Radio 3 Drama, 1978

Radio 3 Drama 1978

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 drama-related documentaries and selected readings and short stories. 


1 January 1978:
As You Like It
By William Shakespeare. A quadrophonic production of Shakespeare’s comedy, which takes place in the Forest of Arden. Orlando: Martin Jarvis, Rosalind: Sarah Badel, Celia: Anna Carteret, Jaques: Philip Locke, Duke Senior: Peter Howell, Adam: John Ruddock, Charles: Michael Harbour, Touchstone: Ronald Herdman, Le Beau: James Thomason, Amiens: Neville Jason, Lords: Gavin Campbell, Marcus Campbell, Corin: Timothy Bateson, Silvius: Christopher Guard, Audrey: Frances Jeater, Sir Oliver: Richard Goolden, Phebe: Rosalind Ayres, William: Kenneth Shanley. Music: David Cain, who conducts the Praetorius Consort: Christopher Ball and Paul Arden Taylor (recorders), Chris Wilson, Mike Lewin (lutes), Frances Kelly (Celtic harp) and Anne Collis (percussion). Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 27 August 1978)

4 January 1978:
Bar and Ger
By Geraldine Aron. The relationship between a sister (the author) and her younger brother is told in episodic flashes of dialogue through the years from when Ger is 10 and Bar is a newborn. Ger: Emily Richard, Bar: Christopher Good. Director: Bernard Krichefski.

5 January 1978:
The Suicide
By Nikolai Erdman, translated and adapted for radio by Peter Tegel. A 1928 satire by the Russian author (1900-1970), banned by Stalin, in which an unemployed man contemplates ending it all, until he is besieged by a host of discontented characters begging him to kill himself as a gesture for their cause. “Only dead men say what the living think.” Semyon Podsekalnikov: Henry Woolf, Maria Lukianovna: Patricia Gallimore, Serafima Ilinitchna: Mary Wimbush, Alexander Kalabushkin: John Gabriel, Margarita Peryesvetova: Joan Matheson, Aristarch Goloshchapov: Michael Harbour, Cleopatra Maximovna: Jane Knowles, Egor Timovyeyevitch: Eric Allan, Nikifor Pugachov/Father Elpidi: Henry Knowles, Viktor Viktorovitch: Nigel Graham, Raissa Filipovna: Jo Manning Wilson, Milliner: Brenda Kaye. Tuba played by Ian Hills. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 14 September 1978)

8 January 1978:
The Pilgrim’s Progress
By John Bunyan, adapted by Edward Sackville-West from the stage version by W. Nugent Monck. A quadraphonic production using Vaughan Williams’ score for a Home Service production (5 September 1943). Christian: John Gielgud, John Bunyan: Timothy West, Hopeful: Martin Jarvis, The Evangelist: John Justin, Mr Worldly Wiseman: Norman Shelley, Apollyon: Trevor Martin, Giant Despair: Trevor Martin, Obstinate: Steve Hodson, Pliable: Leslie Heritage, Help: David Sinclair, Goodwill: Roger Snowdon, Timorous: Leslie Heritage, Mistrust: Michael Burlington, Watchful: David Graham, Discretion: Norma Ronald, Piety: Jan Edwards, Charity: Rosalind Adams, Prudence: Alison Gollings, Judge: Roger Snowdon, Envy: Peter Williams ,Superstition: Leslie Heritage, Pickthank: Michael Shannon, Demas: Roger Snowdon, Shepherds: Steve Hodson, Leslie Heritage, Angel: Norma Ronald. Music: Vaughan Williams, performed by the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra and BBC Northern Singers, conducted by Sir Charles Groves. Soprano: Delyth Jones. Contralto: Elsa Kendal, Tenor: Robin Leggate, Baritone: Christopher Underwood, Chorus Master: Stephen Wilkinson. Technical Supervision: Adrian Revill. Music recorded by: Don Hartridge and mixed by: Bill Aitken. Musical Adviser: Ernest Warburton. Director: Bennett Maxwell. (Repeat from 1 May 1977. Also repeated 25 December 1988)

12 January 1978:
Drama Now: Morecambe
By Franz Xaver Kroetz, translated and adapted by Jane Brenton. Ann and Harry have been happily married for three years, but when she reveals she’s pregnant, her husband is less than happy. This production features the cast of an award-winning 1975 Edinburgh Fringe production of a play by one of Germany’s leading contemporary playwrights. Ann: Lesley Joseph, Harry: Philip Sayer. Director: Bernard Krichefski

15 January 1978:
By Arthur Kopit. In what is essentially a stream-of-consciousness monologue, an elderly woman, who used to be a pilot and wing walker, struggles to make sense of a debilitating stroke. This winner of the Prix Italia for best radio play was jointly commissioned by the BBC and produced by Earplay, the Drama Production Center for National Public Radio in the USA. Mrs Stilson: Mildred Dunnock, Amy Cara: Duff MacCormack. With Peter Michael Goetz, Michael Laskin, Zoaunne Leroy, Maryann Lippay and Richard Ramos. Music: Herb Pilhofer. Technical realisation: Tom Voegeli. Director: John Madden. (Repeated on 11 June 1978 and 1 January 1980)

19 January 1978:
Fun Balloons
By Dan Haworth. “The engineers want all the jobs they can get, they're on a productivity bonus… [but] the computer prints out more jobs than they're likely to do to make sure there isn't a shortfall.” Meryl: Cleone Rive, Tom: Alan Rothwell, Jeff Gibbs: Ronald Baddiley, Rod Parton: Jonathan Pryce. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 3 May 1977)

22 January 1978:
World Drama: The Passion of Young Werther
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, abridged and translated by Susanne Flatauer, adapted by Martin Esslin. An adaptation of Goethe’s first novel, an epistolary account of a young man’s torment of unrequited love that leads to his self-destruction. Werther: Gabriel Woolf, Charlotte: Rosalind Shanks, The Narrator: John Westbrook. With the voices of Nicolette McKenzie, Peter Williams and Roy Spencer. Director: Martin Esslin

26 January 1978:
Drama Now: The Caucasian in the Woodpile
By Ken Whitmore. “Sir Gilbert was the original Grandfather of the pinstripe Mafia... one of the minor robber barons, you might say. But a forerunner of great moguls like me.” Jelbart: Ronald Baddiley, Rosemary: Margot Leicester, Abigail: Jane Lowe, Nicholas Post: Christopher Godwin, Sir William Mytholmroyd: David Mahlowe. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 3 February 1977)

29 January 1978:
The Beggar’s Opera
By John Gay. A new production to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the first production at the Theatre Royal in London’s Lincoln's Inn Fields on Monday 29 January 1728. With the original music newly realised and conducted by David Cain. Capt Macheath: Gary Bond, Polly Peachum: Jan Waters, Lucy Locket: Sarah Badel, Mr Peachum: Patrick Stewart, Mrs Peachum: Patricia Routledge, Mr Locket: Harold Kasket, Filch: Kenneth Shanley, Jenny Diver: Elizabeth Proud, The Beggar/Harry Paddington: Timothy Bateson, The Player/Nimming Ned: Brian Sanders, Mat of the Mint: Michael Harbour, Drawer/Crook-fingered Jack: Alaric Cotter, Jemmy Twitcher/Robin of Bag shot: Michael Tudor Barnes, Wat Dreary: Leslie Fyson, Ben Budge: Henry Knowles, Mrs Coaxer: Elizabeth Bell, Dolly Trull: Rachel Cook, Mrs Vixen: Anne Rosenfeld, Betty Doxy: Jan Waters, Mrs Slammekin: Sarah Badel, Suky Tawdry: Jane Knowles, Molly Brazen: Heather Bell, Mrs Diana Trapes: Patricia Routledge. Music: David Cain, performed by the Praetorius Consort, directed by Christopher Ball. With Christopher Ball (recorders), Paul Arden Taylor (recorders and oboe), Simon Standage (baroque violin), Rachael Isserlis (baroque violin), Christopher Wilson, (lute and baroque guitar), Alan Wilson (harpsichord), Frances Kelly (harp), Anthony Pleeth (baroque cello), Michael Laird (trumpet), Roger Brenner (sackbut) and Anne Collis (percussion). (Repeated on 24 September 1978)

2 February 1978:
Drama Now: The Bargeman’s Comfort By Peter Tinniswood. “It is a small pub, is The Bargeman's Comfort. It lies on the banks of the Grand Northern Alliance Canal. Coots call among the brick dust sometimes. It is about to be demolished.” Edwin Hammond: Christian Rodska, Tommy Dutton: George A Cooper, Mossy: Jane Lowe, Vernon Boddington: Geoffrey Banks, Mrs Higson: Elizabeth McKenzie. Director: Tony Cliff (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 30 June 1977)

5 February 1978:
World Drama: A Moon for the Misbegotten
By Eugene O’Neill. O’Neill’s sequel to Long Day’s Journey into Night is set in Connecticut in 1923. Josie Hogan, the misfit daughter of an Irish tenant farmer, falls in love with their landlord, Jim Tyrone, a third-rate actor who washed away his dreams with alcohol. (Sarah Badel received the Imperial Tobacco Award for outstanding radio performance by an actress in 1978.) Josie: Sarah Badel, Hogan: Nigel Stock, Tyrone: Ian Hendry, Harder: Blain Fairman, Mike Hogan: Eric Allan. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 22 March 1979 and 18 October 1988)

12 February 1978:
Drama Now: The Monument
By David Cregan. A chronicle of the revolt at the Royal Friedrich Engels Museum of Fine Arts, as presented by some of those involved in it. Member of the public: Margot Boyd, James Short, the new Director: Timothy West, Mr Sloane, Chief Warden of the Museum: Timothy Bateson, Timothy Leeward, Deputy Director: Manning Wilson, Doris Dolshaw, Keeper of South American Studies: Elizabeth Proud, Hugh De Courcy, Keeper of Italian Renaissance: Gerald Cross, O.H. Hawthorne, Keeper of Antiquity: Douglas Storm, Isobel Marsh, Keeper of Industrial Archaeology: Sheila Grant, Jack Sargent, Keeper of Chinese Porcelain: Denys Hawthorne, Lydia, Keeper of Books: Elizabeth Bell, Lanie Luke, Assistant Keeper of Books: Jane Briers, George Appleyard, Assistant Keeper of Egyptology: James Thomason, Haydn Hall, Assistant Keeper, Italian Renaissance: Anthony Hall, Museum Secretary: Jonathan Scott, Chairperson of the Board of Overseers: John Ruddock, Leader of the Free Greece Restitution Committee: Michael Deacon, No 9: Peter Wickham, Control: Malcolm Gerard, Chief Electrician: Michael Goldie. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 25 April 1979)

16 February 1978:
Drama Now: The Lie
By John Antrobus. In this 20-minute “eerie and unusual comedy”, Jane feels the need to call on nearby neighbours Henry and Mary with her husband Henry as she ponders his unresponsiveness in the wake of a heart attack. Jane: June Whitfield, Henry: Geoffrey Matthews, John: Clifford Rose, Mary: Brenda Kaye. Director: Gerry Jones. (Repeated on 4 August 1978)

