Radio 3 Drama, 1986

Compiled by Ian Johns

Main source of information is from 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, as well as short stories and selected readings.



The Figaro Dramas
A trilogy by Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, trans. John Wells. Music: Carl Davis. Director: Ian Cotterell.

29 December 1985:
1: The Barber of Seville (or All that Trouble for Nothing)
Almaviva, a young count in love with the heroine, Rosina, is helped by the barber Figaro to outwit Rosina’s guardian and win Rosina’s hand in marriage. Count Almaviva: Gary Bond, Figaro: Nickolas Grace, Rosina: Dorothy Tutin, Bartholo: Michael Aldridge, Master Basil: Peter Pratt, The Youth: Michael Bilton, Wideawake: John Wells, Notary: Peter Acre, Alcade: Arnold Diamond. (Repeat from 29 May 1985)

1 January 1986:
2: One Mad Day (or The Marriage of Figaro)
Almaviva, now a philandering husband, tries to seduce Figaro’s fiancée, Suzannah, but is ultimately reunited with his wife after she and Suzanne conspire to trick him into betraying himself to her. Figaro: Nickolas Grace, Suzannah: Alison Steadman, Bartholo: Michael Aldridge, Marcelina: Jean Boht, The Cherub: John McAndrew, Count Almaviva: Gary Bond, Basil: Peter Pratt, The Countess: Dorothy Tutin, Little Fanny: Moir Leslie, Antonio, the gardener: Michael Bilton, Don Guzman: John Wells, Grab, Clerk of the Court/Bridlegoose's Secretary: Peter Acre, Ebenezer: Michael Jenner, The Bridesmaids: Helena Breck, Narissa Knights. (Repeat from 5 June 1985)

5 January 1986:
3: The New Tartuffe (or A Mother's Guilt) 
A darker third play, in which Almaviva is a tortured tyrant and his wife is a guilt-scarred religious fanatic. Suzannah: Alison Steadman, Figaro: Nickolas Grace, Major Bejorass: Norman Rodway, Count Almaviva: Gary Bond, Leon: John McAndrew, Floresta: Moir Leslie, Countess Almaviva: Dorothy Tutin, Wilhelm: John Wells, Mr Dim: Arnold Diamond. (Repeat from 12 June 1985)

8 January 1986:
Master Olof
By August Strindberg, trans. and adapt. Michael Meyer. A revolutionary priest, despite threats of eternal damnation, sets out to defy the established Church and the power of the monarchy. Olof: Miles Anderson, his mother: Dilys Hamlett, Lars, his brother: Anthony Jackson, Gert: Alfred Burke, Kristina, his daughter: Kathryn Hurlbutt, Bishop Brask: Cyril Luckham, King Gustav Vasa: Geoffrey Collins, Brother Martin: Jim Norton, Vilhelm: David Lonsdale, Peter/Anabaptist: Mark Straker, First Citizen: Brian Smith, First Woman/Abbess: Tessa Worsley, Bishop's Secretary: Trevor Nichols, Bishop Mans: Manning Wilson, Nils: Tony Robinson, Svensson: John Hollis, Whore: Helena Breck, Verger: Alan Thompson, Verger's Wife: Alan Jameson, Nobleman: John Webb, Earl Marshall: Bernard Brown, Second Citizen: Colin Starkey. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 29 January 1988)

2 January 1986:
By William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s late romance, set in ancient Britain, sees the husband of Imogen, daughter of Cymbeline, banished while her mother fights off a Roman invasion. Cymbeline, King of Britain: Alec McCowen, Imogen, his daughter: Anna Calder-Marshall, Queen of Britain: Hannah Gordon, Cloten, her son: David Schofield, Iachimo: Tim Pigott-Smith, Belarius: Patrick Troughton, Posthumus: John Duttine, Guiderius: Mlles Anderson, Arviragus: Gary Cady, Pisanio: Philip Sully, Caius Lucius: Christopher Douglas, Philarmonous/Jupiter: Trevor Nichols, Philario: David Sinclair, Cornelius: Arnold Diamond. Other parts played by Spenser Banks, Peter Acre, Steven Harrold, Tessa Worsley and Maggie McCarthy. Music: Ilona Sekacz. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on 19 May 1987)

15 January 1986:
A Woman Killed with Kindness
By Thomas Heywood, adapt. Penny Gold. Heywood’s 1603 drama of property and marriage, adultery and revenge features a newly married wife, brought down by an affair with her husband’s new acquaintance, and an impoverished aristocrat preparing to prostitute his sister to his enemy to redeem his debts. Frankford: Tom Wilkinson, Anne: Paola Dionisotti, Wendoll: James Laurenson, Sir Charles Mountford: Nigel Anthony, Susan: Maggie McCarthy, Sir Francis Acton: Colin Jeavons, Nicholas: Bill Monks, Jenkin: Michael Jenner, Shafton: Bernard Brown, Cranwell: Brett Usher, Keeper: Edward Kelsey, Sheriff: William Eedle, Sergeant: Clive Panto, Maidservant: Helena Breck. Director: Penny Gold. (Repeat from 6 January 1985)

19 January 1986:
In the Month of the Jaguar
By Roger D Powell. A disreputable photographer is given an assignment that forces him to recall horrible crimes that he and associates may have committed in the past. Isbano: Robert Stephens, Professor Matt: John Justin, Rivalo: Carlos Douglas, Marco: John Bull, Natales Negri: Edward de Souza, Blind Man: David March, Baptista/Margello: Geoffrey Matthews, Paco/Inspector Gomez Gregory de Polnay, Lola: Diana Payan, Quitla: Jenny Funnell, Girl at Coco Club: Tessa Worsley. Director: Ronald Mason.

22 January 1986:
Master Class
By David Pownall. After the Second World War, Prokofiev and Shostakovich are summoned to a private meeting with Stalin to discuss the kind of music he wants. Pownall’s play was first seen at Leicester Haymarket in 1983 and given a new radio production for Radio 4 (31 January 2009) with Kenneth Cranham, Trevor Cooper and Bruce Alexander. Stalin: Timothy West, Zhdanov: Jonathan Adams, Prokofiev: Peter Kelly, Shostakovich: David Bamber. Music arranged by John White. Directed by Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 17 October 1986 and on Radio 4 on 7 October 1990)

26 January 1986:
The Day of Reckoning
By John Spurling. Repeat of the third part of Spurling’s “The British Empire” trilogy (first broadcast 3 July 1985), following on from Dominion Over Palm and Pine, and The Christian Hero (2 December 1982). More interwoven stories trace the development of the British Empire, this time up to the Boer War. Lord Kitchener: Norman Jones, Cecil Rhodes: William Eedle, Sir Alfred Milner: Bernard Brown, G W Steevens: Nigel Anthony, Emily Hobhouse: Tessa Worsley, Fitzgerald: Mark Straker, Capt McMurdo: John Rye, Major Leggett: Geoffrey Collins, Arthur Balfour: Alan Thompson, Lord Salisbury, St John Brodrick and Lord Lansdowne: David Garth, Joseph Chamberlain: Ronald Herdman, Capt Girouard: Colin Starkey, Percy Fitzpatrick: Trevor Nichols, President Kruger: Adrian Egan, Boer Commandant: Adrlan Egan, Sir Redvers Buller: Stephen Thorne, FM Lord Wolseley: David Buck, Gen Sir Henry Brackenbury: Charles Hodgson, Marwick: Spencer Banks, Lady Violet Cecil: Jane Knowles, Nurse: Melinda Walker, Col Robert Kekewith: Brett Usher, Sergeant: Brett Usher, Major O'Meara: Nigel Graham, Lt Gen Sir Henry Colville: Nigel Graham, FM Lord Roberts: John Forbes Robertson, Maj Gen Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien: John Forbes Robertson, Lt Gen Sir Thomas Kelly Kenny: John Bott, Lt Phillips: Crawford Logan, Rudyard Kipling: Brian Smith, Capt Maxwell: Brian Smith, Boer Mother: Angelique Rockas, Gen de Wet: Alfred Hoffman, General Botha: Jack Klaff, General Smuts: Alan Ivan. Pianist: Martin Goldstein. Director: Richard Wortley.

29 January 1986:
The Picnic
By Anthony Horowitz. In September 1981, the KGB raid an innocent picnic held by a party of Jews in the Forest of Ovransky. A woman is taken away for interrogation. Play was chosen as part of Miriam Margolyses’ Adventures in Radio on 4 Extra (27 August 2016). Cast: Miriam Margolyes, Timothy West. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 21 April 1985)

1 February 1986:
By Christopher Hope. A poem for voices exploring the life of English-speaking settlers in South Africa through the characters of a fictional huntress, a gloomy café owner and two historical colonial officials sent out to curb the British expansionist ambitions of Sir Harry Smith. Mrs Oribi: Janet Suzman, Mr Silvero: Nigel Hawthorne, William Hogge: Timothy West, Mostyn Owen: Hugh Dickson, Narrator: Christopher Hope, Producer Rosemary Hart. (Repeated on 12 September 1986)

2 February 1986:
Richard II
By William Shakespeare. Richard II is finally deposed by his cousin Bolingbroke (the future Henry IV). King Richard II: John Hurt, Henry Bolingbroke: David Suchet, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster: Harry Andrews Edmund, Duke of York: Roger Hammond, Queen Isabel: Ann Bell, Earl of Northumberland: Hugh Dickson Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk: Philip Voss Lord Marshall: Garard Green, Duke of Aumerle: Christopher Douglas, Earl of Salisbury/ Gardener: David Garth, Earl of Berkeley/Sir Stephen Scroop: John Church, Sir John Bushy: Peter Acre, Sir William Bagot: Brian Smith, Mr Henry Green: Colin Starkey, Harry Percy: David Learner, Lord Ross: Trevor Nichols, Lord Willoughby: Alan Thompson, Bishop of Carlisle/Lord Fitzwater: Bernard Brown, Sir Pierce of Exton: David Sinclair, Duchess of Lancaster: Mary Wimbush, Duchess of York: Anne Jameson, First Lady: Melinda Walker, Second Lady: Helena Breck Music: Ilona Sekacz. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 19 December 1986)

5 February 1986:
The Clockmaker of Cordoba
By Emilio Carballido, trans. Tom Poole, adapt. Jeremy Mortimer. A 1960 play by a prolific Mexican dramatist, set in colonial Mexico, explores a clockmaker’s troubles (and notions of truth and justice) when his idle boast of having robbed and killed a man turns out to be true. Martin Gama: David Collings, Don Leandro: Peter Woodthorpe, Diego Dominguez/Executioner: Garard Green, Isidore de Dominguez/Galatea: June Tobin, Casilda de Gama: Rosalind Adams, Nuno Nuez: David McAlister, Lisardo: Gregory Phillips, Alonso: David Learner, Martisa/Woman in Shop: Natasha Pyne, Elvira: Avril Clark, Magistrate: Gordon Reid Clerk/Singer: Trevor Nichols. Song: Rafael Euzondo. Accordionist: Jack Emblow. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 14 October 1986)

8 February 1986:
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. (Repeat from 5 October 1978)

9 February 1986:
From Morn to Midnight
By George Kaiser, trans. Ashley Dukes, adapt. John Willett. Celebrated German Expressionist drama in which a bank cashier impulsively steals a large sum of money and leaves his family in pursuit of excitement, love and salvation in what will be his last day. The Cashier: Kenneth Cranham, Italian Lady: Carole Boyd, Manager: Edward de Souza, Fat Man: Peter Woodthorpe, Son: Graham Blockey, Mother: Pauline Letts, Wife: Avril Clark, Salvation Army Officer: Anne Jameson. Other parts played by John Church, Elaine Claxton, Gwen Cherrell, Garard Green, Ronald Herdman, Peter Howell, David Learner, George Parsons, Natasha Pyne., Jamie Roberts, Alan Thompson, Melinda Walker. Music: John White. Director: John Theocharis.

