Radio 3 Drama, 1975

Radio 3 Drama 1975

Compiled by Ian Johns 

Main source of information is the BBC Genome scanned pages of Radio Times with entries edited, added to and amended for clarity and context. Also listed separately are a selection of dramatised documentaries, drama-related features, readings and short stories. 



5 January 1975:
Drama Now: Housebreaker
By Fay Weldon. Rose always seems to cope with a growing multitude of things – the generation gap, drugs, summer visitors, wild cats, male menopause – until one final, silent, terrifying straw that breaks the camel’s back. Rose: Miriam Margolyes, Colin: Haydn Jones, Clare, their daughter: Jane Knowles, Bus Conductor: Fraser Kerr, Bus Driver: Anthony Hall, Doll: Betty Huntley-Wright, Marge: Diana Bishop, Audrey: Kathleen Helme, Arthur: John Hollis, Gavin: Eric Allan. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 7 April 1974)

7 January 1975:
Drama Now: The Iceberg
By Stewart Parker. Parker’s play explores the loss of pride in the Irish Protestant community surrounding the sinking of the Titanic in 1913 through the ghosts of two Belfast shipyard workers still trapped on the doomed ship. Hugh: Joe McPartlin, Danny: Stephen Rea, Thomas Andrews: Denys Hawthorne, Bandmaster: John Blythe, Lady Guide: Margaret D’Arcy, Male Guide: John Foley, Dr O’Loughlin: Martin Dempsey, Stoker: Haydn Jones. With Ian Dewar, Doreen Hepburn, John Hewitt, Aine McCartney, Mark Mulholland, and Marcella O’Riordan. Special effects by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Music directed by Havelock Nelson. Producer: Michael Heffernan (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 9 September 1975).

12 January 1975:
World Drama: The Gift of Illusion (La Grande Magia)
By Eduardo de Filippo in an English version by Carlo Ardito. This 1948 play by the celebrated Neapolitan playwright (1900-1984) explores theatrical illusion and obsessional delusion as an illusionist makes a wife disappear, prompting her husband to wonder if she is being unfaithful and to question his sense of reality. “Professor” Otto Marvuglia: Hugh Griffith, Calogero Di Spetta: Robert Stephens, Signora Locascio: Noel Hood, Signora Marino: Betty Hardy, Signora Zampa: Margot Boyd, Signorina Zampa: Miriam Margolyes, Marta Di Spelta: Frances Jeater, Mariano D’Albino (her lover): Michael Spice, A Waiter: Gareth Johnson, Gervasio D’Aioisi (Otto’s associate): Jack May, Arturo Taddel (Otto’s associate): Andrew Sachs, Zaira (Otto’s wife): Madi Hedd, Police Inspector: Stephen Thorne, Roberto Magliano: John Rye, Gennarino Fucecchlo (Calogero’s manservant): Jack Carr, Calogero’s relations: Gregorio (his brother): David Sinclair, Matilde (his mother): Gladys Spencer, Rosa Intrugli (his sister): Jill Simcox, Oreste Intrugli (his brother-in-law): Peter Williams. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 21 December 1975. Also broadcast as Radio 4’s Afternoon Theatre on 28 October 1979).

19 January 1975:
By James Elroy Flecker with music by Frederick Delius. A 1973 production of this poetic drama by Flecker (1884-1915), subtitled “The Story of Hassan of Bagdad and How He Came to Make the Golden Journey to Samarkand”. It was a celebrated success when first staged at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London in 1923. It subsequently enjoyed broadcast versions in 1925 and 1926 and was produced for the BBC National Programme (7 February 1933). Ishak, the Poet: Robert Hardy, Hassan, a Confectioner: Norman Shelley, Selim, his friend: Leslie French, Porter of Yasmin’s house: Anthony Hall, Yasmin: Elizabeth Morgan, The Caliph Haroun ar Raschid: Joss Ackland, Jafar, his Vizier: Carleton Hobbs, Masrur, his Executioner: Frank Cousins, Rafi, King of the Beggars: Stephen Murray, The Chief Beggar: Roger Heath (baritone), Herald: William Sleigh, Pervaneh: Rachel Gurney, A Muezzin: Leslie Fry (tenor), The Fountain Ghost: Vernon Joyner, Master of the Caravan: Neville Jason. Other parts played by Diana Bishop, Fraser Kerr, Diana Olsson, Sion Probert, Terry Scully and Stephen Thorne. With the BBC Singers (trained by Kerry Woodward) and the BBC Welsh Orchestra (led by Colin Staveley), conducted by Rae Jenkins. “The Serenade” sung by Gareth Roberts (tenor) with Persian lute played by Hugo D’Alton. Producer: Raymond Raikes. (Repeat from 23 December 1973.)

21 January 1975:
Drama Now: The Fixed Smile
By Jennifer Phillips. In this comedy, two emancipated women discuss their roles in life and their lovers. Molly: Liane Aukin, Chris: Anne Stallybrass, Radio Voices: Nigel Lambert. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 9 December 1975)

26 January 1975:
Drama Now: Sweet Talk
By Michael Abbensetts. This most popular play by the Caribbean playwright (1938-2016) explores the pressures on the marriage of a young West Indian couple in a small room with one unseen, unwanted child, and another on the way. (First seen in 1973 with Don Warrington as Tony and Mona Hammond as Rita at London’s Royal Court, where Abbensetts became resident dramatist the following year.) Tony: Ram John Holder, Rita: Mona Hammond, Dennis: Frank Cousins, Yvonne: Valerie Murray, Sandra: Carole Boyd, Oscar: Gordon Woolford. Director: Betty Davies. (Repeat from 2 June 1974)

28 January 1975:
Drama Now: Adlestrop
By Roger Frith. In this play for two voices by the poet and playwright (1936-2008), Firth meditates on the irreconcilability of spiritual and physical love. With Judi Dench and Edward Petherbridge. Special sounds: Dick Mills (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Technical assistants: Amna Smith, Anthea Davies. Director: Hallam Tennyson

2 February 1975:
World Drama: Timon of Athens
By William Shakespeare. Assumed to have been a collaboration with Thomas Middleton, this charts the decline of Athenian Timon from over-generous spendthrift betrayed by false friends to isolated misanthrope. Timon of Athens: Stephen Murray, Apemantus, a churlish philosopher: John Slater, Lucius: Norman Wooland, Alcibiades, an Athenian Captain: Denis Quilley, Caphis: Denis McCarthy, Varro: Malcolm Hayes, Flaminius, a young servant to Timon: Peter Pacey, Flavius, steward to Timon: Peter Pratt, Lucullus: Kerry Francis, Ventidius, one of Timon’s false friends: John Rye, Servilius, another servant to Timon: Alan Rowe, Isidore, Senator and Moneylender: John Gabriel, Philotus, servant to Lucullus: Peter Whitman, Phrynia: Carole Boyd, Timandra: Kate Coleridge, Soldier: Hector Ross, Poet: Nigel Lambert, Painter: Trader Faulkner, Merchant: Hector Ross, Jeweller: Paul Gaymon. Music: Christopher Whelen. Sporano: Veronica Lucas. BBC Singers and Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Whelen. Director: Raymond Raikes. (Repeated on 12 October 1975)

9 February 1975:
The Search for Hamilton Stiggs
By Peter Cator. The play is a quest for Stiggs. But who is he? Does he in fact exist? (Winner of the 1974 Radio Times Drama Award for a radio playwright.) Sanders: Ronald Pickup, Henderson: Dinsdale Landen, Biles: John Rye, Thompstone: Gerald Cross, Amanda: Amanda Reiss, Maggie: Elizabeth Proud, Schlunk: Malcolm Hayes. Himself: Roy Plomley. With Elizabeth Morgan, David Sinclair, Peter Pacey and Nigel Graham. Technical Assistants: Jock Farrell, David Greenwood and Janet Mitchell. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 30 June 1974)

11 February 1975:
Drama Now: The Slaughterhouse
By Slawomir Mrozek, translated from the Polish and adapted for radio by Ralph Manheim. In this play by the absurdist Polish writer and satirist (1930-2013), originally written for Polish radio in 1973 and staged in Warsaw in 1975, a violinist wonders how he can be a complete, independent artist under his possessive mother’s rule while torn between desire for a flautist and his art. Violinist: Nigel Anthony, Flautist: Emily Richard, Violinist’s mother: Patricia Routledge, Paganini/Butcher: Hugh Sullivan, President of the Philharmonic: Alan Dudley, Usher: Alan Rowe. Violin played by Vossi Zivoni, flute by Judith Pearce. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 30 September 1975 and 21 November 1993)

16 February 1975:
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
By Edward Albee. In Albee’s celebrated 1962 play, New England professor George and his wife Martha take advantage of their guests for an all-night battle of mind games, sexual intrigue and recriminations. Martha: Elaine Stritch, George: Ray McAnally, Nick: Blain Fairman, Honey: Pinkie Johnstone. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeat from 2 July 1974)

18 February 1975:
Workshop: Go West with Lee
By Hubert Wiedfeld, translated from the German by Anthony Vivis. Written in 1971 by an acclaimed German experimental writer (1937-2013), who was awarded the Gunter Eich prize for his life’s work as a radio dramatist, this explores the cynical resignation that grips revolutionaries as they grow older. Bober: Jack Carr, Edda: Kate Coleridge. With Carole Boyd, Madeleine Cemm, Emily Richard, David Ericsson, Trader Faulkner, Nigel Lambert, Sion Probert and Alan Rowe. Producer: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 16 November 1975)

23 & 25 February 1975:
World Drama: Crime and Punishment
By Fyodor Dostoevsky, dramatised for radio in two parts by Bill Morrison, based on a translation by Constance Garnett. A student drop-out descends into madness as he tries to come to terms with his act of double murder. Rodion Raskolnikov: Ronald Pickup, Pulcheria, Rodion’s mother: Joan Matheson, Dounia, his sister: Pauline Munro, Marmeladov: Henry Stamper, Katerina, his wife: Penelope Lee, Sonia, his daughter: Joanna David, Dmitri Razumihim: Paul Seed, Porfiry: Malcolm Hayes, Pyotr Luzhin: Peter Woodthorpe, Nastasya: Anne Jameson, Arkady Svidrigailov: Peter Jeffrey, Alyona Ivanovna: Margot Boyd, Zossimov: Antony Higginson, Zametov: John Rye, Mrs Lippeveschal: Irene Prador, Student: David Timson, Koch: Neville Philips, Pestryakov: Melvyn Hastings, Porter: Paul Gaymon, Asst Superintendent: Hector Ross, Workman: Michael Deacon, Furrier: Peter Whitman, Nikolar: Sion Probert, Lebetziatnikov: Stephen Thorne, Lady: Kate Coleridge. Technical assistants: Jock Farrell, Janet Mitchell, David Greenwood and Anna Ashe. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 14 & 16 March 1976. Also on 25 January 1981).