19 February 1978:
World Drama: The Wizard who Worked Wonders
By David Turner, freely adapted and translated from El Magico Prodigioso by Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681). Set in third-century Antioch, Cyprian sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for magical knowledge, but Satan in the end is powerless against his adversaries’ faith and free will. Written two years after his most famous play, Life is a Dream, Calderon's 1637 version of the Faust legend portrays a complex view of religion, morality, nobility and contrasting peasant realism. Cyprian: David Buck, Justina: Lisa Harrow, Devil: Patrick Troughton, Moscon: Walter Hall, Oarin: David Graham, Livia: Anne Rosenfeld, Florus: Robert French, Lelius: Michael Harbour, Lysander: Lockwood West, Aurelius: William Eedle. Music: David Cain. Director: Margaret Etall. (Repeat from 27 March 1977. Also repeated on Radio 4 on 28 February 1982 and 19 April 1992)

21 February 1978:
Drama Now: Simpson and Son
By Bill Morrison. Ireland, the summer of 1962. For newly graduated Jay Simpson, living is already a problem and leaving a greater problem still. Jay Simpson: Stephen Rea, Mrs Simpson: Marie Kean, Mr Simpson: Patrick McAlinney, Molly: Valerie Lilley, By: Sean Barrett, Lexie: Michael Deacon. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 9 January 1977)

23 February 1978:
Drama Now: Combined Subjects
By Yvonne Mallett. “Dear Miss Taylor, I have yet to receive any work from you... Dear Professor Grey, My essay on Bennett will be ready soon... Dear, Annette, I so enjoyed our talk over tea yesterday... Dear Peter, Thanks again for a very pleasant afternoon. Annette Taylor: Anna Calder-Marshall, Professor Grey: Timothy West. Director: David Spenser. (Repeat from 1 November 1977)

26 February 1978:
Drama Now: The Dauntless Girl
By Penelope Shuttle. A young girl in the 19th-century West Country overcomes fear and learns how to triumph over the domination of men. Polly: Allison Hancock, The Thorn Man: William Russell, Squire Blaekstone: Malcolm Gerard, Tom Field: Gavin Campbell, John Green: Stephen Sylvester, Sexton Wood: Ray Handy, Will: Peter Wickham, Harry the Youngster: Kit Thacker, George Matthews/Parson Beckworth: Eric Allan, Michael: Michael Goldie, Mr Leigh/Gaffer: David Ashford, Mary/Ghost: June Barrie. Music: Nicholas Marshall. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol)

5 March 1978:
Drama Now: Pythagoras.
By Dannie Abse. The acclaimed poet, playwright and novelist (1923-2014) reflects on the relationship between science and imagination in this play in which a former stage illusionist, claiming to be the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, is incarcerated in a mental home. Pythagoras: Roger Sloman, Charlie: Peter Gordon, Dr Aquillus: Hugh Dickson, Nurse Grey: Elizabeth Revill, Marian Cunningham: Catherine Griller, Biddy Morgan: Patricia Callimore, Mr X: Peter Pacey, Ken Kennedy: Nigel Anthony, Arthur: Eric Allan, Dr Bruce Green: Clifford Rose, Ellen: Anne Jameson. Director: Michael Rolfe (BBC Birmingham). (Repeated on 8th March 1979)

10 March 1978:
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. (Repeat from 21 October 1976)

12 March 1978:
By Slawomir Mrozek, translated by Teresa Wrona and MacIej Wrona with Robert Holman. A 1975 play by the Polish dramatist (1930-2013), first produced by director Andrzej Wajda in Krakow. Two East Europeans – one an immigrant worker and the other an “intellectual” – live together in a basement flat in a West European city. What keeps them together and why do they never return home? AA: Jim Norton, XX: Nigel Anthony. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 31 July 1977)

17 March 1978:
I Knock at the Door
By Sean O’Casey, adapted by Michael Voysey. Sean O’Casey ‘s first volume of autobiography recounts the author’s early years in a poverty-stricken area of Dublin towards the latter end of the 19th century. Sean: P.G. Stephens, Mother: Peggy Marshall, Johnny: Kate Binchy. With Sean Barrett, Heather Bell, David Blake Kelly, Denys Hawthorne, Hilda Kriseman, Oliver Maguire, Bryan Murray, Ewen White and Peter Wickham. Director: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 4 May 1979)

19 March 1978:
Oedipus at Colonus
By Sophocles, translated by Robert Fitzgerald. Oedipus, a wandering self-blinded exile, accompanied only by his daughter Antigone, draws close to a sacred grove where he will end his life’s pilgrimage. Oedipus: Michael Redgrave, Theseus: John Westbrook, Antigone: Maureen O’Brien, Polynelces: John Hurt, Creon: Joss Ackland, Stranger: Timothy Bateson, Chorus: Anthony Newlands, Ismene: Elizabeth Bell. People of Colonus: Eric Allan, Gavin Campbell, John Gabriel, Malcolm Gerard, Harold Kasket and Manning Wilson. Music: Christos Pittas, performed by the New Chamber Soloists with Martyn Hill (tenor) and members of The New Ambrosian Singers. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 15 April 1979)

24 March 1978:
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. (Repeat from 29 August 1976. Also on Radio 4 on 25 May 1985 and 18 November 1990)

25 March 1978:
The House on Seeker Street
By Michael Johnson. An allegorical verse drama, set in the present day, on the theme of death and resurrection. Observer: Michael Goldie, Third Voice/Inhabitant I: Manning Wilson, Ringmaster/Inhabitant 2: Rod Beacham, The voice in the wash-house/Inhabitant 4: Hilda Kriseman, A voice in the house: Jonathan Scott, A voice in the house/Inhabitant 3: Mary Elliott Nelson. Music: Malcolm Clarke (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Producer: Alec Reid

26 March 1978
Halt! Who Goes There?
By Tom Mallin. The last play by Mallin (1927-77), author of eight radio plays, is a black comedy in which the imperious Arnold Butterworth goes to a convalescent home after a cancer operation and meets other patients. Arnold Butterworth: Clive Swift, Mrs Rubin: Stella Tanner, Matron: Rosemary Leach, Mr Ashdown: Maurice Denham, Jock MacGilbie: Robert Trotter, Dick Twist: Jonathan Scott, Louis Palmerston: Leonard Fenton, Mrs Wesley: Brenda Kaye, Mrs Snell: Kathleen Helme, Abigail White: Hilda Kriseman, Celia: Anne Rosenfeld, Ellen: Katharine Page, Nurse Fulton: Heather Bell, Porter: Rod Beacham, Driver: Kenneth Shanley. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 29 October 1978)

2 April 1978:
Peer Gynt
By Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer. Serial fantasist Peer Gynt becomes a restless fugitive on an epic journey in search of self-fulfilment after abducting a young bride. This production commemorates the 150th anniversary of Ibsen’s birth. Peer Gynt: Denis Quiiley, Aase: Pauline Letts, Solveig: Kate Binchy, Ingrid: Hannah Gordon, The Old Man of the Mountains: Norman Rodway, Anitra: Sarah Badel, Begriffenfeldt/Priest: Peter Jeffrey, Strange Passenger: Martin Jarvis, Thin Person: Robert Eddison, The Button Moulder: John Woodvine, Old Woman/Solveig's Mother: Hilda Kriseman, Saeter girl/Woman: Carole Boyd, First Man: Peter Wickham, Receiver/Fellah: Alaric Cotter, Aslak/Ship's Captain: Kevin Flood, Second Man/Steersman: Rod Beacham, M Ballon/Memnon statue: Anthony Newlands, First Boy/Overseer: Gavin Campbell, First girl/Saeter girl: Karen Archer, Mads Moen: Henry Knowles, Mads’ Father/Cook: Robert Trotter, Helga/Saeter girl: Heather Bell, Solveig’s Father: Manning Wilson, Kari/Mads' Mother: Pauline Delaney, Herr Von Eberkopf/Troll PM: John Gabriel, Herr Trumpeterstraale/Hussein: Eric Allan, Mr Cotton: David Healy. Music: David Cain. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 27 December 1978)

6 April 1978:
Drama Now: That Oceanic Feeling
By John George. Is Gethin at the crossroads of his life or has he already reached the end of the final road? He has tried so many things, gone so many ways, but all he wants now is to be with Mam, to feel her hugs and her warmth. Gethin: Nigel Anthony, Sophie: Gwen Watford, Headmaster: Cyril Shaps, Phil: Douglas Blackwell, Marie: Jane Knowles, Dr Bull/First Motorist: Timothy Bateson, Rev Ambrose: Neville Jason, Mr Strange: Michael Goldie, Second Motorist: Michael Tudor Barnes. Director: Gerry Jones. (Repeat from 28 July 1977)

9 April 1978:
Drama Now: Man in Space
By Stephen Davis. This “radio romance” considers how far is a man prepared to go to get away from his wife. For an astronaut, the sky need not be the limit. Murray Duckoff: Bob Sherman, Barbara Ann, his wife: Honor Blackman, Chuck: Blain Fairman, Gus (Capcom 1): Ed Bishop, TV Commentator: Peter Whitman, Yuri Ulyanovich: Peter Woodthorpe, Valentina, his wife: Bashka Blee, Russian Flight Controller: Alexei Jawdokimov, Professor Popper: John Gabriel, A Woman: Nicolette McKenzie. American Flight Controllers and others: Rod Beacham, Henry Knowles, William Roberts and Garrick Hagon. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 15 October 1978)

15 April 1978:
The Dragon of Schokland
By Marianne Colijn, translated by Derek Jordan. Who is the creature, a dragon or the Devil? You must decide for yourself. Girl: Elizabeth Proud, Dragon: Peter Jeffrey, Vicar of Schokland: Andre van Gyseghem, Mathilda: Patricia Gallimore, Curate: Martin Thurley, Dr Pruim: Harold Kasket, Joris Pluvier: Jack Holloway. Music: Harold Rich. Director: Peter Nevis (BBC Birmingham)

16 April 1976:
A Sleep of Prisoners
By Christopher Fry. During a war, four men are imprisoned in a church. The rivalries, hatreds and loves that exist between them are revealed in their sleeping thoughts. (Fry’s play was first seen on TV on 16 December 1951 and heard in a Home Service production on 13 April 1952 with Denholm Elliott and Stanley Baker in the cast. Also produced for the Home Service on 6 November 1961.) Private David King: Alun Lewis, Private Peter Able: Christopher Bidmead, Private Tim Meadows, Freddie Jones, Corporal Joe Adams: Michael Graham Cox. Location sound by Cedric Johnson and Nigel Edwards. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 15 September 1989)

20 April 1978:
The Present
By Guy Vaesen, from the novel by Gabriel Josipovici. A tragi-comedy that explores the emotional needs of three people in different permutations of the present. They include Minna and Reg, married and childless, sharing their North London flat with their lodger, Alex; Minna married to Alex and living in the country with their two children; Minna in hospital after a breakdown and plagued by fantasies and frightening memories; Minna and Reg trying to make sense of Alex's suicide. Alex: Michael Spice, Minna: Caroline Blakiston, Reg: Jim Norton, Tony: William Eedle, Inspector: Aubrey Woods, Doctor: Neville Jason, Hattie: Shirley Dixon, Isabel: Anne Rosenfeld. Director: Guy Vaesen. (Repeated on 15 June 1978)