10 February 1986:
A Baby in the Bar
By Michael Hirst, after the dance-play Bela Balazs by Wilhelm Grosz. A bartender from the 1920s recalls a bizarre evening in a cocktail bar when an abandoned baby was given a different kind of bottle. Bartender: Ed Bishop, Tragic Mother: Tessa Worsley. With Brand New Band, directed by John Harle (saxophone), conducted by Simon Joly. Producers: Clive Bennett, Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 16 July 1987)

12 February 1986:
In the Jungle of Cities (Im Dickicht der Stadte)
By Bertolt Brecht, trans. Gerhard Nellhaus. An early play by Brecht, written in 1922. Set in a mythologised Chicago, it deals with a semi-pugilistic encounter between Shlink, a rich lumber dealer with criminal connections, and George Garga, a poor immigrant to whom he arbitrarily hands over his business to prove how money and power can corrupt anyone. Narrator: Elaine Claxton, George Garga: Gerard Murphy, Shlink, the lumber dealer: Harry Towb, Skinny: Matt Zimmerman, C Maynes: Garard Green, Worm, hotel owner: Tom Georgeson, Baboon, a pimp: Karl Johnson, Jane Larry: Avril Clark, Mary Garga: Shelley Thompson, Preacher: Gordon Reid, John Garga: John Bluthal, Pat Manky, a first mate: Daniel Webb, Mae Garga: Gwen Cherrell. Director: Caroline Raphael. (Repeated on 18 May 1990)

16 February 1986:
The Fossil
By Carl Sternheim, trans. JM Ritchie. In the year after the First World War, the Prussian aristocracy is prepared to defend its way of life by murder and seduction. And Baron Ago von Bohna has returned from Moscow infected by new ideas. Ursula: Cheryl Campbell, Ago von Bohna: Gerard Murphy, General Traugott von Beeskow: Peter Woodthorpe, Otto: Graham Blockey, Sofie: Melinda Walker, Ulrike: Natasha Pyne, General's Wife: Gwen Cherrell, Achim: David Learner, Fraulein von Rauch: Elaine Claxton, Fohrkolb: Eric Stovell. Directed by Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 13 March 1987)

19 February 1986:
The Voices
By Susan Griffin. Five American women, who have all experienced feelings of isolation and emptiness, tell the story of their lives. Kate is an elderly distinguished actress; Grace’s life has revolved around her children; Maya is into politics and academic study; Erin is obsessed by her brother's suicide; Rosalinde is young and carefree. Kate: Faith Brook, Grace: Doreen Mantle, Erin: Anna Nygh, Maya: Karen Bowen, Rosalinde: Colette Hiller. Director: Cherry Cookson. (Repeat from 7 April 1985)

21 February 1986:
A Tossed Coin
By Will Cowburn. An old man recalls his early days in Liverpool and Newcastle and the woman he loved and has now left him. Old Man: Ken Jones. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 24 August 1985)

23 February 1986:
By Nigel Gearing. Carrie and Charles meet once a year in a hotel bedroom to consummate their friendship and love. On this particular day. Carrie has a surprise in store. Charles: Alan Rickman, Carrie: Anna Nygh. Director: Cherry Cookson. (Repeat from 22 May 1985)

26 February 1986:
Artists and Admirers
By Alexander Ostrovsky, trans. David Leveaux and Hanif Kureishi. In this 1881 comedy of theatrical life in a provincial town, Ostrovsky, the most significant Russian playwright before Chekhov, explores the tribulations of a young actress beset with unsatisfactory admirers. Sasha: Natasha Richardson, Prince: John Moffatt, Martyn: John Horsley, Domna: Anne Jameson, Bakin: Davld Ashton, Ivan Velikatov: George Parsons, Nina Smelskaya: Tessa Worsley, Pyotr: Shaun Prendergast, The Tragedian (Gromilov): Peter Woodthorpe, Gavril: John Grillo, Vasya: Robin Summers, Station Porter: John Church. Directed By: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 15 March 1988)

2 March 1986:
By Woody Allen. An enormous amphitheatre in Athens, 500 BC. Two distraught Greeks, an actor and a writer, discuss their play, which opens in three days. The problem is, they haven’t got an ending. Or a beginning. The middle’s not too hot either... A National Radio Theatre of Chicago production, recorded before an audience. Hepatitis: Tony Roberts, Diabetes: Avery Schreiber, Himself: Woody Allen, Announcer: John Doremus, Doris Levine: Elizabeth Geist, Maid/Blanche: Dorothy Jordan, Trichinosis/King: Gary Gears, Bursitis/Friend: Bill Whitfield, Lorenzo/Guard: Hal Frank, Master/Doctor: Preston Becker, Subway Woman: Michelle M Faith. Director: Yuri Rasovsky. (Repeated 7 July 1987)

5 March 1986:
By Woody Allen. There's a killer loose. Everyone's in a panic, except Kleinman, who's asleep. Is he a killer or a victim? Kleinman: Kelly Monteith, AI: Bob Sherman, Hacker/Spiro: Kerry Shale, John: William Hope, Sam/Bill: Alan Polonsky, Anna/Assistant: Carole Boyd, Doctor: Harry Towb, Gina: Beth Porter, Policeman: Ed Bishop, Frank: Barry Morse. Director: Matthew Walters. (Repeat from 28 July 1985)

9 March 1986:
The White Devil
By John Webster, adapt. James Runcie and Robert Sandall. In Webster's Jacobean drama of 1612, the adulterous liaison between Vittoria Corombona, a sensual, frustrated married woman, and Duke Brachiano leads to a mounting series of brutal retributions. Vittoria Corombona: Susan Fleetwood, Flamineo: Mike Gwilym, The Duke of Brachiano: Gerard Murphy, Francisco, Duke of Florence: Kenneth Cranham, Monticelso: David Garth, Count Lodovico: Tim McInnerny, Cornelia: Pauline Delany, Marcello: Steve Hodson, Isabella: Melinda Walker, Camillo: Bernard Brown, Giovanni: Robin Summers, Zanche: Judith Jacob, Antonelli: Gordon Reid, Gasparo: Christopher Bowen, Lawyer: George Parsons, Hortensio: Brian Smith, Doctor: Adrian Egan, Matron: Tessa Worsley. Music: Robert Sandall. Director: James Runcie

12 March 1986:
Archangels Don’t Play Pinball
By Dario Fo, trans. and adapt. James Runcie. A frenetic farce in which duplicity, confusion, disguise and hysteria combine to produce a classic satirical attack on bureaucracy. Sunny Weather: Jimmy Chisholm, Shopkeeper, Priest and Minister: Timothy Bateson, Angela: Gaylie Runciman, Train Guard: Robin Summers, First Friend: Ronnie Letham, Hysterical Lady: Melinda Walker, Second Friend: Graham Blockey, Third Friend: James MacPherson, Fourth Friend: Jamie Roberts. Music: written and performed by Harvey and the Wallbangers. Director: James Runcie (BBC Scotland)

16 March 1986:
Iredynski Double Bill
Two short plays by Ireneusz Iredynski 1939-1985), a Polish playwright, poet and author.

1. Nobody Dances Like That Now
Trans. Kevin Windle and Wojtek Dombrowski. Henryk has managed to pick her up and he has got her back to his flat, but what will he do now? Keep on dancing perhaps? Henryk: Christopher Godwin, Majka: Nicola Vickery. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 25 June 1987)

2. The Window
Trans. Kevin Windle. For seven nights, Robert has been sitting in a darkened room, staring out of the window. What is it that he is watching for? Robert: Mike Gwilym, His Wife: Frances Jeater. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 17 July 1987)

19 March 1986:
Uncle Vanya
By Anton Chekhov, trans. and adapt. Christopher Hampton. Chekhov’s celebrated play featuring bored, irritated, ennui-laden lovers languishing on a country estate. Vanya: Robert Stephens, Astrov: Timothy Dalton, Sonya: Brenda Blethyn, Yelena: Cheryl Campbell, The Professor: Michael Gough, Nurse: Madoline Thomas, Telyegin: David Sinclair, Madam Voynitsky: Pauline Letts, Yefim/Labourer: Alan Dudley. Music: arranged and played by Anthea Gifford (guitar). Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeat from 15 September 1985)

23 March & 30 March 1986:
The Last Days of Socrates
By Plato, arranged in two parts by Dr David Rees and John Theocharis from the translation by Hugh Tredennick.

1. Socrates in Court
In 399 BC, aged 70, Socrates was brought to trial on charges of impiety and corrupting the minds of the young. He was found guilty and condemned to death. In four of his works – Euthyphro, The Apology, Crito and Phaedo – Plato presents Socrates before, during and after the trial, and in prison up to the point he drinks hemlock. Socrates: Leo McKern, Euthyphro: Trevor Nichols, Meletus: Colin Starkey, Crito: Cyril Luckham, Phaedo: John Rye, Members of the Jury: Peter Acre, Graham Blockey, Bernard Brown, Arnold Diamond, Christopher Douglas, John Forbes-Robinson, William Hope, David Sinclair, Brian Smith, Alan Thompson. Music: Christos Pittas. Performed by members of the London Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer. Directed John Theocharis. (Repeated on 24 July 1987)

2. Socrates in Prison 
Because of a religious festival, Socrates was kept in his cell for a month awaiting the day of his execution. His friend Crito visited him and tried to persuade him to escape, but to Socrates that would be a negation of his life’s work. Socrates: Leo McKern, Crito: Cyril Luckham, Phaedo: John Rye, Echecrates: Christopher Douglas, Simmias: William Hope, Cebes: Peter Acre, Prison Officer: David Sinclair. Music: Christos Pittas. Performed by members of the London Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer. Directed John Theocharis. (Repeated on 28 July 1987)

26 March 1986:
By Susan Hill. An elderly pair sit in the conservatory of an old folks' home where they fret over the unexpected absence of their colourful companion from upstairs. May: Doreen Mantle, Frank: Cyril Luckham. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 16 June 1985)

2 April 1986:
Dreams, Secrets, Beautiful Lies
By Robert Ferguson. An idyllic English village, in autumn sunshine, seems the perfect setting for a family outing to buy a country cottage, but Pamela and Edward’s marriage is in trouble and their secrets and lies will have consequences for the family. Winner of a 1986 Giles Cooper Award. Also adapted for BBC1 with Clare Higgins and David Burke (7 June 1988). Pamela: Diana Quick, Edward: Charles Kay, Emily: Emma Glasner, Mrs Finzi: Ellen McIntosh, Sexton: Alan Thompson. Director: Richard Imison. (Repeated on 9 September 1986)

6 April 1986:
Powers Passing
By Steve May. An encounter during a very hot afternoon in a quiet bar in North Africa. Smack O'Connor: Barry Morse, Emil: Norman Beaton. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 8 May 1987)

9 April 1986:
White Suit Blues
By Adrian Mitchell. The poet adapts his 1977 stage play about the life of Mark Twain, drawing on Twain’s writings. Mark Twain: Harry Towb, Jim: Clarke Peters, Sarah: Elaine Delmar, The Guardian Angel: Shelley Thompson, The Angel of Death: Mick Ford, Preacher/St Peter: Edward de Souza, Pony Express Rider: James Bryce, Young Mark/Huck Finn: Shaun Prendergast, Mrs Clemens/Livy: June Tobin, Ben Rogers: Abbie Dabnek, Billy Fisher: Jake Wood, Liftman: Trevor Nichols, Fenimore Cooper: Trevor Allan, Jean Clemens/Boadicea: Melinda Walker, Clara Clemens: Avril Clark, Susie Clemens: Shelley Thompson, Guards: George Parsons, Theresa Garraway. Music: Mike Westbrook adapted for radio by musical director Trevor Allan. Musicians: Fiachra Trench, Stuart Brooks, Dave Powell, Mark Lockheart, Mark Doffman. Georgie Born, Roger Potter, John Pluck, Elisabeth Davies and Paul Neiman. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 15 January 1988)

13 April 1986:
Beckett at 80: All That Fall
By Samuel Beckett. The original production of Beckett’s radio play, commissioned by the BBC and first broadcast on 13 January 1957, recounts Mrs Rooney’s walk to and from the railway station at a rural village in Ireland, where she plans to meet her husband from the train. “On the face of it an anecdote set in a rural community in Ireland: in fact a careful synthesis of speech, sound and silence, both hectically funny and bitterly tragic.' (Radio Times, January 1957). Mrs Rooney: Mary O'Farrell, Christy: Allan McClelland, Mr Tyler: Brian O'Higgins, Mr Slocum: Patrick Magee, Mr Barrell: Harry Hutchinson, Tommy: Jack MacGowran, Miss Fitt: Sheila Ward, A Female Voice: Peggy Marshall, Mr Rooney: J G Devlin, Jerry: Terrance Farrell. Members of the BBC Drama Repertory Company. Directed by Donald McWhinnie.

15 April 1986:
Beckett at 80: Embers
By Samuel Beckett. Original production of the radio play commissioned by the BBC and first broadcast on 24 June 1959. An old man sits on the seashore, pondering on his family, life and death... Henry: Jack MacGowran, Ada: Kathleen Michael, Addie: Kathleen Helme, Music Master/Riding Master: Patrick Magee and Cicely Howe (piano). Director: Donald McWhinnie.

16 April 1986:
Beckett at 80: Rough for Radio
By Samuel Beckett. A translation by the author from his original French play Pochade Radiophonique. A tragi-comic portrait of a writer's creative process depicted through the attempts of an animator and his stenographer to extract a story from a strange bound and gagged figure. Fox: Patrick Magee, The Stenographer: Billie Whitelaw, The Animator: Harold Pinter, Dick: Michael Deacon. Director: Martin Esslin. (Repeat from 13 April 1976)

18 April 1986:
Beckett at 80: A Piece of Monologue
By Samuel Beckett. The first broadcast of a 15-minute play first performed on stage in 1979 in which the “Speaker” recalls his long life, reflecting on birth and death. Speaker: Ronald Pickup. Director: Ronald Mason. (Repeated on 9 September 1999 and 28 October 1989)

20 April 1986:
Richard III
By William Shakespeare. Repeat of a Radio 4 production, first heard on 26 August 1985 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth, fought on 22 August 1485. Richard: Ian Holm, Duke of Buckingham: Tom Wilkinson, Queen Margaret: Barbara Jefford, Queen Elizabeth: Sarah Badel, Lady Anne: Melinda Walker, George, Duke of Clarence: Philip Voss, Richmond: And Brett Usher, Lord Hastings: Michael Graham Cox, Rivers: Brian Smith, Grey: Christopher Douglas, Dorset: Simon Hewitt, Catesby: David Learner, Brakenbury: Stephen Thorne, First Murderer: Shaun Prendergast, Second Murderer: Robin Summers, Edward IV: Bernard Brown, Duke of York: Matthew Carroll, Prince Edward: William Buckhurst, Duchess of York: Pauline Letts, Stanley: David Garth, Ratcliffe: David Sinclair, Tyrrel: John Church, Scrivener: Steve Hodson. Music: David Chilton and Mia Soteriou, played by Mike Brain, Roger Brenner, Robin Jeffreys, Lucie Skeaping and Roderick Skeaping. Director: Jane Morgan. (Also repeated on Radio 7 on 31 October 2009)