2 March 1975:
Drama Now: The Anomaly
By Jonathan Raban. “I’m not a dragon-killer. I’m always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m an anomaly.” Thomas England: Richard Briers, Lady Pamela: Prunella Scales, Rev Henry England: Stephen Thorne, Mrs England: Margot Boyd, A Boy: Judy Bennett, Thomas Monitor: Sam Dastor, Public Schoolboy: Anthony Daniels, Master: Michael Deacon, Julia: Elizabeth Proud, Girl Student: Bonnie Hurren. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 28 April 1974)

4 March 1975:
Drama Now: The Girl Who Lost Her Glove
By Penelope Shuttle. In this modern fairy tale by the award-winning author, who was married to fellow poet Peter Redgrove, an old woman casts a spell of introversion and sterility on a young girl after bestowing gifts that she is not allowed to break or give away. (One of the prize-winners in the 1974 Radio Times Drama Competition.) Suzie: Angela Pleasence, Old Woman: Sylvia Coleridge, Moon: Heron Carvic, Night: Anthony Jacobs, Day: Sam Dastor, Sun: Gabriel Woolf, Sea: Carole Boyd, Joe: Anthony Hall, Sally: Helen Worth. Music: Elizabeth Poston, conducted by Elgar Howarth. Director: Hallam Tennyson. (Repeated on 19 October 1975)

9 March 1975:
Drama Now: Random Moments in a May Garden
By James Saunders. A middle-aged couple give a dinner party to celebrate the purchase of their new cottage, where the discovery of an old photograph prompts the hostess, Sylvia, to consider her mortality and sense of fulfilment. (Also seen as a TV adaptation on BBC2 on 22 May 1981.) Sophie: Barbara Jefford, David: Peter Jeffrey, Anne: Julie Hallam, Katie: Helen Worth, Photographer: Anthony Hall, Surveyor: Vernon Joyner, Digby: Denys Hawthorne, Ann: Elizabeth Morgan, Mark: Hugh Dickson, Katherine: Ellen Sheean. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 20 January 1974)

11 March 1975:
Four of a Kind (Les Uns et les Autres)
By Paul Verlaine, translated and adapted by Terence Tiller. The only play by the French poet (1844-1896) is this 1884 verse drama. Rosalind: Margaret Wolfit, Myrtillus: Noel Johnson, Chloris: Gretta Gouriet, Sylvander: Sam Dastor, Corydon: Nigel Lambert, Aminta: Madeleine Cemm. Music: John Hotchkiss, performed by Nigel Rogers (tenor) and Hugo D’Alton (mandolin). Producer: Terence Tiller

16 March 1975:
Drama Now: Professor Mancini’s Secret
By Anders Bodelsen, translated by Oliver Coburn. A psychological thriller by the prolific Danish author in which a rocket scientist struggles to assess the actions of those around him in a world of uncertainties. Professor Mancini: Marius Goring, Rebecca Legrand: Jill Bennett, Dr Burkhardt: David Ryall, Nadia Mancini: Carole Boyd, Professor Rota: Hector Ross, Dr Trebinje: David Ericsson, Dr Previn: Malcolm Hayes, Hospital Sister: Madi Hedd, Announcer: Peter Williams. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 5 October 1975)

18 March 1975:
Drama Now: Lord Nelson Lives in Liverpool 8
By Philip Martin. Although best known for his groundbreaking TV series Gangsters (1976-78), Martin (1938-2020) also wrote for radio and was a radio drama producer at BBC Pebble Mill in the 1980s. This play, about a young black man given the birch by a sadistic policeman after being accused of intent to cause malicious wounding to a gang leader, was later staged at the Liverpool Playhouse and London’s Royal Court. Nelson Kennard: David Lincoln, 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. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 14 July 1974)

23 March 1975:
By William Shakespeare. A production featuring John Gielgud as Hamlet, first heard on the Third Programme on 26 December 1948. Hamlet: John Gielgud, Gertrude, Hamlet’s Mother: Marian Spencer, Ophelia, daughter of Polonius: Celia Johnson, Horatio, Hamlet’s friend: Sebastian Shaw, Claudius, King of Denmark: Andrew Cruickshank, Marcellus, Officer of the Royal Guard: Anthony Jacobs, Laertes, son of Polonius: Hugh Burden, Polonius, chief of the King’s councillors: Baliol Holloway, Voltimand, a courtier: Hugh Manning, Ghost of the late King: Leon Quartermaine, Reynaldo, Servant to Polonius: Frank Atkinson, Rosencrantz: Bryan Coleman, Guildenstern: John Chandos, Bernardo: Richard Williams, Francisco: Stanley Groome, First Player: Hugh Griffith, Player Queen: Denise Bryer, Fortinbras, Prince of Norway: Andrew Faulds, A Captain of the Norwegian army: Denis McCarthy, Two Gravediggers: Charles Leno, Preston Lockwood, Priest: Arthur Ridley, Osric, a “fantastic”: Esme Percy, A Gentleman: Alastair Duncan, Ambassador from England: Victor Lucas. Director: John Richmond. (Also repeated on 15 July 1951, 19 April 1959 and 14 April 1989)

25 March 1975:
Drama Now: Under the Loofah Tree
By Giles Cooper. Edward, a downtrodden husband, finds his haven of bath time is constantly interrupted by memories, fantasies and people. A new version of Cooper’s celebrated play, originally produced on the Third Programme (3 & 8 August 1958) and one of the first plays to make use of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Edward Thwaite: Cyril Shaps, Muriel: Kathleen Helme, Rory: Judy Bennett, Traveller: Gabriel Woolf, Judkins: Haydn Jones, Sergeant: Garard Green, Compere: Edward Kelsey. Production realised by Richard Yeoman-Clark and Roger Fenby (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: Desmond Briscoe. (Repeated on 26 October 1975 and on Radio 4 on 4 April 1979 and 18 October 1997)

27 March 1975:
By John Antrobus. A man encounters an attendant at his local museum. “No singing ? definitely no singing, stop that immediately ? the vibrations can get right into them dinosaur bones.” The Attendant: Spike Milligan, The Man: John Antrobus. Director: John Scotney. (Repeat from 12 December 1974)

30 March 1975:
Drama Now: South Coast Twilight Serenade
By Michael Sadler. In this comedy, former actress Dorothy Duncannon, married to rising young Scottish tycoon Bruce Duncannon, find success bittersweet as she recalls her past and a struggling theatrical career. Bruce Duncannon: Michael Deacon, Dorothy Duncannon: Geraldine McEwan, Heinrich Tinkelbaum: David Ryall, B.H. Maclean: John Laurie, H.B. Maclean: Fraser Kerr, Primrose Baltimore: Elizabeth Spriggs, Adrian Baltimore: John Moffatt, Petty Officer Thompson: John Rye, Bloomfield: Trader Faulkner, Gerald: A Parrot, Piper: Sgt Robert Murphy. Director: John Tydeman

6 April 1975:
Strip Jack Naked
By Susan Hill. James, a sick recluse looked after by Randal, is shaken out of his austere existence by a visit from his estranged wife. James: Ian Richardson, Diana: Sian Phillips, Randal: Dinsdale Landen. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 1 December 1974)

8 April 1975:
Drama Now: Jump
By Ken Whitmore. Frederick Spudkins is flabbergasted when a mole pops out of a moor in Yorkshire and chooses him to save the world by trying to convince everyone that they must jump simultaneously. Aunty: Kathleen Helme, Uncle/Fur-hatted Ruler: George A Cooper, Frederick: Judy Bennett, Mole: Wilfred Pickles, Prof Morrisarde: Geoffrey Banks, Sir Peter/Blue-suited Ruler: John Franklyn-Robbins, Harold Harridge: John Blythe, Gumbolt: David Mahlowe. Music: Hammond’s Sauce Works band conducted by Geoffrey Whitham. Producer: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 27 January 1976. Also on Radio 4 on 22 December 1977 & 23 March 1985)

13 April 1975:
Drama Now: At the Gate
By Jonathan Raban. In this “downbeat comedy”, two women counter the fetid, enclosed atmosphere of their London flat by conjuring up a fantasy male figure called Usborne-Stringer. Fiona: Elizabeth Proud, Anthea: Frances Jeater, Usborne-Stringer: Peter Marinker, Taxi Driver: David Gooderson, Taxi Control: Timothy Bateson. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 29 August 1973)

15 April 1975:
Drama Now: A Week Like Any Other
By Natalya Baranskaya, translated and dramatised by Valentina S. Cole. Baranskaya (1908-2004), a Soviet writer of short stories and novellas, was acclaimed for her realistic portrayal of Soviet women’s daily lives. This 1969 story, which gained her international recognition, follows a week in the life of a 26-year-old research scientist and a married mother of two who is juggling a full-time career with seemingly endless domestic obligations and chores. Olga Voronkova: Anna Cropper, Dima Voronkov: John Rowe, Lyonka: Sion Probert, Yuri Petrovich: Alan Dudley, Kotka: Emily Richard, Zinaida: Eva Haddon, Ludmilla: Norma Ronald, Lucy: Sandra Clark, Shura: Liane Aukin, Marya Matveyevna: Anne Jameson, Valya: Jan Carey, Laboratory Technician: Peter Pacey, Cloakroom Attendant: Hector Ross. Producer: Susanna Capon. (Repeated on 2 March 1976)

18 April 1975:
Workshop: Relativity
By Lily Greenham. This is probably the best-known piece by the Danish-born sound poet (1924-2001), who settled in London in 1972. Inspired by the human voice, three-dimensional drawings and visual lettering patterns, this uses tape loops of text to create complex and dense musical structures. Realised at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Richard Yeoman-Clark and Peter Howell. With the voices of Richard Baker, Uly Greenham, Judy Bennett, Jo Manning-Wilson, Sean Barrett and Edward Kelsey. Producer: Desmond Briscoe

20 April 1975:
Drama Now: Taybridge
By Gerry Jones. A vicar and his wife, living in Wales, have deliberately confined their son to living in the attic. He rarely comes downstairs but when he does, sparks fly! Harold: Glyn Houston, Pearl: Elizabeth Morgan, Taybridge: Sion Probert. Carol singers: John Bull, Peter Pacey, Peter Williams, Paul Gaymon, Madi Hedd and Kate Coleridge. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 30 December 1975 and on Radio 4 on 11 December 1988)

22 April 1975:
Drama Now: Mr Fox and Mr First
By Fay Weldon. This “surrealist comedy” is the third play for Radio 3 by Weldon. “What a pretty ring you are wearing, Elsa. I love rings. But I have a damaged hand, you know. As well as paralysed legs. Well, nothing is for nothing, in this world. Give and take, you know. give and take. Had you noticed my hand?” Mr Fox: Henry Woolf, Mr First: Nigel Stock, Gemma: Miriam Margolyes, Bruce: Sion Probert, Elsa: Helen Worth, Miss Hilary: Diana Olsson, Marion: Jane Knowles, Arthur: William Eedle, Audrey: Eva Stuart. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 13 August 1974)

29 April 1975:
By Mustapha Matura. Stefan Kalipha performs this deeply ironic monologue by the award-winning Trinidadian, London-based playwright (1939-2019). Brimming with good humour, an imprisoned immigrant reflects on his adopted country and his experience of hypocritical British officialdom. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 23 October 1973)

4 May 1975:
World Drama: Minna von Barnhelm
By Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, translated by Kenneth J. Northcott. This 1767 play is regarded as marking the birth of classical German comedy. In 18th-century Prussia, a major impoverished by war feels he cannot marry his beloved Minna in poverty. In pretending to be penniless too, Minna challenges the Prussian code of honour and breaks free of the societal conventions of marriage. Major von Tellheim: Julian Glover, Just, Tellheim’s servant: Sion Probert, Minna von Barnhelm: Sarah Badel, Franziska, her maid: Julie Hallam, Count of Bruchsal, her uncle: Geoffrey Matthews, Paul Werner: Eric Allan, Landlord: Brian Haines, Riccaut de la Marliniere: Geoffrey Matthews, Servant/Orderly: David Freedman. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 14 May 1974)

6 May 1975:
Conversations with a Cupboard Man
By Ian McEwan from his short story. A man who was kept obsessively by his mother from birth until well into his adult life is now searching for another haven of safe confinement. (Also adapted as a film by Polish director Mariusz Grzegorzek in 1993.) Cupboard Man: Robert Powell, Social Worker: Christopher Benjamin. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 3 May 1979)

