Radio 3 Drama, 1976

Radio 3 Drama 1976

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 is a selection of dramatised documentaries, drama-related features, readings and short stories.


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 An English family saga in six parts, based on unpublished letters. 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

4 January 1976:
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. (Repeat from 10 June 1975. Also on Radio 4 on 20 February 1977)

6 January 1976:
Drama Now: Tie Up
By Lesley Clive. “Fail the 11-plus and it's factory. I began in canned fruit and veg. Worked in Woolies' for a bit. Then I tried modellin' at the art college and I realised if I charged for what I was givin' away I could double my income.” Don: Kenneth Farrington, Shirley: June Barry, Wally: Paul Webster. Director: Alfred Bradley

8 January 1976:
Drama Now: The Jerusalem Journey
By Louise Collis. In the 15th century, the English Christian mystic Margery Kempe went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This account draws on her autobiography and contemporary sources describing that trip to the Holy Land. Margery Kempe: Elizabeth Spriggs. Pilgrims: Timothy Bateson, Michael Deacon, William Eedle, Eva Haddon, Malcolm Hayes and Peter Woodthorpe, God: John Rye. Music: David Cain. Soloist: Martyn Hill. Musicians: Martin Nicholls, Roger Brenner, John Mitchell. Technical Assistants: Peter Novis, Anthea Davies and Enyd Clowes. Director: Shaun MacLoughlin. (Repeated on 19 September 1976)

11 January 1976:
The New Australian Drama: A Stretch of the Imagination
By Jack Hibberd, adapted for radio by Martin Esslin. Considered one of the most significant new plays in the Australian drama revival of the 1970s, Hibberd’s play presents a day in the life of Monk O'Neill. Leading a hermit's existence in a ramshackle hut in the bush, he lives with his memories, ruminations and cheerful anticipation of death. Monk O'Neill: Patrick Magee. Music: composed and played by Christopher Whelen. Director: Martin Esslin

13 January 1976:
By Christopher Whelen. The second of seven plays by the playwright and composer (1927-1993) to mix words and music. Organist John Woodman finds himself locked in his cathedral at night. In the darkness his personal problems confront him, but an unexpected encounter helps him to cross the bridge into the future. Dr John Woodman: Marius Goring, Dawson, a cathedral verger: Alan Dudley, Gilkes, a choirboy: Peter Whitman, Lady Brumfitt: Anne Jameson, Miss Salop, a cleaner: Carole Boyd, The Dean: Denis McCarthy, Jane Woodman, John's Wife: Norma Ronald, Mrs Bryant, a neighbour: Carole Boyd, Mrs Woodman, John's Mother: Anne Jameson, Mr Woodman, John's Father: Peter Whitman, Henry Dodd, a previous organist: Hector Ross, Mary: Jane Wenham. Music: Christopher Whelen, with Timothy Farrell (organist) and the Trinity Boys Choir (director David Squibb) and London Voices. Director: Raymond Raikes. (Repeated on 21 September 1976)

15 January 1976:
84 Charing Cross Road
By Helene Hanff, abridged by Virginia Browne. American writer and bibliophile Helene Hanff’s novel recalls the lively, intense correspondence with the staff of a London antiquarian London bookshop, which lasted from 1949-1969. Also adapted by James Roose-Evans as a stage play in 1981 (with Rosemary Leach and David Swift). It was then adapted for the World Service (with Miriam Karlin and Frank Finlay) on 19 January 1992 and again for Radio 4 (with Gillian Anderson and Denis Lawson) on 25 December 2007. Also adapted as a BBC1 Play for Today by Hugh Whitemore (with Anne Jackson and Frank Finlay) on 4 November 1975 and filmed in 1986 with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. Helene Hanff: Margaret Robertson, Frank Doet: Lyndon Brook, Cecily Farr: Norma Ronald, Maxine: Liza Ross, Nora Doel: Kate Binchy, Ed: Garrick Hagon, Joan Todd: Eva Haddon, Sheila Doel: Rosalind Adams, Mrs Boulton: Betty Hardy. Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 9 November 1976)

18 January 1976:
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). (Repeat from 24 June 1975)

20 January 1976:
The New Australian Drama: The Chapel Perilous (or The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner)
By Dorothy Hewett. The Australian poet, novelist and author of 13 plays (1923-2002) was hailed by newspaper The Age as “the grande dame of Australian literature”. In this 1971 expressionist drama, she charts the emotionally epic journey of Sally Banner (“a rebel in word and deed”) from young, uncompromising schoolgirl to older, still uncompromising thirtysomething woman. Sally Banner: Judith Arthy, Headmistress: Rachel Kempson, Canon: Kevin Brennan, Sister Rosa: Bettina Dickson, Judith: Suzanne Peveril, First Girl: Andonia Katsaros, Second Girl: Jennifer Mellet, Father: Alan White, Mother: June Jago, Michael: Mark McManus, David: Jon Parker, Thomas: Nigel Graham, Saul: Trader Faulkner, Chorus: Briony Hodge. Director: Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland)

22 January 1976:
What a Hysterical Girl
By Arthur Schnitzler. A 10-minute “playlet” by the Austrian dramatist (1862-1931). She: Carole Boyd, He: John Rye, Narrator: Vernon Joyner. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeat from 22 September 1974)

25 January 1976:
The New Australian Drama: The Front Room Boys
By Alexander Buzo (1944-2006). Seen as a significant contribution to Australian theatre in the 1970s, this was first staged in 1969. Set in a nondescript corporate office in a non-specific Australian city over the course of a year, it depicts month by month the daily administrative grind of put-upon middle management minions, exposing their racist, sexist, shallow and cruel natures. Robbo: Nigel Graham, Thomo: Bruce Beeby, Gibbo: James Smilie, Presto: Trader Faulkner, Jacko: Mark McManus, Vittorio: Paul Bertram, Sundra: Madi Hedd, Hendo: Geoffrey Matthews, Pammy: Andonia Katsaros. Pianist: Martin Goldstein. Director: Martin Esslin

27 January 1976:
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). (Repeat from 8 April 1975. Also on Radio 4 on 22 December 1977 & 23 March 1985)

1 February 1976:
Drama Now: The Bell Jar
By Sylvia Plath, adapted by Jehane Markham. In Plath’s only novel, first published in 1963, a talented young woman struggles with her identity amidst the social pressures of 1950s New York. Esther Greenwood: Angela Pleasence, Doreen: Bonnie Hurren, Buddy Willard: Christopher Muncke, Lenny: Nigel Anthony, Marco: John Bull, Jaycee: Maggie Riley, Mother: Diana Olsson, Dr Gordon: Don Fellows, Dr Nolan: Margaret Robertson, Valerie: Emily Richard, Joan: Valerie Colgan, Irwin: Peter Marinker, Dr Quinn: Ann Murray. With Sean Arnold, Glenn Beck, Carole Boyd, Jack Carr, Chrissy Iddon and Pat Stark. Producer: Jane Graham. (Repeat from 29 December 1974)

3 February 1976:
By Neil McKay. “How much less cruel had she been stillborn. Would have been known then only as a murmur, only as a murmur.” Husband: Graham Roberts, Mother: Elizabeth Morgan, Daughter: Julie Hallam. Producer: Roger Pine (BBC Birmingham). (Repeated on 14 September 1976)

4 February 1976:
The Emperor of Outer Space
By Harry Guest. In this “poem for voices”, a poet sits in his converted attic on his 50th birthday and conducts an interior conversation with the three women who have governed his career. Man: Hugh Dickson, Third Wife: Frances Horovitz, First Wife: Elizabeth Proud, Second Wife: Pamela Zinneman. Producer: George MacBeth

8 February 1976:
Drama Now: Margie
By Cherry Potter. Margie, a West Indian woman, copes with the problems of unwanted pregnancy and divorce in a documentary-style play recorded on location in London. Margie: Valerie Murray, Anna: Jane Knowles, Del: Cleo Sylvestre, George: Rudolph Walker, Rosie/Mrs Proops: Elizabeth Morgan, Dora/Nurse: Joanna Wake, Doctor: John Rowe, Italian woman: Ann Queensberry, Wilson: Ram John Holder, Pat: Norman Beaton, Joey: Judy Bennett, Abortionist: Haydn Jones, Man in the Street/Ambulance Driver: David Graham. Technical Presentation: Leo Feord, Cedric Johnson and Julian Walther. Producer: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 21 November 1976)

10 February 1976:
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). (Repeat from 22 July 1975)

15 February 1976:
Drama Now: Angle
By Rhys Adrian. Angle, nearly 50 and feeling that time is running out, is forced by the 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. (Repeat from 1 July 1975)

