Radio 3 Drama, 1987

Compiled by Ian Johns

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


2 January 1987:
By Franz Kafka, adapted by Gabriel Josipovici from the translation by Willa and Edwin Muir. Franz Kafka’s 1915 novella, in which a travelling salesman awakes one morning to find himself transformed into a gigantic insect and struggles to adapt to his horrific new identity. The Narrator: Tim Pigott-Smith, Gregor Samsa: Christopher Fairbank, Father: Stephen Thorne, Mother: Gwen Cherrell, Sister: Patience Tomlinson, Chief Clerk: Colin Starkey, Charwoman: Narissa Knights, Three Lodgers: Trevor Nichols, Christopher Douglas, Brian Smith. Music: composed and conducted by Gordon Crosse, performed by members of the Bochmann Quartet and John Leach (cimbalom). Director: John Theocharis. (Repeat from 27 November 1985)

6 January 1987:
By Richard Walker. In the future, leading a subterranean existence with only a screen to reveal the outside world, Michael and his sister decide to venture outside to retrace the steps of their grandfather, victim of a mysterious death. Michael: Rupert Frazer, Helen: Juliet Stevenson. Director: Cherry Cookson

9 January 1987:
The Tragedy of Wallenstein
By Friedrich Schiller, adapted by Anthony Vivis and Tinch Minter, from the translation by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Schiller’s epic drama, written in the 1790s, sees the great general Wallenstein, midway through the Thirty Years’ War in 1634, undermined by court intrigue, ministerial meddling and his desire to rule Bohemia. Narrator: Hugh Dickson, Wallenstein: John Rowe, Elisabeth, his wife: Gwen Watford, Thekla, their daughter: Kathryn Hurlbutt, Countess Terzky: Sheila Gish, Count Butler: Nigel Stock, Octavio: Robert Lang, Max, his son: Anton Lesser, Count von Questenberg: Robert Eddison, Terzky: Geoffrey Collins, Illo: Anthony Jackson, Isolani: Bernard Brown, Wrangel: Brian Haines, Gordon: David Garth, Anspessade/Groom: Mark Straker, Cornet/McDonald: Michael Jenner, Swedish Captain/Page: William Hope, Adjutant: Jon Strickland, Captain Devereux: Jon Strickland, Senl/Tiefenbach: John Bott, Wallenstein’s Servant: Arnold Diamond, Lady: Carole Boyd. Music: John Hopkins. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeat from 20 October 1985)

13 January 1987:
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 to 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: Christopher Ettridge, Tory Party Committee Members: Peter Howell, Richard Durden, Lord Castlerosse: Denys Hawthorne, Lord Beaverbrook: Bruce Boa. Director: Robert Cooper (BBC Manchester). (Repeated from 20 June 1986)

16 January 1987:
Adi and Edi
By Jelena Kohout, trans. Hugh Rorrison. Edi will do anything for Adi except keep his mouth shut. The police think he’s someone who can keep his nose close to the ground and the crime world off his tail... (Czech screenwriter and novelist Jelena Kohout is married to Czech writer Pavel Kohout. See The Maple Tree Game). Adi: David Gooderson, Edi: Jonathan Tafler, Manager/First Crook: Brian Hewlett, Inspector/Ambulance Man: Stuart Organ, Superintendent/Doctor: Henry Stamper, Pensioner/Commissioner: Jonathan Scott, Waiter/Second Crook: James Goode, First Dissident/Manager's Wife: Natasha Pyne, Second Dissident/Desk Sgt: Elaine Claxton. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 31 July 1987)

17, 19 & 23 January 1987:
Box on the Ear
By Christopher Hope. A series of three diversions for radio, featuring television in the background. Producer: Rosemary Hart. (Repeated 2-4 May 1987)

1. Sheepdog Trial  “Thousands of people will be watching this programme and afterwards they’ll say, if they catch sight of you: ‘Hey, isn't that the sheep we saw on television?’” Sheep: Janet Suzman, Sheepdog: Nigel Hawthorne

2. Gorgeous Glenda  “Of course you imagine you’re in the public service, but let me tell you – those who live by the box, may die by it. The tube provides heat and light but don’t look to it for warmth.” Glenda: Janet Suzman, Kenneth: Nigel Hawthorne

3. Confessions of a Houseplant  “What does he see when he looks at me? Something green, rubbery, slightly dusty, boringly familiar – stuck in a white porcelain pot on top of the telly?” Plant: Janet Suzman, Poet: Nigel Hawthorne  

20 January 1987:
The Maple Tree Game
By Pavel Kohout, based on the 1967 novella The Old Man and the Bureaucrats by Romanian writer Mircea Eliade, trans. Hugh Rorrison. Somewhere on the Danube, an old school teacher calls into the Ministry of the Interior to visit a former pupil, now a Major in the Secret Service, but ends up being interrogated, beguiling and baffling his interrogators with fantastical stories. (Frank Middlemass also appeared as the teacher in a Royal Shakespeare Company staging in 1985). Professor Farama: Frank Middlemass, Tatarescu: Malcolm Storry, Slawejko: David Burke, Mme Vogel: Jacqueline Pearce, Borza: Michael Graham Cox, Marriassi: Robin Summers, Vargha: Nick Dunning, Horia: Ronald Herdman, Sonia: Elaine Claxton, NCO: Eric Stovell, Ilona: Susie Brann, Adjutant: Tim Reynolds. Music: Trevor Allan, sung by St Gildas’ Junior School, London. Director: AJ Quinn. (Repeated on 24 February 1987)