11 May 1975:
The Cookham Resurrection
By Peter Everett. A “kaleidoscopic impression” of the life, thoughts and works of the painter Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), freely based on the biography by Maurice Collis. Recorded on location in Spencer’s home village of Cookham-on-Thames in Hertfordshire. (The production won the 1976 Imperial Tobacco Award for best feature and best director with a special Gold Award to Peter Everett for his contribution to radio writing.) Stanley Spencer: Donald Pleasence, Hilda: Freda Dowie, Dorothy: Mairi Hedderwick, Patricia: Jane Knowles, Elsie: Emily Richard, Captain Childe: David Ryall, Landlady: Katherine Parr, Pa: Charles E Stidwill, Annie Mary: Clare Nash Eliza: Susan Colgrave, Pryce-Jones: Geoffrey Matthews, Man: Nigel Anthony, Woman: Karen Archer, Nurse: Anne Jameson. Technical Presentation: Leo Feord, Cedric Johnson, Jock Farrell, Lloyd Silverthorne and Enyd Clowes. Producer: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 22 February 1976. Also on 30 June 1991 and on Radio 4 on 6 December 1976)

13 May 1975:
Ma’aruf the Cobbler
By Terence Tiller, freely adapted from The Thousand and One Nights, translated by N.J. Dawood. A poor cobbler leaves his pestering wife and, on meeting a powerful Djinn, is transported to a distant land for various adventures. Shahrazad: Nicolette Bernard, Fatimah: Carole Boyd, Ma’aruf: Garard Green, Pastrycook/Ploughman: Vernon Joyner, A Jinnee/Beggar: Denis McCarthy, Ali/First Guard: John Rye, First Merchant/First Native: Nigel Graham, Second Merchant/Second Native: William Eedle, Third Merchant/Third Native: Godfrey Kenton, The King: Charles Simon, The Vizier/Cadi: Peter Williams, Slave/Eunuch/Second Guard: Kerry Francis, Zeinab: Elizabeth Proud. Director: Terence Tiller. (Repeat from 8 October 1974)

18 May 1975:
World Drama: Lulu
By Frank Wedekind in an English adaptation by Peter Barnes. Wedekind’s famous two-part play about the rise and fall of the archetypal seductress, which is also the basis of Alban Berg’s opera, has been worked as a single play by Barnes. Lulu: Anna Calder-Marshall, Ludwig Schon, a newspaper tycoon: Derek Godfrey, Alwa Schon, his son: John Rye, Schwarz, a portrait painter: Peter Woodthorpe, Schigolch, an old tramp: Joe Melia, Countess Geschwitz: Dilys Laye, Rodrigo, “The Strongest Man in the World”: Francis de Wolff, Casti-Piani: Hugh Burden, Goll: Malcolm Hayes, Ringmaster: Stephen Thorne, Escherich, a reporter: Nigel Lambert, Prince Escerny: David Ryall, Alfred Hugenburg, a schoolboy: Sion Probert, Ferdinand, the butler: Kerry Francis, Jack the Ripper: Peter Woodthorpe, Bob: John Bull, Kunga Pobi: Paul Gaymon, Hunidel: David Ericsson, Dr Helti: Michael Deacon. With the voices of Liane Aukin, Carole Boyd, Kate Coleridge, Emily Richard and Hector Ross. Music: Hans Heimler. Producer: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 25 June 1978)

20 May 1975:
Drama Now: Monkeys: A Love Story
By Jan Gudmundsson, translated from the Swedish by Ian Rodger. Inspired by true events, this tells the story of two monkey in a Scandinavian zoo who loved each other, but the crowds who came to visit them were offended. Lotta: Fenella Fielding, Laban: Norman Rodway. Other parts played by Timothy Bateson, Anthony Hall, Rolf Lefebvre, Betty Huntley-Wright, Elizabeth Morgan and Diana Olsson. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 28 July 1974)

25 May 1975:
World Drama: John Bull’s Other Island
By George Bernard Shaw. In Shaw’s 1904 satire, two civil engineers arrive in an Irish rural community and react in contrasting ways to its charms and flaws while a defrocked priest feigns madness to speak uncomfortable truths. Broadbent: Martin Jarvis, Hodson, his valet: Manning Wilson, Tim Haffigan: Kevin Flood, Doyle: Sean Barrett, Father Keegan: Timothy Bateson, Patsy: Gareth Armstrong, Nora Reilly: Maire Ni Ghrainne, Cornelius Doyle: Michael Golden, Father Dempsey: Harry Webster, Aunt Judy: Pauline Delaney, Matthew Haffigan: Kevin Flood, Barney Doran: Brian Haines. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated from Radio 4’s production on 26 November 1973)

1 June 1975:
World Drama: John Gabriel Borkman
By Henrik Ibsen, translated by William Archer, edited by Charles Lefeaux. Ralph Richardson takes the title role, which he also performed at the National Theatre in 1974, in Ibsen’s penultimate play. Disgraced banker Borkman, out of prison, prowls his upstairs room like “a sick wolf in a cage” while his wife tries to turn their son against him. John Gabriel Borkman: Ralph Richardson, Ella Rentheim: Irene Worth, Gunhild Borkman: Sylvia Coleridge, Frances Wilton: Prunella Scales, Malena the maid: Sandra Clark, Erhart Borkman: Richard Kay, Frida Foldal: Julie Hallam, William Foldal: Timothy Bateson. Pianist: Mary Nash. Director: Charles Lefeaux. (Repeat from 4 August 1974. Also on Radio 4 on 13 November 1983)

3 June 1975:
The Green island
By Gwyn Jones, adapted from his novel by Lorraine Davies. An adaptation of the 1946 novella by Jones (1907-1999), the Welsh novelist, scholar and translator of Nordic literature and history. Merrill: Robin Ellis, Mrs Merrill: Jan Edwards, Dafydd Absalom: Clive Roberts, Mrs Absalom: Gaynor Morgan Rees, The Wise Man: Dillwyn Owen, Mr Meredith: Jack Walters, Mr Thomas: Huw Ceredig. Director: Lorraine Davies

8 June 1975:
World Drama: Mourning Becomes Electra
By Eugene O’Neill. Set in a New England mansion at the end of the American Civil War, O’Neill’s melodramatic retelling of the Greek tragedy from The Oresteia sees war-hero Ezra Mannon return home only to be poisoned by his adulterous wife, Christine, and avenged by his daughter Lavinia and neurotic son, Orin. Brigadier-General Ezra Mannon: Nigel Stock, Christine Mannon: Barbara Jefford, Lavinia: Sarah Badel, Orin: Peter Marinker, Capt Adam Brant: John Turner, Capt Peter Niles: Kerry Francis, Hazel Niles, his sister: Jane Knowles, Seth Beckwith: Brian Haines, Amos Ames: Peter Carlisle, Louisa, his wife: Diana Olsson, Minnie, her cousin: Hilda Schroder, Josiah Borden, shipping company manager: Peter Carlisle, Emma, his wife: Hilda Schroder, Everett Hills, a minister: Manning Wilson, Mrs Hills: Diana Olsson, Dr Joseph Blake: Terry Scully, Chantyman: Ramsay Williams, Ira Mackel: Manning Wilson, Joe Silva: Ramsay Williams, Abner Small: Terry Scully. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 12 May 1974)

10 June 1975:
World Drama: Electra
By Sophocles, translated by E.F.Watling. Stricken by grief and the hatred of her mother, Clytemnestra, for killing her beloved father, Agamemnon, Electra seeks revenge. Old Man: Malcolm Hayes, Orestes: Peter Marinker, Electra: Sarah Badel, First Chorus: Cherry Morris, Second Chorus: Margaret Robertson, Third Chorus: Anne Jameson, Fourth Chorus: Kate Coleridge, Fifth Chorus: Eva Haddon, Chrysothemis: Anna Cropper, Clytemnestra: Barbara Jefford, Aegisthus: John Turner. Singers: Rosemary Hardy, Linda Hurst. Musicians: Anne Collis, John Leach and Judith Pearce. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 4 January 1976. Also on Radio 4 on 20 February 1977)

17 June 1975:
Drama Now: Ellen Cassidy
By Bill Morrison. The title character is a Northern Irishwoman living in London who seeks to break free from “the old days of pain”. Morrison (1940- 2011) was a Northern Irish actor turned playwright, who was also a BBC Radio drama producer in Belfast (1975-76), resident writer at the Liverpool Everyman (1977-1979) and drama producer at Liverpool’s Radio City (1979-1980). Ellen Cassidy: Kate Binchv, Gorman: Allan McClelland, Chris: Nigel Anthony, Brian: Stephen Rea. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 22 September 1974)

22 June 1975:
Drama Now: Eight Ball
By Richard Wesley. Earl, an older man, and Eddie, a college student in his twenties, meet over a game of pool where it gradually emerges that Earl is the father who abandoned Eddie many years before. Welsey reworked the play in 1975 as The Past is the Past. Voice: John Rye, Earl Davis: Ed Bishop, Eddie Green: Weston Gavin. Special effects: David Greenwood. Technical presentation: Gordon Bowen. Director: David Spenser. (Repeat from 20 August 1974)

24 June 1975:
Drama Now: Zindel and Padstaff
By Brian Thompson. “When you and I and Zindel have forged the new society, there’ll be no more dental caries and no more dentists.” Trite: John Rowe, Mary: Eileen Derbyshire, M’Quilty: Ronald Herdman, Boutique Assistant: Howard Benbrook, Bridget: Carole Hayman, Vice Chancellor: Geoffrey Banks, Constable: Tom Wilkinson, Doctor: Desmond Gill. Director: Tony Cliff (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 18 January 1976)

29 June 1975:
Drama Now: Cyril’s Symposium
By Liane Aukin. “There is no giving, no taking, no owning, no sharing. There is only the unknown whole. My world, your world, the same world.” Martha: Liane Aukin, Cyril: John Rowe, Delia: Rosalie Crutchley, Bill: Martin Friend, Peter: John Baddeley, Ismene: Linda Gardner, Man: George Woolley. Director: Anthony Cornish. (Repeat from 29 September 1974)

1 July 1975:
Drama Now: Angle
By Rhys Adrian. Angle, nearly 50 and feeling that time is running out, is forced by his pestering landlord to share his room with John, a man who has left his wife and Yorkshire to make his fortune in London. Angle: Freddie Jones, John: Peter Woodthorpe, The Landlord: Gerald Cross, The Cellist: Olga Hegedus. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 15 February 1976)

6 July 1975:
Workshop: The Night Bathers
By Leo Goldman. An absurdist drama in which seekers of reality head into an ocean of confusion in a bathtub. For Joe, is it really true that he was having a bath in a sinking ship or is it all a dream? Joe: Peter Woodthorpe, Cy: Rock Timberby Rowena: Margaret Robertson. Production realised at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Malcolm Clark and Trina Hughes. Producer: Martin Esslin

7 July 1975:
Drama Now: The Conformer
By Friederich Durrenmatt, translated by James Kirkup from a radio version by Hans Bausman. In a bleak future dominated by criminal gangs, a scientist known only as Doc becomes the body disposal specialist for the nefarious Boss in a cellar five floors below ground. Doc: Alan Dobie, Boss: Christopher Benjamin, Cop: Patrick Magee, Jim: John Hug, Ann: Rosalind Ayres, Bill: Christopher Muncke, Jack: Gerald Cross, Sam: Peter Holt. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 9 July 1978)

