Radio 3 Drama, 1979

Radio 3 Drama 1979

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.


4 January 1979:
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. (Repeat from 13 August 1978)

7 January 1979:
Drama Now: The President and The Angel
By Ivan Klima, translated and adapted by Vera Blackwell. Being the President of a republic is a difficult enough job at the best of times, but when you also have an angel in your wardrobe, who insists on giving you good advice, then life becomes even more complicated. (Prague-born Klima reworked the play as a novel in 2004.) The President and the Angel: Richard Pasco, Leon: Nigel Anthony, Son: Philip Sully, Doctor: Peter Williams. Director: Michael Bartlett. (Repeated as Radio 4’s Afternoon Theatre on 18 July 1979)

11 January 1979:
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). (Repeat from 8 June 1978)

14 January 1979
Drama Now: Madame Voltaire
By Peter Tegel. Mother of three Olivia has a breakdown and is visited in hospital by her two lovers, Harry and Mark. Olivia: Carole Hayman, Harry: Hugh Dickson. Mark: David Brierley. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 1 April 1979)

17 January 1979:
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. Agrippina: Honor Blackman, Nero: Michael Cochrane, Britannicus: David Horovitch, Junia: Rosalind Shanks, Burrhus: Carleton Hobbs, Albina: Pauline Letts, Narcissus: Richard Hurndall. Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeat from 28 May 1978)

21 January 1979:
City Sugar
By Stephen Poliakoff, adapted by Dickon Reed. In this World Service production, self-loathing DJ Leonard Brazil, tasked with whipping up excitement for the visit of a super-group to the city, arranges for a fan to visit him at the studio so he can humiliate her. (John Shrapnel played Brazil in the original 1975 stage production at London’s Bush Theatre.) Leonard Brazil: John Shrapnel, Nicola: Julie Cullington, Rex: Michael Feast, Susan: Catherine Kessler, Jane: Jean Rogers, Ross/Jim: Tony McEwan, Supermarket Manager: Bruce Beeby. (Repeat from 10 July 1977)

25 January 1979:
By Derek Walcott. A retired actor and an ex-steel band man play out their responses to post-colonial life in Trinidad and Tobago as the actor rehearses an adaptation of Robinson Crusoe in the lobby of the hotel he recently bought. (The play was first produced at the Little Carib Theatre in Port of Spain in April 1978.) Harry Trewe: Robert Lang, Jackson Phillip: Norman Beaton. Director: Liane Aukin. (Repeated on 14 October 1979)

26 January 1979:
Drama Now: A Change of Mind
By Alan Drury. A young couple, conscious of impending violence during political demonstrations near their home, face a threat to their hitherto safe “liberal “values”. (An early play by the prolific Drury (1949-2019), who became BBC Radio Drama’s first literary manager in 1989.) Kate: Janet Key, John: Michael Byrne, Geoff: Gawn Grainger. Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 13 December 1979)

28 January 1979:
I Do Like to Be
By Shane Connaughton. Lyn from England has married her former polytechnic pupil David in Belfast. To make up for not attending their wedding, her father Ben wants to pay for the honeymoon – as long as he can come too. Ben: Peter Woodthorpe, Lyn: Frances Jeater, David: Stephen Rea, Waiter: Philip Sully, Coconut Seller: Harold Kasket, Canvasser: Elena Secota. Director: Michael Heffernan. (Repeated on 26 September 1980)

31 January 1979:
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. (Repeat from 9 June 1978)

1 February 1979:
The Cherry Orchard
By Anton Chekhov, translated from the Russian by Richard Cottrell. Over the course of six months, the remnants of an aristocratic family struggle to save their estate and an old way of life. Madame Ranyevskaya: Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, Varya: Anna Massey, Anya: Sinead Cusack, Lopachin: Kenneth Haigh, Gaev: Robert Harris, Charlotta: Patricia Routledge, Trofimov: Terry Scully, Simeonov-Pishchik: Timothy Bateson, Yepixodov: Andrew Sachs, Doonyasha: Elizabeth Revill, Firs: Rolf Lefebvre, Yasha: Hugh Ross. Producer: John Tydeman. (First heard on Radio 4 on 29 April 1974. Also on Radio 3 on 1 March 1992) 

4 February 1979:
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. (Repeat from 16 July 1978)

8 February 1979:
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. (Repeat from 18 June 1978)

11 February 1979:
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. (Repeat from 6 August 1978)

15 February 1979:
Drama Now: Martenseyde
By Neil McKay. “A man devoted his life to conceiving a son. And when he died everybody remembered him. And they never forgot him even when everybody’d died who knew him, because they’d passed it on to their sons about who he was… Now, everything’s the opposite. Everybody stays alive, nobody remembers anything.” (Recorded in binaural sound.) Cast in order of speaking: Alex Ridgeway: Bryan Pringle, Stephen Ridgeway: Terry Molloy, Margaret Ridgeway: Anne Jameson, Assistant: Alan Devereux, Eric: Eric Allan, Lionel: Stanley Page, Billy: Ralph Lawton, Worboys: Stephen Thorne, Janine: Maggie McCarthy, Christine: Jane Galloway. Director: Roger Pine (BBC Birmingham)

20 February 1979:
A Voice from the Chorus
By Andrey Sinyavsky, adapted for radio by Hallam Tennyson from the translation by May Hayward and Kyril FitzLyon. Andrey Sinyavsky was sentenced to six years in a Soviet labour camp in 1965. A Voice from the Chorus is compiled from the letters he wrote to his wife while fellow prisoners act as a chorus in the background. Andrey Sinyavsky: Paul Scofield. The Chorus: Eric Allan, Sean Barrett, Timothy Bateson, Tim Bentinck, Malcolm Hayes, John Hollis, Stefan Kalipha, Harold Kasket, Hilda Kriseman, Geoffrey Matthews, Danny Schiller, Philip Sully and David Swift. Songs by Stephen Oliver. Singer: John Tomlinson. Director: Hallam Tennyson. (Repeated on 3 June 1979)

22 February 1979:
World Theatre: Love’s Labours Lost
By William Shakespeare. The King of Navarre and his friends vow to stay celibate and study for three years, only to break their oath as soon as the Princess of France and her courtiers arrive. The Princess of France: Anna Massey, Rosaline: Eileen Atkins, Berowne: John McEnery, King Ferdinand of Navarre: Michael Kitchen, Holofernes: Robert Stephens, Sir Nathaniel: Clifford Rose, Don Adriano de Armado: Paul Scofield, Longaville: Jeremy Clyde, Dumain: Andrew Branch, Dull, a Constable: Christopher Biggins, Costard, a Clown: John Baddeley, Moth: Clifford Abrahams, Jaquenetta: Denise Coffey, Boyet: John Rye, Maria: Elizabeth Proud, Katharine: Frances Jeater, Marcade: Eric Allan. Music: Derek Oldfield, played by The Allegro Ensemble. Singers: Adrian Harman, Barbara Meek. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on 5 February 1981)

25 February 1979:
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. (Repeat from 14 May 1978)

26 February 1979:
Lament for a Soldier
By Frederick Harrison. A young soldier on ceremonial sentry duty, alone with his thoughts, is watched by a girl in whom he has triggered memories. Girl: Angela Pleasence, Soldier: Derek Seaton. Director: Ronald Mason. (Repeated on 7 July 1979)

1 March 1979:
Drama Now: Skin Deep
By Peter Hawkins. By putting his heart and soul into their home, a man has neglected his partner. The Man: Freddie Jones, The Woman: Jane Lowe. The Drummer: Bob Turner. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 14 July 1977)

