hound.

4 Sep 74; by Ragan Butler. Sir George Major, a prosperous but worried tycoon, is shocked to learn of the sudden death of one of his best friends in the City, apparently of heart failure. It Involves him more deeply than he realises. Soon afterwards, Sir George receives in his office a very disturbing visitor.

Sir George Major - Norman Shelley
Miss Harper - Betty Huntley-Wright
Lehmann - Alan Rowe
Bass - Leo Maguire
Merry - Vernon Joyner
Cesare, a waiter - Sion Probert
Dr Morton - Gerald Cross
Producer - Stuart Griffiths

By Susan Hill. 11 Aug 74. With Tony Britton. "He lives in a world of his own. He doesn't seem to . . . . The lillies, of course, he takes all that interest in those lilies, they might be his children. Well, very nice, all to the good, I'm fond of a well set-up lily myself."

Lesage ---Vernon Joyner
Mrs Lesage ---Betty Huntley-Wright
Charles ---Nicholas Dillane
Lottie ---Julie Hallam
Bowman ---Tony Britton
Doctor ---Clive Swift
Nurse ---Diana Olsson
Susannah ---Helen Worth
Music by ---Geoffrey Burgon.

Musicians: Doreen Price (soprano), John York Skinner (Counter-Tenor), Nona Lidell violin, Geoffrey Burgon celeste, David Corkhill vibraphone, John Marson harp.
Producer ---Guy Vaesen.

Police procedural story; Bill Knox, 90m, 3 Aug 74.

24 Jul 74. By Philip Martin. With David Lincoln as Nelson Kennard, an adolescent Liverpool boy who is half West Indian. He is accused whilst away holiday of intent to cause malicious wounding of a Liverpool 8 gang leader, Ronald Francombe. He is sentenced to five strokes of the birch.

Kennard romantically draws strength for his ordeal from his great hero Lord Nelson, but believes the sentence totally unjust. As a result, violence can only breed violence.
Dalton - Anthony Hall
Magistrate - Godfrey Kenton
Lord Nelson - Neville Jason
Andrew - Anthony Daniels
Pam - Carole Hayman
Franno - Nigel Anthony
Doctor - Jonathan Scott
Mags - Peter Kinley
Producer: - Richard Wortley

By Georgette Heyer. 20.7.74. With Colin Fisher, Elizabeth Bell, Mark Rogers. ...recording sent by Jeremy Stevenson

THE PEOPLE....1974
A dramatic poem by Jon Silkin. 9 Jul 74. Read by Nigel Anthony, Miriam Margoleyes and John Rowe. 'There is no language some say, that could speak of this and some no language that should speak.'

Finn and Kye await the birthof their first child with joy. But he is born without recognisable intelligence and dies while still a baby. Under unbearable strain their marriage starts to crack. Stein, a Buchenwald survivor tells them how he has seen humanity triumph even there. In describing it he liberates himself from the past. Producer - John Scotney.

6.7.74. With Manning Wilson, John Rye, Ian Thompson, Sion Probert. Exciting "Cold War" type drama about an ultimate deterrent which malfunctions. Nailbiting ending. 90m. By James Follett.

By Peter Cator. 30 Jun 74. The play is a quest for Stiggs. But who is he? Does he exist? With Ronald Pickup, Amanda Reiss and Elizabeth Proud.

Sanders - Ronald Pickup
Henderson - Dinsdale Landen
Biles - John Rye
Thompstone - Gerald Cross
Amanda - Amanda Reiss
Maggie - Elizabeth Proud
Schlunk - Malcolm Hayes
Elizabeth Morgan, David Sinclair, Peter Pacey, Nigel Graham, and Roy Plomley as himself.
SMs: Jock Farrell, David Greenwood, Janet Mitchell.
Producer - John Tydeman.

Denry - The Adventures Of A Card....1974
09/06/74 Adapted in eight parts by Olivia Manning from two of Arnold Bennett's novels.With Graham Armitage as Denry Machin.