8 July 1975:
Drama Now: Stones
By Shirley Gee. As the caretaker of a cemetery undertakes his rounds, children play ancient and unending games among the graves while voices of the dead rise from under the stone. This debut radio play by Gee (1932-2016) was runner-up in the 1974 Radio Times Bursary Award. Wilfred: Sam Kydd. Narrators: John Westbrook, Rolf Lefebvre. Voices: Jack Carr, Kate Coleridge, Donald Gee, Madi Hedd, Pauline Letts, Peter Williams. Children: Angela Gale, Joanne Hannington, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Earl Rhodes, Ian Sharrock, Alexander Tusa, Francis Tusa. Producer: David Spenser. (Repeat from 5 November 1974)

13 July 1975:
Drama Now: Spared
By Israel Horovitz. Carleton Hobbs performs this monologue by the American playwright, director and actor (1939-2020). An old man, who tried to commit suicide more than 60 times but was always miraculously spared, reflects on the good and bad of an eventful life that at its heart seems empty. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeat from 20 October 1974)

15 July 1975:
Drama Now: Something Unspoken
By Tennessee Williams. In this little-known play by Williams, Cornelia Scott, a wealthy Southern woman, has shared her home with her secretary Grace for 15 years. Isn’t it time they finally addressed the “something unspoken” between them? (Also adapted for the World Service with Sheila Gish and Anna Massey on 13 November 2004.) Cornelia Scott: Constance Cummings, Grace Lancaster: Marcella Markham. Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 24 February 1977)

20 July 1975:
World Drama: King Lear
By William Shakespeare. Alec Guinness never appeared as Lear on stage (though did play the Fool to Laurence Olivier’s troubled monarch in 1946), but gets to play the title role here. Lear: Alec Guinness, Gloucester: Cyril Cusack, The Fool: Ronald Pickup, Goneril: Jill Bennett, Regan: Eileen Atkins, Cordelia: Sarah Badel, Edmund: Norman Rodway, Edgar: Robert Powell, Kent: Trevor Martin, Albany: Julian Curry, Cornwall: Donald Douglas, Oswald: Andrew Sachs, King of France: Michael Deacon, Duke of Burgundy: David Timson, Doctor/Old Man: Rolf Lefebvre, Gentleman: Peter Williams. Other parts: David Ericsson, Payl Gaymon, Peter Pacey and Stephen Thorne. Music: Christopher Whelen. Special effects by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Technical assistants: Jock Farrell, Mary Barrett and Jane Brinsmead. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 15 December 1974)

22 July 1975:
Drama Now: Round the Square
By Philip Hobsbaum. In this play by the British teacher, poet and critic (1932-2005), three men who loved the now deceased same woman are on a ceaseless march around a square. Narrator: Alex Glasgow, Heldar: David Mahlowe, Weems: Ronald Herdman, Greenwood: Geoffrey Banks. Music: Nicholas Bicat. Producer: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 10 February 1976)

25 July 1975:
Pride, Prejudice
By Patricia Beer. An imagined conversation by the British poet and critic (1919-1999) between Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Jane Austen: Anna Massey, Charlotte Bronte: Joan Plowright. Director: Patricia Brent. (Repeated on 8 February 1976)

27 July 1975:
Drama Now: Vicar Martin
By Tom Mallin. “He’s not the same man. I didn’t think it was the man we had come to see… But there was a time when to brush against him was to risk being burnt by a divine fire.” Martin: Peter Jeffrey, Adele: Madi Hedd, Julia: Penelope Lee, Robin: Ronald Herdman. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 29 June 1976)

3 August 1975:
Drama Now: Two Days in Love
By Anthony Simmons. “Balloons are sad little nothings Bloated with air, Open them up, there’s nothing there.” Woman: Sarah Badel, Man: Dinsdale Landen, Adrian/Clerk: Michael Deacon, Concierge/Dantonowski: Alan Dudley, Wife/Mollie/Marie: Anne Jameson, Edgar: John Rye. Music: Nachum Heiman, sung by Helen Chappelle with Paul Keough and Chris Rae (guitars) and Carlos Miranda (harpsichord). Director: Martin Jenkins

5 August 1975:
Workshop: The Origins of Capital and the Descent of Power: A Circus Piece for Two Sound Sources
By Philip Oxman. An experimental piece creating imagery through a mix of words and sound in which a poor circus family have to butcher their own performing animals. At a BBC programme review board, Martin Esslin described this piece as “one of the most way-out and daring things we have ever done”. Mugg: Miriam Margolyes, Neb: Geoffrey Matthews, Laffy: Sean Barrett, Dodders: Cyril Shaps, Oarno: David March, Cocky: Peter Marinker, Gideon: Cy Grant, Narrator: Philip Oxman. Music: Malcolm Clarke, realised at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Malcolm Clarke and Philip Oxman. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeat from 25 August 1974)

10 August 1975:
Drama Now: Narrow Road to the Deep North
By Edward Bond. The author adapts his own stage play, first seen at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry in 1968 and at London’s Royal Court in 1969, which won the 1968 John Whiting Award. In this satirical drama about colonialism, the Japanese Zen poet Matsuo Basho observes the rise and fall of a dictator, Shogo, over several decades. (John Rowe, who plays Shogo here, played Heigoo in the original Belgrade production.) Basho: Michael Aldridge, Kiro: Roger Gartland, Argi: Peter Baldwin, Tola: David Timson, Heigoo: Sion Probert, Breebree: Michael Deacon, Shogo: John Rowe, Prime Minister: Peter Woodthorpe, Commodore: Nigel Hawthorne, Georgina: Gillian Martell, Other parts: Paul Gaymon, Clifford Norgate, Eva Stuart and Peter Whitman. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 31 October 1976. Also on Radio 4 on 5 July 1982)

12 August 1975:
Drama Now: A Window on the World
By Susan Hill. Two first year students share a hostel room. Life to them is all theory and gazing through their “window on the world” until one of them makes a positive move to alter the situation. Nell: Patricia Gallimore, Jess: Julie Hallam. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 9 June 1974)

17 August 1975:
The People
By Jon Silkin. A narrative poem by the poet, critic and editor (1930-2011) in which a marriage cracks after the loss of a baby while a Buchenwald survivor shares his experiences of humanity triumphing in the most horrendous of circumstances. Readers: Nigel Anthony, Miriam Margolyes and John Rowe. Producer: John Scotney

19 August 1975:
Drama Now: On a Day in a Summer Garden
By Don Haworth. Three dock plants observe the activities in their neighbourhood and grow nervous of a gardener with his watering can. Dick Dock: Colin Blakely, Jim Dock: Geoffrey Banks, Jack Dock: Julie Hallam, The Man: Malcolm Hayes, The Woman: Carole Boyd. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 2 May 1976)

24 August 1975:
Drama Now: The Old One-Two
By A.R. Gurney, adapted by Dickon Reed. A comedy by the American playwright (1930-2017) based known for the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Love Letters. A Classics professor becomes obsessed with a student after she questions the relevance of his course. Her scepticism is shared by the young Dean of Faculty, who becomes involved in a clandestine relationship with the professor’s mysterious wife. Professor Augustus Holder: Frederick Treves, Susan Green: Bonnie Hurren, The Dean: Peter Marinker. Director: Dickon Reed. (Repeated on 10 January 1980)

25 August 1975:
The Arcadians
A musical comedy hit from 1909 with music by Lionel Monckton and Howard Talbot, book by Mark Ambient and A.M. Thompson, and lyrics by Arthur Wimperis. Ian Wallace introduces this production, which tells how idyllic Arcadians try to transform wicked London into a land of truth and simplicity. Chorus of Arcadians: The Ambrosian Singers, directed by John McCarthy. With the BBC Concert Orchestra, led by Arthur Leavins, conducted by Kenneth Alwyn.

25 August 1975:
The Half-Open University
By Andrew Marshall and David Renwick. Spoof science courses performed by Chris Emmett, Christine Ozanne, Andrew Marshall, John Mason and David Renwick. A second episode (1 January 1976) spoofed history. Producer: Simon Brett

26 August 1975:
Drama Now: Tripe: The Word is ? Flesh!
By Lexie Micallef. An “absurd play for radio”. Mrs Frank: Elizabeth Sprlggs, Mr Merde: Aubrey Woods, Frank Sprlggs: Harold Kasket, A Girl: Rosalind Adams, A Butcher: Sion Probert. With Timothy Bateson, Sandra Clark, Hazel Coppin, Sam Dastor, Jumoke Derayo and Elizabeth Morgan. Technical assistants: Jock Farrell, David Greenwood and Lloyd Silverthorne. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 1 September 1974)

30 August 1975:
The Death of Tintagiles
By Maurice Maeterlinck, translated by Basil Ashmore, with music by Vaughan Williams (composed in 1913). In this 1894 folkloric play by the Belgian poet and playwright (1862-1949), an old man named Aglovale and two sisters, Ygraine and Bellangere, try to protect their younger brother Tintagiles from a queen. Ygraine: Dorothy Tutin, Tintagiles, her brother: Daniel Rose, Bellangere, her sister: Helen Worth, Aglovale: John Ruddock. Three Servants of the Queen: Anthony Newlands, Malcolm Hayes and Geoffrey Collins. Music: Vaughan Williams, performed by the BBC Welsh Orchestra, led by Colin Staveley, conducted by Rae Jenkins. Director: Raymond Raikes.

31 August 1975:
Iphigenia in Aulis
By Euripides, translated by Raymond Raikes. In this play unfinished by Euripides at his death in 405 BC but completed by one of his sons, Agamemnon had earned Clytemnestra’s anger by sacrificing their firstborn daughter, Iphigenia, to the goddess Artemis to ensure fair winds for the invasion of Troy. (Carleton Hobbs, Jill Balcon, Betty Baskcomb and Nicolette Bernard reprise the roles they played in a Third Programme production, which used Raikes’ translation and Anthony Bernard’s music, on 7 June 1952.) Agamemnon, Commander in Chief: Carleton Hobbs, An Old Man, his slave: Norman Shelley, Menelaus, his brother: Godfrey Kenton, A Messenger from his Wife: Gabriel Woolf, Clytemnestra, his wife: Marjorie Westbury, Iphigeneia, their eldest daughter: Denise Bryer, Achilles, son of Peleus and the sea-goddess Thetis: John Shrapnel. Chorus of Sightseers: Jill Balcon, Betty Baskcomb, Nicolette Bernard, Mary Law, Jane Wenham and Mary Wimbush. Music: Anthony Bernard with The Twelve Aegean Singers and Philomusica of London led by John Willison, conducted by Rae Jenkins. Director: Raymond Raikes. (Repeated on 15 August 1976)

2 September 1975:
The London Cuckolds
By Edward Ravenscroft. A 1681 farce by Ravenscroft (1643-1707), in which the dissolute Ned Ramble is tempted by three wives whose husbands each have different views on what makes a good wife. The Prologue (in the words of Charles Lamb, 1823): Alan Dudley, Alderman Wiseacres: Carleton Hobbs, Alderman Doodle: Norman Shelley, Dashwell, a City Scrivener: Alan Dudley, Eugenia, his wife: Madi Hedd, Arabella, wife to Doodle: Elizabeth Morgan, Engine, her woman: Betty Huntley-Wright, Ned Ramble: David Timson, Frank Townly: David Sinclair, Jane, maid to Eugenia: Carole Boyd, Loveday, a young merchant: Kerry Francis, Peggy, bride to Wiseacres: Emily Richard, Aunt, her governess: Wynne Clark. Music: Stephen Dodgson, performed by the Philomusica of London, conducted by Rae Jenkins. Director: Raymond Raikes. (Repeat from 30 December 1974)