4 March 1979:
By John Arden. Set in England in the 1640s, the title character is a political activist who tries to make use of a playwright, Tom Backhouse, in her campaign for the parliamentary cause in the civil war, hoping it might bring more freedom to Ireland. Winner of a 1978 Giles Cooper Award. Pearl: Elizabeth Bell, Mother Bumroll: Paula Tilbrook, Barnabas: David Mahlowe, Stage-Manager: John Jardine, Gideon Grip: Geoffrey Banks, Dr Sowse: Ronald Herdman, Grimscar: Peter Jeffrey, Backhouse: David Calder, Belladonna: Lynda Marchal (stage name for author Lynda La Plante), Duchess: Kathleen Helm, Catso, Kenneth Alan Taylor, Katerina: Jane Knowles, Ahasuerus: Robert Morton. Music: Stephen Boxer. Musicians: Stephen Boxer (psaltery, lyre and dulcimer), Julian Drake (cornetto), John Turner (crumhorns, flutes and recorders), Ephraim Segerman (viols, cittern and lute), Bill Nickson (percussion). Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from Radio 4 on 3 July 1978 & 12 October 1978. Also on Radio 3 on 9 June 1991)

8 March 1979:
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). (Repeat from 5 March 1978)

11 March 1979:
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. (It was 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). (Repeat from 7 September 1978)

15 March 1979:
Drama Now: Customs and Excise
By John Stevenson. In this “comic sketch”, an American couple and an English couple discuss life and times in the coffee lounge of a hotel. Glenda: Ann Murray, Murray: Paul Maxwell, Phil: Christopher Good, Joyce: Heather Bell. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 23 August 1979)

22 March 1979:
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. (Repeat from 5 February 1978. Also repeated on 18 October 1988)

25 March 1979:
By Richard Crane. This monologue by a former resident dramatist at the National Theatre and literary manager at the Royal Court, is inspired by the diaries of the Russian novelist and playwright. Gogol: Freddie Jones. Music: Nick Bicat. Director: Alfred Bradley. (Repeated on 7 October 1979)

27 March 1979:
The Three Lodgers
By Norman Smithson. Retired widower Mr Riley is enjoying a peaceful life until he follows his neighbour’s advice and decides to take in a lodger. First heard on the North of England Home Service on 26 September 1965 and the Home Service on 3 April 1967. Winner of the Best British Radio Drama Script at the 1967 Writers’ Guild Awards. Mr Riley: Wilfred Pickles, Mrs Wright: Mary Quinn, Mrs Harrison: Ann Aris, Mr Burns: Peter King, Mr Lewis: Graham Rigby, Sarah Ann: Helen Cotterill. Director: Alan Ayckbourn (BBC Manchester). (Also repeated on 15 August 1973 on Radio 4)

28 March 1979:
Come Unto These Yellow Sands
By Angela Carter. The celebrated author (1940-1992) offers an impressionistic evocation of the life and work of the Victorian painter Richard Dadd (1817-1886), who murdered his father and spent the rest of his life in Bedlam and Broadmoor. Carter wants to “hear the beings within – the monsters produced by represssion – squeak and gibber and tell the truth”. Narrators: Frances Jeater and Philip Voss. Richard Dadd: Philip Sully, Titania: June Tobin, Oberon: John Westbrook, Puck: Andrew Branch, Sir Thomas Phillips: William Eedle, Crazy Jane: Sheila Grant, The Shopkeeper: Harold Kasket. Other parts played by Eric Allan, Peter Baldwin, Margot Boyd, Noel Howlett, Godfrey Kenton. Violin: George French. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Also repeated 1 July 1979 and 7 April 1992)

29 March 1979:
Drama Now: Vergil Dying
By Gabriel Josipovici. Rome, 19BC. As the great poet-historian Vergil lies gravely ill in his room at the palace of Caesar Augustus, he reflects on his work, successes and failures, virtues and betrayals. Vergil: Paul Scofield. Music: Jonathan Harvey, performed by Sebastian Bell. Director: Guy Vaesen. (Repeated on 19 October 1980)

3 April 1979:
Poor Old Simon
By James Saunders. Helen has fallen out of favour with her boyfriend, Simon, which means the family music quartet is one short. Originally heard in Radio 4’s Just Before Midnight slot on 13 January 1979. Mother: Elizabeth Spriggs, Father: Haydn Jones, Helen: Amanda Murray. Musicians: Susan Hampson, Desmond Heath, George Robertson. Director: Richard Wortley.

5 April 1979:
Drama Now: Awayday
By Franz Xaver Kroetz, adapted by Anthony Vivis. A monologue in which a mother of out on a train journey with her small baby. Mother: Penelope Lee. Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeat from 11 August 1977)

8 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 3 December 1978. Also repeated on Radio 4 on 3 November 1991)

11 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 20 June 1978)

15 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 19 March 1978)

20 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 22 October 1978)

23 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 18 April 1976)

25 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 12 February 1978)

26 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 13 September 1978)

29 April 1979:
The Fall
By Severo Sarduy, translated by Barbara Thompson. In this play by the Cuban poet, author, playwright and critic (1937-1993), a dead girl dressed in white lies on a bed, the victim of a child’s game. Sarduy uses ancient and religious symbols to convey the dissolution of the body. (Strands, a sequel to The Fall, was on 20 May 1979.) The Voices: Sarah Badel, Carole Boyd, John Bull, Geoffrey Collins, Valerie Sarruf. Director: David Spenser

2 May 1979:
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. (Repeat from 26 November 1978. Also repeated on 15 October 1991 and on Radio 4 Extra on 11 February 2010)

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

4 May 1979:
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, Peter Wickham. Director: Maurice Leitch. (Repeat from 17 March 1978)

5 May 1979:
A Farthing for a Butterfly
By David Thompson. In 1878, artist James Whistler sued critic John Ruskin for libel over his criticism of Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket when it was exhibited in London. The two-day trial was a tragicomedy which emphasised the breach that was being driven between the avant-garde artist and the public. Narrator: Eleanor Bron, Whistler: David March, Ruskin: John Franklyn-Robbins, The Attorney General: Julian Glover, Producer: Patricia Brent. (Repeat of Radio 4 production from 27 November 1978)

6 May 1979:
Drama Now: Social Welfare
By Barry Bermange. Exploring notions of private and collective responsibility, this play features three people trying to decide what to do about a man trapped in a tree. Peasant: Sean Barrett, Lady: Jill Balcon, Soldier: Peter Wickham. Director: Alec Reid

10 May 1979:
The Magistrate
By Arthur Wing Pinero. Having lied about her age to her second husband, an upright magistrate, and having claimed her 19-year-old son is 14, a wife is forced to spin ever increasing deceptions. Aeneas Posket: Nigel Stock, Agatha Posket: Jill Bennett, Mr Bullamy: Anthony Newlands, Col Lukyn: Charles Gray, Capt Vale: Jonathan Cecil, Cis Farringdon: Anthony Daniels, Achille Blond: Philip Sully, Isidore: Adrian Egan, Mr Wormington: Manning Wilson, Inspector Messiter: John Gabriel, Sgt Lugg: Roger Hammond, Constable Harris: Bill Monks, Wyke: Tim Bentinck, Charlotte: Maria Aitken, Beatie Tomlinson: Amanda Murray, Popham: Eva Stuart. Pianist: Mary Nash. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from Radio 4 production on 25 December 1978)

11 May 1979:
Jo Longhorn
By Christian Searle. “In every man’s soul and in every man’s subconscious dreams, the words come out strong and shocking – like headlines.” Jo Longhorn: Norman Beaton. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 29 June 1979)