26 April 1986:
A Captive Lion
By Elaine Feinstein. A biography of Russian and Soviet poet Marina Tsvetayeva, who lived through the Russian Revolution, the First World War and years in exile. Marina: Paola Dionisotti, Narrator: Mary Wimbush, Aly/Anastasia: Prim Cotton, Mandelstam/Slonim: Anthony Newlands, Pasternak: Henry Stamper, Rodzevich: James Kerry, Seryozha: Greg Hicks, Maria Mein: Anna Fox. Director: Margaret Wyndham. (Repeat from 1 July 1984)

29 April 1986:
Iphigenia in Taurus
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in a new translation by David Luke. Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, is in exile as a priestess at the Temple of Diana, in the land of the Taurians (present-day Crimea). Thoas, King of the Taurians, who wishes to marry Iphigenia, has ordered the sacrifice of her brother Orestes and his friend Pylades. Torn between her loyalty to the King and her love for her brother, Iphigenia must find a way to save her brother and bring about peace. Iphigenia: Maureen O'Brien, Orestes: Anton Lesser, King Thoas: Bernard Brown, Pylades: Simon Treves, Arcas: John Church. Music: Christos Pittas, performed by members of the London Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 27 March 1987)

2 May 1986:
The Works
By Marcella Evaristi. A young woman battles with her typewriter while attempting to write an autobiographical lecture. Morag: Marcella Evaristi. Director: James Runcie. (Repeat from 4 September 1985)

6 May 1986:
Elegy for a Lady
By Arthur Miller. British premiere of a 1982 one-act play by Miller. A man gradually reveals the nature of his relationship with his gravely ill mistress as he discusses a suitable gift for her with the proprietress of a New York boutique. The Proprietress: Carroll Baker, The Man: Sam Wanamaker. Director: Peter King. (Repeated on 16 September 1987)

8 May 1986:
The True Tale of Margery Kempe
By Eva Figes. How she saw Christ, spoke all manner of truth, was taken for a mad woman and went to Jerusalem as told in the year of our Lord 1436. Margery: Vivian Pickles, Jesus: Christopher Scoular, Priests, Hermits and People: Peter Acre, John Baker, Peter Davidson, Christopher Douglas, David Garth, Guy Holden, Anne Jameson, Mia Soteriou, Alan Thompson and Tessa Worsley. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 5 April 1985)

9 May 1986:
Through the Leaves
By Franz Xaver Kroetz, trans. Anthony Vivis. In Bavarian dramatist Kroetz’s 1976 play, lonely spinster Martha, a butcher in a small Bavarian town, begins to keep a detailed diary of her relationship with Otto, a factory worker, which reveals the social and economic strains that drive them apart. Martha: Maureen Beattie, Otto: Gregor Fisher. Director: Marilyn Imrie (BBC Scotland)

13 May 1986:
The Old Law
By Thomas Middleton, William Rowley and Philip Massinger, adapt. Peter Barnes. A 17th-century tragi-comedy in which the ruler of a small Greek state resurrects an old law, which decrees that all men on reaching the age of 80, and all women when aged 60, are to be put to death for no longer being of use. Simonides: Christopher Ettridge, First Lawyer: Brian Sanders, Second Lawyer: George Parsons, Cleanthes: Michael Maloney, Creon: Bernard Brown, Antigona: June Tobin, Hippolita: Tessa Worsley, Leonides: Godfrey Kenton, Prince Evander: Gerard Murphy, Lord Diodes: Ian Jentle, Lord Prodic: James MacPherson, Cratilus: John Church, Butler: Alan Thompson, Cook: Ronald Herdman, Eugenia: Tina Marian, Gnotho: Peter Woodthorpe, Church Clerk: David Learner, Agatha: Dilys Laye, Lysander: David Garth, Dancing Master: Adrian Egan, Tavern Keeper: Shaun Prendergast, Cleo: Jane Leonard, Court Assistant: Brian Smith, Captain of the Guard: Jamie Roberts. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 17 April 1989)

16 May 1986:
Vieux Carre
By Tennessee Williams. The playwright’s 1977 play draws on his experiences as a young writer in 1938, living in a dilapidated rooming-house filled with the eccentric, ill and destitute in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Jane: Sheila Gish, Mrs Wire: Margaret Robertson, Nightingale: James Maxwell, Tye: David Baxt, Nursie: Carole Boyd, The Writer: Mark Rolston, Mary Maud: Margot Boyd, Miss Carrie: Hilda Schroder, T Hamilton-Biggs: Geoffrey Collins, Sky: Brad Lavelle, Judge: Jerry Harte. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 2 January 1985)

20 May 1986:
Gulliver Five
By Brian Wright. In this play, a fifth voyage has been created for Jonathan Swift’s hero, Lemuel Gulliver, in which he is followed and harassed by a motley crew of Politicians, Lawyers, Secret Agents, Scientists and Sea Captains. Captain Lemuel Gulliver: Freddie Jones, Mary Gulliver: Dilys Laye, Richard Sympson: John Warner, Abel Root: Mark Straker, Dr Pater: Aubrey Woods, Will Grawn: Brian Glover, Molly Grawn: Catherine Clarke, Captain Transom: John Turner, Corporal Cleat: Robin Summers. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 12 May 1985)

23 May 1986:
The Damask Drum
By Yukio Mishima, trans. PG O’Neill. In the story of an old man tormented by his love for a beautiful woman, Mishima uses the ghostly confrontations of the classical Noh play to look at modern Japan. Iwakichi: Nigel Stock, Hanako: Meg Davies, Proprietress: Anne Jameson, Kayoko, Shop Assistant: Natasha Pyne, Fujima: George Parsons, Toyama: David Learner, Kaneko: John Church. Music by Dominic Muldowney. Director: Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 17 February 1987)

27 May 1986:
Virgin of the Clearways
By Jeremy Sandford. In the 1960s, middle-aged Jim, who plays in a string quartet and owns a mouldering castle in the Welsh border country, is approached by 17-year-old Mylene in a London street and a relationship develops. Jim: Neil Stacey, Mylene: Sylvestra le Touzel, Sea Captain: David March, Albert: John Rye, Gome: June Barrie, Dolores: Sarah Benfield. Other parts played by: Graham Blockey, Andrew Hilton, Angela Phillips, Christian Rodska, Melinda Walker and Bill Wallis. Singer: Philippa Finnis. Pianist: Jeremy Sandford. Director: Shaun Macloughlin (BBC Bristol)

30 May 1986:
Peer Gynt
By Henrik Ibsen, trans. Norman Ginsbury, adapted from his Old Vic production by Tyrone Guthire. This production, first heard on the Home Service on 10 August 1943, features the performance that brought Ralph Richardson to the forefront of British acting. Peer Gynt: Ralph Richardson, Aase: Ivy St Helier, Solveig: Marjorie Westbury, Ingrid: Frances Clare, Pastor: Marcus Baron, Dovre King: Powell Lloyd, Button Moulder: Alexander Sarner, Bequiffenfeldt: Bernard Rebel, Solveig's Father: Arthur Ridley, Aslak: Arthur Bush, Cook: Bryan Herbert, Captain Hegstadt: Bryan Powley, Eberkopf: Leo Bieber, Anitra: Belle Chrystall, Apis: Frank Cochrane, Storytellers: Gladys Young and Cecil Ramage. Other parts played by members of the BBC Repertory Company. Music: Grieg, specially arranged and conducted by Walter Goehr for the London Symphony Orchestra and a chorus of men’s and women’s voices. Director: Tyrone Guthrie

3 June 1986:
Beloved Latitudes
By David Pownall. Male Sebusia, Africa's youngest-ever dictator, has been condemned to death following a popular uprising. The new President, anxious to understand Sebusia's power and charisma, persuades him to embark on his autobiography. Male Sebusia: Joseph Marcell, Neville Tyldsley: Benjamin Whitrow, President Hiwewe: Altan Kumalo, Tilda, his wife: Joy Lemoine, the Prison Governor: John Matshikiza, Okon Jones: Seba Boy, Silas: Kwesi Kay, Phanual: Cyril Nri, Abe McCooey: John Church, Headmaster: Richard Durden, Uncle/Lucius: Vlctor Lindsay, Muchada/Barber: Alex Tetteh Lartey, Lieutnant/Stephen: Leo Wringer. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 5 December 1986)

6 June 1986:
Azari’s Aerial Theatre
By David Zane Mairowitz. Fedele Azari believed he could express the most complex states of mind by using aeroplanes to enact a theatre of the sky. His moment of greatness was to be a performance for Mussolini, but his day of triumph was threatened by events he could not control. Azari: Alfred Molina, Russolo: Tom Wilkinson, Macchi: Trevor Nichols, Keller: Mick Ford, Commandante: Alan Thompson, Lieutenant: David Learner. Special sound by David Greenwood and David Chilton. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeat from 6 November 1985)

10 June 1986:
By David Rudkin, abridged by Denys Hawthorne. Rudkin’s 1974 stage play about the humiliating struggles of a married couple to conceive a child as they face doctors, specialists and consultants while feeling sexually and socially inadequate. Colin: Sean Barrett, Anne: Lynn Farleigh, GP: Roger Hume, Guru: Stephen McDonald, Gynaecologist: Anthony Finnigan, Valerie: Maggie McCarthy, Ambulance Driver: Tony McEwan, Mr Bailey, Social Services Officer: Alan Dudley, Mrs Jones, Area Adoption Officer: Jean Trend. Director: Marilyn Imrie (BBC Scotland). (Repeat from 2 October 1985)

13 June 1986:
The Big Novel
By Mel Calman. Comedy by the British cartoonist. Tomorrow is a much better day to write than today. Every writer knows that. Hero: Richard Griffiths, Alter Ego: Peter Woodthorpe, Dr Wiseman: Garard Green, Frenchman: Eric Stovell, God: Edward de Souza, Death: John Church, Fiona: Melinda Walker, Fantasy Woman: Natasha Pyne. Music by Peter Howell at BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Director: Ned Chaillet.

19 June 1986:
A Little Picture
By Francis Watson. Subtitled “What passed between Laurence Sterne and Eliza Draper”. Sterne: Gerard Benson, Draper: Helena Breck, Abbe Raynad: Bernard Brown, Commodore James: David Garth, Mrs James: Narissa Knights, Physician: Trevor Nichols, Molly: Tessa Worsley. Music: Mike Steer. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 5 July 1985)

20 June 1986:
That Man, Bracken
By Thomas Kilroy. Brendan Bracken, bom in County Tipperary in 1901, was the son of a notorious Fenian agitator. The play tells of his meteoric rise to power in the British Establishment and his eventual ennoblement as Viscount Bracken of Christchurch. Narrator: TP McKenna, Brendan Bracken: Alan Rickman, Warden: John Hollis, Headmaster: Brett Usher, Bracken's Mother: Marie Kean, Women at the Cocktail Party: Melinda Walker, Tessa Worsley, Popsie as a girl: Elaine Claxton, Eddie: Graham Blockey, Churchill: Peter Woodthorpe, Clemmie: Anne Jameson, Popsie’s Mother: Gwen Cherrell, Popsie: Pauline Letts, Geoffrey: Chrlstopher Ettridge, Tory Party Committee Members: Peter Howell, Richard Durden, Lord Castlerosse: Denys Hawthorne, Lord Beaverbrook: Bruce Boa. Director: Robert Cooper (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 13 January 1987)

24 June 1986:
Losing Venice
By John Clifford. When a Duke from 17th-century Spain embarks on a military adventure to save Venice and his reputation, the consequences are not what he expects. Featuring the Traverse Theatre Company, where the play was first staged in 1985. The Duke: David Rintoul, Quevedo: Bernard Doherty, Pablo: Simon Donald, Maria/Mrs Doge: Carol Ann Crawford, Duchess: Kate Duchene, Secretary: Simon Tyrrell, King/Doge: Ralph Riach, Sister: Irene MacDougall. Director: Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland)

27 June 1986:
The Man of Mode
By John Etherege, adapted by Martin Jenkins. Etherege’s celebrated 1676 Restoration comedy, featuring a libertine rake trying to seduce a young heiress, is a biting satire on the modes and fashions in English society. Dorimant: Derek Jacobi, Lady Townley: Anna Massey, Old Bellair: Nigel Stock, Mrs Loveit: Sarah Badel, Bellinda: Maureen O'Brien, Harriet: Kathryn Hurlbutt, Emilia: Helena Breck, Sir Fopling Flutter: John Webb, Medley: Geoffrey Collins, Young Bellair: Simon Treves, Lady Woodvil: Pauline Letts, Pert: Avril Clark, Busy: Tessa Worsley, Handy: Edward de Souza, Foggy Nan: Carole Boyd, Shoemaker: Ronald Herdman, Trott: Christopher Scott, Smirk: Adrlan Egan, Music: Martin Best. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 11 November 1988)

1 July 1986:
By Guy Meredith, based on the novella by Anthony Burgess. In a heavily unionised state dominated by industrial disputes, social unrest and surveillance, former history lecturer turned factory worker Bev Jones wants to kick back at a society that saw his wife die in a hospital fire that striking firemen refused to put out. Bev: Nigel Anthony, Bessie: Pauline Quirke, Pettigrew: John Forrest, Marion: Maggie McCarthy, Prof Reynolds: Peter Woodthorpe, Col Lawrence: Philip Voss, Magistrate: Allan McClelland, Faulkner: Crawford Logan, Devlin: Harry Webster, Fowler: Clive Panto, Abdul: Abi Gouhad, Redzwan: Alix Refaie, Protheroe: John Rye, King Charles III: David Tate, Supermarket Manager: Margot Boyd, Matron: Monica Grey, Tod: Jon Strickland, Headmaster: Mark Straker, Szigeti: Mark Rolston, Wilfred: Scott Cherry, Derek: Michael Jenner, Dr Kilburn: Carole Boyd, Ellie: Ellen McIntosh, Reformed Worker: Anthony Hall, Army Lieutenant: Mark Jones, Gypsy Girl: Eileen Tully. Director: Michael Heffernan. (Repeat from 23 January 1985)