Mrs Machin ---Kathleen Helme
Countess of Chell ---Ursula O'Leary
Ruth Earp ---Pamela Craig
Nellie ---Heather Barrett
Mrs Codleyn ---Joyce Latham
Etches/Calvert ---John Baddeley
Widow Hullins ---Betty Mallett
Mrs Emery ---Joan Anstey
Duncalf/Club Secretary ---George Woolley
Shillitoe/Fearns ---Simon Carter
With Alan Devereux, Geoffrey Leesley, Eric Ball And Ralph Lawton.
Producer ---Anthony Cornish

By Susan Hill. 9 Jun 74. With Patricia Gallimore as Nell and Julie Hallam as Jess.

Jess: 'I should like to be 30 years old and have both experience and confidence.'
Nell: 'I should like to be 90 years old, aged but not yet senile, respected and philosophical. I should like to haave seen all there is to see.'

Two girl students share a hostel room in their first year. Life to them is all theory, gazing through their "Window on the World" ; until one of them makes a positive move to alter the situation. Producer: Richard Wortley.

26 May 74; by Racine. Translated by Samuel Solomon, with Marius Goring and Geraldine McEwan. The place: Nymphaeum, a port on the Black Sea, 70 BC. News has been brought to Nymphaeum of Mithridates' death in battle.

Mithridates, King of Pontus - Marius Goring
Monima, affianced to Mithridates and already proclaimed Queen - Geraldine McEwan
Sons of Mithridates by different mothers:
Pharnaces - Clifford Norgate
Xiphares - Martin Jarvis
Arbates, Governor of Nymphaeum -William Fox
Phaedima, lady in waiting to Monima - Joan Haythorne
Areas, squire to Mithridates - John Forrest
Percussion sequences composed and played by James Blades.
Producer - Archie Campbell.

By Dave Humphries. 21 May 74.

1: Fish Street
Willie Bacon - John Hollis
Arthur Godsave - Charles Lamb
Mrs Rowe - Molly Rankin
Mr Rowe - John Witty
Ella Rowe - Prudence Brimacombe
Landlord/Skipper/PC Fletcher - David Shaw.

2: Croust
Croust is a Cornish dialect word for Work-Break
Young Jack - Charles Lamb
Little Tom - Jimmy Gardner
Bill - David Shaw
Leonard - Patrick Westwood
Producer - Terence Tiller.

Serial beginning 05-05-1974.
By Emily Bronte.
Dramatised for Radio by Constance Cox.
With Paul Daneman, Patricia Gallimore, Gudrun Ure.
"My name is Ellen Dean, and I, perhaps, of all the folk who lived there in the
year 1781, am best fitted to tell the story of that strange, gaunt farmhouse
called Wuthering Heights. . ."
Ellen Dean ---Hilda Schroder
Joseph ---Walter Fitzgerald
Catherine Earnshaw ---Patricia Gallimore
Heathcliff ---Paul Daneman
Hindley Earnshaw ---Nigel Graham
Frances Earnshaw ---Jo Manning Wilson
Edgar Linton ---Douglas Hankin
Isabella Linton ---Gudrun Ure
Dr. Kenneth ---Denys Hawthorne
Voice ---Ian Thompson
Harpsichord ---Alan Paul
Producer ---Norman Wright '(1967)

2 May 74. Drama designed especially for listeners to transmissions in stereophony. An 'audacle' for radio by John Anthony West. Music composed and conducted by Geraint Hughes.

The programme was written to celebrate the centenary of the French writer Alfred Jarry, born on 8 September 1873. He was known not only as a writer but also for his outrageous and eccentric behaviour.

Cast: Henry Woolf as Alfred Jarry, Clive Swift as Pere Ubu, Marika Rivera as Mere Ubu, Catherine Dolan as Jarry's Muse. Other parts: Nigel Anthony, Peter Bartlett, Nigel Graham, Betty Huntley-Wright, John Hollis, Fraser Kerr, Rolf Lefebvre, Elizabeth Morgan, Diana Olsson, John Samson, Jonathan Scott, Douglas Storm & David Timson. SMs: Jock Farrell, Marsail Maccuish, David Greenwood. Edited at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Lloyd Silverthorne. Stereophonic production by John Tydeman.