23 January 1987:
Listening for the Singing
By Les Smith. October 1916. A wife learns of her husband’s death in the trenches and awaits the start of the early morning bombardment across the Channel, desperately needing to hear the voices of the soldiers singing above the roar of guns. Maggs: Margot Leicester, Her Mother: Pauline Letts, Husband: Cliff Burnett, Sergeant: Claude Close, Constable: Andy Hockley Singers: Barry Banks, Ian Platt, Simon Lanzon, Claude Close, Andy Hockley. Music: Simon Lanzon, Jim Hughes (hamonica), Musical Director: Simon Lanzon, Technical Presentation: David Fleming-Williams, Phil Gott and Chris McGinity. Director: Kay Patrick. (BBC Manchester)

27 January 1987:
Cross Words
By James Douglas. The legacy of hate between a husband and wife is apparent in their son and daughter as they swap acrimonious letters about details of the will, but will the discovery of their father’s diary break the vicious circle? Father: Alan McClelland, Kathy: Valerie Lilley, Roy: Gerard McSorley, Humber: BJ Hogg, Kathya as a child: Jane Hale. Director: Peter Kavanagh (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeat from 1 December 1985)

30 January 1986:
Frozen Assets
By Barrie Keeffe. A young car thief flees Borstal after accidentally killing a prison guard and journeys through a wintery London and the English class system, encountering a flamboyant Labour peer and ex-champion boxer along the way. Buddy: Julian Firth, Ronnie: Clive Mantle, The Priest: Richard Durden, Lord Plaistow: Harold Innocent, Al: Robin Summers, Sammy: Danny Schiller, The Screw: John Hollis, Joan: Avril Clark, Aunt Connie: Kate Williams, Henry: George Parsons, Edna: Sheila Grant, Frank: Gordon Reid, Davy: Tony Hyppolyte, Referee: Ronald Herdman, Nurse: Deborah Makepeace, Matron: Pauline Letts, Youth: David Learner. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 29 April 1988)

1 February 1987:
By David Gascoyne. Monologue by the poet and author (1916-2001), drawing on his experiences in an asylum. Despite one’s own hallucinations, can the even stranger experiences of fellow inmates alleviate one's suffering? Performed by John Franklyn-Robbins. Director: Shaun MacLoughlin (BBC Bristol). (Repeat from 21 November 1985)

3 February 1987:
The Theban Plays: Oedipus the King
By Sophocles, trans. Robert Fagles. Oedipus will not rest until he has found the killer of the former king, but his arrogance and self-importance blind him to the shocking truth that brings destruction upon himself and his family. Oedipus: Tim Pigott Smith, Jocasta: Sian Phillips, Creon: Patrick Stewart, Tiresias: Robert Eddison, Messenger: David Collings, Priest: David March, Shepherd: Arthur Hewlett, Shepherd from Corinth: Alan Dudley, Chorus Leader: David Timson, Chorus: Peter Acre, Stephen Boxer, James Bryce, Scott Cherry, Alan Dudley, David March, Peter Rumney, Colin Starkey. Music: Christos Pittas. Director: David Spenser. (Repeat from 3 February 1985)

6 February 1987:
The Theban Plays: Oedipus at Colonus
By Sophocles, trans. Robert Fagles. Oedipus wanders the land in self-imposed exile. With his daughter Antigone, he seeks sanctuary at Colonus, to the initial fear of local people. Oedipus: Tim Pigott Smith, Antigone: Lucy Gutteridge, Theseus: Nlcky Henson, Creon: Patrick Stewart, Polynices: Scott Cherry, Messenger: David Collings, lsmene: Moir Leslie, Citizen of Colonus: David Timson, Chorus Leader: David March, Chorus: Stephen Boxer, Scott Cherry, James Bryce, Alan Dudley, Peter Rumney, David Sinclair, David Timson. Music: Christos Pittas. Director: David Spenser. (Repeat from 10 February 1985)

10 February 1987:
The Theban Plays: Antigone
By Sophocles, trans. Robert Fagles. With Oedipus’ sons dead, Creon rules supreme in Thebes. As a warning to any future rebel, he decrees that anyone who tries to bury the body of Polynices, who attacked the city, will be executed. Antigone, the dead man's sister, decides to defy the decree. Antigone: Lucy Gutteridge, Creon: Patrick Stewart, Haemon: Anton Lesser, Tiresias: Robert Eddison, Ismene: Moir Leslie, Messenger: David Collings, Sentry: Stephen Boxer, Eurydice: Ellen McIntosh, Chorus Leader: Alan Dudley, Peter Acre, Stephen Boxer, James Bryce, Scott Cherry, Geoffrey Collins, David March, Peter Rumney. Music: Christos Pittas. Director: David Spenser. (Repeat from 17 February 1985)

13 February 1987:
The One Alone
A play with music. Words by Iris Murdoch. Music by Gary Carpenter. A prisoner of conscience sits alone in her cell. Her interrogator strips her actions of any meaning while an Angel offers alternative interpretations of her ordeal. Prisoner: Fiona Kimm (mezzo-sorpano), Angel: Bonaventura Bottone (tenor), Interrogator: John Church. With Liz Crocker (soprano), Margaret Feaviou (soprano), Judith Bingham (contralto), Simon Preece (baritone), Brindley Sherratt (bass), Finchley Children’s Music Group (director Ronald Corp), BBC Singers (chorus-master: Simon Joly), BBC Concert Orchestra (leader: Martin Loveday, conducted by Gary Carpenter). Director: Glyn Dearman

17 February 1987:
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: Dominic Muldowney. Director: Ned Chaillet. (Repeat from 23 May 1986)

20 February 1987:
Les corbeaux (The Scavengers)
By Henry Becque, trans. David Walker, adapt. Enid Williams. The 19th-century French dramatist and critic’s play is a dry and bitter observation of the behaviour of creditors and family alike when a patriarch is revealed to have died penniless. Marie: Maureen O’Brien, Mme Vigneron: Sheila Grant, Mme de Saint Genis: Petra Davies, Teissier: John Rye, Bourdon: John Church, M Vigneron: Richard Durden, Blanche: Alexandra Bastedo, Judith: Elizabeth Rider, Merckens: Stephen Rashbrook, Lefort: John Forrest, Dupuis: Brian Hewlett, Gaston: Jonathan Tafler, Doctor: David Garth, Auguste: Ronald Herdman, Rosalie: Margaret Ward. Director: David Johnston