4 July 1986:
Three-ring Circus
By Gerry Jones. “The world will end up a circus, where the clowns have killed all those who clapped them.” David: Jim Norton, Jacko: Mick Ford, Parker: John Junkin, Sally: Tessa Worsley, Newsreader/Doctor: Gregory de Polnay, Lorry Drivers: Graham Blockey, Shaun Prendergast, Tammy: Natasha Pyne, Teacher/Male Nurse: Gordon Reid, Mary: Carole Boyd, Bob: John Church, Jackson: Brett Usher. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 1 May 1987)

8 July 1986:
Talley’s Folly
By Lanford Wilson. On a July evening in 1944 in a Missouri boathouse, Matt Friedman strives to break through the protective shell of Sally Talley. In the process, he reveals his own horrifying past. Matt Friedman: Jonathan Pryce, Sally Talley: Hayley Mills. Director: Peter King. (Repeat from 30 October 1985)

11 July 1986:
The Telescope Garden
By Douglas Dunn. The poet’s play explores the relationship between Thomas de Quincey and his good friend, the astronomer John Pringle Nichol, and the impact of Nichol’s work on the essayist’s imagination. Thomas de Quincey: Peter Howell, Professor Nichol: David McKail, Mrs Nichol: Diana Olsson, Dr Taggart: Gerard Slevin, Mrs Taggart: Gwyneth Guthrie, Yuill: Finlay McLean. Mrs Yuill: Barbara Rafferty, Mrs Lowther: Sheila Donald. Music: David Dorward, Horns: David Flack, Percussion: Heather Corbett, Gordon Rigby. Director: Stewart Conn (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 12 May 1987)

15 July 1986:
Desire Under the Elms
By Eugene O’Neill, adapted for radio by Michael Bakewell. A small-holding in New England in 1850 provides the scene for a tragedy of jealousy, passion and land-hunger. Cabot: Robert Beatty, Abbie: Sarah Badel, Eben: Kerry Shale, Simeon: Bill Hootkins, Peter: Garrick Hagon, Caller: Leonard Fenton, Amos: Stephen Rashbrook, Susie: Jennifer Piercey, Reuben: Eric Stovell. Fiddle played by Robin Williams. Director: Ronald Mason. (Repeated on 8 January 1988)

18 July 1986:
Culture Vultures
By Robin Glendinning. Robbie Barton is determined to bring culture to his fellow Protestants. He is producing his own adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard for a local drama group, but a simultaneous production of the same play in Dublin is more than he can resist. Robbie: Des McAleer, Deirdre: Marcella Riordan, Alison: Frances Quinn, Provo/Poet: Derek Halligan, Mrs Fitzgerald: Margaret D'Arcy, Abbey Actor/Wino: Paddy Scully, Belfast Actor: Maurice O'Callaghan, Frank O'Neill: Llam Halligan, People at Festival Club: Alan Barry, Blain Fairman, Olivia Nash. Music arranged and played by The McSherries. Director: Peter Kavanagh. (Repeated on 25 September 1987)

22 July 1986:
By Carol Ann Duffy. The death of her husband ensnares Molly in increasingly unbearable bitter-sweet memories of her marriage. Molly: Barbara Leigh-Hunt. With Nigel Caliburn and David Michaels. Director: Kay Patrick (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 3 November 1987)

25 July 1986:
By Rhys Adrian. An elderly couple remember the halcyon days of glamorous theatre and, as they wait for their Meals on Wheels, reflect on the different crossroads faced in their lives. Mary: Brenda Bruce, George: Peter Sallis. Mrs H: Anne Jameson, Richard: Colin Starkey, Nurse: Melinda Walker. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 17 July 1985)

29 July 1986:
By Susan Hill. A middle-aged couple attempt to escape from the past by moving house. Eva: June Brown, Tom: Bernard Hepton. Director: Richard Wortley.( (Repeat from 9 June 1985)

31 July 1985:
A Man Worth Knowing
By Melissa Bakewell. A portrait of the 19th-century English essayist and poet James Henry Leigh Hunt. Leigh Hunt: David Collings, Charles Dickens: Sean Barratt, Lord Byron: Trevor Nichols, Percy Bysshe Shelley: John Webb, John Keats: Simon Hewitt, John Forster: Brian Smith, Charles MacReady: William Eedle, 'Manchester Examiner': David Garth, 'Blackwood's Magazine': Michael McClain, John Murray: David Sinclair, Samuel Coates: Graham Blockey, Mrs Hunt: Tessa Worsley, Mary Shelley: Melinda Walker, Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Anne Jameson. Music arranged and conducted by Michael Hurd, Flute: Ingrid Culliford, Piano: Martyn Parry. Director Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 7 April 1985)

1 August 1986:
Savannah Bay
By Marguerite Duras, trans. and adapt. Barbara Bray. An elderly actress and a younger woman try to recall the circumstances surrounding the tragic end of someone to whom one or both were related. Madeleine: Irene Worth, The Young Woman: Helen Mirren. Pianist: Mary Nash. Director: John Tydeman.( (Repeat from 13 November 1985)

5 August 1986:
Crossing the River
By Caryl Phillips. A sister and two brothers – Sarah, a slave on a Caribbean plantation, Ben, a black face artiste in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, and Will, who has problems with the police in 20th-century England – recall experiences that stretch across 200 years of black repression. The play serves as a precursor to Phillips’s 1993 novel of the same title. Sarah: Angela Wynter, Ben: Major Wiley, Will: Trevor Laird. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 7 September 1985)

8 August 1986:
By Ian Weir. As King Arthur is dying, his life and achievements are reviewed in a series of flashbacks that contrast his public glory and private flaws. King Arthur: Paul Daneman, Young Arthur: Mick Ford, Sir Bedwere, the bold: Trevor Martin, Alan, the boy: Jill Lidstone, Merlin: Douglas Storm, The Older Minstrel: David March, The Younger Minstrel: John McAndrew, Sir Mordred: Richard Huw, Sir Lancelot: Geoffrey Colons, Queen Guinevere: Carole Boyd, Morgause: Tammy Ustinov, Crone: Madi Hedd, Man in Tavern: Clive Panto, Sir Gaherys: Scott Cherry, Lady: Jane Wenham, Common Man: Peter Tuddenham, Common Woman: Hilda Schroder Music composed and conducted by Philip Pickett, played by the New London Consort. Singers: Tessa Bonner, Caroline Trevor, Peter Hall. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeat from 15 March 1984)

12 August 1986:
Broad Daylight
By Christopher Whelen. A love story in words and music by Whelen (1927-93), who was composing from the 1950s and whose work included radio features, plays and opera. Edmund Wye: Alec McCowen, Magda Shapiro: Kate Percival, Alfonso: Gregory De Polnay, Sanchez: John Moreno, Fawad: Garard Green, Mother: Margot Boyd, Professor: Ronald Herdman. Student: James MacPherson. Director: Ronald Mason

15 August 1986:
Victoria Station
By Harold Pinter. Pinter’s 1982 macabre short play features a radio-cab controller wrestling with a wayward driver, who seems to have lost his bearings and sense of identity. Driver: Martin Jarvis, Controller: Paul Rogers. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 17 March 1987 and 5 November 2002)

Barnes People III
A series of eight trios by Peter Barnes. Director: Ian Cotterell

18 August 1986:
1. After the Funeral
Harry talks to friends about the tragic loss of his love and his livelihood. With Sean Connery, John Hurt and Donald Pleasence. (Repeated 26 March 1987)

19 August 1986:
2. The Peace of Westphalia
After 30 years of war, two mercenaries cannot face the prospect of peace finally breaking out. With Bob Peck, David Suchet and David Warner. (Repeated on 2 April 1987)

20 August 1986:
3. The Real Long John Silver
How many real Long John Silvers can there be? Song composed and played by Stephen Deutsch. With Ian Carmichael, Paul Eddington and Anna Massey. (Repeated on 9 April 1987)

21 August 1986:
4. The Heirs of Diogenes
The great Greek philosopher, Diogenes, shows how to live in a barrel, but not how to raise heirs. With Simon Callow, Mike Gwilym and Michael Hordern. (Repeated on 23 April 1987)

25 August 1986:
5. Sisters
A dedicated revolutionary lies dying and is visited by her two true-blue sisters. With Renee Asherson, Wendy Hiller and Ann Todd. (Repeated on 30 April 1987)

26 August 1986:
6. Dancing
An unpredictable ex-prima ballerina takes a ballet class, with disastrous results. With Michael Maloney, Sian Phillips and Angela Pleasence. (Repeated on 7 May 1987)

27 August 1986:
7. The Perfect Pair
A sincere tribute to two of Scotland’s most famous adopted sons, the body-snatchers Burke and Hare, and their philanthropic employer, Dr Knox.  With Alan Howard, Gerard Murphy and Norman Rodway. Music arranged and played by Geoffrey Brawn. (Repeated on 14 May 1987)

28 August 1986:
8. The Three Visions
A rare autobiographical work, which tells you absolutely nothing about the author. With Lionel Jeffries, Anton Lesser and Robert Stephens. (Repeated on 21 May 1987)

29 August 1986:
Mirandolina (La Locandiera)
By Carlo Goldoni, trans and adapt. Roy Kift. Goldoni’s 1753 comedy sees the titular heroine, an innkeeper, fight for independence as she tries to juggle three suitors. Mirandolina: Josette Simon, The Captain of Ripafratta: David Warner, The Marquis of Forlipopoli: Michael Aldridge, The Count of Albafiorita: Stratford Johns, Fabrizio: James Aubrey, Hortensia: Tessa Worsley, Dejanira: Melinda Walker, Giuseppe: Richard Bucknall, The Street Trader: Ronald Herdman Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 24 February 1987)

2 September 1986:
Out of the Depths I Call
By Theodor Weissenborn, trans. Peter Tegel. The voice at the switchboard soothes and calms, while other disembodied voices recount their journeys through suffering to peace. Ewald: Richard Durden, Voices: Pauline Letts, Michael Bilton, Peter Howell, Mary Wimbush, Avril Clark. Music: by Elizabeth Parker of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Director: Jeremy Mortimer

4 September 1986:
Stalin v Wells
By HG Wells, edited by Mervyn Jones. Wells interviewed Joseph Stalin in 1934 for The New Statesman. This features a verbatim transcript of their conversation and the resulting correspondence in the magazine. Joseph Stalin: Timothy West, HG Wells: Paul Nicholson, George Bernard Shaw: Allan McLelland, JM Keynes: Brett Usher, Ernst Toller: Anthony Hall, Dora Russell: Carole Boyd. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 26 October 1984)

5 September 1986
By Nick Dear. In this monologue, a schoolmaster philosophises about the follies of the world to his imaginary class on the seashore. Lee: John Hurt. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeat from 8 December 1985) 

8 September 1986:
By Tom Lubbock. Natalie Huff, a veteran theatregoer, is constantly searching for something to stoke her sense of outrage. Natalie Huff: Phyllida Law, Brian Fennell: Christopher Godwin, Comic: Paul B. Davies. Producer: Fraser Steel 

9 September 1986:
An Opinion Poll (L'Amateur de Sondages)
By Jean Lessay, trans. and adapt. Peter Meyer. Two men, strangers, meet by chance on a park bench. The younger man’s apparently innocent questions soon lead the older to doubt even his own identity and the truth behind apparent reality. Germain Dusol: Frank Finlay, Leon Lesort: Nickolas Grace. Director: Glyn Dearman

16 September 1986:
Purple Dust
By Sean O’ Casey, adapt. Susan Hogg. O’Casey’s 1943 play features two English stockbrokers failing to impose their idea of country living on a Gaelic community as they try to restore an ancient mansion in the Irish countryside. Poges: David March, O'Killigain: Stephen Brennan, First Workman: Dermot Crowley, Second Workman: Norman Rodway, Third Workman: Sean Barrett, Stokes: Shaun Scott, Souhaun: Sorcha Cusack, Avril: Martina Stanley, Cloyne: Marcella Riordan, Canon: T P McKenna. Musical director: Michael Henry. Director: Susan Hogg (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 29 September 1987)

18 September 1986:
The Gossamer Years
Adapted by Catherine Dolan from Kagero Nikki: The Journal of an Unknown Noblewoman of Heian Japan, translated by Edward Seidensticker. A frank, 10th-cenutry diary reveals the unhappy life of the second wife of a playboy prince, who eventually becomes prime minister. Wife: Catherine Dolan, Prince: David Learner. With Gwen Cherrell. Ronald Herdman, Matsunaga Humio, Anne Jameson, James MacPherson, Yukiko Maeda and Eric Stovell. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 26 September 1987)

23 September 1986:
The Light Shines in Darkness
By Leo Tolstoy, adapted by Jeremy Brooks from a translation by Kitty Hunter Blair. Tolstoy's most autobiographical and least performed play, written in 1890 and left unfinished at his death, deals with a wealthy landowner's desire to lead a Christian life, giving away his estates to the peasants, and the consequences for his family and friends. Nikolai: Robert Stephens, Maria: Gemma Jones, Alina: Margaret Courtenay, Pyotr: Arnold Diamond, Fr Vassily: Geoffrey Beevers, Lyuba: Helena Breck, Lisa: Melinda Walker, Stepan: Simon Hewitt, Vanya/Corporal: John Webb, Princess Cheremshanova: Gwen Cherrell, Boris: Sam Dastor, Ivan/General: Willlam Eedle, Pelagya: Anne Jameson, Tonya/Malashka: Jenny Funnell, Carpenter/Doctor: Gregory de Polnay, Colonel/Mikhail: Trevor Nichols, Fr Gerasim: John Forbes-Robertson, Captain: Graham Blockey, Security Gendarme: Colin Starkey. Piano: Martin Goldstein. Director: Matthew Walters. (Repeat from 22 September 1985)