17 February 1976:
Voyage to Capillaria
By Frederick Karinthy, dramatised by George Mikes from a translation by Paul Tabori. Based on the fantasy novel by Karinthy, a leading Hungarian writer and satirist in the 1920s and 1930s, this imagines the further adventures of Lemuel Gulliver set in an underwater kingdom ruled by women. Narrator: George Mikes, Gulliver: John Rowe, Opula the Queen of Capillaria: Jane Wenham. With the voices of Eva Haddon Madi Redd, Deborah Paige, Norma Ronald, Garard Green, Leslie Heritage, Haydn Jones and Clifford Norgate. Director: Martin Esslin

19 February 1976:
Drama Now: Mr Luby’s Fear of Heaven
By John Mortimer. Byron scholar Lewis Luby wakes up to find himself in an Italian hospital with visions of the divine. Surely he can’t be in heaven. (Also produced for Radio 4 by Jeremy Mortimer, John’s son, starring Jeremy Irons on 31 December 2008.) Lewis Luby: John Gielgud, Tommy Fletcher: Peter Woodthorpe, Sophie: Hana-Maria Pravda, Miss Waterlow: Madi Hedd, Dr Benjamin: Robert Rietty, English Guide: Leslie Heritage, French Guide: Gilles Dattas, Italian guide: Leonardo Pierroni, German Guide: Michael Wolf, Japanese Guide: Yasuko Nagazumi, Jennifer: Deborah Paige, Her Mother: Norma Ronald, Her Father: Michael Shannon, Nun: Gigi Gatti. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 12 August 1976 and 27 August 1991. Also on Radio 4 on 15 September 1984 and 1 February 1986 and on Radio 4 Extra on 24 April 2013 and 16 Oct 2017)

22 February 1976:
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. (Repeat from 11 May 1975. Also on 30 June 1991 and on Radio 4 on 6 December 1976)

24 February 1976:
Sweeney Tom
By David Paul. Poet Thomas S. Possum ponders his reputation when compared with “the other significant poets whose work I have too much read” and “perhaps too often quoted”. Mr Thomas S. Possum: Hugh Burden, Presenter: John Westbrook, Miss Murdo/Miss MacMurdo/Mrs Fox: Anne Jameson, Mr Smerrick: Norman Shelley, Mr Robinson: Godfrey Kenton, Heliodorus: Leslie Heritage, Gladys/Duchess of Glasgow: Joan Matheson, Miss Mack: Deborah Paige, Maid: Alison Gollings, Three Harpies: Joan Matheson. Producer: David Spenser

29 February 1976:
World Drama: The Phoenician Women
By Euripides in a new translation by David Thompson. This tragedy focuses on the fratricidal strife between Eteocles and Polyneices, the sons born from the incest of Oedipus and Jocasta. Jocasta: Siobhan McKenna, Oedipus: Michael Redgrave, Antigone: Maureen O'Brien, Creon: John Rowe, Eteocles: Michael Deacon, Polyneices: Sean Arnold, Tutor: Peter Williams, Menoeceus: Anthony Smee, First Messenger: Clifford Norgate, Second Messenger: David Neal. Chorus: Eva Haddon, Madi Hedd, Anne Jameson, Deborah Paige, Emily Richard and Jane Wenham. Music: Christos Pittas. Producer: John Theocharis

2 March 1976:
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. (Repeat from 15 April 1975)

6 March 1976:
By Joe Richards. A 15-minute play by a former drama tutor at Dartington College and best known for The Big Book for Girls, his tongue-in-cheek comedy inspired by 1930s girls’ annuals. A companion piece, Furlough, was on 19 March 1976 (see below). Anne: Jennifer Piercey, Hugh: Nigel Anthony. Producer: John Madden

7 March 1976:
World Drama: Measure for Measure
By William Shakespeare. In Shakespeare’s ever-urgent play, novice nun Isabella is compromised by corrupt official Angelo, who offers to save the life of Isabella’s brother in exchange for her body. The Duke: Michael Gough, Escalus: Geoffrey Bayldon, Angelo: Philip Bond, Lucio: Norman Rodway, First Gentleman: Michael Burlington, Second Gentleman: Trader Faulkner, Mistress Overdone: Cecile Chevreau, Pompey: Peter Woodthorpe, Claudio: Christopher Bidmead, The Provost: Stephen Thorne, Friar Peter: Denis McCarthy, Isabella: Marian Diamond, Elbow: Michael Graham Cox, Froth: Roger Brierley, Justice: Alan Lawrance, Servant to Angelo: Michael Shannon, Juliet: Celestine Randall, Boy: Nicholas Wareham, Mariana: Sonia Fraser, Abhorson: Haydn Jones, Barnardine: David Sinclair. Producer: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 26 December 1976)

9 March 1976:
Drama Now: Under the Flyover
By Michael Kittermaster. “If you have any more complaints, take it up with the Council, old man. I'm strictly transport. I fetch 'em and drop 'em. You should be thankful I've got you here.” A play by the novelist, playwright and former director of broadcasting in Zambia, who was a prolific presence in BBC radio drama schedules in the 1970s. Wood: Charles Lamb, Blore: Cyril Shaps, Hart: Clifford Norgate, Driver/Foreigner: Peter Woodthorpe, Military Man: Christopher Bidmead, Creek/First Man: Anthony Smee. Producer: David H. Godfrey. (Repeated on 10 November 1976)

12 March 1976:
Sorry, Wrong Number
By Louise Fletcher. A bedridden Mrs Stevenson gets a crossed line while making a call only to overhear two men plotting to murder her. Broadcast on Radio 3 to mark the centenary of the telephone, this classic American radio drama was first heard on the Suspense radio series on 25 May 1943. It became a celebrated tour de force for Agnes Moorehead, who repeated the role several times on radio. Orson Welles declared this was “the greatest radio script ever written” and it was reworked as a 1948 film noir starring Barbara Stanwyck.Mrs Stevenson: Agnes Moorehead

14 & 16 March 1976:
World Drama: Crime and Punishment
By Fyodor Dostoevsky, dramatised for radio 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: Marcot 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. (Repeat from 23 February 1975. Also on 25 January 1981).

18 March 1976:
A Song in the Night
By Roger Frith. A monologue compiled from the letters and later poetry of John Clare (1793-1864), who spent the last 22 years of his life in Northampton Asylum. John Clare: Freddie Jones, Narrator: Roger Frith. Music: David Cain. Producer: Keith Slade. (Repeated on 4 July 1978)

19 March 1976:
By Joe Richards. A 20-minute companion pieces to Richards’s Backlog (see 6 March 1976). Anne: Prunella Scales, Hugh: Moray Watson

21 March 1976:
My Name is Bird McKai
By Anne Leaton. In this play by the American novelist, poet and dramatist (1932-2016), a woman is determined to soar with the eagles while those around her are more earthbound. A production by Earplay, the drama centre for American public radio. Bird McKai: Terry Tweed, Donald McKai, her father: Henry Ramer, Amanda McKai, her mother: Ruth Springford, Jimmy: Gary Files, Man selling dreams: Claude Rae, Café Counterman: David Hughes, Red Eagle: Len Birman. Other parts played by Billie Mae Richards, Frank Perry and John Stocker. Music effects: David Crosby. Producer: Karl Schmidt

23 March 1976:
The Wig
By Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Henry Reed. This is one of 11 plays written by the Italian novelist (1916-1991). “Mama, I must tell you the truth. I have a lover. His name's Francesco. No he's hardly touched me, he's too busy. He's the editor of a weekly paper... he's almost broke and he has all his six children to keep. The Woman: Eleanor Bron. Producer: Christopher Venning

28 March 1976:
By Edward Albee. The world premiere of a play specially commissioned for radio by the BBC and American Public Radio’s Earplay. A chamber piece by the celebrated American playwright, which sifts through the tangled relationships of the three characters. The Woman: Irene Worth, The Girl: Maureen Anderman, The Man: James Ray, The Voice: Edward Albee. Directors: Edward Albee and John Tydeman. (Repeated on 6 June 1976)

1 April 1976:
Chekhov Women in a Soviet World
By Olga Franklin, based on Olga Knipper’s memoirs. Chekhov died aged 44 in 1904 and his wife, the celebrated actress Olga Knipper, and his sister Masha survived him by half a century. Knipper’s memoirs show how they lived in a communist world. Olga Knipper-Chekhova: Margaret Tyzack, Narrator: Murray Brown, Maria Pavlovna Chekhova: Hilda Schroder, Vitaly Vilenkin: John Rowe, K. S. Stanislavsky: Malcolm Hayes, V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko: David Graham, Alexander Pavlovich Chekhov: Michael Shannon, Mikhail Pavlovich Chekhov: David Neal, Margaret Sperry: Thelma Whiteley, V. V. Schwerubovich: Bernard Holley, M.O. Knebel: Amanda Jessel, Gordon Craig: John Ruddock, Lydia Avilova: Anne Jameson. Producer: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on Radio 4 as Sisters in a Soviet World on 25 July 1977)