4 September 1975:
Who Am I Now?: The Dream of George Crabbe
By Frederick Bradnum. George Crabbe, the 19th-century poet and opium taker, is probably best known for his poem about Aldeburgh, The Borough, with its portrait of one of its inhabitants, Peter Grimes, which inspired Britten’s opera. Winner of a Sony Award. George Crabbe: Alan Badel, Reader: Michael Cochrane, Angelica: Elizabeth Proud, Lady Caroline Lamb: Kate Coleridge, Mr Cook: Peter Woodthorpe, Mira: Sheila Grant, Lord North: John Rye, Lord Shelburne: Haydn Jones, Edmund Burke: Malcolm Hayes, Poppy Hag: Margaret Robertson, Barber: Peter Tuddenham, Crabbe (aged 14): Judy Bennett, Meg: Sheila Grant, Min: Kate Coleridge, Child: Elizabeth Lindsay, Mr Maskill: Haydn Jones, Tom Brown: Peter Woodthorpe, Saltmaster: Peter Tuddenham, Schoolmaster: John Rye. Music: Humphrey Searle, who conducts the Sinfonia of London. Technical Presentation: Anna Smith. Producer: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 30 September 1976 and 8 September 1979)

7 September 1975:
Drama Now: Chapters in Crystal
By Fred Hooper. A suicidal doctor’s despairing thoughts are interrupted by the visit of an elderly gypsy and her granddaughter bearing handmade lace she claims can unlock the future. This debut play was submitted to the 1974 Radio Times Play Competition. Dr Samuel Rainbird: Alec McCowen, Rainbird’s Girlfriend: Angela Pleasence, Stoney: Edward Kelsey, The Gypsy: Mary Wimbush. Other parts played by Eva Haddon and Christopher Bidmead. Special sounds: Dick Mills of the Radiophonic Workshop. Director: Hallam Tennyson. (Repeated on 7 September 1976)

8 September 1975:
Drama Now: The Squad
By Martin Dillon. In this play by the Irish investigative journalist, four men meet in a Belfast house to discuss “a job”, but the youngest, Terry, gradually has doubts about the company he’s in. (Also adapted for BBC Two’s Centre Play Showcase on 20 August 1976.) Denis: Michael Duffy, Terry: Raymond Hardie, Jim: John Hewitt, John: Stephen Rea, Kate: Trudy Kelly, Maggie: Catherine Gibson, Tommy: Joe McPartland. Director: Michael Heffernan (BBC Northern Ireland)

14 September 1975:
World Drama: The Virgin Bride
By August Strindberg, translated by Michael Meyer. In this 1901 play, a wedding could end the rivalry between two bitterly opposed families, but the bride must wear a crown indicating that she is a virgin. If she cannot, will divisions deepen or lead to peace and reconciliation? Kersti’s mother: Pauline Letts, Kersti: Sarah Badel, Mats: Martin Jarvis, The River God: Alan Dudley, The Midwife: Sheila Grant, Brita, Mats’s sister: Frances Jeater, Lill-Anna, Mats’s sister: Emily Richard, Lill-Mats, Mats’s brother: Judy Bennett, Mats’s father: Manning Wilson. Mats’s mother: Norma Ronald. Mats’s grandmother: Hilda Schroder, Mats’s grandfather: Timothy Bateson, Stig Mattsson, the Parish Justice: Colin Douglas, The Verger, Kersti’s grandfather: Cyril Luckham, The Soldier, Kersti’s father: John Hollis, The White Child/The Meuling: Judy Bennett, The Pastor: Alan Rowe, The Fisherman: Sion Probert. Music: (some by Strindberg himself) arranged by Peter Hope, played by Lionel Bentley and Anthony Catterick. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 24 November 1974)

16 September 1975:
Drama Now: Bandstand
By Derek Raby. “He closed his eyes and let the sun fill his face: after lunch they could take him to the bandstand: they could leave him there: he’d listen to the concert, iust like the old days: he’d like to see the bandstand again.” Narrator/Robert: Cyril Cusack, Mabel Hilda Schroder, Helen: Pauline Letts, Gladys: Eva Stuart. With Rosalind Adams, Carole Boyd, Norma Ronald, Madi Hedd, Anne Jameson, John Rye, Garard Green, Alan Dudley and Nigel Lambert. Director: Betty Davies. (Repeated on 27 April 1976)

21 September 1975:
Drama Now: A Turn for the Worse
By Peter Tegel. Annie, recovering from a nervous breakdown, focuses her survival on a neighbour’s child. Annie: Elizabeth Spriggs, Barbara: Lynn Farleigh, Dan: John Baddeley, Richard: Michael Cochrane, Yvonne: Frances Jeater, Cyril: Charles Hodgson, Will: Hugh Dickson, Doctor Spicer: Paul Gaymon, Probation Officer: Carole Boyd. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 23 January 1977)

23 September 1975:
Drama Now: A Dream Journey
By James Hanley, adapted from his 1943 novel No Directions. In this play by the Irish novelist and playwright (1897-1985), we sense the lives of those in a London boarding house during the Blitz. Hanley later used No Directions to form the middle section of his 1976 novel also called A Dream Journey. Clem Stevens: David March, Lena Stevens: Ellen McIntosh, Warden/Kenton: Peter Pacey, Sailor: John Sharp, Cis: Frances White, Richard Hughes: Anthony Hall, Gwyn Hughes: Megs Jenkins, Mr Robinson: Denys Hawthorne, Emily Fraser: Betty Hardy, Ducksie: Carole Boyd, Mr Fraser: Rolf Lefebvre. Director: Ronald Mason. (Repeat from 8 December 1974)

27 September 1975:
Full Moon
By John George, based on the Welsh novel by Caradog Prichard, translated by Menna Gallie. A portrait of life in a Snowdonia slate-quarrying village seen through the eyes of a boy at the end of the First World War. Narrator: John Ogwen, The Boy: Rhys Powys, The Mother: Beryl Williams, Huw: Huw Owen, Moi: AIun Parry, Moi’s Mother: Maureen Rhys, Grannie: Nesta Harries, The Parson: Dillwyn Owen, The Policeman: Huw Ceredig, Grace Evans: Myfanwy Talog, Ellis Evans: Dic Hughes, Jennie Pen Cae: Marged Esli. Director: Lorraine Davies

28 September 1975:
Drama Now: Oscar X
By Tudor Gates. A radio play by the author (1930-2007) of several popular West End whodunnits, horror films and TV series. “What’s yer name, they said, as though they didn’t believe me. Like it’s written, I said: Oscar Fingal O’Flaherty N’Gogo. The N’Gogo was all right; they’re used enough to that kind of name on the Council; but the other ? they thought I was having them on. Can I help it, I said, if me father was shipwrecked off the Irish coast?” Oscar Fingal O’Flaherty: Nigel Anthony, Inspector Jympson: Lee Montague, Sergeant: David Sinclair, Constable: Michael Cochrane. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on 1 June 1976)

2 October 1975:
The Nightwatchman’s Occurrence Book
By V.S. Naipaul, adapted by Terence Tiller. Described as a “farce for four voices”, this reveals tensions of class and race through the logs of a nightwatchman and his managers. Cavander/Magnus: Loftus Burton, Inskip: Frank Singuineau, Hillyard: Tommy Eytle. Director: Terence Tiller

7 October 1975:
Drama Now: Lost Yer Tongue?
By Peter Terson. Self-made, working-class millionaire Bernie finds himself losing everything he holds dear as he discovers the clandestine actions of those around him. Like other plays by Terson (1932-2021), including The Fishing Party (1971), this radio play was also adapted for television (by Granada TV, directed by Mike Newell, in 1975). Bernie: Ronald Herdman, Albert: Edward Wilson, Gladys: Lizzie McKenzie, Grandad: Alan Hockey, Bruce: Neil Dalglish, Beryl: Miranda Forbes, Janet: Cherie Lunghi. Director: Tony Cliff (BBC Leeds)

14 October 1975:
Drama Now: The Bosom of the Family
By Jeremy Seabrook and Michael O’Neill. In this comedy, one of several plays by this writing partnership which began in 1966, the suburban civility of the Pargeter family is ripped apart after accusations of “funny goings-on” at teenage son Nick’s extra coaching lessons. Mrs Pargeter: Eva Stuart, Mr Pargeter: Michael Shannon, Nick: Michael Cochrane, Lynn: Glynis Brooks, Mrs Oosit: Diana Olsson, Mike: Clifford Norgate, Larry: David Brierley. Director: Richard Wortley.

21 October 1975:
Drama Now: Snake
By Gerry Jones. While recovering from a stroke, a man has a vivid and menacing dream that reveals to him how to cope with a real-life situation. Winner of Spain’s International Ondas Award in 1976. Sandra: Colette O’Neil, Victor: Peter Jeffrey, TV Comedian: Frank Carson, Narrator: John Rowe, Boy: Elizabeth Lindsay, Trevor: Anthony Smee, Doctor: John Rye. Music: David Cain, played by George Khan and John Royston Mitchell. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 24 August 1976 and 16 January 1977)

30 October 1975:
Drama Now: The Problem
By A.R. Gurney. A 1968 two-hander by the American playwright (1930-2017) in which a husband and wife are caught in a spiral of sexual fantasies that keep their marriage alive. The Husband: Kenneth Nelson, The Wife: Pat Starr. Director: Dickon Reed

2 November 1975:
Saint Joan
By George Bernard Shaw, abridged by Norman Wright. Judi Dench takes the title role in a production first heard as Radio 4’s Monday Play (27 January 1975), though this Radio 3 broadcast includes the play’s Epilogue. Saint Joan: Judi Dench, Captain Robert de Baudricourt: Kerry Francis, Steward: Peter Tuddenham, Bertrand de Poulengey: Nigel Lambert, Lord Chamberlain, Monsignor de la Tremouille: Alan Dudley, The Archbishop of Rheims: John Richmond, Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard): Michael Spice, Captain La Hire: Sean Arnold, Charles, the Dauphin: John Rye, Duchesse de la Tremouille: Cecile Chevreau, Dunois: Michael Williams, Earl of Warwick: Noel Johnson, John de Stogumber: Douglas Storm, The Bishop of Beauvais, Monsignor Cauchon: Maurice Denham, Inquisitor: Stephen Murray, Canon John d’Estivet: Alan Rowe, Canon de Courcelles: Stephen Thorne, Brother Martin Ladvenu: Michael Deacon, Executioner: Clifford Norgate, Pages: Peter Whitman and David Ericsson, Soldier: Alan Dudley, Gentleman: Haydn Jones. Students of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Technical assistants: Gordon Bowen, Mary Barrett, Carol McShane and David Green. Director: John Theocharis. (Also on Radio 4 on 25 December 1984)

4 November 1975:
The Man on the Hill
By Roger Frith. Paul Scofield performs a monologue drawn from the writings of Richard Jeffries (1848-1887), the prose poet and social philosopher, who was noted for his depiction of English rural life in novels, essays and books of natural history. Music: David Cain. Director: Keith Slade. (Repeat from 10 December 1974. Also on 14 July 1982)

9 November 1975:
Priest and Confessor
A double-bill by Wally K Daly. A priest sits waiting in the confessional on a Saturday night. A man approaches the confessional for his first confession for many years. What are they both thinking? Priest: Richard Briers, Confessor: Tony Haygarth. Producer: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 5 March 1981)