24 February 1987:
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. (Repeat from 29 August 1986)

27 February 1987:
Woman of Paris
By Henry Becque, adapt. Peter Barnes from translation by Kate Horn. In a Paris household of the 1890s, lovers, husbands and wives indulge in elegant acrobatics in order to maintain a precarious social equilibrium. Clotilde: Judi Dench, Lafont: Dinsdale Landen, Adolphe: Edward de Souza, Monsieur Simpson: Nicholas Farrell, Adele: Elaine Claxton. Music: Jonathan Gibbs (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 25 August 1987)   

3 March 1987:
The Prince of Africa
By Caryl Phillips. An English sea captain, new to the iniquitous slave trade, finds himself in charge of an overcrowded slave ship bound for America. The African: Trevor Laird, Captain John Winston: Geoffrey Collins, The Boatswain: Geoffrey Matthews, The First Mate: John Rowe, Cabin Boy: David Learner, Brother: James Goode, Father: Willie Jonah, Hotel-keeper: Brian Hewlett, Auctioneer: Bruce Boa. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 31 May 1988)

5 March 1987:
Bat Blues
By Ivor Cutler. In which Ivor Cutler teaches several bats and one woman how to play jazz piano. Announcer: Tony Scotland, Woman: Natasha Pyne, Man: Ivor Cutler, Attendant Bats: Susie Brann, Michael Hadley, Tim Reynolds, Eric Stovell. Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 29 December 1987)

6 March 1987:
The Double-bass
By Patrick Suskind, trans. and adapt. Roy Kift. “Can you tell me how a man like me, in his middle 30s, can live with an instrument which, from the human, social, vehicular, sexual and musical point of view, makes a permanent invalid of him?” With Stephen Rea and Geoffrey Downes (double-bass). Director: Tim Suter. (Repeat from 23 April 1986)

10 March 1987:
Count Omega
By Lord Berners, dramatised by Mike Steer. Seeking a sensational climax to his latest symphony, composer Emanuel Smith pursues a trombonist called Gloria, whom he believes can sustain a shattering note. This is a dramatisation of a 1941 novel by the British composer, novelist, painter and aesthete (also known as Gerald Tyrwhitt), who parodies the kind of composers and aesthetes he abhorred. (The book was subject to advanced litigation by William Walton, who felt he was about to be lampooned.) Emmanuel Smith: Rupert Graves, Mme d’Arc: Jane Wenham, Gloria: Annette Badland, Social Secretary: Anthony Newlands, Professor Grumbelius: Timothy Bateson, Evangeline: Susie Brann, James: Paul Gregory, Rev Brown: Manning Wilson, Mrs Brown: Rachel Gurney, Mr Macaw: Brian Hewlett, Queen Mother: Irene Prador. With Stephen Hattersley, Jennifer Piercey, Natasha Pyne, Eric Stovell and Jonathan Tafler. Music: Lord Berners. “L’uomo dai baffi” performed by the Aquarius Ensemble, conducted by Nicholas Cleobury, with Mike Steer (piano). Special sound by Malcolm Clarke of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Director: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 10 February 1987)

13 March 1987:
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 16 February 1986)

15 March 1987:
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). (Repeat from 15 December 1986)

17 March 1987:
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. (Repeat from 15 August 1986. Also on 5 November 2002)

20 March 1987:
The Bay at Nice
By David Hare. Leningrad, 1956. A formidable woman, accompanied by her daughter who is in the middle of a divorce, arrives at the Hermitage to authenticate a Matisse painting, prompting them to think about their choices in art and life. (First staged at the National Theatre in 1986, directed by the author). Valentina Nrovka: Irene Worth, Sophia Yepileva: Zoe Wanamaker, Assistant Curator: Colin Stinton, Peter Linitsky: Philip Locke. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 13 May 1988)

23 March 1987:
By Alan Drury. Sandra is preparing to mourn her husband in advance, but in advance of what? David: John Price, Sandra: Kate Fahy, Colin: Steven Harrold, Doctor: Edward de Souza. Director: Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 11 September 1987)

26 March 1987:
Barnes People III: After the Funeral
First of eight trios by Peter Barnes. Harry talks to friends about the tragic loss of his love and his livelihood. With Sean Connery, John Hurt and Donald Pleasence. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 18 August 1986)

27 March 1987:
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 Tauri (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. (Repeat from 29 April 1986)

31 March 1987:
Theatre of the Absurd: Ping Pong
By Arthur Adamov, trans. Derek Prouse, adapt. Martin Esslin. A 1955 play by the absurdist playwright (1908-1970). Arthur and Victor are pinball fanatics hoping to find fame and fortune through inventing modifications to the machine in their local café. The pinpall company owner has other ideas. (An earlier radio version on the Third Programme (3 January 1964) featured Kenneth Haigh as Arthur and Michael Caine as Victor.) Victor: Bill Nighy, Arthur: John Dougal, Sutter: Ronald Herdman, Annette: Frances Jeater, Mrs Duranty: Margot Boyd, Old Man: Peter Woodthorpe, Roger: Richard Durden. Director: Peter Kavanagh

2 April 1987:
Barnes People III: The Peace of Westphalia
Second of eight trios by Peter Barnes. After 30 years of war, two mercenaries cannot face the prospect of peace finally breaking out. With Bob Peck, David Suchet and David Warner. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 19 August 1986)