2 April 1976:
The Provok’d Wife
By John Vanbrugh. In Vanbrugh’s sharp 1697 comedy, Lady Brute, married to a bullying drunk, considers surrendering to a would-be lover, Constant. (This 1964 Third Programme production was repeated to mark the 250th anniversary of Vanbrugh’s death on 26 March 1726.) Sir John Brute: Donald Wolfit, Lady Brute, his wife: Geraldine McEwan, Belinda, her niece: Sheila Shand Gibbs, Lady Fancyfull: Barbara Couper, Cornet, her maid: Eva Stuart, Mademoiselle, fille-de-chambre to Lady Fancyfull: Valerie Kirkbright, Pipe: Barbara Elsy, Gentlemen of the Town – Heartfree: John Rye, Constant: Denis Quilley, Mr Treble, a singing master: Gordon Faith, Rasor, valet-de-chambre to Sir John: Andrew Sachs, Companions to Sir John – Lord Rake: Eric Anderson, Colonel Bully: Peter O'Shaughnessy, Constable: Kevin Flood, Justice: Hamlyn Benson. Music: John Eccles, performed by Emanuel Hurwitz (violin), Cecil Aronowitz (viola), Terence Weil (cello), Peter Graeme (oboe), Lionel Slater (harpsichord). Producer: Charles Lefeaux. (Repeat from 25 August 1964 and 13 March 1966)

4 April 1976:
Drama Now: The Vet’s Daughter
By Shirley Gee, based on Barbara Comyns’ 1959 novel. In this slice of suburban gothic and magic realism set in Edwardian south London, unhappy Alice Rowlands seeks refuge from her cruel father in fantasy, romance and a growing belief in her occult powers. It leads to a ghoulish denouement on Clapham Common. Mr Rowlands: Nigel Stock, Mrs Peebles: Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, Alice Rowlands: Julie Hallam, Mrs Rowlands: Penelope Lee, Mrs Churchill: Betty Hardy, Henry Peebles: Nigel Anthony, Rosa Fisher: Shirley Dixon, Mr Gowley: Clifford Norgate, Mrs Gowley: Kathleen Helme, Nicholas Carshalton: Christopher Guard, Mrs Carshalton: Margaret Robertson, Amos Sully: Donald Gee, Mr Frink/Cuthbert: Geoffrey Matthews, Woman: Eva Haddon. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on Radio 4 on 28 June 1976)

11 April 1976:
By Samuel Beckett. An old man sits on the seashore, pondering on his family, life and death. This 1959 production was rebroadcast to mark the playwright’s 70th birthday on 13 April (see below). Henry: Jack MacGowran, Ada: Kathleen Michael, Addie: Kathleen Helme, The Music Master/The Riding Master: Patrick Magee. Piano: Cecily Howe. Producer and director: Donald McWhinnie. (Repeat from 24 June 1959. Also on 16 July and 28 November 1959, 15 April 1986 and 6 September 1999)

13 April 1976:
Rough for Radio
By Samuel Beckett. A translation by the author from his original French play Pochade Radiophonique. A tragi-comic portrait of a writer's creative process depicted through the attempts of an animator and his stenographer to extract a story from a strange bound and gagged figure. Fox: Patrick Magee, The Stenographer: Billie Whitelaw, The Animator: Harold Pinter, Dick: Michael Deacon. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 11 July 1976 and 16 April 1986)

18 April 1976:
Henry V
By William Shakespeare. Convinced he has a claim to France, King Henry raises an army against the French amid politics and betrayals. Chorus: John Gielgud, Canterbury: Timothy West, Ely/French Soldier: Malcolm Hayes, King Henry: John Rowe, Exeter: Patrick Troughton, Westmoreland/Court: Jeffrey Segal, French Ambassador/Jamy/Gloucester: Michael Deacon, Bardolph/Bates: Timothy Bateson, Nym/Orleans: Peter Woodthorpe, Pistol: Michael Aldridge, Hostess/French Queen: Elizabeth Spriggs, Falstaff’s page: Crispin Gillbard, Bedford/Messenger: Peter Craze, Scroop/Macmorris/Grandpre: Michael Shannon, Cambridge/Britaine: Clifford Norgate, Grey/Salisbury/Bourbon: James Thomason, French King: Peter Jeffrey, Dauphin: Martin Jarvis, Constable: Barry Foster, Fluellen: Anthony Hall, Gower: Haydn Jones, Governor of Harfleur/Erpingham: Peter Williams, Katherine: Angela Pleasence, Alice: Betty Huntley-Wright, Montjoy: John Rye, Williams: David Graham, Burgundy: Alec McCowen. Music: David Cain, played by Christopher Ball, John Royston Mitchell and Sinfonia Sacrae. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 23 April 1979)

20 April 1976:
Drama Now: The Daytrip
By Jonathan Raban A play by the British travel writer, critic and novelist. Passengers on board a three-hour voyage to the Scilly Isles include keen ornithologist Chilworth and the heavy-drinking Netta, not to mention a coffin in the tearoom. Chilworth: Bernard Hepton, Netta: Anna Massey, Ship's Captain: Haydn Jones, Boatman: Geoffrey Matthews, Young Woman: Elizabeth Proud, Old Lady: Gladys Spencer, First Voice/Second Young Man: Malcolm Reid, Mother/Third Voice: Shirley Dixon, Second/Fourth Voice: Eva Haddon, Teenage Boy/First Young Man: Peter Craze, Barman: David Graham, Riggs: Walter Hall. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 12 December 1976)

25 April 1976:
By Peter Handke, translated by Martin Esslin. An early work by the controversial Austrian Nobel laureate novelist and playwright “to create drama without plot or characters by the movement of language alone”. Its two speakers confess to a litany of sins ranging from the trivial to slavery and genocide. Speakers: Margaret Robertson and Denys Hawthorne. Percussion: Don Lawson. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeat from 5 & 27 May 1968. Also on 28 May 1993)

27 April 1976:
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. (Repeat from 16 September 1975)

2 May 1976:
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. (Repeat from 19 August 1975)

4 May 1976:
Drama Now: You’re No Trouble, Dad
By Edwin Pearce. “So some old crank has sent you a few passionate couplets... Some local weirdie, I bet. Some grunting schoolboy's laughing stock.” Old Man Froggatt: Chris Gittins, Devereux: Geoffrey Matthews, Margo: Diana Bishop, Filbert: Clifton Jones, Mrs Brown: Ros Drinkwater, Phillips: Alan Devereux, First Old Woman: Joyce Latham, Second Old Woman: Penelope Shaw, Magistrate/Trader: Ralph Lawton. Director: Roger Pine (BBC Birmingham)

9 May 1976:
Drama Now: Incident at the Angel
By George Dures. The young hostess at a London Soho nightclub encounters a lonely Smithfield Market porter. Danny: John Hollis, Fay: Sarah Golding, First Copper: David Graham, Second Copper: Sean Arnold, Skipper: Henry Stamper, Mave: Anne Jameson, Ambulanceman: Allan McClelland. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 17 March 1977)

11 May 1976:
Drama Now: The Lodger
By Tom Mallin. Having retired from India, the Cadwallanders – Phyllis and her much older husband Charles – find their marriage complicated by a lodger. Charles Cadwallander: Maurice Denham, Phyllis Cadwallander: Colette O'Neil. Director: Richard Wortley

13 May 1976:
The Book of Job
By Pamela Gravett and Terence Allbright. A “philosophical drama” which shortens and arranges the 42 chapters of the biblical story from the Authorised Version of the Bible. Job: Paul Scofield, God: Robert Harris, The Storyteller: John Rowe, Satan: Christopher Bidmead, First Messenger: Michael Deacon, Second Messenger: Steve Hodson, Third Messenger: Jeffrey Segal, Job’s Wife: Jane Wenham, Eliphaz the Temanite: Peter Woodthorpe, Zophar the Naamathite: Godfrey Kenton, Bildad the Shuhite: Malcolm Hayes. Music: Terence Allbright. Musicians: Brenda Dykes, Angela East, John Royston Mitchell, Ross Pople, Graham Saltor and Suki Towb, conducted by Terence Allbright. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 10 February 1977)

16 May 1976:
Drama Now: Celebration for a Million Deaths
By Jan Needle. “Kenny, this is an historic moment in your career. Tonight was your millionth death. It's in the paper so it must be true.” The travels of a globe-trotting journalist seem to attract disaster. Kenny: Colin Edwynn, Wilkinson: David Marlowe, Woman: Judith Barker, George: Edward Wilson, Magnate: David Ross, Jackie: Bryan Pringle, Lily: Anne Cunningham. Director: Tony Cliff (BBC Manchester)