11 November 1975:
Drama Now: PS: Wish You Were Here
By Elizabeth Troop. A Donald McGill postcard view of the final catastrophe. “To think our dear Edna was the last straw… ending the world. She would have been slightly over-awed I feel.” Bert: John Slater, Edna: Eva Stuart, Jake: Peter Marinker, Fisherman: John Baddeley, Major: Carleton Hobbs, Gendarme: Paul Gaymon. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 17 December 1974)

18 November 1975:
World Drama: The Holy Sinner
By Peter Redgrove, based on the novel by Thomas Mann, translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter. Inspired by the medieval verse epic Gregorius, this retells the legend “of the exceeding mercy of God and the birth of the Pope Gregory”. Sibylla: Barbara Jefford, Grigorss: Richard Warwick, Liberius: Clifford Norgate, Probus: Hector Ross, Fisherman: Nigel Lambert, Wife: Constance Chapman, Lamb: Tony Robinson, Maitre Poitevin: Trader Faulkner, Major-domo: Hector Ross, Roger: Clifford Norgate, Jeschute: Sheila Grant, Abbot: Peter Williams, Flann: Tony Robinson, Mahaute: Pauline Letts, Willo: Steve Hodson. Grimald: Hector Ross, Chamberlain: Nigel Lambert. Music composed and played on the psaltery by Bob Stewart. Technical assistance: Allen Harris, Moira Mann and Richard Reynolds. Producer: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 20 March 1977)

20 November 1975:
Drama Now: Dance the Putrefact
By Peter Redgrove. This “masque for solo voice and musicians” combines dreamlike and physical images to describe a man’s inner life as a dance. Voice: Colin Blakely. Music: Anthony Smith-Masters. Director: David Spenser

25 November 1975:
World Drama: Misalliance
By George Bernard Shaw. In Shaw’s 1909 comedy, social masks are stripped away at the weekend house of self-made linen draper John Tarleton, including those of his feminist daughter Hypathia, manipulative son Johnny, a Polish acrobat and a gun-toting revolutionary. Hypatia Tarleton: Anna Massey, Mrs Tarleton: Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, John Tarleton: John Robinson, Johnny Tarleton, his son: Peter Egan, Lord Summerhays: Michael Aldridge: Bentley Summerhays: Christopher Good, Joseph Percival: Anthony Smee, LIna Szczepanowska: Jane Wenham. The Man: Christopher Bidmead. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 18 July 1976. Also on Radio 4 on 18 August 1980)

26 November 1975:
The New Australian Drama: A Hard God
By Peter Kenna. Set in a Sydney suburb in 1946, this play explores the themes of dislocation and loss through the parallel experiences of two generations of an Irish immigrant family. Originally staged in 1973, it’s the first in a trilogy known as The Cassidy Album by Peter Kenna (1930-1987), who grew up as one of 13 children in a working-class Australian-Irish Catholic family in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt in the 1940s. Aggie: Madge Ryan, Dan: Kevin Flood, Paddy: Milo O’Shea, Joe Cassidy: David Timson, Jack Shannon: Nigel Lambert, Martin Cassidy: Alan Barry, Sophie Cassidy: Gwenda Wilson, Monica Cassidy: Madi Hedd. Director: John Scotney

29 November 1975:
Drama Now: A Game of Dice
By Dimitri Keraidis, adapted from his Greek play by Bill Morrison from a translation by John Theocharis and Robert Rowe. On a hot afternoon in one of the poorer suburbs of Athens, lottery-ticket seller Koilas plays dice with his layabout brother-in-law Fondas, who suggests a fantastic scheme for quick money, easy success and social attainment. Fondas: Norman Rodway, Kolias: Peter Woodthorpe. Director: John Theocharis

30 November 1975:
The New Australian Drama: How Does Your Garden Grow?
By Jim McNeil. Written by the author (1935-1982) while serving a sentence at a maximum security jail, this 1974 play explores the inter-relationship of three Australian prisoners and their search for happiness even in such an oppressive environment. McNeil was released 10 years early from a 17-year sentence for armed robbery and shooting a police officer, went on to win the Australian Writers’ Guild Award and marry the actress and director Robyn Nevin. Sam: Nigel Graham, Hick: James Smilie, George: Paul Bertram, First Officer: David Casey, Second Officer: Henry Stamper, Senior Officer and Levick: Trader Faulkner, Mick’s wife: Miriam Margolyes, Sweeper: Gordon Gostelow. Director: Richard Wortley

3 December 1975:
By Harold Pinter Originally written for BBC Two (2 September 1973) with Henry Woolf, Pinter himself now plays the man who, sitting alone, addresses an empty chair as he recalls his best friend and the woman they both loved with a mix of real and possibly imagined memories. Man: Harold Pinter. Director: Guy Vaesen

7 December 1975:
The New Australian Drama: Flash Jim Vaux
By Ron Blair with music by Charles Colman and Terry Clarke. Made at ABC’s studios in Sydney, this “rogue’s comedy with ballads” tells the saga of James Hardy Vaux, an English petty thief who was transported to New South Wales on three separate occasions (in 1801, 1810 and 1831). (Ron Blair helped to establish the Nimrod Theatre Company in Sydney, which built a reputation for new writing.) Flash Jim Vaux: John Gaden Francy: Nancy Hayes, Nell Amber: Mae Cecil, Owen Dorothy: Arthur Dignam, Priest: John Llewellyn, Brothel Bullion: Terry Clarke. With Kenneth Laird, Stanley Walsh, John Larking, Gerry Duggan, Richard Lupino, John Morris, Martin Vaughan, Paul Woods, Paul Bertram, Mark Kelly, Helen Verne, Barry Strong and Charles Colman. Director: Ron Blair

14 December 1975:
World Drama: Hecuba
By David Rudkin, adapted from Euripides. In probably Euripides’ bleakest drama, Hecuba, queen of the fallen city of Troy, grieves over the sacrifice of her daughter and seeks vengeance for the loss of her son. (For her performance as Hecuba, Beatrix Lehmann was awarded The Imperial Tobacco Award for Best Radio Performance by an Actress in 1976.) Hecuba: Beatrix Lehmann, Agamemnon: Michael Aldridge, Ulysses: Maurice Denham, Polymestor: Tom Watson, Polyxena: Deborah Paige, Polydorus: Christopher Bidmead, Talthibius: Peter Williams, Old Woman: Gladys Spencer, Chorus: Janet Burnell, Ginnette Clarke, Kate Coleridge, Alison Gollings, Sheila Grant, Margaret Robertson and Norma Ronald. Sound score: Malcolm Clarke (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Technical assistants: Jock Farrell, Anne Hunt and David Hitchinson. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 6 March 1977)

16 December 1975:
Drama Now: The Evening is Calm
By Paal Brekke, adapted for radio by Ian Rodger from a translation by Gerhard Knoop. This poem sequence by the Norwegian poet and novelist (1923-1993) features the final appearance of Sybil Thorndike in a play. Tilde Lund: Sybil Thorndike, First Voice: John Rye, Second Voice: Carole Boyd, Third Voice: Clifford Norgate, Fourth Voice: Laurence Payne, Miss Krohg: Liane Aukin, Dr Olram / Pastor Arnesen: Michael Deacon, Miss Hjort: Katherine Parr, Gregers Jonassen: Malcolm Hayes, Tollef: Lockwood West, Mrs Akselsen: Betty Hardy, Professor Akselsen: Peter Woodthorpe, Kari: Betty Hardy, Johnsrud: Peter Woodthorpe, Mrs Petersen: Betty Hardy, Child: Liane Aukin. Producer: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 3 August 1976)

20, 27 December 1975, 3, 10, 17, 24 January 1976
The Far Off and the Near
By Virginia Browne. An English family saga in six parts, based on unpublished letters between 1683 and 1883. Narrator: Robert Hardy. Music: Jeremy Lubbock. Sung by Linda Hurst. Played by Patrick Gowers (keyboard), Duncan Lamont (flute), Roy Carter (oboe), Marcia van Kampen (violin), Janet Schlapp (viola), Nick Hill (horn), Christopher van Kampen (cello), John Dean (percussion) and Skaila Kanga (harp). Producer: Christopher Venning. (Repeat from 13, 20 January, 3, 10, 17, 24 February 1974)

1: England to America, 1674-1744 William Pepperrell I: Timothy Bateson, William Pepperrell II: John Glen, Nathaniel Sparhawk: Tony Anholt, Elizabeth: Sarah Brackett, Margery Bray: Eleanor Bron, Commodore Warren: Carl Forgione, Duke of Newcastle: Alan Rowe, Governor, Shirley: Peter Howell, Ben Franklin: Haydn Jones, Boston Franklin: Blain Fairman, Captain John Smith: Terry Scully. With Kerry Francis, Steven Dawson, Neville Jason, Geoffrey Matthews and Sam Dastor

2: Louisburg – and after, 1745-1759 William Pepperrell II: John Glen, Nathaniel Sparhawk: Tony Anholt, Elizabeth: Sarah Brackett, Commodore Warren: Carl Forgione, Boston Franklin: Blain Fairman, Colonel Waldo: Paul Maxwell, Governor Shirley: Peter Howell, English Merchant: Anthony Hall, Boston Merchant: Brian Haines, Colonel Vaughan: Sion Probert, French Officers: Andre Maranne, Sam Dastor, Neville Jason, Lord Chesterfield: Godfrey Kenton. With Alan Rowe, Steven Dawson, Garrick Hagon, Stephen Thorne and Bonnie Hurren

3: America to England, 1767-1776. William Pepperrell III: Peter Marinker, Elizabeth: Sarah Brackett, Betsy: Liza Ross, Catherine: Jill Balcon, Thomas Palmer: Barrie Cookson, Ben Franklin: Neville Jason, Borlum Macintosh: Kenneth McClellan, Josiah Tucker: Martin Matthews, Dr Johnson: Stephen Thorne, James Otis: Geoffrey Collins, Caroline: Liza Ross. With Bonnie Hurren, Hayne Ryan, Sion Probert and Steven Dawson

4: England, 1776-1842 William Pepperrell III: Peter Marinker, Elizabeth: Sarah Brackett, Catherine: Jill Balcon, Harriot: Elizabeth Proud, Thomas Palmer III: Haydn Jones, Caroline (as a girl): Dorothy Wojtulewicz, Caroline (grown-up): Betty Hardy, Sacey: Prunella Scales, Sophia Marriott: Barbara Lott, Dorcas: Hilda Schroder, Sarah: Joy Parker, Robert/Humphry: Neville Jason, Biographer/Nat: Sion Probert, Harriot’s Friend: Rosemary Leach, Monk: Haydn Jones, Mrs Davies: Penelope Lee, William Cobbett: Stephen Thorne, Commissioner: Alan Rowe, Young Betsy: Bonnie Hurren, Mary Anne: Marjorie Westbury

5: New Zealand, 1850-1867 Caroline: Betty Hardy, Sacey: Prunella Scales, Sophia Marriott: Barbara Lott, Charles Abraham: Geoffrey Bayldon, Coleridge Patteson: Richard Kay, Wellington Furse: James Thomason, Mary Anne: Marjorie Westbury, George Selwyn: Michael Shannon, Island Chief: Peter France, Daddy: Nicolette McKenzie, Cook: Penelope Lee, Pitt: Sion Probert, Etonians: Angus Mackay, Sam Dastor, Charlotte Godley: Penelope Lee, Settler: Gareth Armstrong

6: England and After, 1897-1974 Caroline: Betty Hardy, Sacey: Prunella Scales, Coleridge Patteson: Richard Kay, Charles Abraham: Geoffrey Bayldon, Charlie (as a boy): Simon Gipps-Kent, Charlie (grown-up): David Timson, Mary: Ciaran Madden, Harry: Sion Probert, George Selwyn: Michael Shannon, Wellington Furse: James Thomason, Lady Martin: Marjorie Westbury, Billy Johnson: Tenniel Evans, New Zealand ladies: Paddy Frost and Nicolette McKenzie, Jeanie Furse: Jill Balcon, Bessie: Nicolette McKenzie, Harriet Crowe: Shelagh Wilcocks