26 September 1986:
The Compromise
By Istvan Eorsi, translated form the Hungarian by Ria Julian and Anthony Vivis. Zoltan’s magnum opus on “Revolution and Counter-revolution in Hungary” will be published, but only if he makes certain changes. As the Comrades say, one miserable little stomach ulcer isn't going to stop him, is it? Comrade Verebes: Hugh Dickson, Comrade Foldes: Bernard Hepton, Borsi: John Hurt, Zoltan: Ronald Pickup, Maria: Juliet Stevenson. Director: Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 8 July 1988 and on Radio 4’s Saturday Playhouse on 12 October 1986)

3 October 1986:
The Awful Insulation of Rage
By David Cregan. Douglas Poole is a brilliant church organist, who lacks Christian faith and craves affection in a world that enrages him. Sony Award winner for Best Play and Best Actor (Ronald Pickup) in 1987. Douglas: Ronald Pickup, Rosa: Diana Quick, Harold: George Parsons, Karl: Michael Wolf, Tom: Stephen Rashbrook, Armstrong: Andrew Branch, Bishop: Gordon Reid. Other parts played by Susie Brann, Avril Clark, Elaine Claxton, Brian Hewlett, Francis Middleditch and Natasha Pyne. Organ: Catherine Ennis. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 22 May 1987 and 4 September 1987)

5 October 1986:
Hymn to Demeter 
A translation into English verse by David Constantine of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, which tells of the seizing of Persephone by Hades and her mother Demeter’s search for her. Narrator: Jill Balcon, Demeter: Helen Ryan, Hecate: Ann Rye, Callidice: Deborah MacLaren, Helios: Brian Carroll, Hades: David Garth. Music: Nigel Osborne, performed by Lontano. Producer: Fraser Steel (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 22 July 1985)

7 October 1986:
Common Words
By Jose Triana, trans. Barbara Thompson. Cuban playwright Triana’s play is set in Cuba between 1894 and 1914, from just before the Spanish-American War and the eve of the First World War. Victoria, the member of a landed family, is torn between the hypocrisy of old standards and the excitement of new permissiveness. The play was also adapted for the Royal Shakespeare Company by Peter Whelan as Worlds Apart in 1986. Victoria: Janet Maw, Gaston: David Learner, Joaquin: Michael Maloney, Fernando Sanchez del Arco: Norman Rodway, Carmen: Tessa Worsley, Juanita: Avril Clark, Adriana: Georgia McGill, Alicia: Katy Behean, Gracielita: Natasha Pyne, Luisa/Teresa: Elaine Claxton, Antonia/Ursula: Anne Jameson, Young Gaston: Daniel Steel, Pedro Arturo: Graham Blockey, Jose Ignacio: Eric Stovell, Adolfo: Jamie Roberts. Guitar: Eric Hill. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 29 May 1987)

8 October 1986:
Siren Song
A play with music by Stephen Wyatt and Jenny Sprince. Being the adventures of Mademoiselle de Maupin, singer, swordswoman and sister of the Sacred Heart. Julie de Maupin: Nichola McAuliffe, Mother: Gwen Cherrell, Father/Maximilian: Edward de Souza, Seranne/Dumeni: Bruce Uddington, Marechal/Count d’Armagnac: Oz Clarke, M de Maupin/Servant: Michael Hadley, Marie: Susie Brann, Florensac: Helena Breck, Siren/Abbess: Diana Martin, Nun: Deborah Makepeace, Countess: Jennifer Piercey. Music: Jenny Sprince, performed by Edward Beckett, John Dervan and Adrian Levine. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 2 November 1987)

9 October 1986:
By Vaclav Havel, trans. and adapt. Vera Blackwell. In Czechoslovakia, the fate of an imprisoned musician is only one of the issues raised when dissident playwright Ferdinand Vanek calls on the establishment writer Stanek. The National Theatre production originally directed by Michael Kustow. Havel’s play was also adapted for BBC One (1 December 1981) with Nigel Hawthorne. Stanek: Robin Bailey, Vanek: John Normington. Producer: Bernard Krichefski. (Repeated from 29 October 1980)

10 October 1986:
Kathie and the Hippopotamus
By Maria Vargas Llosa, trans. Evelyn Fishburn and Bernard Krichefski, adapt. Bernard Krichefski. When Kathie Kennety, a rich Peruvian, dictates her travel memoirs to her ghost-writer, Santiago, his purple prose inspires both of then to slip into journeys both real and imaginary. Kathie Kennety: Morag Hood, Santiago: Edward de Souza, Juan: Oliver Cotton, Ana: Meg Davies, Kathie's Son: Shaun Prendergast, Kathie's Daughter: Susie Brann. Director: Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 22 September 1989)

15 October 1986:
Zoo Station
By Aidan Higgins. A story set in Berlin with the sounds of the city recorded on location. With the voices of Peter Acre, Helena Breck, William Hope, Wolf Kahler, Maggie McCarthy, Ellen McIntosh, Irene Prador, Corinna Schnabel, Hilda Schroder, Colin Starkey and Jane Wenham. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 20 December 1986)

21 October 1986:
Dead Men
By Mike Stott. In 1870, Sergei Nechaev, a young fanatic described by Lenin as the first “real” Communist, turned up at the Swiss home of Prince Michael Bakunin, at that time considered to be the most famous Russian revolutionary at liberty. Bakunin, content to dream of revolution and write the odd radical pamphlet, is brought face to face with an advocate of mass terror. Stott’s play was also staged at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1985. Bakunin: Freddie Jones, Anna: Kate Lee, Natalya: Sarah Neville, Postnikov: John Arthur, Antonia: Vivienne Dixon, Ogarev: Cyril Shaps, Nechaev: Adam Kotz. Director: Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 31 March 1985)

24 October 1986:
All’s Well That Ends Well
By William Shakespeare. A poor physician's daughter cures a sick king and claims a husband as her reward. Helena: Maureen O'Brien, Countess: Barbara Jefford, Her Son Bertram: Greg Hicks, King of France: Bernard Hepton, Lafew: Alfred Burke, Parolles: Nickolas Grace, Lavatch, the Clown: Michael Angelis, First Dumaine Brother: Sean Barrett, Second Dumaine Brother: Richard Durden, Rynaldo: Gordon Reid, Duke of Florence: Peter Howell, Widow: Tessa Worsley, Diana: Natasha Pyne, Mariana: Elaine Claxton. Interpreter: Crawford Logan, Gentleman: Ronald Herdman, Lords/Soldiers: David Learner, Eric Stovell. Music: Ilona Sekacz. Director: Martin Jenkins

28 October 1986:
La Peste
By Albert Camus, dramatised by Guy Meredith. Considered by many to be Camus's finest book, La Peste views the effect of plague in a French port on the Algerian coast in the late 1940s through the eyes of a local doctor, a young Parisian journalist, and a man of mystery in search of peace. Rieux: Ronald Pickup, Tarrou: John Shrapnel, Rambert: Clive Merrison, Grand: Maurice Denham, Fr Panaloux: Alfred Burke, Cottard: Brian Glover, Dr Richard: Stuart Organ, Marie-Helene: Susie Brann, Mme Rieux: Joan Matheson, Dr Castel: John Bott, Radio Announcer: George Parsons, Prefect: David Garth, M Michel: Douglas Blackwell, M Othon: John Church, Mme Michel: Sheila Grant, Claire: Natasha Pyne, Hotel Manager: Brian Hewlett, Doctor: Andrew Branch, Porter: Garard Green. Director: Cherry Cookson. (Repeated on 14 July 1987 and in two parts as the Classic Serial on Radio 4 on 11 & 18 July 1992)

31 October 1986:
Three Hours After Marriage
By John Gay, Alexander Pope and John Arbuthnot, adapt. Vincent McInerney. London 1717. The elderly Dr Fossile marries the young Susanna Townley in the hope of producing an heir, but then is terrified of being cuckolded. Dr Fossile: Maurice Denham, Phoebe Clinkett: Patricia Routledge, Plotwell: Nickolas Grace, Underplot: Mike Gwilym, Sir Tremendous: Charles Gray, Harcourt: John Moffatt, Dr Possum: Bernard Hepton, Dr Nautilus: Robert Eddison, Susanna Townley: Jenny Funnell, Thomas: David Learner, Seaman: Gordon Reid, Prue: Elaine Claxton, Ptisan: Ronald Herdman. Other parts played by Francis Middleditch and Stephen Rashbrook. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 1 September 1987)

3 November 1986:
The Bear
By Anton Chekhov, trans. Ronald Hingley, adapt. Joyce Bell. In this one-act farce, an ageing soldier falls in love with a young grieving widow while trying to collect debts owed by her late husband. Madame Popov: Ingrid Craigie, Smirnov: Sean Barrett, Luka: Paddy Dooney, Semyon: Trevor Moore. Director: Jeremy Howe (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 23 October 1987)

4 November 1986:
By Anton Chekhov in an English version by John Gielgud, based on a translation by Aridane Nicolaeff, adapted by Ronald Mason. Chekhov’s early play features a self-loathing, debt-ridden landowner accused by his wife of having an affair with the daughter of his richer neighbours. This production was first broadcast on 4 & 20 August 1967. Ivanov: Alec McCowen, Sasha: Judi Dench, Anna Petrovna: Maxine Audley, Lebedev: Maurice Denham, Borkin: Denys Hawthorne, Count Shabelsky: David March, Lvov: John Castle, First Guest: Ian Thompson, Second Guest: Nigel Clayton, Zinaida Savishna: Jean Anderson, Babakina: Barbara Mitchell, Kossyth: Haydn Jones, Third Guest: John Justin, Avdotya Nazarovna: Noel Hood. Producer: Ronald Mason. (Also repeated on Radio 4 on 9 September 1968 and 4 August 1975)

6 November 1986:
The Proposal
By Anton Chekhov. In Chekhov’s 1888 one-act farce, Ivan Lomov wants to marry his neighbour’s daughter, Natasha Chubukov, but the two are very argumentative. Natasha: Marcella Riordan, Ivan Lomov: Stephen Brennan, Stephen Chubukov: Michael Duffy. Director: Clive Brill (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 17 August 1990)

7 November 1986:
By Yuri Trifonov, trans. Michael Frayn. A bitter-sweet comedy of life in Moscow in the 1970s, where Muscovite machine supplier Viktor has to juggle family loyalties while trying to broker a deal to move from a one-room flat into a two-bedroom apartment. Viktor: Michael Jayston, Lena: Patrlcla Garwood, Viktor's Mother: Margot Boyd, Lora: Deborah Norton, Tanya: Avril Clark, Viktor's Father: Edward de Souza, Viktor's Grandfather: Lockwood West, Lena's Mother: Barbara Atkinson, Lena's Father: Mannlng Wilson, Housing Agent: Peter Woodthorpe, Natashka/Innochke: Deborah Makepeace, Zherekhov/Felix: John Church, Kulgin/Dog-owner: Ronald Herdman, Cousin Marina: Sheila Grant, Snitkin/Vasya/Bubrik: Gordon Reid, Aunt Zhenya: Ysanne Churchman. Director: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 2 June 1989)

10 November 1986:
Swan Song
By Anton Chekhov, trans. Nicholas Bethell. An 1888 one-act play by Chekhov in which a 68-year-old comic actor (Wilfrid Lawson), finding himself locked in a theatre after the performance, and with only the theatre’s prompter for company, reflects on his life and impending death. First heard on 15 November 1965, it was recorded only a year before the death of Lawson (best known for playing Alfred Doolittle in the 1938 film Pygmalion with Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller). Svetlovidov, the Actor: Wilfrid Lawson, Nikita Ivanych, the Prompter: John Ruddock. Director: John Tydeman. (Also repeated on 31 August 1966 and 2 December 1980)

11 November 1986:
Vassa Zhelyeznova
By Maxim Gorky, trans. Tania Alexander. 1910. As her merchant husband lies dying upstairs, Vassa is engaged in a life and death struggle over the future of their business. Vassa: Billie Whitelaw, Prokhor: Robert Lang, Anna: Emily Richard, Pavel: Jonathan Tafler, Liudmila: Wendy Morgan, Mikhail: Denis Lill, Semyon: Andrew Branch, Natalya: Sue Broomfield, Lipa: Elaine Claxton, Dunya: Sheila Grant. Director: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 22 March 1988)

14 November 1986:
Five Songs in an Old House (br>By Vladimir Arro, trans. Peter Tegel. Two late middle-aged parents, finally about to marry off their daughter, find the decorating of their flat in Leningrad interrupted by a mysterious visitor in search of a dead poet. Kasyanov, the father: James Grout, Polina Semyonovna, the mother: Eva Stuart, Bronnikov: Geoffrey Beevers, Olga, their daughter: Melinda Walker, Leonid, Her fiance: Shaun Prendergast. Director: Richard Wortley

Saltykov’s World
By Mikhail Saltykov Shchedrin (1826-89), dramatised by Jack Winter. Three cautionary tales by Saltykov, a Deputy Governor, literary editor, novelist and satirist, who used his allegorical tales to attack the hypocrisy, greed and brutality of Tsarist Russia. Saltykov: Edward de Souza. Director: Matthew Walters.