25 May 1976:
By William Ingram. A play by the actor and prolific radio dramatist (1930-2013). “And then you hears him say it... clear as a bell: ‘Proper little Laz, eh?’... The feeling that though they all should be glad and happy to have him back... he no longer has... ‘the right’.” Laz Thomas: John Hurt, Dr William Vaughan: William Squire, Thomas: William Ingram, Dick Drover: Haydn Jones, Probert: Douglas Blackwell. Director: Betty Davies

30 May 1976:
Drama Now: Strolls Along the Rhine
By Karl Otto Muhl, translated by Anthony Vivis. One of 13 plays by the German playwright and novelist Karl Otto Muhl (1923-2020), known for his social realism. In this, his first stage play (“Rheinpromenade”) from 1973, he explores the tender love of a pensioner for a young girl with mental disabilities. Fritz Kumetat, 77, Master Locksmith: Norman Shelley, Clare Lenz, 42, his daughter, Secretary: Gillian Martell, Arnold Lenz, 51, her husband: Haydn Jones, Martha, 26, a kitchen help in the hospital: Julie Hallam, Ina, eight, a neighbour's daughter: Annabelle Lanyon, Trudie, 70, Fritz's Childhood Friend: Hilda Kriseman, Coloured Nurse: Valerie Murray, Sister: Margaret Robertson. Other parts: Shirley Dixon, Eva Haddon and Joanna Wake. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 28 November 1976)

1 June 1976:
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. (Repeat from 28 September 1975)

8 June 1976:
Drama Now: Awake! and Sleep
By Peter Russell. Nice middle-class, middle-aged Henry and Jane worry that their 17-year-old son Michael may be led astray in unorthodox directions, when it’s the couple who need watching. Henry: Nigel Stock, Jane: Madi Hedd, Charles: Peter Jones, Michael: Michael Cochrane, Susan: Julie Hallam, Betty: Kate Coleridge, Boy Bullivant: Peter Craze. Director: Betty Davies

13 June 1976:
World Drama: Shelley’s Hellas
By Percy Bysshe Shelly, edited by Judith Chernaik. A first production for Shelley’s 1821 verse drama in which Sultan Mahmud, while fighting popular uprisings in Greece against Turkish rule, foresees the crumbling of the Ottoman Empire. Mahmud II: Paul Daneman, Hassan: David Neat, Ahasuerus: Malcolm Hayes. With Christopher Bidmead, Douglas Blackwell, Shirley Dixon, Eva Haddon, Walter Hall, Steve Hodson, Clifford Norgate and Margaret Robertson. Music: David Cain. Singers: Martyn Hill (tenor), Geoffrey Shaw (baritone), Terry Edwards (bass), Suzanne Flowers and Lynda Richardson (sopranos), Linda Hirst and Nancy Long (contraltos). Musicians: Chris Wilson (sitar), James Tyler (lute), Terry Walsh (guitar), John Leach (cimbalom), Gary Kettel (percussion), conducted by David Cain. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 13 October 1976)

15 June 1976:
Drama Now: Concrete
By Ian Dougall. A “satirical farce inspired by the notion of private armies”. “When is a battlefield not a battlefield?... Let the hopes and fears, the aspirations and anxieties of the ordinary administrative classes be expressed for at least once in their lives! Pass the ammunition, Mavis!” George Rawk: David Ryall, Announcer: Stephen Thorne, Mavis: Percy Edwards, Bosworth: Jeffrey Segal, Smithy: Garard Green, Archie: Douglas Blackwell, Towers: Leslie Heritage, Folk Singer: John Bull, Mrs Riley: Sheila Grant. Guitar accompaniment composed and played by John Bull. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 6 February 1977)

20 June 1976:
World Drama: The Non-Divine Comedy
By Zygmunt Krasinski, adapted by Stuart Griffiths from M.W. Cook’s translation. Krasinski (1812-1859) is regarded as one of the great Byronic poets of 19th-century Polish literature. In his 1833 play, informed by the French Revolution and the power struggle between the Jacobins, the traditional Christian hierarchy enjoyed by a baron ? a conflicted poet ? is besieged by democratic and revolutionary movements. Narrator: Stephen Murray, Count Henry: Gabriel Woolf, Mary, his wife: Rosalind Shanks, George, their son: Judy Bennet, Pancras, revolutionary leader: David March, Leonard, second-in-command to Pancras: Mike Gwilym, Count Henry’s Demon: Mary Morris. With the voices of Pauline Letts, Betty Huntley-Wright, John Bull, Jack Carr, Michael Deacon, Trader Faulkner, Paul Gaymon, Nigel Lambert, Sion Probert, Hector Ross, David Sinclair and Peter Williamson. Music: Hans Heimler. Producers: Stuart Griffiths and Martin Esslin. (Repeat from 12 October 1974)

22 June 1976:
Drama Now: So Favourite a Son
By John George. “This freedom from my hometown is an ancient sacrifice, the knackering of an old man to make him respectable. Come home, Meredith, all is forgiven.” Meredith: Clifford Evans, Marcus: Gareth Armstrong, Jennie: Heather Bell, Samuel: Douglas Blackwell, Mam Thomos: Elizabeth Morgan, Rhiannon: Jan Edwards. Director: Gerry Jones. (Repeated on 19 December 1976)

29 June 1976:
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. (Repeat from 27 July 1975)

4 July 1976:
Drama Now: The Great American Fourth of July Parade
By Archibald MacLeish. In this Bicentennial “verse drama for radio” by the American poet (1892-1982), the meaning and future of America are explored by the imagined interchanges between Thomas Jefferson, the third US president, and John Adams, the second president. John Adams: Robert Lang, Thomas Jefferson: David Buck. With the voices of Ed Bishop, Don Fellows, Heather Garrison, Bonnie Hurren, Judith Hurst, Peter Marinker, Paul Meier, Diana Olsson, Margaret Robertson, Peter Whitman and Ramsey Williams. Violinist: Lionel Bentley. Director: John Tydeman

6 July 1976:
Au salon, avec Feydeau
By Georges Feydeau, translated and adapted for radio by Peter Meyer. Three of the 20 or so monologues by the French playwright (1862-1921), originally written for actors to perform at charity concerts and in fashionable drawing rooms. With music from the Belle Epoque era performed by Groupe Instrumental de Paris. Director: Glyn Dearman (Repeated on 9 June 1977)

1: A Man Who Hates Monologues
Performed by Richard Briers

2: The Antipodes
Performed by Eileen Atkins

3: A Matter of Economy 13 July 1976:
Drama Now: The Eating House
By Kathleen Morgan. A woman arrives in a strange town to work at the Eating House. She meets gentle Mick, but is attracted to the dangerous and violent Cleet as reality and fantasy begin to merge. The Woman: Jane Lapotaire, Mick: Neville Jason, Cleet: Kevin Flood, The Housekeeper: Katherine Parr, Art: Walter Hall, Billy: Peter Craze. Director: Betty Davies. (Repeated on 14 April 1977)

18 July 1976:
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. (Repeat from 25 November 1975. Also on Radio 4 on 18 August 1980)

20 July 1976:
Drama Now: Vampirella
By Angela Carter. The first radio play by the acclaimed author and poet (1940-1992) finds Count Dracula’s daughter, on the eve of the First World War, wondering if true love can free her from her mouldering existence in the family castle in Transylvania. Carter later rewrote the play as the short story The Lady in the House of Love in her collection The Bloody Chamber. Countess Vampirella/Elizabeth Ba’athory: Anna Massey, Count Dracula/Sawney Beane/Henri Blot: David March. Hero: Richard O'Callaghan, Mrs Beane: Betty Hardy. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 29 May 1977. Also on Radio 4 on 15 November 1992 and Radio 4 Extra on 2 January 2016)

22 July 1976:
Drama Now: The Dust
By David Blake Kelly, based on the autobiography of Irish sculptor and stone carver Seamus Murphy (1907-1975). Seamus Murphy: Kevin Flood, Gargoyle: J. G. Devlin, Facemould: Patrick McAlinney. With the voices of Michael Golden, Harry Webster, Allan McClellan, Frank Grimes, Pauline Delaney, P.G. Stephens and David Blake Kelly. Harmonica: Alfie Kahn. Director: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 24 October 1977)

25 July 1976:
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). (Repeat from 28 December 1975)

27 July 1976:
Drama Now: Dead Soldiers
By Philip Martin. A play by the writer best known for the striking 1970s BBC TV drama series Gangsters. Commuting home on the London Underground, Michael Mallory meets a drunken pseudo-Scotsman, with some apocalyptic results. Michael Mallory: David Brierley, Robbie Burns: Tom Watson, Joanna Mallory: Marian Diamond, Dottie Bing: Elizabeth Cassidy, Passenger: Garard Green, Barman: Peter Craze, Cab Driver: William Eedle. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 26 June 1977)