23 April 1978:
Antony and Cleopatra
By William Shakespeare. Sian Phillips and Robert Stephens play Shakespeare’s doomed power couple, who are far better at love than war. Cleopatra Queen of Egypt: Sian Phillips, Charmian, attendant on Cleopatra: Sheila Grant, Iras, attendant on Cleopatra: Mary Healey, Antony: Robert Stephens, Octavius Caesar: Ronald Pickup, Lepidus: Lockwood West, Sextus Pompeius: Peter Woodthorpe, Friends of Antony – Domitius Enobarbus: Derek Godfrey, Eros: Sam Dastor, Scarus: Neville Jason, Dercetas: William Eedle, Canidius: Fraser Kerr, Friends of Caesar – Maecenas: Michael Goldie, Agrippa: Stephen Thorne, Dolabella: Bruce Lidington, Proculeius: Andrew Seear, Thyreus: Geoffrey Collins, Friends of Pompey – Varrius: Peter Craze, Menas: Geoffrey Collins, Octavia, Caesar's sister: Jane Knowles, Attendants on Cleopatra – Alexas: Anthony Daniels, Mardian, eunuch: Wilfrid Carter, Soothsayer: Haydn Jones, Clown: Peter Woodthorpe. Other parts: Peter Craze, Walter Hall, Steve Hodson, Andrew Seear and Paul Meier. Music: Carl Davis. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 30 January 1977)

27 April 1978:
Drama Now: Webster’s Revenge
By Margaret Hollingsworth. “I think It's very important for married couples to be able to communicate, don't you? After all. I'm preaching it all the time to the parents of my problem kids, so it's time I did something about it myself.” Stanley: Henry Knowles, Lara: Toby Robins, Hannah: Margaret Robertson, Mrs Pettigrew: Barbara Mitchell, Bosola: Edward Kelsey. Director: Margaret Etall. (Repeat from 21 October 1977)

30 April 1978:
Spanish Fly
By Tom Mallin. A dying novelist has a crisis identity, so her schoolmaster husband tries to make a home movie about her life using children from their local village. Melissa Manchester: Gwen Watford, Ramirez: Rod Beacham, Mother: Irene Sutcliffe, Simone/Girl: Penelope Reynolds, Harold/Headmaster: Walter Hall, Child Melissa: Jean Rogers, Grandfather/Old Spaniard: Timothy Bateson, Edgar/Narrator: Michael Tudor Barnes, Clarissa: Anne Rosenfeld, Elizabeth/Roberta: Heather Bell, Politician/Priest/Waiter: Kenneth Shanley, Rosemary/Wardess: Mary Clare Nash. Street Interviews: David Bellan. Technical team: Marsail MacCuish, David Greenwood and Penny Leicester. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 18 September 1977)

2 May 1978:
A Disease of the Heart
By Michael Bakewell. Henri Beyle (1783-1842), known to the world as Stendhal, discourses on his life and loves. The Old Beyle: Nigel Stock, The Young Beyle: Christopher Good, Monsieur de Stendhal: Manning Wilson, Melanie: Anne Rosenfeld, Alexandrine: Ginnette Clarke, Angela: Penelope Reynolds, Menti: Shirley Dixon, Merimee: Brian Hewlett, Barot: Roy Spencer. Director: John Theocharis

5 May 1978:
Drama Now: Tell It the Way It Is
By Ranald Summerfield. “I knew her. Knew her well, better than anyone. Perhaps you wouldn't understand how well. You might: perhaps you've felt these things yourself for a woman.” Elsie: Amanda Murray, Arthur in his sixties: Michael Gough, Bystander: Brenda Kaye, Geoff/Bert: Manning Wilson, Jack: Peter Wickham, Jimbo: David Gillies, Harry/George: Alaric Cotter, Mick/Derek: Nick Brimble, Arthur in his twenties: Nigel Anthony, Edna/Jenny: Jennifer Piercey, Bob/Dr Gold: Gregory De Polnay, Henry: Gavin Campbell, Milly/Sister: Margot Boyd, Mr Redfern: Anthony Newlands, Nurse: Mary Clare Nash, ICU Nurse: Heather Bell. Director: Michael Heffernan. (Repeated on 21 December 1978)

7 May 1978:
Drama Now: The Golden Pathway Annual
By John Harding and John Burrows. The authors and actor Mark Wing-Davey recreate their original stage roles in this episodic comedy about Michael, a working-class lad, who navigates life from after the Second World War to the swinging Sixties, using a yearly set of children's encyclopaedias as his guide. With John Burrows, John Harding. Mark Wing-Davey, Denise Bryer and Timothy Bateson. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 17 July 1977)

11 May 1978:
Drama Now: The Grunstein Variation
By Wolfgang Kohlhaase, translated by Robert Bryce. This sensitive study of three men in prison is by one of East Germany’s most distinguished writers. The original German production of the play won the 1977 Italia Prize for radio drama. Lodek: Peter Vaughan, Grunstein: Cyril Shaps, The Greek: Michael Goldie, Warder: Andrew Branch, Prison Governor: Douglas Blackwell. Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 5 November 1978)

14 May 1978:
Drama Now: A Delicate Balance
By Edward Albee. In Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1966 play, well-heeled couple Agnes and Tobias find their best friends Edna and Harry suddenly turn up with a demand that threatens the delicate balance of their suburban life, which includes their serially divorced daughter and Agnes’s alcoholic sister, Claire. Agnes: Irene Worth, Claire: Elaine Stritch, Tobias: Robert Beatty, Julia: Sheila Allen, Edna: Bessie Love, Harry: Harry Towb. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 25 February 1979)

18 May 1978:
By David Pownall with members of the Paines Plough Company. It is two weeks before Rhodesian Independence. In a psychiatric hospital, the remaining staff are asked to examine a prisoner – a very unusual prisoner. Motocar: Joe Marcell, Inspector Pickerill: Eric Richard, Sister Donahue: Fiona Victory, Dr Lewis: Stephen Boxer, Nurse Symonds: Diana Kyle, Switchboard Operator: Olu Jacobs, Stan: Rod Beacham. Director: David Spenser

21 May 1978:
Drama Now: A Delicate Condition
By Malcolm Quantrill. Elderly Max, suffering from a weak heart, wonders if his son will make the long drive to visit him while Max’s wife wonders what her husband dreams as he sleeps. Max: Stephen Murray, Joy: Sylvia Coleridge, John: David Hick, Eva: Eva Haddon, Doctor: Manning Wilson, George: Peter Williams, Helen: Brenda Kaye. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 30 July 1978)

25 May 1978:
By William Trevor. A 61-year-old Irish spinster schoolteacher reflects on her life after reading in the newspaper the horrific fate of a former pupil who married a British soldier serving in Belfast. (Filmed in 1983 with Wendy Hiller.) Attracta: Mary Wimbush, Sarah Crookham: Sylvia Coleridge, Mrs Bamford: Anne Jameson, Mrs Marsh-Hall: Betty Baskcomb, Lady Faste: Grizelda Hervey, Dr. Friendman: Douglas Blackwell, Aunt Emmeline: Eithne Dunne, Archdeacon Flower: Haydn Jones, Geraldine: Heather Bell, Attracta as a child: Kate Binchy, Mr Devereux: Kevin Flood, Mr Ayrie: P.G. Stephens, Maisie: Roisin Donaghy, Mr Puree: Allan McClelland, Barbara: Judy Bennett, Penelope Vade: Elizabeth Bell, Gangster: Stan McGowan, Mr Jameson: Denys Hawthorne. Director: Michael Heffernan. (Repeat from 25 September 1977 and repeated as Radio 4’s Monday Play on 12 February 1979)

28 May 1978:
World Theatre: Britannicus
By Racine, translated by John Edmunds. Racine’s 1669 play is his first to depict Roman history. Agrippina, who has spent her life plotting and manoeuvring so she can be the power behind the throne, finds her influence challenged as Nero begins to assert himself to prove that he is Caesar. (Extracts from a Comedie francaise production, with Robert Hirsch as Nero, Annie Ducaux as Agrippina, Michel Bernardy as Britannicus and Daniele Ajoret as Junia, was broadcast on 30 May 1978.) Agrippina: Honor Blackman, Nero: Michael Cochrane, Britannicus: David Horovitch, Junia: Rosalind Shanks, Burrhus: Carleton Hobbs, Albina: Pauline Letts, Narcissus: Richard Hurndall. Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 17 January 1979)

1 June 1978:
The Revenge
By Andrew Sachs. Inspired by an interview with the playwright Tom Stoppard, actor Andrew Sachs thought it should be possible to write a radio play where sound effects were more important than dialogue. Recorded on location using the naturalistic recording techniques of binaural stereo, this thriller is told through sound alone with no dialogue and no coherent speech. With Andrew Sachs, Sean Barrett, Fraser Kerr, Graham Ashley, Paul Rosebury, Michael Deacon, Blain Fairman, John Rye, Melody Sachs, Frances Jeater and Leonard Fenton. Producer: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 31 July 1978 and frequently on BBC Radio 7 and 4 Extra)

4 June 1978:
The English Department
By Jonathan Raban. In this “radio comedy for graduates”, the tutors of a provincial university are gathered round a conference table to decide the final degrees of their students, including the cynical and promiscuous Trotman. Gavin Trotman: David Buck, Alec Grace: Stephen Murray, Gladys Choate: Diana Olsson, Raymond Stone: Don Troedsen, Griffith Williams: Douglas Blackwell, William Waterton: Lockwood West, Randall Edwards: Kenneth Shanley, David Holland: Sean Barrett. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 22 May 1977)

8 June 1978:
Drama Now: The Postman’s Knock.
By John Bett. “It’s no easy this writing lark. It’s not that I found myself devoid of inspiration exactly, It’s just the mechanics o’ the thing. What words ye use and in what order, who says what and when, Above all, the difficulty in sounding real.” Lachlan: Henry Stamper. Wife: Irene Sunters. With Desi Angus, Eileen McCallum, Mary Riggans, John Bett, Ronnie Letham, Alex Norton and John Shedden. Fiddle: Allan Ross. Songs written and sung by Neil Gammack and Dave Williams. Director: Gordon Emslie (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 11 January 1979)

9 June 1978:
The Kiss
By Janet Dunbar, freely adapted from a short story by Anton Chekhov. In this monologue, performed by Ronald Pickup, a shy soldier can’t stop thinking of a sudden kiss and the scent of the woman who gave it. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 31 January 1979)

13 June 1978:
By Barry Bermange. S.O.S. is a development from Bermange's earlier work in the field of audio-collage. Drawn from The International Code of Signals for the Use of All Nations (1874), it uses only Signals of Distress. These are presented in a transcribed form as a vocal composition with acoustic and electronic effects in which voices singly or in choral groups call to each other across an ocean for help that never comes. The Voices: Karen Archer, David Ashford, Elizabeth Bell, Michael Goldie, Henry Knowles, Hilda Kriseman, Joan Matheson, Mary Elliott Nelson, John Pullen, Roy Spencer and Robert Trotter. Special sound by Henry Parker (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Technical presentation: David Greenwood. Director: Barry Bermange