Revolting drama about Vlad the Impaler. Made me feel sick listening to it. Impaling people on stakes. By Brian Hayles, 27.4.74. Kenneth Haigh, Nigel Stock.

    When Father Benedict was young and filled with pride for truth, he had travelled the villages of the land with Father Emmanuel, preaching their faith boldly. One day, word reached them to attend Lord Dracula at his court at Tirgoviste. They came bravely, for they knew the horrifying reputation of the man but he greeted them most courteously. When Lord Dracula asked them what his people think of him, Father Emmanuel replied that they say all manners of good things. All men hold him in honour and affection and that there is no man that does not call him noble. He then asks Father Benedict who told him the truth: that they call him tyrant and that he is renowned only for his violent cruelty. Vlad rewarded the honest monk for his integrity and courage and impaled the sycophant for his dishonesty.

    Now, Father Benedict begins to write a chronicle of the year 1476, at the command of the King of Hungary and his ecclesiastical superiors, who resolve him of the evils that he has witnessed. The story begins at the mighty castle of Tirgoviste, where Father Benedict served as chaplin and chancellor to the Prince of Wallachia and Transylvania - the most cruel of men yet once the most just of rulers. Known now and to the future of his more legendary names: Vlad Tepes,The Impaler, and of a more darker meaning still, Lord Dracula.

    With Kenneth Haigh [Vlad Tepes,The Impaler], Nigel Stock [Father Benedict Estagen], Diane Orkin [Melitsa, a Witch], John Rowe [Lord István, Vlad's son from his first marriage], Gareth Armstrong [Brother Jakob], Heddy Nicholas [The Lady Ilonia, King of Hungary's sister and Vlad's Second Wife], and Don Henderson [Captain Ferenc].

    Also in the cast were George Woolley, Betty Malet, Patricia Green, Graham Rigby, and Philip Barber.

    Directed by Anthony Cornish in Birmingham

    Brian Hayles was born in Portsmouth in 1930. His early aim in life was to be a sculptor although this dream subsided after a brief trip to Canada. When returning he started to write for BBC Radio's "The Archers". He began writing for TV and he worked on "Doctor Who" on several occasions starting with 'The Celestial Toymaker'. He carried on writing and in 1978, he died while working on "Arabian Adventure".

    Review by 'S-J' - many thanks.

    I must also mention (Feb 2012) the 700-page novel about Vlad Tepes by Elizabeth Kostova, entitled 'The Historian'. It's a modern -day 'Dracula' story; even better than Stoker's original. Publisher Sphere; isbn 978-0-7515-3728-4.

16 Apr 74; based on the prize winning novel by Sheila Fugard. With Athol Fugard as Christian Jordan. A furious gale fastens upon a man's mind and seeks to rout his very spirit out of him (Joseph Conrad).

Jonas; Choma- Alton Kumalo
Wattling - Sean Barrett
Ward Sister - Hilda Kriseman
Dr Mercer - Rolf Lefebvre
Nurse de Preez - Diana Bishop
Gladys - Carolyn Sacks
Capt Middleton - Stephen Thorne
Perels, the Malay - Anthony Hall
Richard Roundtree - William Sleigh
Historian - Alan Rowe
Radiophonic treatment by Paddy Kingsland.
Producer - Christopher Venning.

By Gwen Cherrell, 8 Apr 74. With Martin Jarvis as Edward, Penelope Lee as Doreen.

' A living silence. You must have heard one. Out of all the row and racket we live in these days - you can feel it; step into it for a while. Private, like the interior of your head. All on your own. Nothing but you and this silence. . .'