1 August 1976:
Drama Now: The Flood
By Peter Fieldson. A road sweeper feels compelled to build an ark in his back yard. Stanley: Geoffrey Matthews, Voice: Walter Hall, Mary: Katherine Parr, Kate: Sandra Clark, Charlie: Malcolm Reid, Geoffrey: Nigel Lambert, Assistant: Sarah Golding, PA: Nicolette McKenzie. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 28 April 1977)

3 August 1976:
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. (Repeat from 16 December 1975)

8 August 1976:
The Mandate
By Nikolai Erdman, adapted by Peter Tegel based on a translation from the Russian and a German version by Ingebord Gampert. Erdman, a young talent admired by Maxim Gorky, wrote this wild satire in 1924. Set in Moscow in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, it features a landlord who must pretend to be a Communist, his cook, who is mistaken for the missing princess Anastasia, and his lodger, who is threatening them with the militia. (Tegel also adapted Erdman’s 1930s satire The Suicide for Radio 3 on 5 January 1978.) Hadeshda: Mary Wimbush, Pavel: Geoffrey Beevers, Varvara: Jane Knowles, Anastasia: Sarah Golding, Shironkin: Malcolm Reid, Tamara: Valerie Sarruf, Accordion Player: Tim Fearon, Smetanitch: Peter Woodthorpe, Valerian: Steve Hodson, Avtonom: David Neal, Agafangel: Jeffrey Segal, Sarchin's Wife: Irene Sutcliffe, Accordion music: Henry Krein. Director: Richard Wortley.(Repeated on 17 April 1977)

15 August 1976:
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. (Repeat from 31 August 1975)

17 August 1976:
Drama Now: Send-Up
By Elizabeth Troop. Amidst life in a future, totalitarian England there remain seeds of rebellion. Humphrey, narrator, private-eye, cop: Nigel Anthony, Jock, chauffeur and companion: Robert Trotter, Esme Pastmaster, ex-gaiety girl and film star: Irene Sutcliffe, Disc Jockey: David Hamilton, Advertising voice-over: John Pullen, Colin, a nice young man: Paul Meier, Meg, a pretty young girl: Joanna Wake, Delilah, black and beautiful: Valerie Murray, Geoffrey, Esme's ageing son: John Rye, Owl Eyes, member of a commune: Christopher Bidmead, Jalko, girl of Ghotul: Karen Ford, Daddy, Meg's father: Patrick Barr. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 24 May 1977)

19 August 1976:
Lorca: The Anguish of a Poet
By Ian Gibson and Trader Faulkner. An exploration of the Spanish writer, murdered by fascists in 1936, based on the original Royal Shakespeare Company production. Federico Garcia Lorca: David Buck, Narrators: Leonard Fenton and Mary Wimbush. With Michael Shannon, Steve Hodson, Trader Faulkner, Michael Deacon, Terry Scully, Christopher Bidmead, Sheila Grant, Miriam Margolyes and Elizabeth Counsell. Music: Paco Pena. Director: Maurice Leitch

22 August 1976:
The Hunter Gracchus
By John Robinson. In this play by the American dramatist, the myth existing in a young man's mind corresponds to the reality around him. Gracchus: Philip Oxman, Gilga: Peter Marinker, Erma/Virgin: Miriam Margolyes, Our Lady/Mother: Margaret Robertson, Father: David March, Pheasant: Valerie Murray, Ghost: Clifford Norgate, Chamois: Nicolette McKenzie. With the voices of Shirley Dixon, William Eedle, Leslie Heritage, Anne Rosenfeld, John Rowe and Irene Sutcliffe. Music: Malcolm Clarke (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 15 May 1977)

24 August 1976:
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. (Repeat from 21 October 1975. Also on 16 January 1977)

29 August 1976:
The Dissolution of Marcus Fleishman
By Stephen Davis. Marcus Fleishman, a Jew who died during the war, is metamorphosed into an ape used for inhuman experiments. Marcus Fleishman: Cyril Shaps, Zelda Fleishman: Miriam Margolyes, Their son (as a child): Pat Leventon, Their son (as an adult): Anthony Daniels, Rabbi: Martin Friend, Housewife: Shirley Cooklin, Brat Mary: Claire Nash, Technician: Christopher Bidmead, Another Technician: John Rowe. Other parts played by David Graham and James Thomason. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 24 March 1978. Also on Radio 4 on 25 May 1985 and 18 November 1990)

31 August 1976:
The Axe Murderer
By Nicholas Roe. “Neither upper, middle, nor lower class is the axe murderer. for terror and insanity respect no lines of superficial value. Indifferent to bank accounts and rigid social structures, those who deal in axes deal in equality.” Lionel: Peter Sallis, Melanie: Angela Pleasence, Louise: Richenda Carey, Percy: Ronald Herdman, Man/Announcer: Esmond Rideout. Producer: Mary Price (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 19 May 1977)

5 September 1976:
Drama Now: Buffo
By Peter Everett. One of half a dozen radio plays by the Hull-born author (1931-1999) in which a young man, Sam, visits for the first time the house where his mother has recently died. Why does he persuade Maud and Tim, a reclusive brother and sister who shared the house with his mother, to sell up and go to Italy? Maud: Sylvia Coleridge, Tim: Lockwood West, Sam: Geoffrey Beevers, Kidd: David Graham, Cilia: Anne Rosenfeld. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 12 October 1977)

7 September 1976:
Drama Now: Chapters in Crystal
By Fred Hooper. In this debut play, submitted to the 1974 Radio Times Play Competition. 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. 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. (Repeat from 7 September 1975)

9 September 1976:
World Drama: A Fairy Tale
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Susanne Flatauer and adapted for radio by Martin Esslin. An adaptation of Goethe’s 1794 story The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily, which explores the divide between the world of the inner and outer senses and how to bridge them. Teller of the Tale: David Davis, Prince: Gabriel Woolf, Beautiful Lily: Rosalind Shanks, Peasant: David March, Peasant's Wife: Freda Dowie, Ferryman: James Thomason, Will-o'-the-Wisps: Peter Craze, David Graham, Serpent: Mary Morris, First King: Patrick Barr, Second King: Douglas Blackwell, Third King: William Eedle, Fourth King: Godfrey Kenton. Music: Hans Heimler. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 19 June 1977)

12 September 1976:
Drama Now: The Caveman Cometh
By John Henry Jones. Ulysses and Diomedes, trapped in the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus, try to plot their escape, knowing that all their colleagues have been eaten and they are next on the menu. Ulysses: Peter Jeffrey, Diomedes: Michael Gambon. Music: Peter Howell (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 7 July 1977)

26 September 1976:
Drama Now: Buffet
By Rhys Adrian. A businessman, stressed by the economy, his wife and mistress, needs a quick drink in the buffet before going home, but it’s going to be a long night. (Also produced as a BBC1 Play for Today on 2 November 1976 with Tony Britton, Amanda Barrie and Nigel Hawthorne.) Freddie: Richard Briers, Joan, his wife: Irene Sutcliffe, Bertie: John Humphry, Ann: Shirley Dixon, Arnold: James Thomason, Arthur: Paul Meier, Richard: William Fox, Frank: Michael Tudor Barnes, Jack: Geoffrey Matthews, Harold: Gerald Cross, Steward: Hugh Walters, Stewardess: Valerie Murray, Porter: Walter Hall, Ticket Collector: Garard Green, Barmaid: Cecile Chevreau, John: Frederick Treves. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 25 August 1977. Also on 16 March 1980 and as Radio 4’s Afternoon Play on 8 June 1985)

30 September 1976:
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. (Repeat from 4 September 1975. Also on 8 September 1979)

3 October 1976:
The Merchant of Venice
By William Shakespeare. A quadrophonic production of Shakespeare’s endlessly problematic play. The Duke: John Ruddock, Antonio: Patrick Barr, Bassanio: Christopher Bidmead, Lorenzo: Peter Craze, Gratiano: Malcolm Reid, Salerio: David Neal, Salanio: William Eedle, Clerk to the Court: Marcus Campbell, Launcelot Gobbo: Steve Hodson, Old Gobbo: Richard Goolden, Shylock: Alan Badel, Jessica: Sarah Badel, Tubal: Jeffrey Segal. In Belmont – Portia: Anna Massey, Nerissa: Jane Knowles, Balthasar: Leslie Heritage, Stephano: David Neal, Prince of Morocco: Brian Sanders, Prince of Arragon: John Rye. Music: Christos Pittas, who conducts the Philomusica of London and singer Martyn Hill. Studio managers: Anthea Davies, Enyd Clowes. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 7 August 1977)

3 October 1976:
Where Tigers Roam
By John Spurling. An imaginary conversation between William Wordsworth and a stranger in the Champs-Elysees on 26 July 1794. William Wordsworth: Ronald Pickup, The Stranger: John McEnery. Producer: Patricia Brent. (Repeated on 26 December 1976)