4 April 1987:
Theatre of the Absurd: Victims of Duty
By Eugene Ionesco, trans. Donald Watson. A 1953 “pseudo-drama”. A detective barges into the bourgeois home of Choubert and his wife, determined to find someone named Mallot (or perhaps Mallod). He sets about ransacking Choubert’s subconscious for clues that will eventually lead to murder. (Also produced on the Third Programme (21 August 1961) with Kenneth Griffith as Choubert and Harold Pinter as The Detective). Choubert: Geoffrey Collins, Madeleine: Prunella Scales, The Detective: Bill Nighy, Nicholas Second: Philip Voss. Director: Jeremy Mortimer

7 April 1987:
Theatre of the Absurd: The American Dream
By Edward Albee. A monstrous mother belittles her beleaguered husband and mother while demanding the son they adopted be replaced as they wait for an upright, perfect young man, the embodiment of the American Dream. Also produced for the Third Programme (26 May 1962). Mommy: Madi Hedd, Daddy: Bruce Boa, Grandma: Tucker McGuire, Mrs Barker: Madge Ryan, Young Man: Colin Stinton. Director: Peter King. (Repeated on 13 January 1987)

9 April 1987:
Barnes People III: The Real Long John Silver
Third of eight trios by Peter Barnes. How many real Long John Silvers can there be? Song composed and played by Stephen Deutsch. With Ian Carmichael, Paul Eddington and Anna Massey. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 20 August 1986)

10 April 1987:
Theatre of the Absurd: Barnstable
By James Saunders. A group of conventional English house-party guests tries to maintain the social niceties as the house itself crumbles around them. Originally written by Saunders (1925-2004) for the Third Programme (20 November 1959). Also produced for the stage in 1960 as a set of three one-acts under the title Ends and Echoes. Charles Carboy: Dinsdale Landen, Daphne Carboy: Gwen Watford, Helen, their daughter: Alison Steadman, The Rev Wandsworth Teeter: Peter Howell, Sandra, The Maid: Sheila Grant. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 16 October 1987)

14 April 1987:
A Slight Ache
By Harold Pinter. On a perfect summer day in a blooming garden, the marriage of Flora and Edward is dying, and the end is hastened by a stranger, a match seller who has apparently been there for months. Pinter’s play was originally produced on The Third Programme (29 July 1959) with Vivien Merchant and Maurice Denham. This production was first broadcast on Radio 4’s Afternoon Theatre (20 May 1970). Pinter himself played Edward to Jill Johnson’s Flora in a Radio 4 production (13 October 2000). Flora: Vivien Merchant, Edward: Michael Hordern. Director: Guy Vaesen. (Also repeated on 5 February 1980)

17 April 1987:
The Bridge at Orbigo
By David Pownall. Orbigo in northern Spain is on the ancient route to the shrine at Santiago de Compostela. The old bridge there has been the centre of many historic events and a challenge to the modern pilgrim. Stan: Colin Jeavons, Cyril: Neville Smith, Dom Laslo: Edward de Souza, Joachim: Shaun Prendergast, Sentry: Francis Middleditch, Captain: George Parsons, Quinones: John Church. Pilgrims, soldiers, footballers, workmen and others encountered on the way played by members of the cast. Music: Peter Howell (BBC Radiophonic Workshop). Director: Richard Imison. (Repeated on 21 March 1987)

21 April 1987:
Definitely the Bahamas
By Martin Crimp. A middle-aged couple talk glowingly to us (the audience) about their beloved grown-up son, unwittingly revealing his bigotry and their complacency. Winner of the 1986 Radio Times award for a new play for radio. The play was subsequently staged at the Orange Tree in Richmond, Surrey, in 1987 and 2012. Millie: Rosemary Leach, Frank: Norman Bird, Marijka: Holly de Jong. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 26 December 1987)

23 April 1987:
Barnes’ People III: The Heirs of Diogenes
Fourth of eight trios by Peter Barnes. 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. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 21 August 1986)

24 April 1987:
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. (Repeat from 2 December 1986)

28 April 1987:
La Dispute
By Marivaux, trans. Timberlake Wertenbaker. The 18th-century dramatist’s comedy of manners sets out to resolve the age-old dispute over which of the sexes first committed infidelity. A prince presides over the culmination of a social experiment begun by his father in which two newborn boys and two newborn girls, brought up in isolation till adolescence, are now released into one another’s company for the very first time. Who will discover love, sex and jealousy first? Egle: Maureen O’Brien, Adine: Jane Leonard, Azor: Gary Cady, Mesrin: James MacPherson, Carise: Valerie Murray, Mesrou: Alton Kumalo, Hermiane: Maggie McCarthy, Prince: Ronald Herdman. Music: Gordon Langford, played by Christopher Hyde-Smith (flute/piccolo), Timothy Mason (cello), Gordon Langford (harpsichord). Director: David Johnston. (Repeated on 13 November 1987)

30 April 1987:
Barnes’ People III: Sisters
The fifth of eight trios by Peter Barnes. A dedicated revolutionary lies dying and is visited by her two true-blue sisters. With Renee Asherson, Wendy Hiller and Ann Todd. Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 25 August 1986)

1 May 1987:
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. (Repeat from 4 July 1986)

5 May 1987:
Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry
By BS Johnson, dramatised by Mike Gerrard. Christie has a strong sense of the value of money and also of injustice, so devises a system for exacting payment for the various wrongs that he is made to suffer. The debts mount up, forcing him to take extreme measures to balance his books. The Author: Bill Paterson, Christie Malry: Jonathan Tafler, Headlam: Steve Hodson, Stegginson: Richard Durden, Alan: David Learner, Wagner: Colin Starkey, The Shrike: Karen McMullen, Old Mum: Pauline Letts, Christie’s Mother: Sonia Fraser. With Susie Brann, Avril Clark, Caroline Hutchison, Deborah Makepeace, Stuart Organ, Stephen Rashbrook, Tim Reynolds, Eric Stovell, Alan Thompson. Director: Jane Morgan. (Repeated on 19 April 1988)