15 November 1986:
1. The Two High Officials 
First Official: John Church, Second Official: Manning Wilson. (Repeated on 5 March 1988)

18 November 1986:
2. The Idealistic Carp
By its nature, the carp is a peace-loving, idealistic creature. No one suspects it of being politically unreliable. Carp: George Parsons, Gremille: John Church, Pike: Manning Wilson, Chub: Susie Brann. (Repeated on 11 March 1988)

21 November 1986
3. The Rational Rabbit
“Take us rabbits. Everyone eats us Not that I’m complaining, I realise that’s a rabbit’s lot in life.” Rabbit: David Learner, Wolf: Pauline Letts, Ms Rabbit: Susie Brann. Repeated on 12 March 1988)  

17 November 1986:
The Lady and the Double-Bass Case
By Anton Chekhov, adapted from his novel Romance with a Double-bass by Arnold Hinchcliffe. A double-bass player and a princess end up naked beside a lake. Originally a Thirty-Minute Theatre on Radio 4 (25 August 1984). Ivan Sergeivich Smichkov: James Bryce, The Princess: Moir Leslie, The Narrator: Geoffrey Collins, Peasant: William Eedle, Flautist: Henry Stamper, Clarinettist: Michael Bilton. Double-bass played by Adrian Beers. Director: Glyn Dearman

18 November 1986:
Optimistic Tragedy
By Vsevolod Vishnevsky, trans and adapt. Richard Crane and Faynia Williams. A patriotic epic of Soviet Theatre, this 1933 play is set during the early days of the Russian Revolution. The Bolsheviks send a young woman Commissar to the Red Fleet to bring discipline and Party solidarity to the anarchist sailors. The Commissar: Toyah Wilcox, Alexei: Stephen Boxer, First Chorus: Trader Faulkner, Second chorus: Llnda Marlowe, Vainonen: Shaun Prendergast, Chief: Garard Green, Bosun: Trevor Allan, Foghorn: John Church, Commander: Richard Durden, Odessa Man: Paul Barber, First Prisoner: George Parsons, Spotty: David Learner. Music: Stephen Boxer, Accordion: Trevor Allan. Director: Ned Chaillet

20 November 1986:
Unintentionally Tragic
By Anton Chekhov, trans. Ariadne Nicolaeff. Unhappy with his lot, Ivan Ivanych asks to borrow a friend’s revolver, but gets increasingly exasperated by his friend’s demands for various errands. Ivan Ivanych: Richard Briers, Murashkin: Manning Wilson. Director: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 29 April 1989)

21 November 1986:
The Bedbug
An extravaganza in nine scenes by Vladimir Mayakovsky, trans. Max Hayward, adapt. Jeremy Mortimer. After a wild wedding party in Tambov, a central Russian town, in 1929, Skripkin and a bedbug were frozen in a basement for 50 years. They have both woken up to a very different world. Klop: Roy Kinnear, Ivan Prisypkin, known as Skripkin: Tom Wilkinson, Zoya Beryozkina, his jilted lover: Brenda Blethyn, Elzevir Renaissance, his fiancee: Susie Brann, Rosalie Renaissance, her mother: Eve Stuart, Oleg Bard, an eccentric house owner: George Parsons, Orator: Eric Stovell, Professor: Peter Woodthorpe, Correspondent: Natasha Pyne, Director of Zoo: Stephen Thorne, Chairman of the City Soviet: Gordon Reid. Other parts played by Trevor Allan, Elaine Claxton, Steven Harrold, Stephen Hattersley, Peter Howell, Stuart Organ, Shaun Prendergast, Tim Reynolds, Jonathan Tafler. Music: Trevor Allan. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 7 April 1989)

23 November 1986:
Themes and Variations
By Samuil Alyoshin, trans. Michael Glenny. A distinguished Moscow lawyer and a colleague become entwined with an unhappily married tour guide, who lives near the shores of the Black Sea. Dmitry: Joss Ackland, Igor: Mike Gwilym, Lyuba: Irene Richard. Director: Peter King. (Repeated on 28 May 1988)

25 November 1986:
Forget Herostratus
By Grigory Gorin, trans. Michael Glenny. In this 1972 play by the Russian playwright, set in 356 BC, the magnificent Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is burnt down by Herostratus, a young market trader seeking enduring infamy. Before his execution, the rulers decree that he should be consigned to oblivion, but that’s easier said than done. Herostratus: Mike Gwilym, Cleon: John Moffatt, Kalliste: Geraldine James, Tissafemes: Joseph Marcell, Author Edward De Souza, Chrysippus: John Church, Aglaia: Rachel Gurney, Jailer: George Parsons, Ephesians: Karen Ascoe, Susie Brann, David Goodland, Eric Stovell, Kim Wall. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 30 March 1988)

27 November 1986:
One Up, One Down
By Rachel Blake. “I am only a shadow of what I was. I think the chair shows through me as I sip weak tea at eightish.” With Hilda Schroder. Producer: John Theocharis

28 November 1986:
A Man with Connections
By Alexander Gelman, trans. Stephen Mulrine. Andrei, a Moscow bureaucrat, is blamed by his wife Natasha for the industrial accident that crippled their son while their already shaky marriage falls apart in a world of corruption and cronyism. Andrei Gladkov: Bill Paterson, Natasha: Phyllis Logan, Olga: Alison Peebles, Alyosha: Simon Donald. Director: Marilyn Imrie (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on Radio 4 on 19 November 1988 and Radio 3 on 31 August 1990)

2 December 1986:
Six Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion
By Martin Crimp. It is Good Friday. On the promenade of a south-coast resort, six characters gather. A Salvation Army band plays hymns. A young man dies. All is coloured by the event which the day itself commemorates. An early radio play by Crimp, influenced by Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall (1957). Mr Petley: Bernard Hepton, Mrs Tighe: Auriol Smith, The Policeman: Geoffrey Matthews, The Minister: George Parsons, Billy: Mark Straker, Rosie: Elaine Claxton. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 24 April 1987)

9 December 1986:
Mrs Dalloway
By Virginia Woolf, dramatised by Manny Draycott. It is 1923. Clarissa Dalloway, a successful hostess and wife of a politician, is giving a party. Life and death, sanity and insanity, memories of friendship, love and loss – all combine to fill the hours of this beautiful June day. Clarissa Dalloway: Maureen O’Brien, Peter Walsh: Peter Jeffrey, Septimus Warren Smith: Jonathan Tafler, Rezla Warren Smith: Sheila Grant, Richard Dalloway: John Church, Elizabeth Dalloway: Karen Ascoe, Sally Seton: Rosalind Shanks. Lady Bruton: Rachel Gurney, Lucy: Avril Clark, Hugh: George Parsons, Dr Holmes: Brian Hewlett, Sir William Bradshaw: Roger Hammond, Miss Killman/Singer: Pauline Letts, Ellie Henderson: Jennifer Piercey, Evans: Steven Harrold, Children: Abbie Shilling, Kyle Abingdon and John Pickard. Piano: Mary Nash. Director: David Spenser. (Repeated on 3 February 1989)

12 December 1986:
By Euripides in a 1978 version by David Rudkin (originally for the Royal Shakespeare Company). Phaedra: Sian Phillips, Hippolytus: Anton Lesser, The King: Norman Rodway, The Nurse: Constance Chapman, Man of the Household: Sean Barrett, Young Woman: Kate Binchy, Artemis: June Tobin, Aphrodite: Narissa Knights. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeat from 11 August 1985)

15 December 1986:
By David Ashton, performed by Callum Mill. A man seeks sanctuary in a church – and relives a personal Golgotha. Also performed on TV in 1988 by Andrew Keir for BBC Scotland. Producer: Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 15 March 1987)

16 December 1986:
Comic Treatment
By Simon Moss, inspired by the novel The Comic by Brian Glanville. A successful stand-up comic, who has fallen on hard times, goes to see an analyst in the hopes of curing his drink problem. Expecting sympathy, Ted finds he is up against his most difficult audience yet. Ted: Dave King, Palmer: Geoffrey Collins, Compere: William Eedle. Director: Cherry Cookson

21 December 1986:
Escape from a Harem
By Mike Steer, based on La Provencale by Jean-Francois Regnard, an account by the 17th-century playwright of how, aged 22, he was captured by Algerian pirates and imprisoned for seven months until ransomed by his family in 1679. Regnard: David Rintoul, Elvire de Prade: Lindsay Duncan, Arlequin: Gordon Reid, Auguste de Prade: Michael Hadley, Baba Hassan: Nadim Sawalha, Immona: Shireen Shah, Luigi the Lutenist: Francis Middleditch. With music by Campra, Monteclair, Rebel and others played by Philomel, directed by Nancy Hadden and Mike Steer. Lute songs played by Robert Spencer, sung by Nancy Hadden. Music producer: Chris Sayers. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 8 August 1987)

23 December 1986:
Two Planks and a Passion
By Anthony Minghella. Set during frenzied preparations for the 1392 York Corpus Christi Plays, rumours of a royal visit transform the city into a maelstrom of artistic extravagance and civic social-climbing. A newer production, directed by Bruce Hyman, was broadcast on Radio 4 (27 March 1999 and 10 May 2008). Sarah Zachary: Julia Ford, Thomas Zachary: Malcolm Hebden, Joshua Bluefront: Henry Livings, Edward Young: Keith Bartlett, Geoffrey Le Kolve: Roger Sloman, Walter Paynter: Pearce Quigley, Kathryn Le Kolve: Pam Ferris, Fr Henry Melton: Hugh Fraser, William Selby: Rlchard Griffiths, Alice Selby: Jane Lowe, Richard II: Colin Firth, Earl of Oxford: David Threlfall, Anne of Bohemia: Ellzabeth Rider, Jolyf Absalom: Nigel Stock, Archbishop of York: Denys Hawthorne. Music composed and performed by Barrington Pheloung. Director: Robert Cooper (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 16 June 1987) 

26 December 1986:
Oenanthe and the Beanstalk
By Stephen Dunstone. The “true” story of Jack and the Beanstalk, in which Jack’s mother turns out to be the villain and Jack falls in love with the giant’s wife. Oenanthe: Polly James, Young Jack: Robert Meadmore, Old Jack: Geoffrey Matthews, Jack's Mother: Pauline Letts. Music: Susannah Danzi, Harps: Jane Uster. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 20 December 1988)

29 December 1986:
Federico’s Ghost
A monologue by Jerzy Pietrkiewicz (1916-2007), a Polish poet, novelist, translator and literary critic. “Ricardo was bending over his cup of coffee, the cigar still behind his hairy ear. I heard him whisper: ‘Senor, I saw Federico’s ghost after... On the same spot where they had... you know ... Yes, Federico Garcia Lorca showed himself to me as a woman, a bare-footed woman. Beautiful. No shoes. Ghosts don’t wear shoes, do they Senor?’” Performed by Kenneth Haigh. Director: John Theocharis

30 December 1986:
Love’s Sacrifice
By John Ford, adapt. Brett Usher. In Ford’s 1633 play, not given a professional staging since the 1630s until the Royal Shakespeare Company’s revival in 2015, sees an Italian Duke manipulated into wrongly thinking that his wife, Bianca, has betrayed him with his best friend, Fernando. Phillipo, Duke of Pavia: John Shrapnel, Bianca, the Duchess: Slan Thomas, Fernando, friend to the Duke: Anton Lesser, Fiormonda, sister to the Duke: Tessa Peake Jones, D'Avolos, Secretary to the Duke: Karl Johnson, Roseilli: Nick Dunning, Petruchio: Peter Howell, Nibrassa/Abbot: Manning Wilson, Ferentes: Stephen Rashbrook, Mauruccio: Ian Lindsay, Colona: Sophie Thompson, Julia: Susie Brann, Morona: Pauline Letts, Giacopo: Paul Bradley. Director: Caroline Raphael. (Repeated on 24 June 1988)


24 February 1986:
Too Clever to be Good
David Wheeler presents a documentary in which Shaw's standing as a man of letters is reassessed. With contributions from Lord Brockway, Lord Soper, Robert Skidelsky, Malcolm Muggeridge, J. C. Trewin, John Russell-Brown, Nicholas Grene, Stanley Weintraub and Ellen Pollock. Producer: Sam Collyns. (Repeated on 26 October 1986)

17 March 1986
I’m Not Sharing
An exploration of divisive German novelist and playwright Botho Strauss.  Born in 1944, he worked as a theatre critic from 1967-70 and in 1971 began a collaboration with director Peter Stein to become one of post-war Germany's most original voices. Written and presented by Ronald Hayman, with contributions from Julian Hilton, Michael Hulse, Michael Konig, Michael Kruger, Friedrich Luft, Otto Sander and Sybylle Wirsing. Scenes performed by Jenny Funnell, David Garth, Mia Soteriou, Colin Starkey and Harriet Walter.  Producer: Piers Plowright

6 April 1986:
In 1985, in a stone quarry near Avignon, the director Peter Brook presented his theatrical production of the longest book in the world. It was the culmination of more than 10 years’ research and rehearsal. Brook, his writer Jean-Claude Carrière, actors, audience and critics consider the production and what it has to say about the modern world. With Robert Hewison, Sunil Kothari, Bruce Myers, Kavita Nagpal, Michael Ratcliffe and Irving Wardle. Readings by John Church. Compiled by Ned Chaillet. Producer: Piers Plowright

13 April 1986:
The Theatre-Going Public
Tom Lubbock examines the treatment of public affairs on the British stage over the past 20 years and considers whether the theatre might be politically useful too. Contributors include David Hare, David Edgar, Howard Brenton, Trevor Griffiths, John McGrath, Christopher Hampton and Michael Frayn. Producer: Sam Collyns. (Repeated on 10 September 1986)