5 October 1976:
Drama Now: The Night Nurse Slept in the Day Room
By Rhys Adrian. Jack has discharged himself from the hospital while Tom is still a patient. Every Tuesday, they meet in a bar and, eventually, talk. Jack: Hugh Burden, Tom: Peter Woodthorpe. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 29 December 1977)

7 October 1976:
The Waves
By Virginia Woolf, abridged for radio in 1955 by Louis MacNeice. Virginia Woolf's most experimental novel, first published in 1931, charts the lives of six friends from childhood to late middle age through a series of soliloquies with short choral interludes. Choral Voice: Peggy Ashcroft, Bernard: John Rowe, Susan: Faith Brook, Neville: Lyndon Brook, Rhoda: Caroline Blakiston, Louis: Nigel Hawthorne, Jinny: Penelope Wilton. Director: Guy Vaesen. (Repeated on 16 October 1977)

10 October 1976:
Drama Now: L.M.F (Lack of Moral Fibre)
By John Antrobus. In this comedy, a former wing commander and his business partner, who run a pub on the moors in Cornwall in 1970, are visited by a stranger and share memories of Flare Path Molly. (Also produced by John Tydeman for Radio 4 on 20 February 1999 with Richard Briers and Brian Murphy.) Wing Commander Teddy Wilmot: Charles Gray, Dennis: Bryan Pringle. Other parts: John Antrobus and David Graham. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on 4 August 1977)

17 October 1976:
Drama Now: An Account of What Happened When King Harold The Long-lived Wintered his Sixth Summer in England, Assembled the People and Wanted to Abdicate
By Paavo Haavikko, translated from the Finnish by Diane Tullberg. The work of Paavo Haavikko (1931-2008), one of Finland's leading poets and playwrights, included ironic re-creations of Scandinavian sagas. This play deals with a Danish king, Harold the Seafarer, who also ruled over parts of England. King Harold, called the Long-lived: Haydn Jones, Erik, a nobleman: Neville Jason, Jael, a nobleman: William Eedle, Shipowner: Patrick Barr, Merchant: Paul Meier, Fisherman: Peter Craze, Woodcutter: Clifford Norgate, Narrator: Leslie Heritage. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 10 July 1977)

21 October 1976:
Drama Now: Monk
By John Kirkmorris. A rock guitarist turns on his tape recorder to capture some thoughts about his rise and fall. Brian “Mon” Sims: Nigel Anthony. Girl: Liza Ross. Music: Ron Geesin. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 10 March 1978)

24 October 1976:
Essence of a Woman
By Menzies McKillop. “Nigel! There's a good boy. Come down at once., The nice gentlemen have said they won't shoot you ... Nigel! Speak to me. I'm your Mother.... You're to push the red button. Nigel. That will allow you to reply.” Mother: Sheila Latimer, Nigel: Bill Paterson, Policeman: John Young, Director/Lord Filmkirk: Brown Derby, Secretary: Carol Holmes, Pilot: John Bett, Theo: David McKail, Fiona: Mary Ann Reid, Psychiatrist: Bryden Murdoch, Vicar: Arthur Boland, Solicitor: Ian Ireland. Director: Gordon Emslie (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 11 September 1977)

27 October 1976:
If You’re Glad, I’ll Be Frank
By Tom Stoppard. In Stoppard’s third play for radio, first heard on Network Three on 8 February 1966, bus driver Frank is convinced his long-lost wife is being held hostage and forced to work as TIM, the Speaking Clock. The clock itself seems to have become disillusioned by the tyranny of time. Gladys: Patsy Rowlands, Frank: Timothy West, First Porter: Brian Hewlett, Myrtle Trelawney: Isabel Rennie, Mr Mortimer: Henry Stamper, Mr Courtenay-Smith: Noel Howlett, Sir John: Alan Haines, Lord Coot, First Lord of the Post Office: Austin Trevor, Beryl Bligh: Eva Haddon, Operator: Elizabeth Proud, Ivy, a bus conductress: Barbara Mitchell, Second Porter: Henry Stamper. Producer: John Tydeman. (Also repeated on 26 February 1966 and on Radio 4 Extra on 3 July 2012 and 9 January 2014)

31 October 1976:
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 John Whiting Award for 1968. 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. (Repeat from 10 August 1975. Also on Radio 4 on 5 July 1982)

4 November 1976:
Drama Now: Nineteen Policemen Searching the Sedway Shore
By Giles Gordon. “Nineteen men walking towards the sea. The 19 men happened to be policemen. They were walking towards the sea. peering at the foreshore, searching, seeking. For evidence.” With Michael Tudor Barnes, Douglas Blackwell, Gavin Campbell, Alaric Cotter, Peter Craze, William Eedle, David Graham, Garard Green, John Rowe and Andrew Seear, Director: David Spenser

7 November 1976:
Music to Murder By
By David Pownall. In this Paines Plough production, Pownall intertwines the lives of two composers: Carlo Gesualdo, a 16th-century Italian Prince, and Philip Heseltine (alias Peter Warlock), who committed suicide in 1930 after a career as a music critic and composer. Helen Euterpe: Mary Ellen Ray, Federigo /Carafa: Edward Adams, Philip Heseltine: Stephen Boxer, Carlo Gesualdo: Eric Richard, Maria D'Avalos: Fiona Victory, Additional singing: Diana Kyle. Music: Gesualdo. Director: Guy Vaesen. (Repeated on 14 August 1977. Also on 15 June 1990)

14 November 1976:
By Gabriel Josipovici from the translation by Richmond Lattimore. Described by the author as “a mad and highly irreverent reworking of Aeschylus’s Agamemnon”, this breaks down the story of Agamemnon’s triumphal return from Troy, and subsequent murder by his wife, Klytemnestra, for sacrificing their daughter, into fragments of sounds and words. Agamemnon: Timothy West, Klytemnestra: Jill Balcon, Cassandra: Maureen O'Brien, Watchman: Timothy Bateson, Herald: John Rowe, Chorus: Christopher Bidmead, William Eedle, David Graham, Leslie Heritage, Jeffrey Segal, Children: Shirley Dixon, Jane Knowles. Singers: Martyn Hill, Members of the BBC Singers and Philomusica of London. Music: Christos Pittas. Technical assistance: Jock Farrell, Lloyd Silverthorne, Penny Leicester and Roy Milani. Radiophonic realisation: Dick Mills. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 4 September 1977)

18 November 1976:
The Case of Vladimir Bukovsky
By John Theocharis. Trial transcripts form the basis of this drama detailing the trial of a young Russian dissident (1942-2019), who alerted the West to the Soviet authorities’ practice of incarcerating dissenters in psychiatric hospitals. He spent 12 years in psychiatric prison-hospitals, labour camps and prisons in the Soviet Union before being expelled from the country in late 1976. Vladimir Bukovsky: Brian Cox, Judge Lubentsova: Jill Balcon, Prosecutor Bobrushko: Freda Dowie, Advocate Shveisky: Jeffrey Segal, Witness Shushpanov: Leslie Heritage, Witness Nikitinsky: David Graham, Witness Byshkov: Walter Hall, Witness Tarasov: Paul Meier, Bukovskaya: Joan Matheson. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on Radio 4 on 19 September 1977)

22 November 1976:
A Song of Summer
By Roger Frith. A monologue compiled from the last essays of Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), the English nature writer and author of the early science-fiction novel After London. Richard Jefferies: Paul Scofield. Music: David Cain. Producer: Keith Slade. (Repeated on 6 November 1978. Also on 7 July 1982)

25 November 1976:
Drama Now: Sabri
By Kate Van der Grift. George takes a job on a Turkish cargo ship and meets the strange, blustering Sabri, who is making his last voyage. Sabri: Alfred Marks, George: Peter Marinker, Captain: John Bennett, Mustafa: Kevork Malikyan. Director: Liane Aukin. (Repeated on 18 August 1977)

2 December 1976:
Drama Now: The Restorer
By Christopher Whelen. In this “radio music drama”, the first of seven plays by the playwright and composer (1927-1993) to mix words and music, a mysterious picture hanging in a Dutch museum exercises a strange fascination on a visiting Englishman. Henry Sparks: Paul Scofield, Rachel Brewster: Nicolette McKenzie. Willem (The Restorer): Christopher Bidmead. “Cupcake”, a Waiter: Paul Meier, Professor Martha Spellborn: Joan Matheson, Dr Johann Weg: Jeffrey Segal. Small Boy: Jo Manning Wilson, Henry’s Father: Douglas Blackwell, Henry, a boy: Jean England, Henry's Doctor: Leslie Heritage, Celia, aged 10: Olwen Griffiths. Other voices: Shirley Dixon and Terri Lang. Music: Christopher Whelen, performed by players from the English Chamber Orchestra. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeated on 22 December 1977)