18 June 1978:
Drama Now: Drifting
By Erland Josephson, translated from the Swedish by Alan Tapsell and Ian Rodger. In this play by the Swedish actor and author (1923-2012), a thrifty husband takes his sick wife on an expensive trip to London in the hope of saving their marriage. Brita: Zena Walker, Melwyn: Hugh Dickson, Robert: Manning Wilson, Ellen: Jean Rogers, Arne: Hugh Ross. Language consultant: Susan Jungren. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 8 February 1979)

20 June 1978:
The Third Adam
By James Roose-Evans, based on the book by Jerzy Peterkiewicz. The story of the heretical Catholic Mariavite sect in Poland in the early 20th century, whose figures included its founder, Maria Koziowska, who claimed divine visions, and her successor, the polygamous Archbishop Kowalski. Archbishop Kowalski: Joss Ackland, The Little Mother: Annette Crosbie, Prosecutor: John Gabriel. The Bishops – Philip: Malcolm Gerard, Jacob/Murat: Anthony Newlands, Mark: Harold Kasket, Andrew: Kenneth Shanley, Joseph: David Ashford. The Sisters – Janina: Jane Knowles, Osinowna: Karen Archer, Isabel: Brenda Kaye, Casimir: Heather Bell, Ex-priestess: Joan Matheson, Jerzy: James Roose-Evans, Narrator: Gavin Campbell. Music: specially composed and conducted by Andrzej Panufnik. Musicians: Julian Coward and Susan Milan (flutes), William Green (clarinets), Richard Addison (bass clarinet). Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 11 April 1979)

22 June 1978:
Li’le Jimmy Williamson
By David Pownall. The life and times of James Williamson (1842-1930), a British businessman, philanthropist and Liberal MP for Lancaster. Jimmy Williamson: Robert McIntosh, Doctor Loco: Will Tacey, Jesse: Harriet Walter, Maud: Fiona Victory, Singer/Mrs Storey: Noreen Kershaw, The Rev Melville/Wall: Stephen Boxer, Shed/Jimmy Williamson Sr: Charles Haggith, Storey/Lloyd George: Graham Roberts, Marton/Gladstone/Colonel Halley: Leader Hawkins, Hodkinson: John Jardine. Music: Stephen Boxer. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 28 August 1977)

25 June 1978:
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. (Repeat from 18 May 1975)

29 June 1978:
By Christopher Hampton, adapted by Dickon Reed for this BBC World Service production (first heard on 13 May 1977). While her bullying and unfaithful reporter Dave is away in Iraq, Ann changes the locks and takes up with her more considerate colleague, Patrick. But Patrick proves no match when Dave comes crashing home. (First staged at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1976, with Jane Asher, Stephen Moore and James Bolam, and updated by Hampton for a West End revival in 2007 with Billie Piper Laurence Fox and Kris Marshall.) Patrick: George Cole, Ann: Sarah Badel, Dave: Julian Glover. Director: Dickon Reed

2 July 1978:
Richard III – Part Two
By David Pownall. This 1978 quadraphonic production of Pownall’s play features the cast of the original 1977 Paines Plough theatre company production. It explores whether history can be re-written when it’s being lived as we shift from George Orwell at the BBC in 1948 to the dystopian future of his novel 1984 and the court of Richard III in 1484. George Orwell/Richard III: Stephen Boxer, Elizabeth Woodville: Fiona Victory, Chrysostom: Joe Marcell, Cecily Neville/Edward: Harriet Walter, Louise/Richard, Duke of York: Diana Kyle, Francis Lovell/King Louis: Eric Richard, George McMasters/Warwick/ King Edward/Henry Tudor: Robert Mclntosh. Announcer: John Adams. Music: Stephen Boxer, Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 26 November 1981)

4 July 1978:
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. (Repeat from 18 March 1976)

6 July 1978:
A Sorrow Beyond Dreams
By Michael Kustow, from the semi-autobiographical 1972 novella by Peter Handke, translated by Ralph Mannheim. In this monologue, a man recalls his Austrian mother’s life, which spanned the rise of the Nazis, the Second World War and the postwar consumer economy, and which ended in her suicide. With Gawn Grainger. Producer: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 15 December 1977)

9 July 1978:
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. (Repeat from 7 July 1975)

11 July 1978:
Spoon River
By Paul Meier, adapted from Edgar Lee Masters’ 1915 collection of free verse that collectively narrates the epitaphs of the residents of a Midwest American town. With the voices of David Buck, Blain Fairman, Susannah Fellows, Don Fellows, Bessie Love, David March and Nicolette McKenzie. Director: Hallam Tennyson. (Repeat from 23 August 1977)

13 July 1978:
Drama Now: Will You Accept the Call?
By Jonathan Raban. A “monologue with slight interruption” puts the listener in the position of receiving a telephone call from a deranged phone-in fanatic. Bernard Voyce: Donald Pleasence, Foreign Caller: Neville Jason. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 24 March 1977)

16 July 1978:
Drama Now: Garrison Halibut
By Ian Dougall. In this “extravaganza”, everyman Bo’ Rider undertakes an allegorical journey through a Hollywood-style Wild West. Bo’ Rider: James Aubrey, Colonel Custard: Paul Maxwell, Abraham/Burglar: Bill Monks, Deputy Chief/Controller: David Ashford, Mail Master: David Healy, Powderkeg Lil: Margaret Robertson, Jethro Phonium: Blain Fairman, Signpost: Harold Kasket, Loo Tenant: Peter Marinker, Ensign Carruthers: Roy Spencer, Missy Lust: Stephanie Fayerman, Scoobie Maharishi/Shades Rafferty: Kenneth Shanley, Lulubelle Love: Liza Ross, Indian Chief: Philip Voss, Steamboat Death: Murray Kash, Peggy Sue: Jo Manning Wilson. Musicians: Judd Lander, Kevin Peek, Dave Lindsay, Colin Bilham and Michael Laird. Title music: Mike Steer. Radiophonics: Roger Limb. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 4 February 1979)

19 July 1978:
Final Meeting
By Terence Tiller. In “a dramatic fantasy of guilt and of its terror”, Hugh Burden plays every part. A remake of a 1954 production, first broadcast on 2 September 1966. Music: Elisabeth Lutyens, conducted by Marcus Dods. Producer: Terence Tiller. (Also repeated 20 September 1966)

21 July 1978:
Drama Now: The Force of Habit
By Thomas Bernhard, translated by Neville and Stephen Plaice. A black comedy by the Austrian author (1931-1989) in which a circus manager and other players have spent 22 years rehearsing in vain a performance of Schubert's Trout Quintet. Caribaldi the Ringmaster: David March The Juggler: Donal Donnelly, Caribaldi's Granddaughter: Anne Rosenfeld, Lion Tamer: Allan McClelland, Clown: Michael Tudor Barnes. Director: Ronald Mason. (Repeat from 11 December 1977)

23 July 1978:
Lancelot and Guinevere
By Gordon Honeycombe, based on the last two books by Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory. This dramatisation concentrates on the disastrous love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere and the resulting destruction wrought upon England, Arthur, and the noble Virtues symbolised by the Round Table. (The play was reworked for six performances at the Old Vic in 1980, this time based around an imprisoned Malory, played by Timothy West, with music by David Cain and directed by Martin Jenkins.) Sir Lancelot: Norman Rodway, Queen Guinevere: Anna Massey, King Arthur: Peter Jeffrey, Thomas Malory: Timothy West, Sir Bors: Martin Jarvis, Sir Ector: John Rowe, Sir Gawaine: Richard Pasco, Sir Bernard: Cyril Luckham, Sir Melliagance: Barry Foster, Sir Mador: Clifford Norgate, Sir Mordred: Christopher Bidmead, Sir Lavaine: Malcolm Reid, Sir Gareth: Steve Hodson, Sir Agravaine/Sir Bedevere: David Neal, Elaine: Hannah Gordon, The Lady: Nicolette McKenzie, Priest: Patrick Barr, King of North Wales: David Neal. Music: Derek Oldfield, played by members of the Allegro Ensemble. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 18 December 1977)

28 July 1978:
The Duck Variations
By David Mamet. The playwright describes his 1972 play as Opus 10 – a piece with 14 variations on the theme of the duck. The scene is a park in a large North American city overlooking a great lake, where two old men are passing the time of day. George: Cyril Shaps, Emil: Harry Towb. Director: Ronald Mason. (Repeat from 27 November 1977)

6 August 1978:
Kennedy’s Children
By Robert Patrick. Five lost souls sit in a bar on the Lower East Side of New York on a rainy February afternoon in 1974. Each reveals the tragic fallout of the heady, euphoric 1960s. Wanda, a middle-aged secretary-turned schoolteacher: Elaine Stritch, Sparger, a bitter, erratic, witty, Off-Off-Broadway actor: Michael Deacon, Rona, a politically active girl: Holly Palance, Mark, a Vietnam veteran: James Aubrey, Carla, a young actress: Sandra Dickinson, Bartender: Nigel Graham. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 11 February 1979)

7 August 1978:
Lunatic and Lover
By Michael Meyer. Playwright August Strindberg (1849-1912) and his tormented love life are explored in a play that won a Fringe First at the 1978 Edinburgh Festival. August Strindberg: Alan Badel, Frida Uhl: Sian Phillips, Adversary: John Richmond, Siri Von Essen: Jocelyne Sbath, Harriet Bosse: Caroline John, Von Wrangel: Walter Hall, Marie David: Jane Knowles, Przybyszewski: Peter Craze, Albert Bonnier: Jeffrey Segal, August Falck: Peter Dennis, Anna Strindberg: Joan Matheson. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 19 April 1977)

13 August 1978:
Between the Wars
By Hugh MacDiarmid and Henry Stamper. Recollections by the Scottish poet, essayist, journalist and political figure Christopher Murray Grieve (1892-1978), whose pen name was Hugh MacDiarmid. Originally a one-man show that earned Henry Stamper (1937-2009) a Fringe First at the 1977 Edinburgh Festival. (First heard on BBC Scotland.) Producer: Gordon Emslie

13 August 1978
Drama Now: How an Honourable Shop-keeper finds the Courage to Break his Adorable Wife’s Nose in Front of Everyone
By Oddur Bjornsson, adapted from the Icelandic by Benedict Arnason and Philip Bond. Oddur Bjornsson (1932-2011) was one of Iceland’s leading modernist playwrights, known for his absurdist satires and fantasies. “Mrs Arnason would have been a complete angel if she’d had wings and it’s hard to see why Mr Arnason did such a dreadful thing to her. If their son could only understand what happened between the two of them, he could perhaps understand himself.” First Old Lady: Margot Boyd, Second Old Lady: Brenda Kaye, Arni Arnason: Philip Bond, Mrs Arnason: Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Mr Arnason: Lyndon Brook, Bogga: Vanessa Millard, Tor: Michael Goldie, Halldora: Jennifer Piercey, The Doctor: Gavin Campbell, Ardi: Kevin Lyons, She: Petra Davies. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 4 January 1979)

17 August 1978:
Drama Now: Some Say John the Baptist
By Martyn Wade. Seemingly destined to become John the Baptist, a man struggles with this image, so his mother takes him to a “Personality Redevelopment Agency”. Mother: Marie Kean, John: Stephen Rea, Miss Rose: Rosalind Adams, Mr Nugent: Stephen Thorne, Radio Announcer: Phillip Manikum. Director: Shaun MacLoughlin (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 1 October 1978 and on Radio 4 on 23 November 1986)