13 May 1979:
A Hard Night in Elsinore
By Menzies McKillop. “Rather than believe ghosts are here walking, I prefer to suppose that our good friends have been suffering from.... well, let’s call it delirium tremens.” The Prince of Denmark: William Lindsay, The Ghost of Hamlet’s father: Graham Crowden, Francisco: Andre Thornton-Grimes, Bernardo: Victor Carin, Marcellus: Alastair Wyllie, Horatio: Peter Chelsom, Othere: Arthur Boland, Gertrude: Vivienne Dixon, Ophelia: Maureen Beattie, Ship’s boy: Jill Fenner. Director Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 22 July 1979)

14 May 1979:
A Game of Solitaire
By Audrey Laski. In this play by the novelist (1931-2003), Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s only legitimate daughter, prepares to play a game “for the lonely, with only one player”. Ada Lovelace: Eileen Atkins. With Tammy Ustinov, John Gabriel, Hilda Kriseman, Fred Bryant and Jenny Twigge. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on 6 September 1979)

17 May 1979;
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. (Repeat from 24 December 1978. Also repeated on 13 July 1990) 

20 May 1979:
By Severo Sarduy, translated by Barbara Thompson. A sequel to Sardy’s play The Fall (see 29 April 1979). On a sunlit beach, a photograph of a body by the water’s edge prompts different memories. Winner of the Society of Authors Pye Radio Award for best production. The Voices: Sarah Badel, Carole Boyd, John Bull, Geoffrey Collins, David March and Valerie Sarruf. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on 8 January 1980)

21 May 1979:
Saigon Rose
By David Edgar. Set in 1975, the play’s title refers to a strain of gonorrhoea that unites four characters – a married couple and their respective lovers – as they face the darker aftermath of the Swinging Sixties’ sexual revolution. Vicky Brent: Alison Steadman, Claymore: Blain Fairman, Heather Mclntyre: Miriam Margolyes, Clive Brent: Peter Pacey, Andrew McLusky: Bill Paterson, Mo: Patti Love, Doctor: Geoffrey Matthews, Man on the Beach: Stephen Yardley. Director: Michael Rolfe (BBC Birmingham). (Repeated on 14 February 1980)

22 May 1979:
The Rise of Mr Jonathan Smith
By Hermann Rechberger. A “musical radio play” from Finnish radio, which satirises the contemporary music scene and the perils of living with or next to a pianist. Winner of the 1978 RAI prize for music. Narrator: Neil Hardwick, Piano: Magnus Lindberg, Mezzo-soprano: Helja Angervo. Unconventional instruments: Hermann Rechberger. Producer: Inari Teinila

24 May 1979:
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. (Repeat from 10 December 1978)

27 May 1979:
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). (Repeat from 25 December 1978)

31 May 1979:
The Private Seduction of Mr Howard
By Robert Smith. “Please listen to me. All those things I said, the bad things... they weren’t me. Most of the time I can’t control what goes on in my mind. I just feel myself drifting away.” Gordon Howard: Robert Lang, Constance: Josie Kidd, Doctor: Philip Voss, Bus conductor/Teacher: Gordon Dulieu, Vincent: Chas Bryer, Man: Joe Dunlop, Peter: Nigel Graves, Headmaster: Harold Kasket, Head of Department: Roger Hammond, Patricia/Nurse: Liza Flanagan. Director: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated on 9 November 1980)

7 June 1979:
Epsom Downs
By Howard Brenton from his stage play. A teeming, Breughel-like composition set on Derby Day in Silver Jubilee Year, June 1977. Lord Rack: Peter Woodthorpe, Sandy: Nigel Anthony, Margaret: Heather Bell, Charles Pearce: Peter Baldwin, Supt Blue: Michael Spice, Kermit Frog Trader/Jockey/Lester Fan: Graham Chinn, Sharon/Ghost of Emily Davison: Jean Rogers, Bud/Lunatic/Bookmaker/Lester Fan/Roger Coyle: Chas Bryer, Mac/Accordion player/Jocks: Cliff Burnett, Primrose: Mary Clare Nash, Hugh/Bookmaker: John Bull, Minty: Petra Davies, Miss Motrom/Smooth Woman: Eva Stuart, Mr Tillotson/Svelte Man/Lunatic: John Levitt, Bobby: Susan Sheridan, Grandpa: Wilfrid Carter, Public Address System: Martin Muncaster, Bunny Girl/Sweet Woman: Tammy Ustinov, Dorothy Delaune: Heather Bell, Aga Khan: Olivier Pierre, Les: Michael McStay, Morry Burrows/Jockey: Peter Gordon, Louis/Harsh Man: Fred Bryant, Horse/The Derby Course: David Tate, Jockey/Drunk/Lunatic: Andrew Branch. Musicians: Nick Bicat, Andrew Dickson, Bill Worrel, Charlie Grima, Cathy Giles, Paul Bart. Songs composed by Nick and Tony Bicat, sung by Paul Jones and Maggie Gee. Music production by Michael Heffernan. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 19 July 1979 and 8 June 1990)

10 June 1979:
By Gilly Fraser. Liverpudlian Lena, working in Manchester, struggles to gain independence in a world that has always exploited her. First heard as The Monday Play on 7 August 1978. Lena: Carole Hayman, Barry: David Calder, Ricky: Angus Lennie, Interviewer: Hilda Kriseman, Boy: Paul Rosebury, Jacko: Max Hafler, Model Nurse: Maggie Ollerenshaw, Landlady: Eva Stuart, Personnel Officer: Jennifer Piercey, Louie: Shirley Allan, Mario: Michael Tudor Barnes, Nick: Bill Monks, Nick’s friend: Richard Pipe, Customer in clubs: Henry Knowles, Michael Tudor Barnes, Bill Monks, Barry Woolgar. Director: Kay Patrick

17 June 1979:
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. (Repeat from 21 November 1978)

21 June 1979:
The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs
By David Edgar, abridged for radio by Madeline Sotheby. Albie Sachs, a young white South African barrister, was known for defending people prosecuted under the regime’s Apartheid laws. He was arrested in Cape Town on 1 October 1963 and held in solitary confinement under the 90 Days Law, which in effect allowed police to hold subjects indefinitely. A World Service production heard on 29 June 1979. Albie Sachs: Simon Callow, Snyman: Geoffrey Matthews, Sergeant/Swanepoel: Alfred Hoffman, White Constable/Samols: Paul Herzberg, Wagenaar/Third Voice: Adrian Egan, Freeman: Charles Dance, Rossouw/voice: Hector Ross, Viok: John Burgess, Danny/Coloured Constable: Alton Kumalo, Mcintyre/Cameraman: David Savile, Kraal/Second Voice: Peter Craze, Girl: Jenny Twigge. Director: Gordon House. (Repeated on 16 August 1979 and as Radio 4’s Afternoon Play on 2 November 1985 and 26 January 1986)

24 June 1979:
A Chaste Maid in Cheapside
By Thomas Middleton, adapted by Peter Barnes. Middleton’s early 17th-century city comedy, full of sexual hypocrisy and deceit, has the Yellowhammers determined to marry their young daughter Moll to Sir Walter Whorehound, even though she loves Allwit Junior. Allwit’s father in turn prefers to prostitute his wife to Sir Walter rather than work. Maudline: Dilys Laye, Moll, her daughter: Sarah Badel, Yellowhammer: Hugh Paddick, Sir Walter Whorehound: Norman Rodway, Welsh Gentlewoman: Sharon Morgan, Davy Dahumma: Peter Baldwin, Touchwood Junior: John Rowe, Allwit: Richard Briers, Allwit’s Servants: Andrew Branch, Philip Sully, Mrs Allwit: Petra Davies, Mrs Touchwood: Josie Kidd, Touchwood Senior: James Laurenson, Country Wench/Wat, a bastard: Tammy Ustinov, Lady Kix: Sian Phillips, Sir Oliver, her husband: Peter Jeffrey, Maid: Jenny Twigge, Wet Nurse: Liza Flanagan, Puritans: Elizabeth Proud, Josie Kidd. Gossips: Margot Boyd, Eva Stuart, Hilda Kriseman. Tim Yellowhammer: Andrew Branch, Tutor: Philip Voss, Waterman: Danny Schiller, Porter: Danny Schiller, Parson: Roger Hammond. Music: Christopher Whelen, played by members of The English Chamber Orchestra. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 9 December 1979)