5 December 1976:
Drama Now: Morecambe
By Franz Xaver Kroetz, translated and adapted by Jane Brenton. A play by Germany’s most produced living playwright, whose work has tended to find more favour on British radio and fringe theatre rather than on major UK stages. Ann and Harry have been happily married for three years, but news of Ann’s pregnancy is not received enthusiastically by her husband. The cast reprise their roles from a production that won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival in 1975. Ann: Lesley Joseph, Harry: Philip Sayer. Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 12 January 1978)

9 December 1976:
Drama Now: Folie a Deux
By David Mercer. “A story for two voices” in which a cleric admits lustful thoughts. A rare original radio play by the acclaimed playwright and television dramatist.With Michael Hordern and Kate Binchy. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 29 January 1974. Also on 16 February 1981)

16 December 1976:
Drama Now: Events in Heroes’ Square
By Stephen Davis. From a hotel window overlooking the main square of a capital city in a country behind the Iron Curtain, a seasoned observer watches events below that culminate in a change of heroes and a change of direction. The Journalist: Michael Redgrave, Marie Horakova: Hannah Gordon, Her Mother: Mary Wimbush, Jan Horak: Michael Harbour, Elgar: William Roberts, Martha: Bonnie Hurren, The Interrogator: Milos Kirek, Pavel: Michael Goldie, Svatek: Michael Tudor Barnes, The Priest: John Rowe. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 31 August 1978)

23 December 1976:
Drama Now: Vienna ABC
By David Marshall. In this “comedy farce”, Len and Kay are producing a story outline for a TV documentary on Lenin, which is stifling Kay's embryonic romantic novel about Kafka. Len: Geoffrey Matthews, Kay: Miriam Margolyes. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 29 September 1977)

24 December 1976:
By Alec Reid. “A fantasy with some faint relevance to Christmas.” Narrator: Max Wall, Lord of Misrule: Billy Boyle, Bert Worthing/Jim Skirt: John Baddeley, Dr Wilson/Dr Gripe: David Brierley, Fr Hewley/Fr Divine: Nigel Goodwin, John Smith/Dick Clever: Geoffrey Collins, John Caine/Gentleman Usher: Alan Barry, James Foley/Peers Pot: Edward Kelsey, Cynthia Hotchkis/Hotkiss: Olwen Griffiths, Station Announcer: Terri Lang. Special sounds by Alastair Wilson (BBC Radiophonic Workshop), with additional material by Iain Kendell and Steuart Allin. Producers: Angela Tilby and Alec Reid. (Repeated on 29 December 1978)

24 December 1976:
Madame Aubin
By Paul Verlaine, translated and adapted by Terence Tiller. A 20-minute “mini-play” from 1894 by the French Symbolist poet (1844-1896). Peltier: Noel Johnson, Mme Aubin: Gretta Gouriet, Monsieur Aubin: Charles Simon, Le comte de Givors: Michael Deacon. Producer: Terence Tiller

30 December 1976:
Drama Now: Two Gentlemen of Hadleigh Heath
By Tom Mallin. Lance and Julia peel a few layers off the skin of their marriage and, in an atmosphere heavy with dislike, much is revealed about owning dogs and walks upon the heath. Lance: Hugh Dickson, Julia: Marian Diamond. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 9 December 1977)


2 January 1976:
A College in a Purer Air
By Lesley Montgomery. A portrait of Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland (c. 1610-1643), and the group of clerics and literary figures who gathered at his Oxfordshire manor house of Great Tew in the 1630s. With Paul Scofield and Haydn Jones. Producer: John Scotney. (Repeated on 5 September 1977)

6 February 1976:
Why I Did It?
By Peter Borenich. An English version of a Hungarian documentary, winner of the 1975 Italia Prize for documentary programmes, which follows the case of a woman from her arrival in hospital after an attempted suicide to the return to her family. Here actors recreate the testimonies of the original real people. Woman: Betty Hardy. With Rosalind Adams, Carole Boyd, Ginnette Clarke, Michael Deacon, Jan Edwards, Malcolm Hayes, Hilda Kriseman, Norma Ronald, John Rowe and Gladys Spencer. Director: Martin Esslin

8 February 1976:
My Dear Nimrod
By Percy Young. An exploration of the friendship between Edward Elgar and A. J. Jaeger , “Nimrod” of the Enigma Variations, which lasted 12 years. Elgar: Joss Ackland. Narrator: Stephen Thorne. Producer: Alan Haydock. (Repeated on 24 September 1976)

26 February 1976:
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. (Repeat from 16 June 1975)

9 March 1976:
Hamlet’s Aunt and Other Relations
Paul Bailey reflects on the significance of the many allusions and references to Shakespeare in the novels of Charles Dickens. Reader: John Rye. (Repeated on 10 June 1976)

11 March 1975:
The English Toper
By Vic Gammon. A story of the drinking habits of the English working class told in poetry, prose, song and statute law. Narrators: William Rushton and John Hollis. With David Brierley, David Sinclair and Peter Craze. Music by The Pump and Pluck Band. Producer: John Scotney (Repeated on Radio 4 on 21 April 1979)

26 March 1976:
Permanent Exile
By Eva Tucker. A portrait of the Austrian author (1894-1939) Joseph Roth whose work includes The Radetzky March. Narrator: John Rowe. Readers: Godfrey Kenton and Roger Snowdon. With the voices of Joseph Wittlin, Otto von Habsburg and Hermann Keston. Producer: John Theocharis

29 March 1976:
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. (Repeat from 3 October 1975)

30 March 1976:
Rattigan’s Theatre
Terence Rattigan (1911-1977) reflects on his 40-year career in the theatre, which includes the plays French Without Tears and Cause Celebre. Presented by Anthony Curtis. With contributions from Peggy Ashcroft, Alan Ayckbourn, John Gielgud, Harold Hobson, Roger Michell, Sheridan Morley, Laurence Olivier, T.C. Worsley and Emlyn Williams. Producer: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 25 December 1977)

6 April 1976:
Tribute to the Lady
A charity gala performance (also broadcast on Radio 4) offering an impression of the life and work of Lilian Baylis (1874-1937), who managed the Old Vic for a quarter of a century and paved the way for the English National Opera, the Royal Ballet and the National Theatre. With Polly Adams, Peggy Ashcroft, Anna Carteret, Robert Eddison, Frank Finlay, Albert Finney, Susan Fleetwood, John Gielgud, Gawn Grainger, Angela Lansbury, Denis Quillev, Ralph Richardson and Daniel Thorndike. With the recorded voices of Laurence Olivier and Lilian Baylis. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Also on Radio 4 on 8 November 1976)

14 April 1976:
Samuel Beckett
Jack MacGowran (1918-1973) took part in two programmes of Samuel Beckett's poetry, first broadcast in March and November 1966. A selection from these two programmes, recorded in the presence of Beckett who made amendments to the printed versions of the poems, is broadcast to mark the playwright's 70th birthday. Producer: Martin Esslin

22 April 1976:
From a Newgate Calendar
By Rayner Heppenstall. A documentary account of famous highwayman Jack Sheppard (1702-24) and Jonathan Wild (1683-1725), king of the London Underworld. (One of three documentaries (18 July 1975 and 22 February 1977) on 18th-century crimes and criminals.) Jack Sheppard: Christopher Bidmead, Jonathan Wild: Peter Woodthorpe. With Anne Jameson, Michael Burlington, Peter Craze, Malcolm Hayes, Leslie Heritage, Haydn Jones and Godfrey Kenton. Director: Martin Esslin

25 April 1976:
The Austrian Miracle
Charles Marowitz talks to leading Austrian dramatists about their links with the international avant-garde and their own literary tradition. With H.C. Artmann (1921-2000), Wolfgang Bauer (1941-2005), Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989), Peter Handke (b. 1942) and Ernst Jandl (1925-2000). Producer: Louise Purslow. (Repeated on 30 December 1977)

10 May 1976:
Gielgud and Richardson
Martin Jenkins invites John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson to reminisce about their careers while they were appearing together in Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land at the National Theatre. (Repeated on 14 February 1977)

15 May 1976:
The Pith of Reality
Leeds-born playwright Alan Bennett reflects on the irrelevance of a Northern upbringing, and several other things, to the business of being a writer. Producer: Stanley Williamson (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 25 June 1976)

23 May 1976:
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. (Repeat from 27 April 1975)

20 June 1976:
Dr Johnson Out of Town
By John Wain. A programme reflecting Dr Johnson’s love of travel, not only of the Highlands and islands of Scotland, but also lesser-known trips. Dr Johnson: John Sharp, Boswell: Henry Stamper. Producer: Robert Cradock. (Repeat from 25 August 1974)