20 August 1978:
Drama Now: Jimmy
By Desmond Hogan. “I was 26 then. He was 17. I was schoolmaster. He was pupil… We were friends, Tommy and I, nothing more... But the men and women of Galway had a clear glint in their eye for scandal.” One of the first Irish radio plays to feature the subject of homosexuality. Jimmy: P.G. Stephens, Mary/Woman at Party: Eithne Dunne, Woman on Boat: Catherine Gibson, Tommy/Boy: Bosco Hogan, Elaine: Pauline Delany, Rita: Carmel McSharry, George: Kevin Flood, Joe/Barman: Sean Barrett. Musical director: John Anderson. Director: Robert Cooper. (BBC Northern Ireland)

24 August 1978:
Episode on a Thursday Evening
By Don Haworth. Two owners of a seedy cinema are faced with a bomb scare and the adverse publicity it will bring to the sale of their property. Should they evacuate or not? Winner of a 1978 Giles Cooper Award. Tom: John Hollis, Jerry: Terry Scully, Rose: Diana Bishop, Proctor: Lewis Stringer. Pianist: Martin Goldstein. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 21 September 1978 and on BBC Radio 7 on 23 August 2003)

31 August 1978:
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. (Repeat from 16 December 1976)

3 September 1978:
Drama Now: Rocklife
By Peter Tegel. An elderly English couple have retired to a tough, simple life on a Greek island where unexpected visitors and a gift prompt musings on the meaning of life. Leo: Stephen Murray, Sybil: Pauline Letts, Alex: Steve Hodson, Helen: Lesley Dunlop, Voice: Peter Wickham. Musicians: Chris Wilson, Chris Ball and Michael Wright. Music: David Cain. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 9 October 1977)

7 September 1978:
Drama Now: Miracles and Miss Langan
By Neil Jordan. Film-maker and novelist Neil Jordan’s first play for radio, originally written in 1972, is an account of the relationship between an atheist schoolmistress and a young cleric, and their attempts to break the moral bonds created by a Catholic upbringing in Ireland. (Also adapted as a TV movie by Pat O’Connor in 1979.) Susan Langan: Kate Binchy, Benjamin D’Arcy: Bosco Hogan, Priest: Allan McClelland, Mr Stacy: Harold Goldblatt, Mr Murphy: Denys Hawthorne, Mrs Boylan/Schoolgirl: Margaret D’Arcy, Mrs Keane: Heather Bell, Barman: Malcolm Gerard, Man in Restaurant: Michael Golden, Woman in Bar/Schoolgirl: Angela Harding, Woman in Bar/Schoolgirl: Bernadette Shortt, Sarah: Elizabeth Lindsay, Mary: Heather Bell. Director: Robert Cooper (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 11 March 1979)

10 September 1978:
Not Waving
By Elizabeth Troop. A satirical round-up of the life of one woman, who remains silent throughout the play, which also presents a potted social history (circa 1935-1975). Mrs Evans: Elizabeth Bell, Doctor/Second Fisherman/Gino: Peter Wickham, Nurse/Sonia: Petra Davies, Arthur Evans/Mr Tibbs: Eric Allan, Gran/Miss Spicer: Margot Boyd, GI/Producer/First Fisherman: Kenneth Shanley, Youth/Chris/Jack: Alaric Cotter, Hamish: Robert Trotter, Michel/Hitchhiker: Andrew Branch, Helene/Jade: Eve Karpf, Mildred: Brenda Kaye, Elderly Gentleman/Mr Sargeant: Philip Voss, Mr Danby: Garard Green, Mervyn: Sean Arnold, Oscar: Fred Bryant, Alan: Heather Bell. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on Radio 4 on 25 April 1979)

11 September 1978:
The Death of the Cervi Brothers (as told by the poet Mayakovsky)
By Pietro Fortimenti. This is a shortened version, in Italian, of a programme submitted by RAI (Italian Radio and Television) in the drama section of the 1977 Italia Prize. The seven Cervi brothers, shot by Fascists in 1943. were rapidly raised to the status of folk heroes. This programme, which recreates in radio terms the puppet theatre still popular in the streets of Italy, explores the process of myth-making and makes its own humane and ironic comment on the historical facts.

13 September 1978
Confessions of Zeno
By Carlo Ardito, from the 1923 comic novel by Italo Svevo. Set in Trieste from the early 1890s to the initial stages of the First World War, a hypochondriacal, neurotic businessman offers up an unreliable account of his life for the benefit of a psychoanalyst, including recollections of his student days, trying to give up smoking and his father’s death. Zeno Cosini: John Moffatt, Dr S: Jack May, Giovanni Malfenti: Anthony Newlands, Signora Malfenti: Maxine Audley, Augusta: Jennifer Piercey, Ada: Lisa Harrow, Guido Speier: Gary Bond, Enrico Copier: Peter Baldwin, Carla Gerco: Polly James, Alfio Cosini: Lockwood West, Dr Coprosich: Robert Trotter, Giovanna: Hilda Kriseman, Alberta Malfenti: Heather Bell, Maria: Petra Davies. Musicians: Neil Rhoden (piano), George French) (violin). Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 26 April 1979)

17 September 1978:
Drama Now: Delinquent (Der Zogling)
By Harald Mueller, translated by Steve Gooch. A new play by one of West Germany’s leading contemporary playwrights was commissioned by an international group of radio stations. Research student Usch, studying the “late bourgeois family”, is torn between a 17-year-old delinquent called Tom and a young architect and aspiring politician, Tony. Usch: Glynis Brooks, Tom: Christopher Guard, Rolf: Tony McEwan, Tony: Christopher Godwin, Jesus: David Freedman, Tiger: Peter Duncan, Uwe: Phillip Sully, Bernd: Gregory de Polnay, Father: Anthony Newlands, Mother: Brenda Kaye. Other parts played by Judy Parkin and Neville Jason. Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 25 October 1979)

28 September 1978:
Drama Now: The Ant Killers
By Severo Sarduy, translated by Barbara Thompson. In this play by the Cuban author (1937-1993), German tourists visiting Portugal during the April Revolution of 1974, and a group of boys destroying ants that are besieging them, echo the withdrawal of the Portuguese from Angola and other colonies in Africa. Voices: Peter Baldwin, Eric Allan, Kenneth Shanley, Edward Kelsey, Sheila Grant, Henry Knowles. Director: David Spenser

5 October 1978:
The Threepenny Opera 
By Bertolt Brecht, after The Beggar's Opera by John Gay. Music by Kurt Weill. Translated by Ralph Manheim and John Willett. Brecht and Weill wrote their updated version of The Beggar's Opera in 1928 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Gay's original, in which Polly Peachum’s secret marriage to London's most notorious gangster, Macheath, causes uproar. Polly Peachum: Sarah Badel, Macheath: Paul Bentley, Mr Peachum: Harold Kasket, Low-dive Jenny: Julia McKenzie, Mrs Peachum: Johanna Peters, Tiger Brown: Peter Pratt, Lucy Brown: Jan Waters, Narrator: John Hollis, Ballad Singer/Jimmy/Smith: Roderick Horn, Filch: Andrew Branch, Matthew: John Hollis, Jake: Bill Monks, Bob: Roy Spencer, Ned: Manning Wilson, Walter: Philip Voss, The Rev Kimball: Peter Williams, Vixen: Heather Bell, Betty: Rachel Cook, Old Whore: Hilda Kriseman. Polly's songs sung by Elaine Padmore. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 23 December 1978 and 8 February 1986)

8 October 1978:
The Flower of Immortality
By Margaret Rose. In Sumeria, Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, rules for seven years before he has to marry the Goddess Inanna and go to his death. The young man goes on a search for a Flower of Immortality and journeys with his twin self, Enkidu. Gilgamesh: Nigel Anthony, Enkidu: Stephen Rea, Ninsun: Petra Davies, Anu: Russell Dixon, Utu: Philip Voss, Inanna: Carole Hayman, Siduri: Sally Gibson, Ziusudra: Harold Kasket, His Wife: Marlene Sidaway, Ferryman: Denys Hawthorne. Sound: Paddy Kingsland (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: Liane Aukin. (Repeated on Radio 4 on 25 March 1979)

19 October 1978:
The Cocktail Party
By T.S. Eliot. In Eliot’s 1949 play, during a party, an aristocratic couple come to accept that their anguished marriage will be a passionless coexistence. Celia Coplestone: Marian Diamond, Sir Henry Harcourt-Reilly: Jack May, Edward Chamberlayne: John Carson, Lavinia Chamberlayne: Sylvia Syms, Julia Shuttlethwaite: Elizabeth Spriggs, Alexander MacColgie Gibbs: Philip Voss, Peter Quilpe: Tom Wilkinson. With Brenda Kaye and Andrew Branch. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 26 July 1979 and 27 September 1988)

22 October 1978:
Drama Now: Night Thoughts & Terminal
By Corinne Jacker. A double bill of two-handers by the American playwright (1933-2013) begins with Night Thoughts, in which chronic invalid Dorothy is suspicious of Ida, the woman living with her, who may or may not be her sister. In Terminal, newly admitted patient Steven finds a terminal patient entering his private room and proceeds to list a host of medical horrors. Dorothy: Toby Robins, Ida: Maureen Lipman, Oswald: Peter Marinker, Steven: Bob Sherman, Nurse: Jennifer Piercey. Director: Michael Heffernan. (Repeated on 20 April 1979)

26 October 1978:
King Lear
By William Shakespeare, adapted for by M.R. Ridley. Sir Donald Wolfit takes the title role in this production, first heard on 26 April 1949. Lear, King of Britain: Donald Wolfit, Earl of Kent: Ralph Truman, Earl of Gloucester: John Ruddock, Edmund, son to Gloucester: Roderick Lovell, Daughters to Lear – Goneril: Sonia Dresdel, Cordelia: Rosalind Iden, Regan: Barbara Couper, Duke of Burgundy: Philip Morant, King of France: Denis McCarthy, Edgar, son to Gloucester: Harry Andrews, Oswald, steward to Goneril: Arnold Diamond, A Messenger: Adrian Thomas, Fool: Robert Eddison, Duke of Albany: Douglas Jefferies, First Gentleman: Richard West, Curan: John Boxer, Duke of Cornwall: Andrew Cruickshank, A Gentleman: Ian Cooper, An Old Man: Lance George, Narrator: Duncan Carse. Director: Howard Rose

2 November 1978:
Drama Now: Dreams to Damnation
By Jacek Laskowski. “Somebody in these parts has been selling home-made liquor. He also puts poison in selected bottles. The deaths were too random to have come from one distillation. And the victims were all important Party officials.” Gerhard: Richard Kane, Peters: Martin Heller, Anna: Alison Gollings, Dominic: Gregor Fisher, Alfred: Arthur Boland, Roland: Brian Carey. Director: Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland). (Repeat from 1 September 1977)