18 April 1986:
The Dentist and the Dancing Master
First of four theatrical reminiscences compiled by Carole Rosen. Joseph Grimaldi: Joe Melia. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 28 April 1984)

20 April 1986:
The Epstein Affair
Scenes from the life of sculptor of Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), compiled by Sanda Miller from his writings and those of Arnold Haskell. With contributions from Jill Balcon, Richard Cork, Anthony Gormley, Geoffrey Ireland, Vera Russell, Evelyn Silber, Jan Smith, Arnold Thompson and Glyn Williams. Jacob Epstein: Lee Montague, Arnold Haskell: Garard Green. The Voices: John Church, Elaine Ives-Cameron, Jane Leonard, Natasha Pyne and Robin Summers. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 4 November 1985)

22 April 1986:
Struggles with Richard III
Second of four theatrical reminiscences compiled by Carole Rosen. Alfred Bunn: Bill Wallis. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 29 April 1984)

26 April 1986:
A Most Bewitching Presence
Third of four theatrical reminiscences compiled by Carole Rosen. Marie Wilton: Marjorie Westbury. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 3 April 1984)

29 April 1986:
I Wonder if Grossmith
The last of four theatrical reminiscences compiled by Carole Rosen. George Grossmith: Peter Pratt. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 1 May 1984)

4 May 1986:
Split Milk
Scenes from the work of the Bavarian playwright Franz Xaver Kroetz. Written and presented by Ronald Hayman. With contributions from Julian Hilton, Friedrich Luft, Michael Skasa, Bernd Wilms and Sybille Wirsing. Kroetz: Bob Peck. Other parts played by Peter Acre, Penelope Lee, Brian Smith and Mia Soteriou. Producer: Piers Plowright 

12 May 1986:
Invisible as Music
An impression of Emily Dickinson (1830-86) devised by Peter Dickinson for the centenary of her death, taken from her poems, letters and the music she played. Emily Dickinson: Helen Horton. Music played by Peter Dickinson on a Broadwood square piano. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 27 December 1986)

24 May 1986:
Herr Stravinsky, I’m an American Composer
Self-exiled in Berlin, Stravinsky strikes up a friendship with an irrepressible young American admirer, George Antheil. Adapted by Mike Steer from Antheil's autobiography. George Antheil: Gary Waldhorn. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 14 Nov 1985)

11 August 1986:
The Death of Anton Webern
A miniature for radio by John Thornley based on the composer's letters, diaries, poems and lectures, and on the texts of official depositions made during the US Army inquiry into Webern’s death in 1945. With music by Webem, Mahler, Beethoven, Heinrich Isaac, Jule Styne and others. Sergeant Andrew W Murray: Bob Sherman, Dr Anton Webern: Carl Duering, First Voice: Jane Leonard, Second Voice: John Rowe, Third Voice: Elizabeth Proud. Producer: John Thornley

22 August 1986:
Chekhov in Siberia
Devised and performed by Michael Pennington. In 1889, Anton Chekhov set off to observe the conditions in the Siberian penal colony of Sakhalin. The story is told in Chekhov's own words, taken from conversations, letters and articles. Director: Jane Morgan

2 September 1986:
Debussy Visits London for The Ring
Originally part of The Composer’s Voice, six programmes adapted by Mike Steer from autobiographical writings of 20th-century composers. Claude Debussy was an ardent Wagnerian in his youth, but the stranglehold that misguided Wagnerism had imposed on musical expression was too much even for him. Debussy: David Suchet. Producer: John Theocharis (Repeat from 17 October 1985)

29 September 1986:
How to Listen
A re-broadcast of the Stephen Potter production on radio listening, including how not to, how you ought to and how you won’t. Demonstrated by Ivor Barnard, Joyce Grenfell, Deryck Guyler, Betty Hardy, Carleton Hobbs, Louise Hutton, Roy Plomley, Ronald Simpson, Geoffrey Wincott and Gladys Young. The original production, which opened the Third Programme on 29 September 1946, was restaged on 16 November 1946 and repeated here. 

30 September 1986:
Let’s Murder the Moonshine
Feature by Catherine Itzin. Avant-garde theatre movements flourished from about 1880 to the 1930s, of which Futurism was one. Futurist Filippo Marinetti (1876-1944) believed theatre was a means of “introducing the fist into the artistic battle” and of enabling “the brutal entry of life into art”. Marinetti: Kenneth Griffiths, Lecturer: Angela Down. With Timothy Bateson, Carole Boyd, William Eedle, Clive Panto, Hilda Schroder, David Sinclair, Colin Starkey and Jane Wenham. Contributors: Professor Katherine Worth and Dr Enrico Palandri. Producer: John Theocharis. (Revised repeat from 15 October 1984)

6 October 1986:
Lutyens in the War
Originally the third in the series The Composer’s Voice (24 October 1985), in which Mike Steer adapts composers’ autobiographical writings. In 1942, 36-year-old Elisabeth Lutyens was largely unperformed and working as a copyist to supplement her husband's small income. It was a period of drudgery, fear and frustration, relieved only by long drinking sessions with Dylan Thomas, Louis MacNeice, William Walton and others. Elisabeth Lutyens: Elizabeth Spriggs. Producer: John Theocharis

2 November 1986:
A Bolt from the Blue
By Jean Benedetti. The Moscow Art Theatre was founded in 1897 by a celebrated actor and director, Konstantin Stanislavsky, and a leading critic and author, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, but their initial successful partnership unravelled. Often bitterly personal letters exchanged between 1902 and 1917 chart the deterioration of their relationship. Nemirovich-Danchenko: Peter Barkworth, Stanislavsky: Bernard Brown. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 12 July 1985)

15 November 1986:
Ives in London
Originally the first in the series The Composer’s Voice (10 October 1985), in which Mike Steer adapts composers’ autobiographical writings. In 1933, the American composer Charles Ives was 60 and had given up composing for almost a decade. On a visit to London he recorded his trenchant opinions about English musical fare. Charles Ives: Bruce Boa. Producer: John Theocharis.

John Houseman
Four conversations with Christopher Cook in which writer, producer and actor John Houseman reflects on his life and work.

28 December 1986:
1. Federal Theater
Houseman discusses his work with the New Deal's Federal Theater Project and as co-founder with Orson Welles of the Mercury Theater during the 1930s.

29 December 1986:
2. Radio
Houseman looks back on the so-called Golden Age of American radio when he produced Mercury Theatre of the Air with Orson Welles and later, during the Second World War, was head of broadcasting for the Office of War Information. 

30 December 1986:
3. Hollywood
Houseman recalls his years in Hollywood, where he helped to write the first draft of Citizen Kane and later worked as a producer at Paramount, RKO and MGM on such films as The Bad and the Beautiful and Lust for Life. 

2 January 1987:
4. American Theatre Today
Houseman, who created The Acting Company in 1972 to stage touring productions across America, comments on the current state of performing arts in the States.


6 January 1986:
Daughters by Elaine Eveleigh (read by Sara Coward) 
Annette rather surprised herself when she turned to the company of women for solace. Producer: Caroline Raphael

9 January 1986:
A Win for the Woman by Knut Hamsun (read by Struan Rodger)
Producer: Maurice Leitch. (Repeat from 17 February 1985)

13 January 1986:
The Stranger by Harri Pritchard Jones (read by Denys Hawthorne)
Returning from Dublin for his grandfather's funeral, Liam visits the small town of his birth. But can he ever be accepted here again? Translated by the author from the original Welsh. Producer: Frances Mabbs (BBC Wales) (Repeated on 12 July 1986)

14 January 1986:
Freedom’s Rose by Harri Pritchard Jones (read by Robert Blythe)
Liberalism and Socialism collide in this love story from Soares's Spain.  Translated by the author from the original Welsh. Producer: Adrian Mourby

16 January 1986:
The Heroines by Elaine Eveleigh (read by Jane Wenham)
(Repeat from 29 May 1984)

17 January 1986:
Venturing Forth by Harri Pritchard Jones (read by Myfanwy Talog)
Following the death of her father, Elin's life must take on a new position in the close Welsh community that envelops her. Producer: Frances Mabbs (BBC Wales)

21 January 1986:
A Red Herring by Elizabeth Ross (read by June Barrie)
Producer: Alec Reid (BBC Bristol). (Repeat from 24 June 1985)

25 January 1986:
Devil Bird by Paula Kelly (read by Mia Soteriou)
(Repeat from 17 October 1985)

30 January 1986:
The Maiden and the Beast by Zinovy Zinik (read by Michael Pennington)
A fairy tale for our times. Translated from the Russian by Frank Williams. Producer: Judith Bumpus. (Repeated on 22 March 1986)  

3 February 1986:
The Other Woman by Colette (read by Margaret Robertson)
A new wife runs into the woman who used to be married to her husband. Translated by Joanna Richardson. Producer: Clive Brill. (Repeated on 11 December 1986)

4 February 1986:
Foggy Hair and Green Eyes by Tom MacIntyre (read by the author)
Producer: Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland)

6 February 1986:
When Old Men May Spend the Heat of the Day by Anne Aylor (read by Lolli Susi)
Producer: Ed Thomason. (Repeated on 16 December 1986)

10 February 1986:
Miracles by Roger Burford-Mason (read by Geoffrey Collins)
Producer Alec Reid (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 27 May 1986)

13 February 1986:
The Nitshill Writing Circle by John Byrne (performed by Bill Paterson)
A tribute to poet, painter, novelist and sage Francis Seneca McDade. Producer James Runcie (BBC Scotland). (Repeat from 22 November 1984)

19 February 1986:
From a Diary by Igor Pomerantsev (read by Ronald Pickup) 
A Russian writer living under great pressure keeps a diary in which he makes random jottings on the subject of fear of imprisonment and dreams of freedom. Translated by Frank Williams. Producer Cherry Cookson. (Repeat from 16 September 1985)

27 February 1986:
The Polish Ship by Eugene Dubnov (read by Alan Dobie)
A man is summoned for interview at the Young Communist League Headquarters, where he faces a KGB official. Translated by Chris Newman. (BBC Bristol)

9 March 1986:
Your True Friends by Boethius (read by Robert Eddison)
Reflections on the fickleness of fortune, from Book 2 of Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by Charles Bland. Producer: Piers Plowright

11 March 1986:
Buying Time by Helen Lucy Burke (read by Marcella Riordan)
An impoverished novelist hopes to make a little money by writing an exposé of vice in Dublin for a local magazine. But how will she go about her research? Producer Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland)

15 March 1986:
Kassner’s Story by Adrian Adams
In the villages by the river, the mud-brick houses are crumbling. Only a few old people still live there. Some say that the head of the peasant farmers association went inland; some say that he’s dead. A story by the anthropologist Adrian Adams, in which some of the less edifying aspects of a development programme are disclosed. Kassner: John Rowe, Narrator: Ben Onukwe. Producer: Sam Collyns. (Repeated on 25 August 1986)

21 March 1986:
Django, Karfunkelstein and Roses by Norman Levin (read by Paul Maxwell) 
Prompted by thoughts of guitarist Django Reinhardt, and by the fate of a Dutch Jew during the war, an ageing writer reflects on the tricks that memory plays and wonders whether memory is all one has left. Producer Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 25 November 1986)

22 March 1986:
Mr Gottlieb Will Not Be Writing by Michael Swiss (read by David Garth)
(Repeated on 21 April 1988)

25 March 1986:
Things That Happen by Aiden C Matthews (read by Tony Doyle) 
Producer: Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland)

27 March 1986:
The Swain by Mary Leland (read by Linda Wray)
Producer: Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland)

29 March 1986:
Dayboy by James Hill (read by Ben Onukwe) 
Producer: Alec Reid (BBC Bristol)

30 March 1986:
Ears by Clare Boylan (read by Fiona Mettam)
Producer: Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland)

31 March 1986:
The Break by Bernard MacLaverty (read by Denys Hawthorne)
A Cardinal of the church is paid a visit by his elderly father. From MacLaverty’s collection The Great Profundo and Other Stories, later adapted by the author as a Radio 4 drama (7 September 1988). Producer: Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 9 December 1986)

3, 6, 13 & 17 April 1986:
The Georgics by Virgil, trans. Robert Wells (read by John Franklyn-Robbins)
Four-part reading of Virgil’s work about the arts of agriculture and peace. Music: Michael Ball. Producer: Fraser Steel (BBC Manchester). (Repeated in August 1986)

5 April 1986:
Hortensia Blue by Nigel Service (read by Phillip Manikum) 
Producer Alec Reid (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 23 August 1986)

8 April 1986:
Five Note after a Visit (written and read by Anne Devlin)
A Catholic woman returns to Belfast to live with her married Protestant lover, but the political tensions of the times fray the couple’s nerves and test their reunion.