28 December 1975:
Drama Now: The Twenty-Second Day
By Olwen Wymark. A play by the American-born fringe theatre and BBC radio dramatist (1932-2013), who was particularly active in the 1970s and 1980s. It explores the inner turmoil of a woman who feels unable to leave her apartment. Augusta: Jane Wymark, Thomas: John Rowe, The Female Inspector: Ruth Goring, The Male Inspector: Hugh Manning. Director: Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 25 July 1976)


9 January 1975:
A Piercing Virtue
By Anne Stevenson. A portrait of poet Emily Dickinson through her writings. Emily Dickinson: Anna Massey. With Geoffrey Matthews, Don Fellows, Phil Brown and Helen Horton. Producer Maurice Leitch

6 February 1975:
Contrary Voices
By Trefor Thomas. The short-lived friendship of D.H. Lawrence and Bertrand Russell. Laurence: Barry Foster, Russell: Julian Glover, Lady Ottoline Morrell: Jill Balcon, John Maynard Keynes: Paul Gaymon, Narrator: Peter Williams. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 10 June 1976)

23 February 1975:
Figaro as Revolutionary
Louis Allen examines the complexities of the character of Figaro, which first appeared in Beaumarchais’ play The Barber of Seville and went on to appear in numerous plays and operas. Beaumarchais/Figaro: Julian Glover. With John Rowe, David Timson, Peter Whitman, Emily Richard and Madi Hedd. Producer: Patricia Brent.

13 March 1975:
A Theatre at War
Arnold Goldman examines the work of The Army Bureau of Current Affairs (or ABCA), which was committed to the writing and mounting of documentary plays for the troops during the Second World War to “inform and sustain morale”. Recorded contributions from Sir Ronald Forbes Adam, Sir William Emrys Williams, Michael Micowan, Stephen Murray, Jack Lindsay, Bridget Boland, Andre van Gyseghem, Margaret Courtenay and Alan Badel. In the play extracts: Kerry Francis, Peter Pacey, Sean Arnold, Don Fellows, Alan Dudley and Norma Ronald. Producer: Maurice Leitch

19 March 1875:
The Trial of Eugene Aram
By Rayner Heppenstall, drawing on 18th-century case records of Eugene Aram (1704-1759), a notable scholar, who defended himself after being accused of killing a shoemaker in what became a notorious case and the subject of a famous ballad by Thomas Hood. Eugene Aram: Alan Dudley. With Carole Boyd, Betty Huntley-Wright, Eric Allan, John Bull, Kerry Francis, Vernon Joyner, Godfrey Kenton, Alan Rowe, David Timson and Manning Wilson. Producer: Martin Esslin. (Repeat from 3 July 1974)

22 & 26 March 1975:
Sir John Gielgud
A two-part conversation with Martin Jenkins. In the first part, he recalls his experiences of Hamlet as a playgoer, actor and director, advice given by Harley Granville Barker and the different directorial approaches to the play by Harcourt Williams, Guthrie McClintic and George Rylands. In the second programme, he considers the challenges of directing Shakespeare on stage and in the cinema. Producer: Ian Cotterell

1 April 1975:
The Man without Ideology
Written and narrated by J.P. Stern. Drawing on original documents, this offers a portrait of artisan Johann Georg Elser, who almost killed Hitler in November 1939 by placing a bomb in a beer hall in Munich. Johann Georg Elser: Ronald Pickup. With Eva Haddon, Anne Jameson, Malcolm Hayes, Nigel Lambert, Hector Ross, Alan Rowe, David Ryall and Peter Williams. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 2 January 1977)

27 April 1975:
An Island Love: Synge, Flaherty and the Aran Islands
By Maurice Good. How the Aran Islands off the west coast of Island have inspired writers and artists, in particular playwright J.M. Synge and film-maker Robert Flaherty, as well as Yeats and Seamus Heaney, among others. Synge: Maurice Good, Flaherty: Paul Maxwell, Yeats: Harry Webster. With Alan Barry, Kate Binchy, Sean Barrett, Roisin Donaghy, Kevin Flood, Denys Hawthorne, Hector Ross, Patricia Leventon, John Rye, Denis McCarthy, P.G. Stephens and Professor Robin Skelton. Producer: John Scotney. (Repeated on 23 May 1976)

5 June 1975:
Winter in Christiana
By L.W. Bailey. This explores playwright Henrik Ibsen in his later years and the series of passionate but platonic relationships he had with a succession of young women, who were to become a strong influence on his later plays. Narrator: Geoffrey Matthews, Henrik Ibsen: Stephen Murray, Emilie Bardach: Sarah Badel. With Anthony Jackson, Madi Hedd, Kate Coleridge, Alan Rowe, Sheila Grant and Nigel Lambert. Producer: Maurice Leitch

16 June 1975:
The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
Compiled by John Carr-Gregg from a translation by Arthur Waley. A collection of thoughts, anecdotes and reminiscences written by a lady-in-waiting to the Imperial Palace, during the golden age of Japanese poetry and prose. (These writings inspired Robert Forrest’s popular Radio 4 series The Pillow Book.) Sei Shonagaon: Helen Worth, Narrator: Astley Jones, Empress: Carole Boyd, Korechika: Peter Pacey, Tadanohu: John Rye, Narimasa: Alan Dudley. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 26 February 1976)

27 June 1975:
The Female Messiah
By James Roose-Evans. A feature about Ann Lee (1736-1784), known as Mother Ann, who was the founding leader of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, or the Shakers. Narrator: James Roose-Evans, Mother Ann: Billie Whitelaw, Whittaker: Terry Scully, E.D. Andrews: Ramsay Williams, Elder Evans: Don Fellows, Nordhoff: Christopher Muncke, Brother Brown: Marvin Kane, Eldress Hocknell: Hilda Schroder, Dickens: Stephen Thorne, Tolstoy: Victor Nossoff. With Carole Boyd, Sandra Clark, Sam Dastor, Kerry Francis, Nigel Graham, Nigel Lambert, Diana Olsson and David Sinclair. Arranger/Conductor of Shaker songs and hymns: Kerry Woodward. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 4 September 1974)

10 July 1975:
Though Graves Be Hollow
Compiled by David Thomson. The story of the Crimean War told through letters and previously unpublished diaries of some of the ordinary people involved. Sgt-Maj George Loy-Smith: Warren Clarke, Narrator: Edward Chapman, Mrs Frances Duberly: Joy Parker, Albert Mitchell: David Collings. Other parts: Michael Shannon, Peter Pacey, Peter Williams and Michael Burlington. Special music played by musicians from the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. Producer: Keith Slade. (Repeated on 24 April 1978)

18 July 1975:
Death in Paris
David Phillips explores the curious circumstances surrounding the death of the Hungarian playwright and poet Odon von Horvath, killed by a falling tree during a thunderstorm on the Champs Elysees in 1938 at the age of 37. (Repeated on 17 August 1975)

18 July 1975:
The Fair Parricide
By Rayner Heppenstall. The 1752 case of Mary Blandy, a young woman accused of murdering her father at the instigation of the man she wanted to marry. (Also the subject of a six-part Radio 4 reconstruction, A Question of Guilt, in May 1980 and a Radio 4 play by Christopher Denys on 6 March 1995.) Mary Blandy: Kate Coleridge, Henry Stevens: Hector Ross. With the voices of Liane Aukin, Margot Boyd, Eva Haddon, Madi Hedd, Hilda Kriseman, Michael Cochrane, Paul Gaymon, Garard Green, Haydn Jones, Fraser Kerr, Nigel Lambert, Clifford Norgate, John Rye and Michael Shannon. Producer: Martin Esslin

4 August 1975:
A Quest for Andersen
A feature about Hans Christian Andersen, compiled by John Theocharis (from the biography by Elias Bredsdorff and additional material by Erik Haugaard). Andersen: Richard Pasco, The Writer: Derek Jacobi, The Scholar: Gerald Cross, Dame Fairy-Tale: Betty Hardy, Edvard Collin: Alan Rowe, Mrs Wulff: Kate Coleridge, Jenny Lind: Deborah Paige, Boy Andersen: Peter Whitman, Dickens: Haydn Jones, Specialist: Garard Green, Dr Meisling: Hector Ross. Music: Glynis Jones (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 12 July 1977)

18 September 1975:
Wedlock’s the Devil
By Douglas Cleverdon. Drawing mostly on Byron’s own words, this tells the story of the poet’s disastrous marriage to Annabella Millbank. Married in January 1815, she left him 54 weeks later never to see him again. Byron: Julian Glover, Thomas Moore: Denys Hawthorne, Annabella Millbank: Jane Asher, Augusta Leigh: Rosalind Adams, Walter Scott: Michael Deacon, Narrator: Frank Duncan. With Deborah Page and Carole Boyd. Producer: Douglas Cleverdon.

3 October 1975:
The Sea Wolf
By Ian Grimble. A portrait of Admiral Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860), a Royal Navy flag officer, mercenary and radical politician, who was celebrated for his successful naval actions during the Napoleonic Wars and went on to lead the rebel navies of Chile and Brazil during their wars of independence in the 1820s. Thomas Cochrane: Tom Fleming. Narrator: Ian Grimble. Other parts played by John Forrest, John Bryning, Garard Green, Manning Wilson, Alan Rowe and Elizabeth Morgan. Producer: Robert Craddock. (Repeated on 29 March 1976)

9 October 1975:
The Pasternaks: A Family Portrait
By Cecil Parrott. The story of novelist Boris Pasternak’s family, including his artist father, Leonid, and celebrated pianist mother, Rosa. With personal contributions by Josephine Pasternak and Lydia Pasternak Slater. Narrator: Cecil Parrott, Boris Pasternak: Peter Williams, Leonid Pasternak: Clifford Norgate, Alexander Pasternak: Paul Gaymon, Lev Tolstoy: Hector Ross. Producer: Martin Esslin

11 October 1975:
The Voice of Ellen Terry
Richard Bebb analyses five surviving recordings of the greatest of Victorian actresses, made for the Victor Company in 1911. The programme includes speeches from: The Winter’s Tale, Act II Sc 1; The Merchant of Venice, Act IV Sc 1; Much Ado about Nothing, Act II Sc 1; Romeo and Juliet, Act IV Sc 3 and Hamlet, Act IV Sc 5. Producer: Bennett Maxwell. (Repeated on 5 June 1977)

20 October 1975:
The Marriage of Freedom and Fate
A sound poem on themes from the life and work of Beethoven drawing on his own words and those of his contemporaries, as well as from T.S. Eliot and Friedrich Heer. Music includes Beethoven, Dufay, Josquin des Pres, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Stockhausen and the Gregorian chant of the Roman Catholic liturgy. Beethoven: Anthony Hopkins. Voices of his contemporaries: Gary Watson, Lewis Stringer, Nigel Lambert, Denis Coacher, Sheila Grant, Patricia Gallimore, Carole Boyd. Commentary/Chorus: Jill Balcon and David March. Special sound: Dick Mills of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Production team: David Binnet, John Talbot Jones, Peter James and Andrew Musset. Producer: Michael Mason. (Repeat from 9 December 1974)