9 November 1978:
The School for Scandal
By Richard Brinsley Sheridan. A 1977 binaural production of Sheridan’s comic masterpiece to mark the anniversary of the first performance on 8 May 1777 at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Lady Teazle: Sarah Badel, Mrs Candour: Jill Balcon, Charles Surface: Gary Bond, Maria: Jane Knowles, Sir Benjamin Backbite: Philip Locke, Joseph Surface: Alec McCowen, Crabtree: Norman Rodway, Rowley: Jeffrey Segal, Lady Sneerwell: Irene Sutcliffe, Sir Peter Teazle: Nigel Stock, Sir Oliver Surface: Clive Swift, Snake: Rod Beacham, Moses: Michael Goldie, William: Walter Hall, Trip: Michael Harbour, Careless: Paul Meier, A Maid: Penelope Reynolds. Music: Christopher Hogwood, played by The Academy of Ancient Music. Producer/Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 9 May 1977. Also on Radio 4 on 28 July 1983)

12 November 1978:
Drama Now: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been…?
Abridged, edited and arranged by Eric Bentley from the records of the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings from 1947-1956 in a radio version by Bob Sherman. The dialogue is taken from the records of the actual hearings during the McCarthy Era when Hollywood and theatre writers, producers and performers were under investigation for alleged subversive activities. Those depicted include Edward Dmytryk. Ring Lardner Jr, Larry Parks, Sterling Hayden, Abe Burrows, Elia Kazan, Tony Kraber, Jerome Robbins, Elliott Sullivan, Martin Berkeley, Lillian Hellman, Marc Lawrence, Lionel Stander, Arthur Miller and Paul Robeson. With Peter Banks, Thomas Baptise, John Bay, Ed Bishop, Hal Galili, Helen Horton, Christopher Malcolm, Bob Sherman, Bob Whelan, Thick Wilson and Ramsay Williams. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 27 June 1979)

16 November 1978:
World Theatre: The Burghers of Calais
By Georg Kaiser, translated by J.M. Ritchie and Rex Last. This 1913 drama by the German Expressionist dramatist (1878-1945) is set in 1347 when Edward III is besieging Calais in 1347, during the 100 Years' War. To avert destruction of the city, he decrees that six councillors must offer to be hanged at dawn. In the confusion, seven volunteer, so one of them is free to retract and live. Each faces this moral dilemma differently. Eustache de Saint-Pierre: Robert Harris, Jean de Vienne: Derek Godfrey, Dugueselins: William Squire, English Officer: Stephen Thorne, French Officer: William Eedle, Jean d'Aire: Godfrey Kenton, Andrieu d'Andres: Denis McCarthy, Eustache's father: Carleton Hobbs, The Mother: Hilda Schroder, Four Councillors: John Rye, Nigel Graham, Sam Dastor, Nigel Lambert. With Sean Arnold, Alan Dudley, Vernon Joyner, Peter Pacey and Diana Olsson. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeat from a Radio 4 production on 5 August 1974)

19 November 1978:
The Importance of Being Earnest
By Oscar Wilde in the original four-act version, edited by Owen Dudley-Edwards. John Worthing: Richard Pasco, Algernon Moncrieff: Jeremy Clyde, The Hon Gwendolen: Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Cecily Cardew: Prunella Scales, The Rev Canon: Maurice Denham, Miss Prism: Sylvia Coleridge, Lady Bracknell: Fabia Drake, Mr Gribsby: Gerald Cross, Lane: Richard Burnett, Merriman: Jonathan Scott. Music: Terence Allbright. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 25 December 1977. Also on 5 May 1989 and on Radio 4 on 18 August 1983)

21 November 1978:
Join Me in the Dark
By Henry Woolf. An elderly Jewish man talks to his cat in his North London attic room in North London, awaiting a call beside a telephone that has been cut off. Roth: Harold Berens, Dora: Rula Lenska. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 17 June 1979)

26 November 1978:
The Clerks
By Rhys Adrian. Two clerks find working for a hush-hush government department is becoming all-consuming, which leads to them ending up on the streets. Co-winner of the Prix Futura 79 award for international radio drama. Hugh: Hugh Burden, Freddie: Freddie Jones, Gerald: Gerald Cross. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 2 May 1979 and 15 October 1991. Also on Radio 4 Extra on 11 February 2010)

30 November 1978:
Conditions of Agreement
By John Whiting. This 1947 play by Whiting (1917-1963) was adapted for BBC television as A Walk in the Desert (25 September 1960). Set in a small English village, it explores the impact of various men on widower Emily Doon, including Bembo, a retired clown, A.O., an amiable and foolish widower next door, and her quarrelsome son, Nicholas, and his bride. (First heard in a shortened version on Radio 4 on 3 April 1978.) Peter Bembo: Peter Vaughan, A.G.: Richard Pearson, Emily: Jill Balcon, Patience: Maureen O'Brien, Nicholas: Henry Knowles. Director: Kay Patrick

3 December 1978:
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
By Elizabeth Smart, abridged by the author (1913-1986) from her 1945 prose poem. It explores and charts a woman’s obsessive love for a married man, the ecstasy of the lovers running away and the pain after the man returns to his wife. Narrator: Maureen O’Brien. Producer: Cherry Cookson. (Repeated on 8 April 1979 and on Radio 4 on 3 November 1991)

8 December 1978:
Lady Be Good
Music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and original dialogue by Guy Thompson and Fred Thompson. This 1924 romantic musical comedy was an early Broadway success for the Gershwins and a hit for Fred and Adele Astaire (repeated in London in 1926), playing penniless brother and sister socialites, who gate-crash a garden party. Other characters include a crooked lawyer, an eccentric millionaire, a haughty society woman, flappers and an inept detective. The music was recorded on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union by Belgian Radio in association with National Public Radio of the USA. With Eva Haddon, Blain Fairman, Marti Rolph, Anita Darian, Bill Swiggard, Irene Clark, Jay Kernis. The pianist: Martin Goldstein. Music played by the Belgian Radio Orchestra, conducted by Lehman Engel.

10 December 1978:
Drama Now: Harmonium
By Peter Everett. The new vicar in a remote country parish fights his shipwrecking parishioners and encroaching madness in this darkly powerful study set in the 19th century. The Rev Francis Mostyn: Freddie Jones, Nancy Garrs: Rosemary Leach, Anstey: David Collings, Edwin: Andrew Branch, Girl: Alison Draper, Mrs Romilly: Joan Matheson, Romilly: Anthony Newlands, Kemp: Rod Beacham, John: Peter Baldwin, Father: John Gabriel, Suckling: Tim Fearon, Rosanna: Amanda Murray. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 24 May 1979)

14 December 1978:
By Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer. In this 1865 play, a Lutheran pastor with a fierce hatred of compromise sacrifices his loved ones in pursuit of his vocational calling. Is he hero or villain? Visionary prophet or fanatic fundamentalist? Brand: Brian Cox, Agnes: Anna Calder-Marshall, The Mayor: Hector Ross, The Provost: Michael Aldridge, Ejnar: Martin Jarvis, Gerd: Alethea Charlton, Brand's Mother: Pauline Letts, A Villager: Trevor Martin, Guide: Martin Friend, Guide’s Son: Nigel Anthony, Villager: Douglas Blackwell, Woman from the Headland: Kate Binchy, Woman Villager: Jane Knowles, Doctor: Geoffrey Beevers, Gypsy Woman: Stephanie Turner, Sexton: John Wyse, Schoolmaster: Martin Friend. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 12 December 1971. Also on 9 July 1972 and on Radio 4 on 6 May 1974)

24 December 1978:
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
By Tom Stoppard. A radio version of Stoppard’s 1966 stage play, which puts two minor characters from Hamlet centre-stage. (Edward Petherbridge played Guildenstern in the London debut of the play at the Old Vic in 1967.) Rosencrantz: Edward Hardwicke, Guildenstern: Edward Petherbridge, Player: Freddie Jones, Hamlet: Martin Jarvis, Gertrude: Maxine Audley, Claudius: Robert Lang, Polonius: William Squire, Ophelia: Angela Pleasence, Horatio: John Rye, First Ambassador: Michael Deacon, Alfred: Anthony Daniels. Tragedians and others: Tim Bentinck, Roger Hammond, Philip Sully, Philip Voss and Peter Wickham. Music: Marc Wilkinson. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 17 May 1979 and 13 July 1990) 

25 December 1978:
The Court Lady
By Laurence Kitchin, adapted from Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier, a 1528 guide for the young, affluent and upwardly mobile in areas of manners, learning, sport and conduct, which included a chapter on the “court lady”. Messer Bernardo: David Hayman, Signor Gasparo: John Bett, Signor Ottaviano: Alistair Wyllie, La Duchessa: Diana Olsson, Castiglione: Victor Carin, II Magnifico Giuliano: Graham Crowden, Signora Emilia: Marcella Evaristi, Frigio: John Shedden, Cesare Gonzaga: Arthur Boland. Director: Tom Kinninmont (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 27 May 1979)

29 December 1978:
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. (Repeat from 24 December 1976)

31 December 1978:
We All Come to It in the End
By Don Haworth. This production, first heard on 5 July 1968, is a study of the epic progress, from infancy to marriage, of the youngest Father Christmas ever to be appointed by a Northern department store. George: Derrick Gilbert, Fred: George A Cooper, Viner: Leonard Fenton, Percy: John Sharp, Dad: Kenneth Gilbert, Mum: Ruth Holden, Miriam: Dorothy Vernon. With Pamela Dellar, Kathleen Worth, Paul Bond, Roy Barraclough and Barbara Mullaney. Producer: Alan Ayckbourn. (Repeated on 22 July 1968, 16 May 1969, 17 March 1980 and on Radio 4 on 18 January 1971)


17 January 1978:
A Dialogue on the French Revolution
By Maurice Cranston. Producer Douglas Cleverdon (1903-1987) and philosopher Cranston (1920-1993) made a series of “political dialogues” in the 1950s and 1960s that imagined historical encounters. This new dialogue, made to mark the 75th birthday of Cleverdon, imagines the meeting of Prince Metternich, the Austrian Foreign Minister, and the French Foreign Minister, Prince Talleyrand, following Napoleon’s defeat in 1815. Metternich: Marius Goring, Talleyrand: Robert Eddison. Producer: Douglas Cleverdon

7 February 1978:
The Eye of the Storm
A portrait of A. R. Orage, editor of the literary magazine The New Age from 1908-1922, written and introduced by Lesley Montgomery. A.R. Orage: Peter Baldwin, Philippe Mairet: John Westbrook, Narrator: John Rye. With Eric Allan, Elizabeth Bell, Michael Harbour, Harold Kasket, Henry Knowles, Jane Knowles, Jonathan Scott and Robert Trotter. Producer: David Spenser

4 March 1978:
The Lovely Years
Compiled and presented by Martin Esslin. In 1977 the East German poet Reiner Kunze and his family were granted permission to leave East Germany, having been expelled from the GDR’s Writers’ Union on the grounds that he had vilified his country in a short book, The Lovely Years. Esslin presents extracts from the book and considers the reasons for the offence. Reiner Kunze: Stephen Moore, Storyteller: Kenneth Shanley. With Alan Bidman, Bas Bulloch, Harold Kasket, Amanda Murray, Harriet Murray, Stormont Murray, Jennifer Piercey, Ashley Pollock, and Sarah Wright. Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 1 August 1978 and 21 June 1979)