14 April 1986:
Blackbird by Patrick Howarth
Three spring conversations. The Man: Maurice Denham, The Bird: Elaine Claxton. Music: Peter Cork. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 14 September 1986)

20 April 1986:
Monsieur Maurice by Colette (read by Margaret Robertson).
Translated by Joanna Richardson. Producer: Clive Brill. (Repeated on 22 September 1986)

21 April 1986:
In the Rainy Season by Armando Olivares Carillo (read by Michael Bryant).
Translated by Margaret Etall. Producer: Judith Rumpus. (Repeated on 13 September 1986)

23 April 1986:
Shakespeare’s Memory by Jorge Luis Borges (read by David de Keyser)
Short story, originally published in 1983, in which a Shakespeare devotee is given the playwright’s memories, which gradually take over his own. Translated by Norman Thomas Di Giovanni. Producer: Judith Bumpus. (Repeat from 6 October 1985)

25 April 1986:
Resurrection by Alan Golightly (read by Crawford Logan)
Producer: James Runcie. (Repeated on 24 November 1986)

27 April 1986:
The Modern Novel by John Stevenson (read by the author)
(Repeated on 6 September 1986)

28 April 1986:
Lady’s View by Ita Daly (read by Aiden Grennell) 
Old Packy has put up with his daughter-in-law organising his household for some time and wonders why he has to suffer endless drives into the Killarney countryside and beyond. Producer: Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland)

30 April 1986:
A Handful of Pleasant Delights
Extracts from The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton, adapted by Robert Ralph, read by Michael Hordern. First published in 1653, Walton’s work is the second-most reprinted book in English after the King James Bible. Music: Terry Davis, played by Robin Jeffrey (theorbo/baroque guitar) and sung by David Hitchen. Director: Graham Gauld. (Repeated on 15 March 1987)

1 May 1986:
Doll by Norman King Lloyd (read by William Nighy)
In a bleak room in a devastated city, somewhere in a war-torn country, a man watches suspiciously as a young woman paints her nails and waits for her dubious lover, and an old woman babbles clutching her precious doll. Producer: Peter Jukes. (Repeat from 1 Oct 1985)

14 May 1986:
Wasteground by Christina Reid (read by Kate Binchy).
“He was a head-the-ball, a daftie, a not-quite-right-in-the-head-God-help-him. He stood on the edge of the wasteground staring up at our kites with his lustreless blue eyes.” Producer Alfred Bradley (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 12 August 1985)

15 May 1986:
Fludde’s Ark by Ronald Frame (read by Huch Dickson)
From A Woman of Judah: A Novel and Fifteen Stories. Producer: Alec Reid (BBC Bristol). (Repeat from 16 August 1985)

17 May 1986:
Daddy Time and Uncle Sam by Roy Kelly (read by Lesley Mackie) 
Producer: Alec Reid (BBC Bristol)

25 May 1986:
The Bet by Anton Chekhov (read by Struan Rodger)
An 1889 short story in which a banker and a young lawyer make a bet as to whether the death penalty is better or worse than life in prison. Translated by Ronald Wilks. Producer: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 3 November 1986)

28 May 1986:
Every Angel is Terrible by Ronan Sheehan (read by Tony Doyle)
It is one thing to boast to an admiring group of friends that you abandon those who get too close to you, but quite another thing to abandon those new friends in turn. Producer: Peter Kavanagh

29 May 1986:
Major Sea Crossing by Graeme Fife (read by Edward de Souza) 
In the autumn of 1909, Sergey Rachmaninov, battling with the composition of his third piano concerto, left his beloved Russia for the last time and set sail for America. Producer: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 17 January 1987)

31 May 1986:
Praise Be to God by Graeme Fife (read by Edward de Souza) 
Jean-Baptiste Lully, Louis XIV’s court composer, prepares to conduct a solemn Te Deum in 1687. Producer: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 2 November 1987)

7 June 1986:
The Siege of Fort Bathtub by Mary Rose Callaghan (read by Marcella Riordan)
Producer: Peter Kavanagh. (Repeated on 31 October 1986)

16 June 1986:
The Clay Frog by Susan Campbell (read by Finlay Welsh)
Producer: Gregor Graham (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 14 June 1987)

22 June 1986
A Trip to Dublin by Mary Benson (read by June Tobin)
A memoir. (Repeated on 17 March 1987)

25 June 1986
His Wife by Anton Chekhov (read by Struan Rodger)
A rich aristocrat’s marriage disintegrates as the peasants on his estate starve. Translated by Ronald Wilks. Producer: Maurice Leitch. (Repeated on 31 January 1987)

3 July 1986
Romance by Mary Burns (read by Diana Olsson)
Short story by the Chicago-born, Canada-based novelist. Producer: Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 31 March 1987)

17 July 1986
Can a Horse Laugh? by Robert Musil, translated by David Heald (read by Ronald Pickup)
Essay taken from Posthumous Papers of a Living Author by the Austrian writer Robert Musil (1880-1942). Producer Peter Windows (BBC Birmingham). (Repeated on 8 February 1988)

28 July 1986
Harold in Italy by Byron (read by Ronald Pickup)
A selection from Canto IV of Byron's Childe Harold 's Pilgrimage made by Patrick Dickinson. Producer: Piers Plowright

2 & 7 August 1986
My Dear Muscovite
Two-part selection from the correspondence between Flaubert and Turgenev, translated by Barbara Beaumont. Flaubert: Robert Stephens, Turgenev: Stephen Moore. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 19 September 1985)

2 August 1986
A Conversation About Silence by John Cameron Burnside (read by Peter Quigley.
Producer: Clive Brill (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 27 September 1986)

9 August 1986
A Question of Faith by John Gohorry (read by Andrew Branch)
Producer Alec Reid (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 26 April 1987)

14 August 1986:
Life with a Statue by Declan Sweeney (read by Stella McCusker) 
The woman Wilson lives with sits silent and majestic like a statue while two men demand to interview her about a crime. Producer Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 8 June 1987)

15 August 1986:
Haji Morad by Sadeq Hedayat (read by Ben Kingsley) 
A parable by the Parisian Iranian writer (1903-1951), acclaimed as “Persia's Kafka”. A man lashes out at a woman in the street, having mistaken her for his wife, whom he believes is having an affair. Translated by Shusha Guppy. Producer: AJ Quinn. (Repeated on 15 February 1987)

18 August 1986:
Perilous Seas by Florence Turner (read by Margaret Robertson)
Producer: Patrick Rayner. (Repeated on 15 January 1987)

19 August 1986:
The Blue Jug by Ronald Frame (read by Peggy Ashcroft)
Producer: Patrick Rayner. (Repeated on 25 December 1986)

24 August 1986:
A Voice from the Desert by Emile Zola (read by Michael Deacon)
A selection of the author’s letters from the summer of 1877, when he was in good humour and writing Le bien public. Producer Peter Kavanagh. (Repeated on 11 July 1987)

26 August 1986:
Slim by Adam Mars-Jones (read by Tom Wilkinson)
Titled after an African euphemism for Aids, the story features a narrator talking about his condition and relationship with his Aids “buddy”. Producer Clive Brill (BBC Northern Ireland)

31 August 1986:
Organ Voluntary by James Hill (read by Renu Setna)
Producer: Alec Reid (BBC Bristol)

1 September 1986:
Acid Test by James Hill (read by Renu Setna)
Producer: Alec Reid (BBC Bristol)

7 September 1986:
The Devil’s Beatitude by Conor Farrington (read by Richard Vernon) 
“At one point I noticed my writing hand, amazed; can that thing with purple knotted veins and bulbous joints be mine? Yes, I recognise it by the words it’s writing.” Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 28 February 1987)

8 September 1986
Credo by Daniel Magee (read by Adrian Dunbar)
Producer: Susan Hogg (BBC Northern Ireland)

11 September 1986:
Old China is Dead by Manny Draycott (read by Paula Hamilton) 
“We must embrace each other, within our differences... take the walls down.” But this is perhaps not always so easy to do... Producer: Gillian Thomas

14 September 1986:
The Hands of Cheryl Boyd by Maurice Leitch (read by Denys Hawthorne)
Everyone remarks about the beauty of the hands of wheelchair-bound Cheryl, but when out shopping, her greatest asset becomes the source of her greatest temptation. Later dramatised by the author for Radio 4’s Afternoon Play (13 March 2007). Producer: Peter Kavanagh. (Repeated on 8 October 1987)

15 September 1986:
The Royal Bride by La Fontaine (read by Robert Eddison)
A verse tale about a young Egyptian princess facing amorous demands while betrothed to a foreign king. Translated by Sydney Bolt. Producer: John Theocharis (Repeat from 17 January 1985)

18 September 1986:
You Make Your Own Life by VS Pritchett (read by John Rowe)
Rather than catch his train, the narrator is drawn to a barber’s shop, where he observes the customers and overhears their stories. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 16 December 1985)

26 September 1986:
I Can Sing, Dance, Rollerskate by Dilys Rose (read by Kathryn Atwood) 
A young woman in New York looks for a waitressing job to pay for her abortion. Producer Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 7 February 1987)

28 September 1986:
A Tale of a Cavalryman by Hugo von Hoffmannstahl (read by Neville Jason)
Story by the Austrian author, poet and playwright, best known for his collaborations with Richard Strauss, including Der Rosenkavalier. Translated by David Heald. Producer: John Theocharis

29 September 1986:
I Can Listen Now by Paula Kelly (read by Avril Clark)
(Repeated on 1 May 1987)

2 October 1986
Ties by Desmond Hogan (read by the author)
A boy is drawn to a Protestant shop assistant, a “small-town Oscar Wilde”. Producer Maurice Leitch. (Repeat from 6 November 1985)

10 October-12 December 1986:
Ladies Lost and Found
A free translation into modem English verse in 10 parts by Terence Tiller of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess and The House of Fame. Chaucer: Martin Jarvis. Music: Michael Berkeley. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 17 October-19 December 1984)

1. The Wakeful Poet 
Alcyone: Helena Breck, Juno: Narissa Knights, Ceyx: Anthony Hall, Messenger: William Hope

2. The Sorrowful Knight
Huntsman: Anthony Hall, Knight: Jon Strickland

3. The Lost Beloved
Knight: Jon Strickland

4. The Stroke of Twelve
Knight: Jon Strickland

5. Dreams, and the Good Deeds of Venus 

6. Encounter with an Eagle
Eagle: Michael Bilton

7. The Summit
Eagle: Michael Bilton

8. The House of Fame
Male Voice: Mark Straker, Female Voice: Helena Breck

9. The Acts of the Goddess 
Fame: Carole Boyd, Aeolus/Sixth Petitioner: William Eedle, First Petitioner: Geoffrey Collins, Second Petitioner: Helen Atkinson Wood, Third Petitioner: Brett Usher, Fourth Petitioner: Maggie McCarthy, Seventh Petitioner/Messenger: William Hope

10. The Happy News
Courteous Stranger: Timothy Bateson, Eagle: Michael Bilton, First Gossip/Truth: Helen Atkinson Wood, Second Gossip/Lie: Brett Usher, Third Gossip: Maggie McCarthy, Fourth Gossip/Herald: William Eedle

24 October 1986:
Sancho Panza’s Dream by Stuart Stirling (read by Peter Woodthorpe)
Producer: Clive Brill (BBC Northern Ireland) (Repeated on 23 May 1988)

25 October 1986:
Disconnection by Jack Emery (read by Maria Aitken)
Producer: Ed Thomason. (Repeated on 7 October 1987)

27 October 1986:
Patient Eleven by Jack Emery (read by Lynn Farleigh)
Producer: Ed Thomason

2 November 1986:
Your Distinguished Brother by Adolf Muschg (read by John Moffatt)
Short story by the Swiss writer. Translated by Anthony Vivis. Producer: Judith Bumpus. (Repeated on 19 February 1987)

6 November 1986:
A Little About You, Yosip by Igor Pomerantsev (read by Ronald Pickup)
Translated by Frank Williams. Producer: Cherry Cookson. (Repeated on 19 July 1987)

10 November 1986:
With a Bouquet of Roses by Igor Pomerantsev (read by Ronald Pickup)
Translated by Frank Williams. Producer: Cherry Cookson. (Repeated on 24 July 1987)

23 November 1986:
Minder by Elaine Eveleigh (read by John McAndrew)

11 November 1986:
A Disturbed Environment by Philip O’Connor (read by Bob Sherman) 
“Homer Ellson of Welwyn, Omaha, came down the stairs for breakfast. But when he looked out of the window, he saw six beetles looking at him, as high as a man.” Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 9 March 1987)

6 December 1986:
The Darker Door
A selection of Victor Hugo’s letters translated by Joanna Richardson. The tragic love-story of Adele Hugo is here seen through the correspondence of her family. Victor Hugo: Peter Woodthorpe, Madame Hugo: Pauline Letts, Adele Hugo: Kate Lee. Producer: Peter Kavanagh

7 December 1986:
On the Journey by Eugene Dubnov (read by Denis Lill)
A young student on his way to Moscow has his dreams of fame dented by an old peasant. Translated by the author and John Heath-Stubbs. Producer: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 21 February 1987)

14 December 1986:
Brendel by Brian Gould (read by Edward de Souza) 
“Brendel’s eyes refused to focus. A misty double of the old woman rose towards the top shelf. Then Brendel passed into unconsciousness.” Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 11 March 1987)

19 December 1986:
Canary Errol by Norman King Lloyd (read by David Warner)
Producer: Stuart Owen. (Repeated on 16 December 1987)

20 December 1986:
A Morning with the Versatile Peer, Lord Berners, in the Ancient Seat of Learning by Denton Welch (read by Benjamin Whitrow)
Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 4 March & 2 November 1987)

21 December 1986:
Home by Eva Tucker (read by Pauline Letts)
Short story by the Berlin-born novelist, who came to Britain as a refugee in 1939.

23 December 1986:
Other People’s Lives by Jane Oxenford (read by Joanne Pearce) 
Emily Aspen is out in the cold after a disagreement with her flatmate. She has choices and the freedom to make them, but where will those choices lead her? Producer: Gillian Thomas

24 December 1986:
Flying Out by Eva Tucker (read by Pauline Letts)

31 December 1986:
The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff (read by Clive Swift)
The classic tale of the lonely orphan who became King of the Elephants. Includes music by Francis Poulenc, played on the piano by David Mason. Producer: Peter Paul Nash. (Repeated on 25 September 1990 & 1 January 1992)

Many thanks to Ian Johns for compiling the entries and doing the coding.

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