23 October 1975 :
The Voice of Henry Irving
Richard Bebb investigates the career of Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905) through the way recordings by the great Victorian actor were discovered. They include one of him performing a speech from Alfred Tennyson’s Becket, the play he was appearing in at the Theatre Royal, Bradford, where he collapsed on 13 October 1905 and died later that night. Producer: Bennett Maxwell. (Repeated on 18 June 1977)

13 November 1975:
Imperfect Sympathies
By Aidan Higgins. A “radio mosaic” that conjures up the essayist and poet Charles Lamb (1775-1834) and some of the writers and thinkers who helped to shape the intellectual climate of his times. Charles Lamb: Peter Woodthorpe, Crabb Robinson: Denis McCarthy, Leigh Hunt: Christopher Bidmead, Byron: John Rye, Chateaubriand: Malcolm Hayes. With Carole Boyd, Alan Dudley, Anne Jameson, Haydn Jones, Clifford Norgate, Hector Ross, John Samson and James Watts. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 26 May 1977)

23 November 1975:
The New Australian Drama
Australian journalist and drama critic Katharine Brisbane explores the rise of a vigorous drama that embraces the Australian vernacular as a prelude to a season of new dramas on Radio 3. Producer: Ron Blair

8 December 1975:
The Teapot and the Samovar
The Russian novelist and playwright Ivan Turgenev (1818-1893) made several visits to England and found himself surprisingly at home with English writers. April Fitzlyon examines their relationships. Readings by Gary Watson (as Turgenev), Denise Bryer and Garard Green. Producer: Miriam Rapp. (Repeat from 26 August 1874)


6, 13, 20, 27 January, 3, 10, 17, 24 February, 3, 10, 17, 24 & 30 March 1975:
The Princess
By Alfred Lord Tennyson adapted for radio in 13 parts by Terence Tiller. Tennyson’s 1847 comic narrative poem about a heroic princess who forswears men, establishes a women’s university and discovers the prince to whom she was once betrothed disguised as a female student. The poem also inspired Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida. Narrator: Marius Goring, Walter/Florian: David Brierley, Lilia/Princess Ida: Rosalind Shanks, Undergraduate/Cyril: Sam Dastor, Aunt: Betty Huntley-Wright, King: Victor Lucas, Psyche: Carole Boyd, Melissa: Madeleine Cemm, Gama: Haydn Jones, Blanche: Kate Coleridge, Arac: Alan Dudley. Tenor: Paul Taylor, Mezzo-Soprano: Margret Cable, Counter-Tenor: Timothy Penrose, Harp: Hilary Wilson. Producer: Terence Tiller

11 January 1975:
The Mother by Italo Svebo (read by Gary Watson)
In this fable by the Italian novelist and playwright (1861-1928), who was a close friend of James Joyce, a vain cockerel, hatched in an incubator, escapes and sets out to find a mother to admire him. Translated by Edwina Vittorini. (Repeated on 28 April 1975)

14 January 1975:
The Stoat by John McGahern (read by Denys Hawthorne)
A young man compares the stoat’s single-minded pursuit of a rabbit to that of a shy woman’s pursuit of her hopeless father. (Also read by Sean McGinley for Radio 4 on 13 November 2006) 

2 February 1975:
The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe (read by James Stewart)
The Hollywood star reads his favourite Poe poem, abridged by Neville Teller. (Repeat from Radio 4 on 28 September and 31 December 1973. Also on 15 November 1977)

10 February 1975:
Flat on his Back by Julio Cortazar (read by David March)
A short story by the Argentine writer (1914-1984), also known as “The Night Face Up”, in which a hospitalised motorcyclist, in a fevered state after an accident, awakes to find he is about to become the sacrificial victim of Aztec priests. Translated from the Spanish by John McDonnell. (Repeat from 25 November 1974)

20, 27 February, 6 March 1975:
Plato’s Republic
Three-part version adapted by John Theocharis from a translation by Sir Desmond Lee. Music: Christos Pittas with John Leach (cimbalom), Sebastian Bell (flute) and Anne Collis (percussion). Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated 14, 21 & 28 August 1975)

1: Justice in the State and the Individual Socrates: Leo McKern, Plato: Robert Harris, Cephalus: Carleton Hobbs, Thrasymachus: William Squire, Glaucon: Sean Arnold, Adeimantus: John Rye Polemarchus: Sion Probert.

2: The Philosopher Ruler Socrates: Leo McKern, Glaucon: Sean Arnold, Adeimantus: John Rye Polemarchus: Sion Probert.

3: The Imperfect Societies Socrates: Leo McKern, Adeimantus: John Rye, Glaucon: Sean Arnold, Polemarchus: Sion Probert.

28 February 1975:
Lolo by Slawomir Mrozek (read by Sean Arnold)
In this short story by the Polish dramatist and satirist (1930-2013), a lab rat’s companion alters its behaviour to get more food while a Polish tourist pretends to be Russian at a party in the hope it will help him gain access to a western film star. Translated by Janina David. (Repeat from 11 December 1974)

2 March 1975:
The Mass Island by Frank O’Connor (read by Sean Arnold)
In the last of several short stories featuring Father Jerry Fogarty, his dying wish to be buried far from his home parish causes conflict. (Repeat from 2 November 1974)

20 March 1975:
Redegonda’s Diary by Arthur Schnitzler (read by Vernon Joyner)
In this 1909 story, a man sits next to the narrator on a park bench and tells how a husband discovered the man’s affair with his wife from her diary. This resulted in a duel in which the man telling the story was killed. Translated by H. Steinhauer and Helen Jessiman. (Repeat from 1 September 1974)

27 March 1975:
A Night Out by Guy de Maupassant (read by David Ryall)
A country solicitor samples the heady delights of Paris, forgetting that bohemians are born not made. Translated by H.N.P Sloman. (Originally part of Radio 4’s Mornings with Maupassant.) (Repeat from 13 September 1974)

8, 15 & 22 May 1975:
The Sentimental Traveller
Three programmes based on the writings of Laurence Sterne, adapted and performed by Hugh Burden. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 8, 15 & 22 August 1975)

24 & 31 May, 7, 14, 21 & 28 June 1975:
Mrs Caudle’s Curtain Lectures by Douglas Jerrold (read by Patricia Hughes)
Readings from pieces that first appeared in Punch in 1845. The husband of Mrs Caudle must listen to her incessant petty lectures each night as they prepare for bed.

26 May 1975:
Voices by Madge Hales (read by Freddie Jones)
A short story by the poet (1901-1985) in which a man considers the voices in his head. (Repeated on 22 February 1976)

12, 19, 26 June & 3 July 1975:
Texts for Nothing by Samuel Beckett (read by Patrick Magee)
Readings of 13 short prose poems written by Beckett between 1950 and 1952. Producer: Martin Esslin

15 June 1975:
By Anne Stevenson. A verse sequence by the acclaimed British-born, American-based poet (1933-2020) recounting the history of a New England family through their letters and writings, over 150 years. Stevenson remarked: “In Correspondences, I set forth the drama of my own (and some of America’s) internal contradictions.” Adam Chandler, the founder: Marius Goring, Elizabeth, his daughter: Jill Balcon, Reuben, his son: Marius Goring, Marianne, Reuben’s wife: Megg Nicol, Matthew, Reuben’s son: Peter Marinker, Jacob, Reuben’s son: Marius Goring, Maura Boyd, Jacob’s daughter: Anne Stevenson, Ruth Arbeiter. Maura’s daughter: Lennox Milne, Professor Arbeiter, Ruth’s husband: Marius Goring, Nick, their son: Peter Marinker, Eden, their daughter: Claris Erickson, Kay, their daughter: Jill Balcon, Reporter: Paul Kermack. Music: Andy park. Producer: John Gray.

23 July 1975:
Mrs Max: In Her Letters by Mary M. Lago (read by Margaret Robertson)
The correspondence between Florence Kahn (1878-1951), an actress from Memphis, Tennessee, and the English essayist, parodist and caricaturist Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), who were married from 1910 until her death. (Repeat from 21 November 1974)

3 August 1975:
The Map of Paris by Derwent May (read by the author)
A man recalls a meeting six years earlier as he awaited a train at the Gare du Nord.

15 August 1975:
A Cosa Nostra Western by Leonardo Sciascia (ready by Robert Rietty)
Two branches of the mafia are involved in a long and deadly feud with the young mafiosi challenging the old guard. Translated by Alfred Alexander. The story was filmed in 1993 by Mariano Amato. (Repeated on 4 December 1975)

20 August 1975:
Joy and the Law by Giuseppe di Lampedusa (read by Peter Williams)
When a clerk receives an unexpected extra Christmas bonus in the form of an awkwardly oversized panettone, his visions of domestic bliss are upset by unwritten rules of honour and obligation. This story was discovered by novelist Giorgio Bassani along with the original manuscript of The Leopard in Palermo after Lampedusa’s death. Translated by Alfred Alexander. (Repeated on 16 November 1975)

2 September 1975:
The Baron of ‘B’ by E.T.A. Hoffmann (read of Anthony Jacobs)
An 1819 story by the German Romantic author of fantasy and Gothic horror (1776-1822). A concert master and his pupil visit a violin-loving Prussian chamberlain in Berlin. Translated by Marie Burg. (Repeated on 9 January 1976)

17 September 1975:
The View from Strawberry Hill
By David Wheeler. From his villa at Twickenham, Horace Walpole observed the American War of Independence. In letters to friends, he commented on it with a characteristic blend of frivolity and discernment. Horace Walpole: Robert Eddison, Narrator: Timothy Kightley, Macaulay: George Raistrick. Producer: Pamela Howe (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 5 August 1976)

17 October 1975:
Remote Past by Carmelo Ciccia.
A short story of Sicilian love by the Italian writer, translated by Alfred Alexander. Awarded the Italscambi Prize for Short Stories in 1968. Narrator: Robert Rietty, Fiancee: Carole Boyd. Producer Adrian Johnson. (Repeated on 1 January 1976)

10 November 1975:
Dead Gabriel by Arthur Schnitzler (read by Leonard Sachs)
A 1908 short story by the Austrian author (1862-1931). Gabriel has committed suicide after being rejected by a famous actress. His girlfriend wants to meet the actress, little knowing that their common friend Ferdinand is the actress’s new lover and so the cause of Gabriel’s death. Translated by Eric Sutton. Producer: Patricia Brent. (Repeat from 1 January 1974)

27 November 1975:
A Yorkshire Childhood by Herbert Read (read by David Markham)
An account by the poet, art historian, literary critic and philosopher (1893-1968) of his childhood in rural Yorkshire at the turn of the century. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 23 June 1973)

7 December 1975:
The Wreck of the Deutschland by Gerard Manley Hopkins (read by Paul Scofield)
This reading of the poem marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Deutschland on the Kentish Knock, off the Thames Estuary. Producer: Shaun MacLoughlin. (Repeated on 6 February 1977)

13 December 1975:
The Nun’s Priest Tale
By Geoffrey Chaucer from The Canterbury Tales, translated by Nevill Coghill, adapted by Walter Acosta. Narrator: Hector Ross, Lady Pertelote: Madi Hedd, Chanticleer: Michael Cochrane, Sir Russel Fox: John Rye. Director: Walter Acosta.

17, 18 & 19 December 1975:
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (read by Paul Scofield)
Three-part abridgement by Frederick Bradnum of Mann’s 1912 novel, translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 18, 19 & 20 June 1973)

26 December 1975:
Memories of a Childhood Friendship by Don Haworth (read by Bernard Cribbins)
After hitting a youngster in the eye during a game, an unemployed shoe-mender strikes up a friendship that lasts all summer, until he gets a job again. Producer: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 13 January 1977)

Many thanks to Ian Johns for compiling the entries.

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