30 March 1978:
A Mind of Universal Sympathy
By Desmond King-Hele. A portrait of Dr Erasmus Darwin whose ideas on evolution were more radical than his grandson Charles Darwin's. Also a pioneer in meteorology, medicine and industrial technology and once a highly rated poet, he is today virtually forgotten by historians of science. Narrator: Nigel Anthony, Dr Erasmus Darwin: Freddie Jones. With Patricia Leventon, David Brierley, Stephen Thorne, David Gooderson, William Eedle and Fraser Kerr. Producer: John Scotney. (Repeat from 11 September 1973 and 23 February 1974)

1 April 1978:
Art and Audience: The Theatre of John Whiting
Simon Trussler reassesses the plays of actor, writer and critic John Whiting (1917-1963), whose early work he considers among “the most considerable bodies of dramatic writing of any post-war playwright”. An award for new writing was set up in Whiting’s name in 1965. With Anthony Curtis, David Jones and Hallam Tennyson. Producer: Anthony Vivis. (Repeated on 29 November 1978)

9 April 1978:
Dear Mr Webb…
By Jeanne and Norman MacKenzie. One of the most powerful influences in British political life at the turn of the century was the crusading socialist partnership of Beatrice and Sidney Webb. Drawing on their correspondence, this tells how they met, what they thought of one another and why eventually they married. Beatrice Potter: Anna Massey, Sidney Webb: Clive Swift. Producer: Alan Haydock. (Repeated on 13 April 1979)

13 April 1978:
The National Student Drama Festival
Founded in 1956 by Sunday Times arts columnist Kenneth Pearson, Sunday Times theatre critic Harold Hobson and National Union of Students president Frank Copplestone, the annual festival has championed young talent, whether onstage, backstage, technical or critical. Among those whose first plays were at the festival were Caryl Churchill and Harold Pinter. This programme looks at the past and the future role of the festival. Contributors include Sir Harold Hobson, Trevor Nunn, Braham Murray, Kevin Laffan and Clive Wolfe. Presented by Martin Jenkins

21 & 28 April, 5, 12 & 19 May 1978:
Shakespeare and the Histories
Five talks reflecting new insights in Shakespeare scholarship concerning the history plays. (Repeat from 28 June, 5, 15, 22 & 29 July 1977)

1: Figures of God's Majesty Anthony Tuck, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Lancaster University, considers the contrasting images of kingship in Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II and Shakespeare's Richard II in the light of new historical research into the two reigns.

2: The Henry VI Trilogy: History into Drama Emrys Jones, Fellow of Magdalen College and Reader in English Literature at Oxford University, suggests why the three Henry VI plays were, in their time, such an exceptionally ambitious theatrical venture, creating a new kind of drama: the secular history play.

3: The Divine and the Secular John Harvey. Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, argues that the claim for a divine scheme of justice in the history plays is at odds with Shakespeare's impulse to a drastic secularisation of history and drama.

4: William Shakespeare and Richard III Charles Ross, Reader in Medieval History in the University of Bristol, considers the hostile Tudor attitude to the reign of Richard III, and compares it unfavourably with some modern interpretations of his career.

5: Perkin Warbeck and Henry VIII: History, Drama and Truth R. A. Foakes, Professor of English at the University of Kent, explores the nature of historical and dramatic truth, as reflected in John Ford's Perkin Warbeck, and Henry VIII, attributed mainly to Shakespeare and Fletcher.

24 April 1978:
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. (Repeat from 10 July 1975)

29 April 1978:
English As She is Broadcast (or Let's All Agree to Say Marjarine)
In 1926, the British Broadcasting Company set up an Advisory Committee on Spoken English. For 13 years its distinguished members deliberated on problems of pronunciation as guidance for announcers, but their recommendations were also published and widely reported. Drawing on the BBC's written archives, Paul Ferris charts the progress of the most concerted effort in the history of the language to regulate the way we speak it. Bernard Shaw: Allan McClelland. With Michael Tudor Barnes, Timothy Bateson, Walter Hall, Brian Hewlett, Fraser Kerr, Henry Knowles, Penelope Reynolds, Ann Rosenfeld and Manning Wilson. Consultant: Hazel Wright. Producer: Alan Haydock. (Repeat from 2 December 1977)

16 May 1978:
The Silence of Isaac Babel
Compiled and narrated by Gerald Roberts with additional research by Ephraim Sicher. On 15 May 1939, Isaac Babel, one of the most original figures of modern Russian literature, was arrested by the security police at his home in a writers’ colony outside Moscow. He was taken to the Lubianka prison and never seen again. Isaac Babel: Anthony Newlands, Ilya Ehrenburg: Alaric Cotter, Antonina Pirozhkova: June Barrie, Nadezhda Mandelstam: Daphne Beard, Maxim Gorky: Robert Trotter, General Budyonny: Nicholas Simons, Konstantin Paustovsky: Mark Wing-Davey, Joseph Stalin: Manning Wilson, Sergei Prokofiev: Rex Holdsworth, Natalie: Louise Jameson. Director: Shaun MacLouglin (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 3 April 1979)

20 May 1978:
The Hermit of Meudon
A “radio self-portrait” of the brilliant and controversial French novelist Celine, pen-name of Dr Louis Ferdinand Destouches (1894-1961), created by Michael Kittermaster. Celine: Patrick Magee, Interviewer: Gregory de Polnay, Robinson: Kenneth Shanley, Bardamu: Rod Beacham, Father: Manning Wilson, Mother: Hilda Kriseman. Director: John Theocharis.

17 & 24 May 1978:
Elisabeth Bergner
A two-part conversation with the acclaimed actress (1897-1986), whose stage career flourished in Paris and Belin before coming to Britain in 1933. Martin Esslin, former head of BBC Radio Drama, discusses her career, including working with Bertolt Brecht, her friendship with Albert Einstein, JM Barrie’s last play written specially for her, a stormy relationship with Bernard Shaw and meeting Samuel Becket. Producer: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeat from 4 & 5 July 1977)

6 June 1978:
The Lunaticks
By Desmond King-Hele. In the latter part of the 18th-century, The Lunar Society met regularly in or around Birmingham on the night of a full moon. Its brilliant, inventive minds, jokingly self-proclaimed “Lunaticks”, included Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, James Watt and Matthew Boulton. Narrator: Peter Jeffrey, Erasmus Darwin: Freddie Jones. With the voices of Geoffrey Matthews, Roger Hume and Stephen Hancock. Producer: Roger Pine (BBC Birmingham)

22 June 1978:
Around American Theatres
Philip French, former drama critic of the New Statesman, reports on current tendencies in American drama, including comment on new plays by Lanford Wilson, David Mamet , Sam Shepard and Pulitzer Prize-winning author D.L. Coburn. He also talks about the influence of the New Thanatology (exploring death and loss), musicals without books, and the transformation of a seedy block on 42nd Street into a row of experimental playhouses.

20 July 1978:
The Thorns of Summer
By Leo Knowles. A portrait of the later life of theologian and poet John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who led the Oxford Movement, which campaigned for the Church of England to adopt pre-Reformation Catholic beliefs and rituals, and who became a Catholic priest and cardinal. John Henry Newman: John Franklyn-Robbins, Narrator: Brian Trueman, Cardinal Manning: George Hagan, Ambrose St John: Tom Harrison, Monsignor William Talbot:, Ronald Herdman, Charles Kingsley: Graham Tennant, Cardinal Barnabo: Paul Webster, Pius IX: Herbert Smith, Leo XIII: David Mahlowe, Eleana Giustini: Rosalind Knight. Producer: Fraser Steel (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 1 January 1979)

8 August 1978:
Unity: The Life and Death of a Theatre
Keith Darvill recalls a little-known but creative period of British drama at the Unity Theatre, which originally arose from the Workers’ Theatre Movement in the East End of London. Its artistic policy was to use dramatic realism to educate, encourage political action and to allow working-class political and cultural expression. This programme covers 1937 to 1975, but the theatre continued sporadically after that until 1994. With the recorded voices of Bill Owen, Andre Van Gyseghem, Maxine Audley, Bram Bootman, Laurence Davies, Declan Mulholland and Lord Ted Willis. Readers: Eric Allan, Gavin Campbell, Amanda Murray, Anthony Newlands, Peter Pacey, Jennifer Piercey, Terry Scully and Peter Wickham. Director: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 28 May 1979)

25 August 1978:
Sound Drama before Marconi
Dr W.M.S.Russell discusses the life and works of the Roman dramatist Seneca, of whom T.S. Eliot said: “His plays might be practical models for broadcasted drama”. Producer: Alastair Wilson. (Repeat from 20 December 1977)

5 September 1978:
James Agate
An appreciation of the diarist and drama critic (1877-1947) compiled and presented by Anthony Curtis. With the voices and views of Peter Cotes, Alan Dent, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Harold Hobson, John Laurie, Matthew Norgate, Dilys Powell, Eric Shorter, Kenneth Tynan and Herbert van Thal. Readers: Timothy Bateson and Anthony Newlands. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 11 September 1977)

12 September 1978:
Inside the Tower
By Richard Holmes. A study of Gerard de Nerval (1808-1855), the French Romantic poet whose themes and preoccupations were to greatly influence the Symbolists and Surrealists. Gerard de Nerval: Timothy West. With Rod Beecham, Bruce Beeby, Gerald Cross, Nicolette McKenzie, Jonathan Scott and Manning Wilson. Music: Malcolm Clarke (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: Hallam Tennyson. (Repeat from 31 October 1977)

19 September 1978:
The Horror at Bly
By Neville Teller. Since its publication in 1898, Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw has inspired a variety of films, plays and novels and a Benjamin Britten opera, to say nothing of an immense critical literature. Is it simply a tale of possession of two young children or has it a deeper Freudian significance? (Teller also abridged the novel for Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime reading with Anna Massey in September 1978.) Narrator: Gavin Campbell. The Governess: Anna Massey. With Heather Bell, Margot Boyd, John Gabriel, Henry Knowles, Jennifer Piercey, Roy Spencer, Robert Trotter, Philip Voss and Manning Wilson. Director: Maurice Leitch

8 October 1978:
Political Drama in Nigeria
Young Nigerian writers are beginning to exploit the possibilities of drama for change in contemporary society. Gerald Moore, Professor of English at the University of Port Harcourt, argues that theatre is the most likely means by which the artist can contribute to a new consciousness. With Glenna Forster-Jones, Christopher Asante, Willie Jonah and Kwesi Kay. Producer: Judith Bumpus

13 & 20 October 1978:
We are Solitary & Where I Create I am True
By Mary Benson. Two programmes drawing on a selection of Rainer Maria Rilke’s letters to a young poet, Lou Andreas-Salome. Narrator: Dinah Sheridan, Rilke: John Carson, Lou Andreas-Salome: Elizabeth Bell, Franz Kappus: Robin Soans, Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 19 & 24 February 1979)

18 October 1978:
King Lear Through the Ages
By Martin Jenkins. King Lear, arguably Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, has attracted all the major actors from Richard Burbage and Thomas Betterton to John Gielgud and Paul Scofield. This programme examines the history of the play in the English theatre. With Timothy Bateson, Bruce Beeby, Gavin Campbell, Geoffrey Collins, Walter Hall, Alan Rowe, Brian Sanders and Jonathan Scott. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 27 April 1977)