7 May 1987:
Barnes’ People III: Dancing
Sixth of eight trios by Peter Barnes. An unpredictable ex-prima ballerina takes a ballet class, with disastrous results. With Michael Maloney, Sian Phillips and Angela Pleasence. Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 26 August 1986)

8 May 1987:
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. (Repeat from 6 April 1986)

12 May 1987:
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). (Repeat from 11 July 1986)

14 May 1987:
Barnes’ People III: The Perfect Pair
Seventh of eight trios by Peter Barnes. 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. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 27 August 1986)

15 May 1987:
By Arthur Schnitzler in an English version by Robert David Macdonald. Vienna, 1905: Amadeus, happily married to Cecilia for several years, proposes that they go their separate sexual ways while retaining a close friendship based on complete candour. It’s a recipe for possible happiness or total disaster. Amadeus Adams: James Aubrey, Cecilia Adam-Ortenbur: Mel Martin, Albertus Rhon: Tim Woodward, Prince Sigismund: Kim Wall, Marie Rhon: Julie Berry, Countess Friederika: Haydn Gwynne, Peter Adams: Alistair White, Nanny: Jennifer Piercey, Maid: Elaine Claxton. Lieder sung by Anna Bernardin. Music: Terence Allbright (also piano). Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 21 December 1987)

19 May 1987:
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. (Repeat from 2 January 1986)

21 May 1987:
Barnes’ People III: The Three Visions
Last of eight trios by Peter Barnes. A rare autobiographical work, which tells you absolutely nothing about the author. With Lionel Jeffries, Anton Lesser and Robert Stephens. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 28 August 1986)

22 May 1987:
Barnes’ People: No End to Dreaming
By Peter Barnes. An American businessman, born in a Polish ghetto, tells a psychoanalyst about his past as he nears the end of his life: “I've come to tell of this dream of mine. Just one dream, one man, one dream but it’s a famous dream in its way. Dreams, we are told, are prophets of our future fortunes.” Nathan Yavok: Laurence Olivier. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 25 December 1987 and 26 August 1987)

22 May 1987:
The Awful Insulation of Rage
By David Cregan. Douglas Poole is a brilliant church organist, who lacks Christian faith and is enraged by the world while always seeking affection from everywhere. 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. (Repeat from 3 October 1986. Also on 4 September 1987)

26 May 1987:
Berlin: A Sea of Peace
By Einar Schleef, trans. Anthony Vivis. Mother and Dad live in East Berlin, but their television serves as a window on to the West. Lulled by its cosy glow, they can ignore the warnings of an imminent storm. Written in 1983 by the German dramatist and director Einar Schleef (1944-2001). Dad: Geoffrey Hutchings, Mother: Pat Heywood, Karen: Elaine Claxton, Elfi: Annabelle Lanyon. Television voices: Karen Ascoe, Eric Stovell, Kim Wall. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 22 April 1988)

29 May 1987:
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 in 1986 as Worlds Apart. 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 from 7 October 1986)

2 June 1987:
Chris Martin’s Lex Talionis
By Nigel Baldwin. In this tale of revenge, the idealistic young daughter of a successful capitalist finds herself caught up in an irrevocable tragedy. Worse still, her life is about to be filmed. Linda: Harriet Walter, Chris: Bill Nighy, Garside: Peter Howell, Baxter: Bernard Gallagher, Eleanor: Elaine Claxton, Grace: Thelma Whiteley, Trev: Mark Straker, Si: Stephen Hattersley, Karen: Karen Ascoe, Lorry: Eric Stovell, Film crew: Andrew Branch, James Good, Receptionist: Julie Berry. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 27 December 1987)

5 June 1987:
The Guillemot
By Douglas Young. A guillemot becomes the cause of marital disruption. Yates: James Cairncoss, Aldous: John Shedden, Unfortunate Woman in their lives: Diana Olsson. Director: Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland)

9 June 1987:
The Private Life of Hilda Tablet
By Henry Reed. The second of seven comedies by Henry Reed featuring the “composeress” Hila Tablet and critic Herbert Reed, running from 1953-1959. When Herbert Reeves’s scholarly research leads him to Hilda Tablet, he finds himself inescapably enmeshed in her world of wild eccentricity. (Reed, who died in 1986, saw the character of Reeve as his alter-ego.) First heard on the Third Programme on 24 May 1954. Hilda Tablet, a composeress: Mary O’Farrell, Herbert Reeve, a scholar: Hugh Burden, Stephen Shewin: Carleton Hobbs, Connie: Gwen Cherrell, Elsa Strauss: Marjorie Westbury, Sir Eric: Tablet/R Egerton Bunningfield: Norman Shelley, Lady Tablet: Susan Richmond, Evelyn Baxter: Colin Campbell, Duke of Mulset/Harold Reith: Frank Duncan, Duchess of Mulset: Diana Maddox, Rector of Mull Extrinseca/Roger Cloud: Deryck Guyler, Nancy Shewin: Dorothy Primrose, Owen, Brian, George and Humphrey Shewin, a few of her sons: Dennis Quilley, Wilfred Downing, M. Westbury, D. Maddox, Miss Welbeck: Vivienne Chatterton. Music: Donald Swann. Producer: Douglas Cleverdon. (Repeated several times in 1954, also on 7 March 1969 and on Radio 4’s Afternoon Theatre on 7 November 1976)