25 June 1979:
The Daedalus Dimension
By Frederic Raphael. “Daedalus changed everything... because he proved, with his fingers and his tongue, that everything could be changed. Raphael’s play is set in ancient and modern Crete. Narrators: Frederic Raphael and Nigel Stock, Daedalus: Norman Rodway, Pasiphae: Emily Richard, Minos: Joseph O’Connor, Karen: Zoe Wanamaker. Producer: Anthony Moncrieff. (Repeated on 4 July 1979)

27 June 1979:
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. (Repeat from 12 November 1978)

29 June 1979:
A.R.T.H.U.R and M.A.R.T.H.A
By Laurence Lerner. A love story for computers with the poetry-writing A.R.T.H.U.R (Automatic Record Tabulator but Heuristically Unreliable Reasoner) newly inspired by M.A.R.T.H.A (Modular Real-Time Harmonic Activator). A.R.T.H.U.R: Simon Jones, M.A.R.T.H.A: Rosalind Knight. Producer: Fraser Steel (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 4 December 1979)

5 July 1979:
The Hardman
By Tom McGrath and Jimmy Boyle, adapted for radio by Tom McGrath. This celebrated study of a brutalised man in a brutalising system charts the rise and fall of Glaswegian gangster Johnny Byrne, based on the life of notorious Scottish criminal Jimmy Boyle. First heard as The Monday Play on Radio 4 on 21 May 1979. Johnnie Byrne: Peter Kelly, Bandit/Renfrew: Tony Roper, Slugger: David Bannerman, Maggie/Maw/Lawyer: Ann Scott-Jones, Carole/Lizzie: Frances Low, Big Danny/Lawyer: Alex Norton, Michael Mochan/Archie/Kelly: James Kennedy, Commando/ Paisley: Carey Wilson, Johnstone: Benny Young. Percussion: Ronnie Goodman. Director: Tom Kinninmont (BBC Scotland)

10 July 1979:
No Charge for the Extra Service
By Rhys Adrian. In this “unromantic comedy”, a lonely widow and a widower arrange to meet in the hope of finding a little bit extra from life. (Also filmed for BBC2 with Lally Bowers and John Nettleton on 15 March 1971.) Anne Hendrix: Elizabeth Spriggs, Charles MacCartney: Nigel Stock, Taxi Driver: Brian Carroll. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 1 November 1979)

12 July 1979:
Boesman and Lena
By Athol Fugard, adapted for radio by Christopher Venning. In Fugard’s celebrated 1970 play, a “mixed-race” couple in South Africa scratch a living by foraging for deposit-bottles, endlessly quarrelling on a deserted shore. Boesman: Athol Fugard, Lena: Yvonne Bryceland, Xhosa tribesman: Alton Kumalo. Director: Christopher Venning. (Repeated on 27 September 1979)

26 July 1979:
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. (Repeat from 19 October 1978. Repeated on 27 September 1988)

29 July 1979:
Ladyhouse Blues
By Kevin O’Morrison. In 1919 St Louis, a widowed mother tries to keep her family of four daughters together while awaiting the return of her navy husband from the war. Produced by Earplay, the radio drama production centre for public broadcasting in the USA. Helen: Diane Kegan, The Mother: Jo Henderson, Eylye: Christine Estabrook, Terry: Gail Garnett, Dot: Mary-Joan Negro, Supporting roles: Kevin O’Morrison. Sound engineer Marv Nonn. Producer: Karl Schmidt. Director: Tony Giordano. (Repeated on 18 September 1980)

9 August 1979:
I Never Killed My German
By Carey Harrison. Set in East Anglia, this Giles Cooper award-winner concerns a retired registrar, Willy, whose footloose daughter Juliet sends him an unwanted guest, Melchior, the 60-year-old Bishop of Frankfurt, who is in love with Juliet. The play was also produced for the World Service by Gordon House with a new cast on 21 May 1989. Willy: Maurice Denham, Bishop of Frankfurt: Stephen Murray, Alison: June Barrie, Juliet: Penelope Lee, Hanno: Peter Tuddenham, Mrs Carr: Daphne Heard, King Tut: Malcolm Hayes. Music: Sidney Sager. Flute Player: Sidney Sager. Director: Shaun MacLoughlin (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 16 November 1980)

12 August 1979:
A Change of Life & A Mature Relationship
By Jeremy Seabrook. Two play-sketches showing drifting partnerships trying to reach a moment of decision. A Change of Life: Charley: John Hollis, Kath: Margery Mason. A Mature Relationship: Roger: John Rowe, Mary: Patricia Gallimore, Waitress: Ausok Draper. Director: Richard Wortley

19 August 1979:
By David Cregan. A husband can’t cope with the apparent demands of his six children and tells his therapist he wishes to kill them. The Husband: Peter Jeffrey, The Wife: Phyllida Law, The Therapist: Cyril Shaps, The Mother: Sylvia Coleridge, Rose, her maid: Gladys Spencer, The children – Robert: Andrew Bagley, Philip: Adam Rhodes, Maxine: Lisa Hayden, Clare: Emma-Kate Davies, Tom: Tara Collinson, Joe: Fred Gray, Paul, their friend: Mark Hamilton. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 17 January 1980)

26 August 1979:
At Swim-Two-Birds
By Flann O’Brien, adapted by Eric Ewens. Set in 1930s Dublin, the main action takes place in the “kingdom of the mind” of the main character, Myles, a student at University College and an aspirant novelist whose characters frequently take over the story. Myles: Niall Buggy, Uncle: Patrick McAlinney, Jesuit/Sweeny: Allan McClelland, Tipster/Lamonte: Sean Barrett, Conan/Moling: David Blake Kelly, Finn/Trellis: Denys Hawthorne, Brinsley: Jim Norton, Kelly/Casey: Harry Webster, Shanahan: Kevin Flood, Furriskey: Donal McCann, Ronan/Corcoran: Alan Barry, Byrne/Tracy: Wesley Murphy, Pooka: Patrick Magee, Fairy: Kate Binchy, Orlick: Tom McCabe, Cow: Elizabeth Morgan. Technical presentation: Jock Farrell. Director: Ronald Mason. (Repeated on 2 November 1980)

3 September 1979:
A Good Start to the Day
By Zvonimir Bajsic, translated by Evald Flisar. A play by the Croation writer and director (1925-1987) in which a man, Mirolslav, gains entry into the flat of the widow Mariola and a subtle battle of wills ensues. Miroslav: James Bree, Mariola: Pat Heywood. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 16 March 1980)

8 September 1979:
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 30 September 1976)

16 September 1979:
The Outsider
By Joan Ambrose. Don and Shelley live happily together on a remote sheep farm in Western Australia but their marriage is threatened when a new farm hand arrives. Shelley: Judith Arthy, Don: Nigel Graham, Nelson: Stanley Page. Members of the club: Max Alford, David Casey, Meg Johnson and Loveday Oakley. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 6 December 1979)