Bill David Ryall,
Carol Diana Olsson,
Fletcher Stephen Thorne,
Flynn Kerry Francis,
Sandra Carole Boyd.
Sound sequence by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Producer - John Theocharis.

The Weak Spot....1974
John Lawson 16.3.1974 David McKail/Eileen McCallum/Leon Sinden. Superb 90m play about a bank robbery.

13 Mar 74; by Derek Raby. "Ten-year-old growing-up Peter" (played by Judy Bennett) is taken to the zoo by his family. There he strikes up a conversation with a tiger (Norman Shelley). He tells the boy how he hates being fed peanuts and called "puss". The conversation runs along these lines:
"And what do you write in your diary, young ten-year-old growing-up Peter?"
"Well, sometimes I can't think of anything to write, so I just put same as yesterday'".
"Same as yesterday? Same as yesterday! Oh, Peter! That's cage talk!"

Judy Bennett, now best known as Shula Hebden Lloyd in 'The Archers', often used to play small boys in radio plays, and her performance as Peter is particularly convincing. Norman Shelley will be familiar to meny, and Archers fans will perhaps remember him as the first Colonel Danby. The play features Bennett and Shelley at their best.....Clive Lever

THE LIARS....1974
9 Mar 74. An original comedy in four acts by Henry Arthur Jones. Adapted for stereo and produced by Raymond Raikes. ' Above all things, tell no untruth; no, not in trifles; the custom of it is naughty.' (Sir Henry Sidney's letter to his son Philip Sidney). Set in the summer of 1897.

Archibald Coke - Kerry Francis,
Freddie Tatton - David Timson,
Mrs Crespin - Betty Huntley-Wright,
Col Sir Christopher Deering- Stephen Murray,
George Nepean - Stephen Thorne,
Lady Rosamund Tatton- Diana Olsson,
Dolly Coke, her cousin- Elizabeth Morgan,
Lady Jessica Nepean, Rosamund's sister - Fenella Fielding,
Edward Falkner - Vernon Joyner,
Gilbert Nepean, Jessica's husband- William Sleigh,
Beatrice Ebernoe - Sandra Clark,
Waiter- Manning Wilson,
Footman - Anthony Daniels,
Taplin - David Sinclair.

By William Dougles-Home, brother of our late Prime Minister. 16.2.74. Frederick Treves, Elizabeth Morgan. Excellent play and production.

A tragicomedy by Martin Sperr. 27 Jan 74. Translated from the German by Anthony Vivis With Rupert Davies, Norman Shelley and Kerry Francis. A vivid picture of post-war Germany in the grip of the economic miracle. The time is 1958, the place the old town of Landshut in Bavaria. Martin Sperr, who was born in 1944, wrote the play in 1967.

Narrator- Vernon Joyner, Otto Laiper, builder - Norman Shelley, Marha, His Wife - Miriam Margolyes, Sorm, his elder son - Kerry Francis, Glasp, his younger son- Sion Probert, Robert Groetzinger, a rival builder- Rupert Davies, Sieglinde Groetzinger, his daughter, engaged to Sorm- Diana Bishop, Veit, Marha Laiper's brother - Terry Scully, Mrs Ringswandel, the landlady of the local inn- Hilda Schroder, Pianzelt, Groetzinger's foreman- Brian Haines Haertl, Laiper's foreman- William Sleigh, Fuhrmann, a building labourer- Anthony Hall, Doctor - Rolf Lefebvre, Rita, a Hairdresser - Sandra Clark. Adapted for radio and produced by Martin Esslin.

By Virginia Browne. An English family saga, in six parts, based on unpublished letters and memoirs written between 1683 and 1883. Narrated by Robert Hardy. First episode on 13 Jan 74. Weekly.

Episode titles:
1.England to America, 1674-1744
2.Louisberg and After, 1745-1759
3.America to England, 1767-1770
4.England, 1776-1842
5.New Zealand, 1850-1867
6.England and after, 1867-1974

compiled by Nigel Deacon, with help from GS / Diversity website
Above plays all known to exist in VRPCC collections.

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