12 June 1987:
Emily Butter: An Occasion Recalled 
By Henry Reed. The third of seven comedies by Reed featuring the “composeress” Hilda Tablet and scholar Herbert Reeve. The occasion is the first performance of Hilda Tablet’s opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. First heard on the Third Programme on 14 November 1954. Hilda Tablet, composeress: Mary O’Farrell, Herbert Reeve, a scholar: Hugh Burden, Harold Reith, a librettist: Frank Duncan, Elsa Strauss, a singer: Marjorie Westbury, Gabriel Hall-Pollock, a critic: Deryck Guyler, Male Commentator: Michael Flanders, Female Commentator: Betty Hardy, Duke of Mulset: Frank Duncan, Duchess of Mulset: Cecile Chevreau, Official of the Opera House: Leonard Sachs, Poets and Composers: David March, Hugh Manning, Harold Reese, Jeffrey Segal, Assumptions in the opera: Emily Butter: Marjorie Westbury, Clara Taggart: Anna Pollak, Helen Sparge: Marion Studholme, Elizabeth Thwaite: Rose Hill, Catherine Slot: Scott Joynt, Mrs Wetherall: Sylvia Beamish, Marilyn: Glenice Halliday. Music: Donald Swann. Orchestrations: Max Saunders. Sinfonia of London, conducted by Patrick Savill. Producer: Douglas Cleverdon

16 June 1987:
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. Another 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). (Repeat from 23 December 1986)

19 June 1987:
By Robert Forrest. Ratisbon (aka Regensburg), Germany, 1630. In a cheap inn, the great Johannes Kepler lies dying, dreaming of the “Harmony of the World”. Outside are plague and witchery, war and ruination. Johannes Kepler: Russell Hunter, Heinrich: Martin Black, Susanna: Barbara Rafferty, Tycho de Brahe: Peter Howell, Parson Hitzler: Tom Watson, Katherine: Anne Kristen, Jacob: Benny Young, Frau Speidel: Mary Riggans, Whore: Donalda Samuel, Rebstock: William Blair, Seiffer: Lan Briggs, Dauber: Robin Barbour. Director: Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 7 February 1987)

23 June 1987:
The Country Wife
By William Wycherley. In this 1675 comedy, a rake called Horner feigns impotence to gain access to other men’s wives. Mrs Margery Pinchwife: Maggie Smith, Mr Horner: Jonathan Pryce, Mr Harcourt: John Duttine, Mr Sparkish: John Moffatt, Mr Pinchwife: Bernard Hepton, Alithea: Harriet Walter, Sir Jasper Fidget: Michael Aldridge, Lady Fidget: Barbara Jefford, Dainty Fidget: Ann Beach, Mrs Squeamish: Jan Waters, Old Lady Squeamish: Mary Wimbush, Dr Quack: Timothy Bateson, Mr Dorilant: Brian Smith, Lucy: Jenny Funnell, The Boy: Jamie Glover. Songs composed by Terence Allbright. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeat from 22 December 1985)

25 June 1987:
Nobody Dances Like That Now
By Ireneusz Iredynski, 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. (Repeat from 16 March 1986)

26 June 1987:
No One Knows Why
By Luigi Pirandello, trans. and adapt. Felicity Firth. Romeo Daddi has gone mad, He accuses his friends of treacherous acts and his wife of some unconfessed crime. Or is it the idea of her innocence that is gnawing at him? Count Romeo Daddi: David Suchet, Ginevra Vanzi: Eleanor Bron, Giorgio Vanzi: Sean Barrett, Bice Daddi: Jackie Smith-Wood, Marchese Nicola Respi: Michael Tudor Barnes. Director: Peter Kavanagh

30 June 1987:
A Woman In Search of Herself (Trovarsi)
By Luigi Pirandello, trans. Susan Bassnett and David Hirst. Donata Genzi, a distinguished dramatic actress who submerges herself in her roles, needs to recover her real self after falling in love with a younger man. Donata Genzi: Gemma Jones, Elj Nielsen: Jon Strickland, Count Mola: Robert Lang, Marchesa Boveno: Margot Boyd, Elisa Arcuri: Diana Bishop, Carlo Giviero: Philip Sully, Nina: Susie Brann, Salo: Ian Thompson, Volpes: Stephen Thorne, Doctor: Manning Wilson, Enrico: Steven Harrold, Maid: Deborah Makepeace. Director: John Theocharis

3 July 1987:
The Merchant of Venice
By William Shakespeare. Shylock: David Suchet, Portia: Hannah Gordon, Antonio, a merchant: Peter Jeffrey, Salerio: John Rowe, Solanio: Brian Hewlett, Bassanio: Nicky Henson, Lorenzo: Anton Lesser, Gratiano: Geoffrey Collins, Nerissa, Portia’s maid: Helena Breck, Prince of Morocco: Joseph Marcell, Launcelot Gobbo, a clown: Andrew Branch, Old Gobbo/Duke: Clifford Rose, Leonardo: Steven Harrold, Jessica, Shylock’s daughter: Moir Leslie, Prince of Arragon: Edward de Souza, Messenger/Balthazar: James Goode, Tubal: Cyril Shaps. Music: Philip Lane. Director: Martin Jenkins

7 July 1987:
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. (Repeat from 2 March 1986)

10 July 1987:
The Old Goat Gone
By Ted Whitehead. Dominic has had a full life sailing around the world: a girl in every port, brown skins, blue skies, green waters. And his wife Bridget has to put up with his reminiscing and his dying. Dominic: James Ellis, Bridget: Eileen Atkins, Terry: Michael Angelis. Director: Peter King. (Repeated on 10 May 1988)

12 July 1987:
The Last Tea Dance
By Ronald Hayman. A theme and improvisations. Jerry: Simon Hewitt, Mother: Jill Bennett, Father: David Swift, The Rabbi: Maurice Denham, Briony: Elaine Claxton, Simon: Danny Kodicek, Gerald, Nicholas Shelton, Zamek: George Parsons, Dick: Stephen Hattersley, Nanny: Pauline Letts, Maids: Jennifer Piercey, Deborah Makepeace, Doctor/Schoolmaster: David Goodland. Voices: Richard Durden, David Goodland, Steven Harrold, Jennifer Piercey, Deborah Makepeace, Gordon Reid, Edward de Souza, Kim Wall. Music performed by The Rev Simon Hass, The Les Brown Trio, Martin Goldstein (piano), Howard Riley (jazz improvisation). Director: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 30 December 1987)