20 September 1979:
The Tragedy of Coriolanus
By William Shakespeare. A lionised Roman soldier’s contempt for the plebeian mob forces him into exile and then offering his services to Rome’s bitterest enemy, Tullus. Patricians – Coriolanus: Richard Pasco, Volumnia: Fabia Drake, Virgilia: Rosalind Shanks, Menenius Agrippa: Cyril Luckham, Cominius: Jack May, Titus Lartius: Brian Haines, Valeria: Petra Davies, First Roman Senator: Brian Sanders, Second Roman Senator: Philip Voss, Tribune Junius Brutus: Michael Spice, Tribune Sicinius Velutus: Derek Godfrey, Citizens of Rome: Eric Allan, Fred Bryant, John Bull, Roger Hammond, Hilda Kriseman, Michael McStay and Tammy Ustinov. The Volocians – Tullus Autidius: Tim Pigott-Smith, Senators: John Gabriel, Harold Kasket, Citizens of Antium: Andrew Branch, Gordon Dulieu, Joe Dunlop, Adrian Egan, Leonard Fenton, Danny Schiller and Philip Sully. Music Mike Steer. Technical presentation: Janet Mitchell and David Hitchinson. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 29 April 1982)

23 September 1979:
Mac and Miss Faucit
By Richard Mangan. An account of the relationship between William Charles Macready, the 19th-century actor-manager, and actress Helen Faucit, taken from their diaries and letters. William Charles MacReady: Paul Scofield, Helen Faucit: Joy Parker. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 6 January 1980)

30 September
The Lizard Syndrome
By Kate Soper. In what is virtually a monologue, a young married woman questions her own state of mind; “I call it the lizard syndrome. You know that moment when you realise it’s a lizard – a sort of uncanniness about it – when it suddenly moves. It doesn’t seem quite right. I mean, like the lizard, when it moves, I suddenly realise it’s my hand on the kettle handle.” Woman: Judi Dench, Psychiatrist: Petra Davies. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 22 November 1979)

4 October 1979:
The Last Black and White Midnight Movie
By James Saunders. Sometime in the not-too-distant past, six people trapped during an avalanche on a Swiss mountain are forced to confront the truth about themselves. Justin: Nigel Davenport, Elspeth: Margaret Courtenay, Mike: Ed Bishop, Ilse: Petra Davies, Maisie: Jacqueline Tong, Old Kurt: Philip Voss, Young Kurt: Matt Waltberg Jnr. Technical Presentation: Anthea Davies, assisted by Diana Barkham and Claire Elstow. Director: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 28 February 1980)

11 October 1979:
By Lorenzino de’Medici in an English version by Carlo Ardito. Lorenzino de’Medici, of the famous Florentine family, wrote this comedy in 1536 at the age of 22. Aridosio, a miser: Stephen Murray, Marc Antonio, his brother: Peter Bull, Lucrezia, Marc Antonio’s Wife: Mary Wimbush, Aridosio’s sons – Tiberio: John Rye, Erminio: Martin Jarvis. Cesare, suitor to Aridosio’s daughter: Geoffrey Collins, Lucido, Erminio’s servant: John Moffatt, Ruffo, a pimp: Ronnie Stevens, Livia, his ward: Rosalind Shanks, Alfonso, her father: Alan Dudley, Briga, Alfonso’s servant: Alaric Cotter, Jacopo, a priest: Jack May, Mona Pasqua, Erminio’s nurse: Kathleen Helme, Prologue: Michael Tudor Barnes. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 21 August 1977)

25 October 1979:
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. (Repeat from 17 September 1978)

4 November 1979:
Courting Miriam
By Ted Moore. “You’re 18, son. You’re getting naggy. You’re frustrated, Sam… You spend too much time in your head. You need a woman, Sam.” Sam: Edward Wilson, Eric: Arthur Blake, Nelly: Lizzie McKenzie, Miriam: Adrienne Frank, Willy: Alan Hockey, Hannah: Kathleen Drye. Director: Tony Cliff (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 17 February 1980)

11 November 1979:
The Memorandum
By Vaclav Havel, translated by Vera Blackwell. In this satirical comedy, written before the 1968 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the managing director of a giant firm learns that everyone is learning a new office language – except him. First heard on Network Three on 9 & 29 December 1966. Narrator: Geoffrey Wincott, Joseph Gross, Managing Director: Hugh Burden, Jan Ballas, Deputy Director: Donald Pleasence, Ferdinand Kubs: Geoffrey Matthews, Hana, secretary to the Managing Director: Beth Boyd, A Professor of Ptydepe: John Moffatt, Kalous, a clerk: Anthony Ball, Otto Masat, Head of the Translation Centre: Michael Deacon, Alex Kunz, Ptydepist: Charles Hodgson, Helen: Barbara Mitchell, Maria, typist in the Translation Centre: Susan Maudslay, George, Staff Watcher: Hector Ross. Director: Martin Esslin. (Also repeated on 3 August 1970)

18 November 1979:
Dancing Dolly
By John Kirkmorris. Two strange and violent men – one a wannabe priest, the other a wisecracking Irishman – meet up on the road. Gold and a girl act as catalysts in their lives. Snaith: Alan Dobie, Cooney: Denys Hawthorne, Rita: Carrie Lee-Baker. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 6 July 1980)

19 November 1979:
The Putney Debates
By Jack Emery, introduced by Christopher Hill. The debates among the General Council of the New Model Army was held in Putney Church between 28 October and 1 November 1647. (Recorded in All Saints Church, Fulham.) Oliver Cromwell: Timothy West, Henry Ireton: T.P. McKenna, Thomas Gainborough: Brian Glover, Edward Sexby: Michael McStay, Robert Everard: John Bardon, John Wildman: Gordon Reid, Lewis Audley/Francis White: Martin Matthews, William Golfe: John Church, Nathaniel Rich: Jack Emery. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 7 February 1980)

20 November 1979:
A Winter’s Tale
By Gerhard Ruhm. This experimental radio melodrama is based on a true crime incident in Cologne on New Year’s Day 1976 when a man, car-jacked and tied up, was ignored by passing motorists and froze to death. Winner of the Prix Italia in 1978. In German with an English introduction.

25 November 1979:
Allen Road
By Doug Sandle. The unspoken hostility between a retired schoolteacher and his ex-pupil ends in a common bond. Mr West: Nigel Stock, David York: Sean Barrett, Bus conductor: Martin Oldfield. Director: Kay Patrick (BBC Manchester)

27 November 1979:
Like Dolls or Angels
By Stephen Jeffreys. This is the play that first gained attention for Jeffreys (1950-2018), author of The Libertine and literary manager at the Royal Court in the 1990s.This portrait of a carnival manager and his eager-to-please female stunt assistant won the Best New Playwright award at the 1977 National Student Drama Festival. Hannigan: David Calder, Zuki: Carole Hayman. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 21 February 1980)

16 December 1979:
The Kamikaze Ground Staff Reunion Dinner
By Stewart Parker. An annual reunion for the men who serviced Japanese attack planes during the Second World war brings together airline pilot Tokkotai, dentist Makoto, bakery owner Shushin, insurance salesman Kamiwashi and taxi driver Shimpu. Memories are stirred that prompt plans for a new mission. Tokkotai: Ronald Baddiley, Shushin: Graham Crowden, Shimpu: Ronald Herdman, Makoto: John Le Mesurier, Kamiwashi: Harry Towb, Co-pilot: John Shedden, Miss Tomishita: Maureen Beattie. Director: Robert Cooper (BBC Scotland/BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 27 April 1980, on Radio 4 on 1 May 1981, 1 June 1985, and 18 December 1988, and on Radio 4 Extra on 31 March 2012)

20 December 1979:
A Doll’s House
By Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer. The respectable life of newly promoted bank manager Torvald Helmer and his wife, Nora, unravels amidst the threat of blackmail over a secret debt and Nora’s realisation that she has been leading a half-life of submission to her husband. This production was originally heard to mark the centenary of the play’s world premiere at the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen, on 21 December 1879. Torvald Helmer: Ian McKellen, Nora: Susan Fleetwood, Mrs Linde: Sheila Reid, Nils Krogstad: David Buck, Dr Rank: Michael Gough, Anne-Marie, the nanny: Joan Matheson, Helen, a maid: Josie Kidd. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 3 May 1981)