27 June 1976:
The Light was on Her Head
A portrait of the Irish poet, translator and playwright Helen Waddell (1889-1965), whose translations of Chinese and medieval Latin lyrics made available many beautiful poems that might otherwise have been lost. Based on her writings and The Mark of the Maker by Monica Blackett. Helen Waddell: Kathleen Michael. Other parts played by Steve Hodson, Michael Shannon, Kevin Brennan, Cinnette Clarke, Michael Deacon, Powell Jones, Jane Wenham, Kenneth McClellan, Beth Boyd and Joanna Wake. Readers: Jill Balcon and Neville Jason. Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 25 September 1978)

8 July 1976:
Child of Adam
A celebration of Walt Whitman (1819-1892) by Anne Stevenson. Whitman: David Buck. With the voices of Eddie Matthews, Peter Woodthorpe, Peter Marinker and Margaret Robertson. Producer: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 15 March 1977)

15 July 1976:
Rousseau in England
J.H. Huizinga explores Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s stay in England between 1766 and 1767 and his turbulent relationship with the Scottish philosopher David Hume. Rousseau: Michael Spice, Hume: John Samson, Narrator: Robin Holmes. With the voices of Peter Craze, David Graham, Eva Haddon, Gay Rorke and James Thomason. Director: Piers Plowright

29 July 1976:
Do You Love Me?
An entertainment by the controversial Scottish psychologist R.D. Laing (1927-1989) in a sequence of dialogues, songs and epigrams about human relationships. With Jean Boht, Verity Anne Meldrum, Paul Jones and Brian Miller. Music: Carl Davis, played by Cliff Hardie, Alan James, Laurie Steele, Geoff Westley, Kenny Wheeler, Andy White and Roy Willox. Director: Martin Esslin

6 August 1976:
A Man for All Theatres: Sir Peter Daubeny
The life of Peter Daubeny (1921-1975), compiled by Ronald Harwood. Daubeny abandoned his acting ambitions when he lost an arm during the war in 1943, but went on to stage his own productions. He is best remembered for his World Theatre Season, which brought foreign companies to London between 1964 and 1975. With Lady Daubeny, Sir Richard Attenborough, Kitty Black, Richard Buckle, Alfred Davis, Martin Esslin, Edwige Fruillere, Lynn Fontanne, Hermione Gingold, Peter Hall, Terry Hands, Harold Hobson, Karolos Koun, Alfred Lunt, Micheal Mac Liammoir, Yehudi and Diana Menuhin, Roland Petit, Dame Marie Rambert, Paul Scofield, Sir Christopher Soames, Peter Ustinov and the recorded voice of Sir Peter Daubeny. Producer: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 6 August 1980)

19 October 1976:
An Estate in my Head
By Peter Yapp. A portrait of Lady Hester Stanhope (1776-1839), a British aristocrat, adventurer, antiquarian and niece of prime minister William Pitt, who became renowned for her Middle East adventures, dressing as a man, visiting harems and leading archaeological digs. Lady Hester: Jill Balcon, Charles Meryon: Alan Rowe, Narrator: David Strong. Other voices: Irene Sutcliffe, Nicolette McKenzie, Christopher Masters, Michael Tudor Barnes, James Thomason, Kevin Brennak, Haydn Jones, Paul Meier, Douglas Blackwell, Neville Jason, Leslie Heritage, Walter Hall and Garrick Hagon. Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 17 May 1977)

13 November 1976:
Man of Action
Playwright and screenwriter David Mercer (1928-1980) recalls his early years, including his working-class childhood in Wakefield, the Navy, and scraping a living as an artist in Paris. Accompanied by his choice of records, which includes a Mozart horn concerto, a Dvorak quartet and part of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. (Repeated on 3 February 1979)

25 December 1976:
The Beauty of Her Character
A tribute to Dame Peggy Ashcroft, who celebrated 50 years in the theatre in 1976, introduced by Harold Hobson. With contributions from Michael Billington, Glen Byam Shaw, Judi Dench, Sir John Gielgud., Peter Hall, Philip Hope-Wallace, Trevor Nunn and Hallam Tennyson.


1 January 1976:
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. (Repeat from 17 October 1975)

4 January 1976:
When Winter Began by Elio Vittorini (read by Robert Rietty)
A touching relationship develops between a lorry driver and a young girl. Translated by Alfred Alexander. (Also read by David Suchet on Radio 4 on 21 November 1974.) (Repeated on 5 February 1976).

9 January 1976:
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. (Repeat from 2 September 1975)

25 January 1976:
One Morning by A.N. Banerjee (read by Sam Dastor)
A “Bengal sketch”. (Repeated on 11 March 1976)

22 February 1976:
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. (Repeat from 26 May 1975)

4 March 1976:
I Crossed the Beresina by Madame Fusil (read by Jill Balcon)
The journal of a French singer who escaped from Russia with Napoleon’s retreating army in 1812. Translated by Anthony Brett-James and narrated by Garard Green. Producer: Hallam Tennyson

16 March 1976:
The Diamond Necklace by Guy de Maupassant (read by Jon Curle)
In this 1884 short story, the wife of a clerk loses a friend’s borrowed necklace at a ball and has to raise money to replace it, throwing the couple into poverty.

5 April 1976:
The Unseemly Old Lady by Bertolt Brecht (read by Julian Glover)
Recently widowed, a 70-year-old lady is determined to have fun, using up her life savings on the way. A story from Brecht’s Tales from the Calendar, translated by Yvonne Kapp. (Repeat from 30 May 1974)

6 April 1976:
The Right Hand by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (read by Martin Friend)
A short story by the Russian novelist, historian and political prisoner (1918-2008), based on his own experiences as a cancer patient. Translated by Michael Glenny. (Repeat from 1 June 1972)

19 April 1976:
Bank Holiday with the Thinking Set by E.S. Turner (read by Betty Marsden)
A short story by the English journalist, author and satirist (1909-2006). “Of course, it's an increasingly mixed society, but I always find intellectuals just a little bogus. Besides which, they are the ones at dinner who start smoking after the meat course.” (Repeated on 30 August 1976)

25 April 1976:
At the Treeline by Thomas Bernhard
A short story by one of Austria's leading writers (1931-1989). “I chatted to the landlady while still listening to the two strangers; I could hear everything and suddenly the thought came to me ? these two are a breach of the law.” BBC Manchester (Repeated on 4 June 1976)

20 May 1976:
Dayan’s Eye by “Korab” (read by David Graham)
One of three 1960s stories by Polish novelist and playwright Jozef Hen (born 1923), published in the Paris-based magazine Kultura under the pseudonym Korab. It addresses Poland’s anti-Semitic purges of 1968 by the Polish Communist party. Producer John Scotney

4, 11, 18 & 25 June 1976:
Paradise Regain’d by John Milton
In this 1671 sequel to Paradise Lost, the poet focuses on Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Narrator: Hugh Burden, Satan: Carleton Hobbs, God: Vernon Joyner, Christ: Gerald Cross, Mary: Elizabeth Morgan, Andrew/Belial: Kerry Francis. Producer: Terence Tiller. (Repeat from 9, 16, 23 & 30 November 1974)

15 June 1976:
Regret by Guy de Maupassant (read by Denholm Elliott)
A 72-year-old man wonders whether the woman he always loved, but who was married to a friend, ever loved him. Translated by Roger Colet. Producer: Gordon House. (Repeated on 23 January 1977. Other readings on Radio 4 on 25 January 1978 and 7 October 1983)

25 July 1976:
In Quebec City by Norman Levine (read by Murray Kash)
A short story by the Canadian writer (1923-2005). “A short man in a grey suit came quickly up to me, hand outstretched. He wore rimless glasses and had neat waves in his dark hair. 'I'm so glad you could come,’ he said, smiling. 'My name Is Mendel Rubin.’” (Also read by Jon Glover on Radio 4 on 20 November 1978 and 22 January and 11 September 1979.) (BBC Bristol)

5 August 1976:
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). (Repeat from 17 September 1975)

4 October 1976:
For to End Yet Again by Samuel Beckett (read by Patrick Magee)
A short prose piece translated from the French by the author. Producer: Martin Esslin

29 October 1976:
Death of the Word by Gabriel Josipovici (read by the author)
A man broods over the death of his father, but is the father actually dead? (Repeated on 16 February 1977)

3 November 1976:
The Dark Glasses by Muriel Spark (read by Gudrun Ure)
In this 1961 story set at a summer school, an historian encounters a psychologist who only chooses to see what she wants to see regarding someone from their past. Producer: Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland)

24 November 1976:
The Black Knight by John Gaskin (read by Michael Hordern)
A short story written for radio by a former Professor of Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, and whose collection of unsettling tales was published as The Dark Companion in 2001.

Many thanks to Ian Johns for compiling the entries.

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