12 July 1987:
A Vision of the Island
By William Shakespeare. Text from The Tempest arranged by Ian Cotterell with music adapted by Andrew Parrott from Michael Tippett’s score for the 1962 Old Vic production. Prospero: Robert Eddison, Ariel: Stephen Boxer (tenor), Ferdinand: John McAndrew, Miranda: Moir Leslie, Gonzalo: Brlan Sanders, Alonso: Guy Holden, Caliban: Norman Rodway, Ceres: Barbara Jefford. Singers in the Masque: Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Stephen Charlesworth (baritone), Paul Hillier (baritone). Nash Ensemble conducted by Andrew Parrott. Producers: Anthony Burton, Ian Cotterell. (Repeat from 26 October 1985)

14 July 1987:
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. (Repeat from 28 October 1986. Also repeated in two parts as the Classic Serial on Radio 4 on 11 & 18 July 1992)

16 July 1987:
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. (Repeat from 10 February 1986)

17 July 1987:
The Window
By Ireneusz Iredynski, 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. (Repeat from 16 March 1986)

21 July 1987:
Porch Songs
By Lesley Bruce. When recently widowed Diana Ferris returns to her little terraced house, she finds the doors bolted against her. The combined forces of the constabulary, the legal profession and the fourth estate – with some melodious singing from an assorted group of sympathetic neighbours – ensure that her problems are resolved on a harmonious note. Diana Ferris: Pauline Letts, Stevie Thomson: Graham Crowden, Window Cleaner: Nigel Anthony, Mrs Foley: Mary Wimbush, Des Callow: Michael Bray, Chrissie Callow: Tilly Vosburgh, Currie Hughes: Alex Norton, Mr, Wiseman: Gordon Reid, PC Adam: Francis Middleditch, Mortice the Locksmith: Stephen Rashbrook, Parrot: Jonathan Tafler, Hugo Last: Neil McArthur, Wisdom: Chris Purves. With Harvey and the Wallbangers. Director: Marilyn Imrie (BBC Scotland)

23 July 1987:
The Shadow of the Glen
By JM Synge. In Synge’s 1903 play, his first to be performed on stage, a frustrated young wife in the Wicklow mountains walks away from her home and marriage into the arms of a tramp. Dan Burke: David Kelly, Nora, his wife: Brid Brennan, The Tramp: Garrett Keogh, Michael Dara: Ronan Smith, The Narrator: Michael Baguley. Director: Kathryn Porter. (Repeated on 23 October 1987)

24 & 28 July 1987
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. (Repeat from 23 March 1986)

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. (Repeat from 30 March 1986)

30 July 1987:
Where Are They Now?
By Tom Stoppard. Stoppard’s play, commissioned for BBC School Radio, shifts between an Old Boys’ Dinner in 1969 and lunch at the school 24 years earlier. Originally broadcast on 28 January 1970. Old Boys – Brindley: John Humphrey, Marks: Timothy West, Jenkins: Rolf Lefebvre, Crawford: Kenneth Fortescue, Dale: John Wood. Masters – Dobson: Carleton Hobbs, Headmaster: Lockwood West. Young Boys – Groucho (Dale): Martin Baker, Chico (Brindley): David Howe, Harpo (Marks): William Long, Anderson: Charles Pinner, Young Marks: Geoffrey Owen, Bellamy: Anthony Barnett. Producer: John Tydeman. (Also repeated on 18 December 1970, 19 March 1971 and on Radio 4 on 10 January 1987)

4 August 1987:
By Georg Buchner, trans, John Mackendrick. Buchner’s 1836 play sees Private Woyzeck brought low by poverty, tormented by voices and torn apart by jealousy. Woyzeck: Tim McInnerny, Doctor: Timothy Bateson, Captain: Ian McElhinney, Marie: Aingeal Grehan, Andres: Eoin O’Callaghan, Showman: Mark Lambert, Second Journeyman: Mark Lambert, Drum Major/Jew/First Journeyman: Derek Halligan, Sergeant: Aidan McCann, Grandmother: Barbara Adair, Margaret: Margaret McCann, Children: Brian Bell, Rachel Hewitt, Catherine Harper. Music: David Byers. Played by Elizabeth Bennett (flute), Paul Schumann (clarinet), Philip Hammond (keyboard), John Leeming (cello), Janet Harbinson (Irish harp). Director: Clive Brill (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 2 December 1988)

6 August 1987:
In a Manner of Speaking
By Rhys Adrian. Why should the young have a monopoly in the weapons of terror? Frank, a redundant war correspondent of the old school, knows what he would do with a small bomb, if he ever got hold of one. Frank: Frederick Treves, Mary: Diana Olsson, Albert: Michael Tudor Barnes, The Youth: Julian Firth, The Policeman: John Sampson. Director: John Tydeman

7 August 1987:
Sainte-Carmen of the Main
By Michel Tremblay, adapt. the author, trans. John Van Burek. The character of Carmen, a country-and-western singer in Montreal, was first seen in French Canadian playwright Tremblay’s 1972 drama Yours Forever, Marie-Lou. In this 1976 play, Carmen returns from Nashville where she dreams of writing her own songs while encountering vengeance, hatred and jealousy. Carmen: Shelley Thompson, Harelip: Liza Ross, Maurice: Blain Fairman, Toothpick: Kerry Shale, Gloria: Margaret Robertson, Sandra: Matt Zimmerman, Rose Beef: Patricia Northcott. Chorus: Garrick Hagon, Alan Polonsky and Lolli Susi. Director: Caroline Raphael

8 August 1987:
Escape from a Harem
By Mike Steer, based on La Provencale by Jean-Francois Regnard, a 17th-century playwright who wrote 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. (Repeat from 21 December 1986)