27 December 1979:
Pawn takes Pawn
By Jacek Laskowski. When playing chess, Levin is able to cut himself off from humanity. But the people he plays against are human and fallible and provide traps from which he can’t escape. Aaron Levin: Alan Dobie, Ivan Bolmar: John Castle, Mark Estep: William Nighy, Alexandroff: Patrick Troughton, Lemaitis: Peter Baldwin, Morozov: Chris Fairbank, Trubleff: Trevor Cooper, Jakes: Andrew Seear, Dobson: Michael Graham Cox, Elizabeth Harding: Elizabeth Rider. With Leonard Fenton, Patrick Barr, Graham Faulkner, Roger Hammond and Philip Voss. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 1 March 1981)

30 December 1979:
The Last Ride of Walter Enderby, Motorist and Amorist
By Don Haworth. In this surreal comedy, Ronald recounts the disastrous consequences of his chance encounter on the road with Walter Enderby, a master of getting his own way. Walter Enderby: Nigel Stock, Ronald: Geoffrey Beevers, Dr Vogelheimer John Bott, Arthur: Gordon Dulieu, Patricia: Stephanie Turner, Ronald as a child: Judy Bennett, Mrs Furnell: Brenoa Kave, Aunt: Margot Boyd, Uncle: Brian Haines, Director: Brian Carroll, Dave de Mott: Ed Bishop, Barry: Joe Dunlop, Radio: John Bull. Director: Richard Wortley


1 January 1979:
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). (Repeat from 20 July 1978)

1 January 1979:
We that Live to Please Must Please to Live
By Stephen Oliver. An imaginary conversation between Samuel Johnson and Mozart on the subject of music, art and patronage. Dr Samuel Johnson: Timothy West. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Anton Lesser. Harpsichord: Stephen Oliver. Producer: Patricia Brent.

3 January 1979:
Written on the Wind
Theatre and film director Peter Brook talks to critic Michael Billington about his career, which encompasses the Royal Shakespeare Company and his own multinational company of actors, and his directorial technique. For him, “theatre is always a self-destructive art and it is always written on the wind”. Producer: David Perry. (Repeat from Radio 4’s Kaleidoscope on 21 November 1978)

12 January 1979:
Perelman’s Revenge (or The Gift of Providence, Rhode Island)
Made before his death in October 1979, this appreciation of the American humourist, screenwriter and playwright S.J. Perelman marked his 75th birthday. Readings by Ed Bishop. With contributions from Woody Allen, Albert Hackett, William Hellman, Al Hirschfeld, John Hollander, Sidney J. Namlerep, Israel Shenker, Saul Steinberg and Caskie Stinnett. Edited and presented by Philip French. (Repeated on 8 April & 10 November 1979)

19 January 1979:
Congreve and Comedy
Peter Wood, director of the National Theatre’s The Double Dealer, reflects on William Congreve ‘s comic style with playwright John Mortimer.

30 January 1979:
One Hundred and Eight Heroes
By Hugh Baker. The true story behind the 14th-century Chinese classic The Water Margin, which details the trials and tribulations of 108 outlaws during the Song Dynasty. The Storyteller: Roy Dotrice. With Peter Baldwin, Fred Bryant, Joe Dunlop, Brian Glover and Eva Stuart. Chinese readers: Lucia Liu and P.C. Tung. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 16 April 1979)

3 February 1979:
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. (Repeat from 13 November 1976)

11 February 1979:
Elected Friends
By Andrew Motion and Anne Stevenson. When Edward Thomas and Robert Frost met in London in 1913, neither had yet made his name as a poet. Despite their close friendship being curtailed by Thomas’s in death in action at Arras in April 1917, each was vital to the other’s success as poets. Narrator: Geoffrey Banks, Robert Frost: John Franklyn-Robbins, Edward Thomas: Paul Webster, Helen Thomas: Ann Aris, Eleanor Farjeon: Cynthia Michaelis. Producer: Fraser Steel (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 29 April 1977)

19 & 24 February 1979:
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. (Repeat from 13 & 20 October 1978)

27 February 1979:
Death Takes a Holiday
How Peter Kien and Viktor Ullmann came to write and rehearse an opera, The Emperor of Atlantis, in the concentration camp of Theresienstadt (Terezin) in Czechoslovakia in 1944. Told in the words of Aaron Kramer. With the voices of Claire Fischer, Harold Kasket, Anthony Newlands, Danny Schiller, Philip Sully, Stephen Thorne, Philip Voss and Harry Towb. Pianist: Raymond Alston. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 20 June 1979)

6 March 1979:
Drummer Hodge
Poetry and song from the Boer War, taken from the book by M. Van Wyck Smith and composed for radio by Keith Darvill. With the voices of Glynis Brooks, Ian Burford, Jon Croft, Philip Davis, Adrian Egan, Malcolm Hayes, Roger Heathcott, Hilda Kriseman, Claire McLellan, Gregory de Polnay, Maddy Prior, Struan Rodger, Michael Troughton and Peter Tuddenham. Music: Doug Wootton. Technical presentation by Alec Hale-Monroe, Anne Hunt, Patience Pratt and Kim Sturgeon. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 9 July 1979)

1 & 23 April 1979:
A Few Words About Shakespeare’s Plays
Paul Rogers reads extracts from Swiss writer and diarist Ulrich Braker’s 1780 book in which “the poor man of Toggenburg” gives his personal view of Shakespeare’s genius. Translated by Derek Bowman. Producer: Anthony Vivis.

3 April 1979:
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). (Repeat from 16 May 1978)

13 April 1979:
Beckett at the National
A selection of Samuel Beckett’s prose and poetry, selected by Jack Emery and Michael Kustow, recorded at the National Theatre in 1976 to celebrate Beckett’s birthday on Good Friday, 13 April 1906. Performed by Peggy Ashcroft, Kenneth Cranham, Gawn Grainger, Denis Quilley, Struan Rodger and Philip Stone. Director (in the theatre): Jack Emery. Edited for radio: Ian Cotterell and Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 18 October 1979)

24 April 1979:
One of the Damned
By Fred C Ball. “A search for the identity of Robert Tressell, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists”. The Narrator: Leonard Fenton, Robert Tressell: Jim Norton, Kathleen: Irene Sutcliffe. With Rod Beacham, Douglas Blackwell, Peter Craze, Shirley Dixon, Peter Howell, Nicolette McKenzie, Jonathan Scott, Jeffrey Segal and James Thomason. Music: Martin Goldstein. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 13 November 1977)

22 May 1979:
Dr Piffoel
Compiled by Elizabeth Troop from The Intimate Notebook of George Sand, translated by Marie Jenney Howe. From 1836 to 1839, George Sand kept a notebook addressed to a Dr Piffoel, one of her masculine alter egos, as she pondered educational, literary and political questions. George Sand: Jane Lapotaire. With Jenny Twigge and John Bull. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 24 September 1979)

28 May 1979:
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. (Repeat from 8 August 1978)

29 May 1979:
Dust in the Sugar House
By Michelene Wandor. A portrait of the author Antonia White (1899-1980), known for her autobiographical fiction, including Frost in May. The Woman: Colette O’Neil, The Child: Sarah Sutton. Other parts played by John Graham, Hilda Kriseman, Phillip Manikum. With pupils and staff of Virgo Fidelis Convent, Norwood, and St Ursula’s High School, Westbury-on-Trym. Director: Shaun MacLoughlin (BBC Bristol)