2 & 9 November 1978:
Ben Travers
One of Britain’s most successful comic playwrights, Ben Travers (1886-1980) was 92 when, in two programmes, he talked to Peter King about his life and a career that included writing the comedies Rookery Nook and Plunder. Producer: Peter King

6 November 1978:
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. (Repeat from 22 November 1976. Also on 7 July 1982)

7 November 1978:
To the Office and Back
By Christopher Whelen. A portrait in words and music of the American poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), who composed much of his poetry walking to the insurance office where he spent his working life. Wallace Stevens: Maurice Denham. With Margot Boyd, Andrew Branch, Harold Kasket, Allan McClelland, Anthony Newlands, Jennifer Piercey and Roy Spencer, Music: Christopher Whelen, played by members of the English Chamber Orchestra. Director: Hallam Tennyson. (Repeated on 23 February 1979)

20 & 23 November 1978:
The Gallows Songs
Two programmes based on the “nonsense” poems of German author and poet Christian Morgernstern (1871-1914), translated by Max Knight. Reader: Joe Melia. Morgernstern: Joseph Furst. Narrator: Anthony Newlands. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 16 & 23 June 1979)

7 December 1978:
Sons of the Star
By Keith Darvill, drawing on first-hand accounts to tell the story of the Warsaw Ghetto and the uprising of April 1943, when an armed revolt tried to prevent deportations to Nazi-run extermination camps. Emmanuel Ringelblum: Robert Lang, Chaim Aron Kaplan: John Bennett, Mordecai Anielewicz: Kenneth Cranham. With Rob Beacham, Harold Berens, Kate Binchy, Elizabeth Cassidy, Alison Draper, Joe Dunlop, Leonard Fenton, John Hollis, Hilda Kriseman, David March, Struan Rodger, Kenneth Shanley, Cyril Shaps, Roy Spencer, George Sweeney, Stephen Thorne, David Troughton. Director: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 14 March 1982)

14 December 1978:
The Actor from San Quentin
Martin Esslin talks to Rick Cluchey (1933-2015), who in 1955 was sentenced to life without parole for armed robbery and committed to the San Quentin Penitentiary in California. In 1958, a performance in the prison of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot changed his life. For the next nine years, until his sentence was commuted in 1966, he ran the newly formed San Quentin Drama Workshop, drawing largely on Beckett’s work. In 1977, he worked with Beckett in Berlin on a production of Krapp's Last Tape, a play he would perform for over 20 years. Cluchy’s life was adapted for a 1987 film, Weeds, starring Nick Nolte. Producer: Brian Barfield

16 December 1978:
Penny Merriments
A dip into Samuel Pepys’ collection of chapbooks – cheaply produced booklets of eight to 24 pages – featuring magic, amorous tales and accounts of rogues and fools. Told by Tim Bentinck, Alison Draper, Prunella Scales, Danny Schiller, Roy Spencer and Peter Wickham. Songs played and sung by members of the Albion Band. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 14 August 1979)

17 December 1978:
The Lancashire Calamity
By Norman Longmate. An account of the great distress suffered by workers in the British cotton industry at the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Narrator: David Mahlowe. With Geoffrey Banks, Russell Dixon, Garard Green, Donald Harvey, John Jardine. Rosalind Knight, Harry Markham, Alan Moore, Daphne Oxenford, John Franklyn-Robbins, Marlene Sidaway, Brian Trueman, Paul Webster and Peter Wheeler. Songs from Lays of the Cotton Famine arranged and sung by Harry Boardman, with Chris Cole, Bob Diehl, Bill Singleton and Isobel Swain. Producer: Stanley Williamson (BBC Manchester)

20 December 1978:
The Two Hangmen
A cabaret of songs, poems and sketches by Bertolt Brecht and Frank Wedekind, devised, translated and narrated by Peter Barnes. Music by Hans Eisler, Hans Dieter Hosalla, Kurt Weill and Carl Davis. With Maurice Colbourne, Derek Godfrey, Gemma Jones, Dilys Laye and Brian Protheroe. Musicians: Billy Bell (guitar/banjo), Henry Krein and Andy White (accordion) and Arthur Watts (bass). Musical Director: Neil Rhoden. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 7 August 1978)

26 December 1978:
A tribute to J.B. Morton, the humourist known for his column By the Way, written under the pen name Beachcomber in the Daily Express from 1924 to 1975. Selected and presented by John Wells and Richard Ingrams. With Nigel Anthony, Margot Boyd, John Bull, Lolly Cockerell, Richard Ingrams, Roland MacLeod, Piers Maxim, Peter Pratt, Keith Smith, John Wells, Manning Wilson and the voice of Robin Holmes. Music: Carl Davis. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 9 June 1979)


31 January 1978:
The Anathemata
By David Jones. A reading of the epic work by the poet (1895-1974), known for his First World War-inspired In Parenthesis, produced by Douglas Cleverdon in 1953. Reflecting his Catholic faith, this poem is set during the Consecration of the Mass and encompasses the entire history of mankind. The English Voices – Valentine Dyall, Carleton Hobbs Frank Duncan and James McKechnie. The Welsh Voices – Dylan Thomas, Rachel Thomas, Sulwen Morgan and Gwenllian Owen. The Lady of the Pool: Diana Maddox, Eb Bradshaw, shipwright: Norman Shelley, The Sailors: Peter Lindsay and Neville Bartley. With a section of Schola Polyphonica, The Deller Consort and the Looe Singers. (First broadcast on 5 May 1953)

20 & 22 February 1978:
The Bugulma Tales by Jaroslav Hasek (read by Cecil Parrott)
The Czech satirist Jaroslav Hasek, author of The Good Soldier Svejk, served as a Soviet commissar in the small town of Bugulma in east central Russia from 1918-20. His biographer, Sir Cecil Parrott, reads four stories: The Commandant of the Town of Bugulma, The Adjutant of the Commandant of the Town of Bugulma, Difficulties with Prisoners and Before the Revolutionary Tribunal. Producer Joy Hatwood

8 March 1978:
All He Brought Back from the Dream
By Peter Porter. An autobiographical poem for music and three voices. “Like Orpheus in Hell, he had music with him. Music is the holiest of the arts, It waits on an island always new. And everlastingly the same.” The voices of Kenneth Cranham, Gary Watson and Stephen Murray. Recorded music taken from the works of Mahler, Haydn, Mozart, Bach, Josquin des Prez, Schubert and Strauss. Additional music: Stephen Oliver. Technical presentation by John Whitehall, assisted by Anne Hunt. Director: Patricia Brent. (Repeated on 25 December 1978)

9 & 16 April 1978:
Letters of a Chinese Lady
Two programmes based on the letters of Kwei-li, a Chinese noblewoman writing in the early 20th century, first collected and published in 1914 as Golden Lillies. She reflects on home life, the gardens, her longing for her husband often away on business, her life with his mother and, later, the Westernised ambitions of her children and the changing atmosphere of a new China. Kwei-li: Carole Boyd, Tangi-si, her son: Anthony Smee. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 11 & 18 February 1977)

15 April 1978:
Calman with Clogs On
Cartoonist Mel Calman tiptoes none-too-lightly through the tulips and reveals that the windmill doesn't belong to the Dutch; unearths a bizarre plan for a 432-bed floating brothel; and searches longingly for a hill, down which to freewheel on his bike.

27 April 1978:
Sierra Leone by John McGahern (read by Denys Hawthorne) 
A short story from the author’s 1979 collection Getting Through, in which a young man, in love with the mistress of an ageing politician, discusses their troubled relationship while questioning his capacity for commitment. Producer: Paul Muldoon (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 14 January 1979)

4 & 11 May 1978:
Antimony by Leonardo Sciasci (read by Gabriel Woolf)
Two extracts from a novella, narrated by a young Sicilian miner, whose experiences fighting in the Spanish Civil War have led him to the deepest self-reappraisal. Translated by Alfred Alexander. Producer: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 30 May & 3 June 1977)

22 June 1978:
The Cold by Sylvia Townsend Warner (read by Peter Pears)
The celebrated tenor Peter Pears reads a short story from the collection The Museum of Cheats and Other Stories by his friend, Sylvia Townsend Warner. (Repeated on 24 October 1978)

27 June 1978:
Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare
A shortened version of Shakespeare’s narrative poem with Alec McCowen, Diana Rigg as Venus and Christopher Guard as Adonis. Producer: Christopher Venning

16 July 1978:
The Prince is in the Audience by Arthur Schnitzler (read by Gavin Campbell)
“Florian Wendelmeyer blew his flute as he had done every day for 17 years... only today turned out to be very different.” Translated by David Heald. (Repeated on 9 June 1979)

11 August 1978:
Preface on Doctors by George Bernard Shaw (read by Denys Hawthorne)
An abridged reading of Bernard Shaw’s 1911 preface to his play The Doctor's Dilemma, in which he argues against the continuance of private medicine. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 3 January 1979)

12 August 1978:
One Who Listened to the Stones by Rainer Maria Rilke (read by David Strong)
A “visionary tale” taken from Rilke’s collection entitled Stories of God. Translated by Frederic Vanson.

8 October 1978:
The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf (read by Sheila Mitchell)
In Woolf’s first published story from 1917, the narrator notices a mark on the wall and muses on the workings of the mind. (Repeated on 13 March 1979)

9 October 1978:
Notes from the Journal of a Quick-Tempered Man by Anton Chekhov (read by Alan Bennett)
A man observes the various young ladies and their Machiavellian mothers in pursuit of the only two not very eligible bachelors at a summer datcha colony. (Also read on Radio 4 by Gabriel Woolf on 21 April 1976.) Translated by Harvey Pitcher and James Forsyth. (Repeated on 18 March 1979)

22 October 1978:
An Error of Judgement by Anton Chekhov (read by Alan Bennett)
Translated Harvey Ritcher and James Forsyth. (Repeated on 3 December 1978)

17 November 1978:
The Objet d’Art by Anton Chekhov (read by Manning Wilson)
Having received an antique bronze candelabra as payment for saving a young man’s life, a doctor tries to pass it on to others in the hope of never seeing it again. Translated by Harvey Pitcher and James Forsyth. (Repeated on 15 February 1979 and 15 December 1979)

24 November 1978:
Plums by John Sewell (read by John Shrapnel)
A painter finds blue plums to be a sensuous sight as he reflects on a slow, decaying marriage. Producer: David Spenser. (Repeated on 30 June 1979)

8 December 1978:
Sacrifice by Michael MacGrian (read by Denys Hawthorne)
“He began to look more like a man after 15, his voice changing – ‘the drake in the throat,’ they joked – and the changes seemed to make his susceptibilities more obvious.” Producer: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 8 April 1979)

18 December 1978:
A Happy Family by Lu Hsun (read by Alec McCowen)
A short story by the influential Chinese writer (1881-1936) in which a writer struggles with an article that tries to describe the “happy family”. Producer: Kay Patrick. (Repeat from 19 February 1977)

23 December 1978:
The Anecdotes of Mr Keuner (read by John Hollis)
Extracts from Bertolt Brecht’s Tales from the Calendar, translated by Yvonne Kapp. (Repeated on 12 July 1979)

Many thanks to Ian Johns for compiling the entries.

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