9 June 1979:
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. (Repeat from 26 December 1978)

16 & 23 June 1979:
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. (Repeat from 20 & 23 November 1978)

21 June 1979:
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. (Repeat from 4 March & 1 August 1978)

1 July 1979:
The White Snake
The legend of the White Snake goes back at least as far as the T’ang dynasty and has parallels in Western myth and literature. As a tale and later as an opera, its various incarnations have been shaped by time, taste and politics until its suppression in the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Research: Lim Poh-Sim. Narrator: Christopher Bidmead. With Eva Haddon, Ann Rosenfeld, Godfrey Kenton, Rod Beacham and John Rowe. (Repeat from 19 February 1977)

23 July 1979:
The Singing Country
Roger Kendall examines the Great Border Ballads sung on the Scottish/English border from the 14th century onwards. With the voices of Tom Fleming, Eileen McCallum and John Shedden. Ballads sung by Terry Conway and Ray Fisher, played on Northumbrian pipes by James Hall. Producer: Piers Plowright

7 August 1979:
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), Arthur Watts (bass). Musical Director: Neil Rhoden. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 20 December 1978)

14 August 1979:
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. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 16 December 1978)

21 August 1979:
Call Me Ishmael
A feature about Herman Melville (1819-1891) written and presented by Michael Meyer. Herman Melville: Colin Blakely. With Tim Bentinck, Joe Dunlop, Adrian Egan, Paul Maxwell, Bill Monks, Penelope Reynolds, Eva Stuart and Harry Towb. Director: John Theocharis (First heard on Radio 4 on 4 February 1979)

27 August 1979:
Quest for the Jabberwock
Compiled and narrated by Brian Sibley, who attempts to track down this fabulous monster from the Looking Glass world. Lewis Carroll: Dinsdale Landen, Alice: Susan Sheridan, Reader 1: Philip Voss, Reader 2: Andrew Branch, Reader 3: Brian Haines, Miss Smedley: Liza Flanagan, Humpty Dumpty: Peter Bull. Director: Alec Reid. (Repeated on 2 December 1979)

29 August 1979:
The Music of Time
Kingsley Amis explores the 12 novels in Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time series with dramatised extracts. Jenkins: Martin Jarvis. With Richard Bebb, Frances Jeater, Bennett Maxwell and Frederick Treves. Producer: Anthony Moncrieff. (Repeated on 3 December 1979)

30 August 1979:
Unglamorous Nights
A “radio lantern lecture” by Alan Plater. The playwright introduces a selection of serious and funny songs featured in musical documentary shows from regional theatres. With Gilly Brown, Bob Eaton, Alex Glasgow, Meg Johnson, Noreen Kershaw, Robert Powell, Victoria Wood and Bernard Wrigley. Musical director: Stephen Boxer. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 13 January 1980 and on Radio 4 on 1 November 1980)

25 September 1979:
Icon or Symbol
Playwright and critic Jonathan Raban considers radio drama and argues that the currently fashionable critical approach which puts radiophonic accuracy and sound textures before verbal content is as unhelpful as an account of typography would be in a critical study of Ulysses. Producer: David Perry. (Repeated on 28 October 1979)

11 December 1979:
When Does the Connecting Train Arrive?
Ronald Hayman explores Friedrich Nietzsche after his breakdown in 1889, drawing on newly discovered jottings by the philosopher. Nietzsche: Robert Stephens, Family and friends: John Bull, Petra Davies, Leonard Fenton, Brian Raines and Tammy Ustinov. Nietzsche’s piano compositions played by Raymond Alston. Producer: Piers Plowright


3 January 1979:
Prefaces on Doctors by George Bernard Shaw (abridged and read by Denys Hawthorne) 
In Bernard Shaw’s 1911 preface to his play The Doctor’s Dilemma, he argued against the continuance of private medicine. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 11 August 1978)

4 January 1979:
Silence (written and performed by Ivor Cutler)
Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 23 February and 14 August 1979)

5 January 1979:
The Salt of the Earth by Michael C. O’Connor (read by Allan McClelland)
“Mr Mallins chalked on the blackboard in big letters: ‘Jesuits are the salt of the earth – the salt of the earth.’ He underlined salt. ‘There is nothing finer in all the world than to enter the priesthood. Think very carefully before you put your hand up.’” Producer Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 1 July 1979)

14 January 1979:
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). (Repeat from 27 April 1978)

19 January 1979:
Nobody There by Gabriel Josipovici (read by Ben Kingsley)
A short story by the novelist, literary theorist, critic, and scholar. Producer: Liane Aukin. (Repeated on 6 May 1979)

2 February 1979
Stolen Footballs by Douglas Dunn (read by Tom Watson)
A prose piece by the Scottish poet, academic, and critic. (Postponed from 22 December 1978.) Producer: Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 14 June 1979)

4 February 1979:
Saint Cecilia (or The Power of Music) by Heinrich von Kleist (read by Robert Eddison)
An 1810 short story by the German author. In 16th-century Aachen, four brothers opposed to icons plan to attack a convent, but are transfixed by an orchestra playing inside, which drives them to the madhouse. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 17 April 1979)

5 February 1979:
A Bicycle Built for Two by Nigel Dennis (read by Denys Hawthorne)
Sportsman Gino and philosophical Arthur are chalk and cheese, but they happen to be Siamese twins. Producer: Liane Aukin. (Repeated on 8 March 1979)

13 February 1979:
The Barrack Room Ballads by Rudyard Kipling.
Poems from Kipling’s 1892 collection about the late-Victorian British army in a selection by Richard Mangan for the National Theatre. Readers: Warren Clarke, Shane Connaughton, Kenneth Cranham and Derek Newark. Producer: John Scotney. (First heard on Radio 4 on 26 February 1978)

15 February 1979:
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. (Repeat from 17 November 1978. Also on 15 December 1979)

16 February 1979:
The Priest’s Tale by Domingos Monteiro (read by Nigel Stock)
At the end of the Spanish Civil War, a scene of bravery and fortitude witnessed by a priest reinforces his religious faith, despite his defiance of the law. Translated from the Portuguese by Denis Brass. Producer: Margaret Etall. (Repeated on 13 May 1979)

17 February 1979:
A piece of dramatic propaganda from 1960s China in which an uncle discovers a new world. With Douglas Blackwell, Paul Meier and Valerie Murray. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 19 February 1977)

2 March 1979:
Man with a Notebook by Norman Levine (read by Marvin Kane)
A short story by the Canadian author (1923-2005) who lived in Cornwall. A writer wonders why the subjects of his stories all die shortly after he writes about them. (BBC Bristol)

9 March 1979:
An English Weekend by Alun Lewis (read by Sion Probert)
A young Welsh teacher is full of expectation as he boards the paddle boat at Cardiff to cross the channel to Weston-super-Mare. (Also read on Radio 4 by Philip Madoc on 26 May 1997.) Director: Gerry Jones. (Repeated on 31 May 1979)

13 March 1979:
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. (Repeat from 8 October 1978)

16 March 1979:
The Two Elenas by Carlos Fuentes (read by John Rowe)
In this tale of promiscuity and appearances in Mexican high society, a man is attracted at the same time to two women who seem completely different. Producer: Liane Aukin. (Repeated on 20 May 1979)

18 March 1979:
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. (Repeat from 9 October 1978)

21 March 1979:
Spring at Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau (read by Peter Marinker)
Extract from Thoreau’s book Walden. (Repeated on 21 March and 22 July 1979 and on Radio 4, 19 April 1981)

30 March 1979:
The Life of a Leaf by Tom Pickard (read by John Woodvine)
A story by the Tyneside poet and documentary film-maker in which a boy observes nature and the adult world from his bedroom window. Producer: Peter King. (Repeated on 23 May 1979)

8 April 1979:
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. (Repeat from 8 December 1978)

13 April 1979:
Class of 1949 by Norman Levine (read by Marvin Kane)
A short story by the Polish-born, Ottawa-raised author (1923-2005), who settled in Cornwall. Producer: Brian Miller. (Repeated on 30 September 1979)

27 April 1979:
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome (read by Hubert Gregg)
Excerpts from the celebrated comic novel include the advantages of cheese as a travelling companion and a battle with a tin of pineapple. (Gregg played George in a 1946 radio adaptation on 18 January 1946 and adapted the novel as a musical for the Home Service on 26 December 1962.)

27 April 1979:
Devil’s Gorge by Don Lowe (read by Nicholas Ball)
“James led us into a garden of Eden that day, I’m sure. But hidden in that garden was a snake. And, for want of a better word, let’s call that snake creature by its name: Devil.” Producer: Piers Plowright.

1 May 1979
The Crossed Line by Robert Forrest (read by David Hayman)
“This is not a ghost story. All the people, with or without names, are real, all the longings and lunacies are held within actual flesh and natural years. The lovers are real, as are the embittered marriage partners, as you are. You’re listening silence is real, and all the voices are real.” Producer: Tom Kinninmont (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 31 August 1979)

14 May 1979:
Someone Else by Frederic Raphael (read by the author)
“His collapse proved her strength. She bloomed. Her resumed reading qualified her for part-time work in the field where she had gamed her degree. He got to know his children. Her unexpected readiness to step into the breach made him feel that perhaps there had always been some weakness in his character about which she had kept a knowing silence.” (Repeated on 13 August 1979)

22, 24, 29 & 31 May, 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28 June, 3 & 5 July 1979:
A Musical Ramble by Edward Holmes (read by Richard Briers)
Excerpts from Ramble Among the Musicians of Germany, published in 1828. Adapted and produced by Graham Sheffield. (Repeated May and June 1980)

25 May 1979:
El Santo by Peter Luke (read by John Justin)
“Not long ago in the Province of Malaga, there arose a saint…” Producer: Cherry Cookson

8 June 1979:
The Home of Reality by John Sewell (read by Margaret Whiting)
“What one dislikes about pain is its lack of dignity. Pain must be worn with decorum; it’s de rigueur in the best circles. ‘De rigueur mortis,’ the same nurse said. She was invaluable, that nurse.” Producer: David Spenser. (Repeated on 15 July 1979)

9 June 1979:
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. (Repeat from 16 July 1978)

11-15 June 1979:
Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf (read by Peggy Ashcroft)
Readings from Virginia Woolf’s collection of autobiographical essays. Producer: Hallam Tennyson

18 June 1979:
The Pearl by Yukio Mishima (read by John Moffatt)
The loss of one of Mrs Sasaki’s pearls during the course of her 43rd birthday party causes two of her friends to fall out and another two to make up. Translated by Geoffrey W. Sargent. (Repeated on 20 August 1979)

22 June 1979:
The Gardener by Ruth Katz (read by Eva Haddon)
Before the storyteller resolves to find a gardener, a stranger calls and undertakes the job, causing her to change her ways. Producer: Margaret Etall. (Repeated on 14 July 1979)

30 June 1979
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. (Repeat from 24 November 1978)

8 July 1979:
Bliss by Katherine Mansfield (read by Eileen Atkins)
A young wife at a dinner party is overwhelmed by a sense of euphoria as she tries to make sense of her feelings towards one of her guests. Producer: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 6 August 1979)

8 July 1979
The Priest of Shiga Temple and his Love by Yukio Mishima (read by John Moffatt)
A priest struggles to focus on his quest for purity after falling in love with a passing Imperial concubine. Translated by Ivan Morris. (Repeated on 16 September 1979)

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

27 July 1979:
Lappin and Lapinova by Virginia Woolf (abridged and read by David March)
A wife considers her new married state while on honeymoon. Producer: David Johnston. (Repeated on 4 September 1979)

30 July 1979:
The Beginning of My Second Week by Ian Hawkins (read by the author)
(Repeated on 24 August 1979)

17 August 1979:
The Circular Ruins by Jorge Luis Borges (ready by Denis Quilley)
In this 1940 story, a man tries to dream another man into existence, but may himself be the product of someone’s dream. English translation by Norman Thomas di Giovanni. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 12 October 1979)

19 August 1979:
The Mirror and the Mask by Jorge Luis Borges (ready by Denis Quilley)
An Irish king asks a poet to memorialise a great victory. English translation by Norman Thomas di Giovanni. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 28 October 1979)

10 September 1979:
Conversations in New Orleans by John Stevenson (read by Nigel Anthony)
A reading from A Month with America. Producer: Piers Plowright

18 September 1979:
Outrageous Behaviour by Morris Lurie (read by Denis Lill)
‘”Will he die? Will my father die? Is my father going to die? Impossible! Don’t be stupid!’ Moses refused to let the idea enter his head.” A short story by the Australian author (1938-2014). Producer: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 6 November 1979)

23 September 1979:
The Great Fish Trial by Jonathan Mayen Nguen (read by Thomas Baptiste)
A short story by the Southern Sudanese writer and former director of Radio Juba. (Repeated on 1 December 1979)

11 October 1979:
Distance by Grace Paley (read by Helen Horton)
A short story by the American author, poet and political activist (1922-2007) in which a mother observes her son’s relationships over the years and reflects on the husband who left her. Producer: Clare Taylor

13 October 1979:
Samuel by Grace Paley (read by Liza Ross)
Four boys’ bravado on a moving subway heading towards the Bronx leads to a tragic death. Producer: Clare Taylor. (Repeated on 23 January 1980)

21 October 1979:
Conversation with My Father by Grace Paley (read by Liza Riss)
A successful writer tries to satisfy her dying father’s wish for a proper story. (Also read by Lorelei King for Radio 4 on 14 May 2004.) Producer: Clare Taylor.

5 November 1979:
Excepting Mrs Pentherby by Saki (read by Peter Howell)
A 1923 short story set in a communal country house. (Repeated on 26 November 1980 and 19 October 1982)

16 November 1979:
Thermos Flasks by Yukio Mishima (read by Geoffrey Beavers)
A man passing through San Francisco after a long business trip encounters a former lover and they spend the night together. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 27 November 1980)

17 November 1979:
Mrs Packletide’s Tiger by Saki (read by Peter Howell)
“Mrs Packletide had already arranged in her mind the lunch she would give at her house in Curzon Street... with a tiger-skin rug occupying most of the foreground and all of the conversation.”

26 November 1979:
The Man that Turned into a Statue by Joyce Carol Oates (read by Ed Bishop)
“I had bad luck all my life. Three times already I begun over and this is the fourth and last... Going to begin all over again up in Canada. Don’t you believe me?” From Oates’ 1966 collection Upon the Sweeping Flood. Producer: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 26 January 1980)

28 November 1979:
The Beggarwoman of Locarno by Heinrich von Kleist (read by Robert Lang)
An Italian marquis causes the death of a beggarwoman at his castle and her spirit takes a macabre revenge. Translated by David Luke. Producer: Anthony Vivis. (Repeated on 21 January 1980 & 18 August 1982)

24 December 1979:
At Your Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald (read by Peter Marinker)
Around Christmas, a 50-year-old businessman meets a young girl and welcomes the romance. Producer: Anthony Vivis. (Repeated on 12 February 1980)

25 December 1979:
An Author’s Mother by F. Scott Fitzgerald (read by Peter Marinker)
A mother is bemused by her son’s success as an author. Producer: Anthony Vivis. (Repeated on 9 February 1980)

Many thanks to Ian Johns for compiling the entries.

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