11 August 1987:
By Peter Redgrove. The first of six plays drawn from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Why won’t Ashiepaddle, the wild half-sister of the silly Dowsabell and the priggish Clare, conform? And what is it about her that drives the Prince of the Realm himself distracted? Ashiepaddle: Andrea Kealy, Daddy: David March, Dowsabell: Susie Brann, Clare: Deborah Makepeace, Stepmother: Jennifer Piercey, Curate/HRH: Michael Tudor Barnes, Subaltern: Andrew Branch. Music arranged and realised by Stephen Rollings. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 25 February 1987)

14 August 1987:
The Three Feathers
By Peter Redgrove. The second of six plays drawn from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Two brothers, Grimald and Rudolf, struggle for succession to the throne. But a third brother – the puny Dominic (nicknamed “Dummling”) – knows something they don't. Dominic: Andrew Branch, Grimald: Terrence Hardiman, Rudolf: Pavel Douglas, King: Michael Tudor Barnes, Mother Toad: Sheila Grant, Gretchen: Jennifer Piercey, Matilda: Susie Brann. Music arranged and realised by Stephen Rollings. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 18 March 1987)

18 August 1987:
The Juniper Tree
By Peter Redgrove. The third of six plays drawn from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Under the juniper tree, a mother-to-be dreams of her child and of her own death to come. Then a stepmother arrives, bringing violence and a terrible revenge in her wake. Mother: Jennifer Piercey, Norman: Michael McStay, Eve: Deborah Makepeace, Anne-Marie: Abigail Docherty, Metalsmith: Stephen Hattersley, Cobbler: David Goodland, Victor, the Bird: Anthony Coupe. Music arranged and realised by Stephen Rollings. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 4 March 1987)

20 August 1987:
By Marcia Kahan. Molly faces her Oxford viva examination – a gruelling interview – that will determine her English degree grade, but all she can hear are the voices of her family and friends offering advice on how to present herself. First heard on Radio 4 on 17 June 1986. (Also repeated on 18 June 1986 and 8 January 1987). Molly: Alison Steadman, Dr Troy: William Fox, Oliver: Hugh Dickson, Nick: Michael Jenner, Helen: Susie Brann, Molly’s Father: Manning Wilson, Prof Coleridge: George Parsons, Prof Beveridge: Avril Clark, Prof Smedley: Stuart Organ, Dr Oppenheimer: Jennifer Piercey, Dr Potts: Anthony Newlands. Director: Cherry Cookson

21 August 1987:
The One Who Set Out to Study Fear
By Peter Redgrove. The fourth of six plays drawn from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Sonny not only cannot feel fear, he loves to dwell among and analyse the fearful things of life and death. He is immune to all forms of shuddering except one... Sonny: Paul Lockwood, Mother: Jennifer Piercey, Greg: Andrew Branch, Mark: Jonathan Tafler, Uncle: Paul Gregory, Student: Deborah Makepeace, Princess: Susie Brann, Cat: Sheila Grant, Old Man: Alan Dudley, Princess’s Father: Scott Peters. Music arranged and realised by Stephen Rollings. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 11 March 1987)

25 August 1987:
The Master-Thief
By Peter Redgrove. The fifth of six plays drawn from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. A stranger returns to the land of his origins, the richer for having spent a lifetime existing on his nimble wits. Now, to crown his self-made achievements, he seeks to awaken his long-sleeping sister princess. The Master-Thief: James Kerry, Old Man/Archbishop: Alan Dudley, Old Woman: Jennifer Piercey, Innkeeper/Colonel: Eric Lander, Mere Cointreau: Chrlstine Pollon, Eclair/Chaplain: Andrew Branch, Saute: Jonathan Tafler, Fromage: Mark Buffery, Omelette/Lord Bast: Paul Gregory, Lady Bast: Sheila Grant, Sister: Maryon Ellor. Music arranged and realised by Stephen Rollings. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 25 March 1987)

27 August 1987:
Sweet Tooth
By Mel Calman. A would-be adulterous affair, consisting of meetings in a tea shop, may be frustrating to George and Alice, but it is a matter of life or death to the Rum Baba and his friends on the cake shelf. The Rum Baba: Richard Griffiths, George: Denis Lawson, Alice: Morag Hood, Waitress: Julie Berry, Eclair: Melinda Walker, Danish: Steven Harrold, Strudel: Steve Hodson, Almond Slice: Tim Reynolds. Director: Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 19 May 1990)

28 August 1987:
The Flounder
By Peter Redgrove. The last of six plays drawn from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The fisherman and his wife are close to destitution, until the day when he releases a flounder, who pleads for his life on the grounds that he is really an enchanted prince. When the fisherman’s wife realises that the flounder may grant any wish, the fun really begins... Fisherman: Geoffrey Matthews, His Wife: Judy Cornwell, Flounder: Chris Harris. With the voices of Robin Ardra and Philip Manikum. Director: Brian Miller (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 1 April 1987)

1 September 1987:
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. (Repeat from 31 October 1986)

3 September 1983:
The Angels They Grow Lonely
By Gerry Jones. A man finds that he is no longer subject to the law of gravity. Will his doctor understand? This play, originally a Thirty-Minute Theatre on Radio 4 (5 March 1983), won the Giles Cooper Award as one of the five outstanding new radio plays of 1983. Narrator: Jim Norton. Geoffrey Johnson: Nigel Anthony, Dr Conway: Stephen Thorne, Hannah Johnson: Jean Trend, Dr Williams: David Gooderson, Mr Blake: Robert Lang, Ambulanceman: Roger Walker, Receptionist: Hilda Schroder, Third Doctor: Edward Cast. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Also repeated on Radio 4 on 8 March 1983, 8 September 1984 and 22 June 1995)

8 September 1987:
The Magic Bathroom
By James Saunders. Stan, from Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, has a surreal experience in his bathroom. Pursued there by his psychoanalyst, his wife, Eric (his hassling childhood “protector”) and Lily, a chimney sweep’s daughter and first love of his life, he timidly unravels the meaning of the universe. Stan: Michael Tudor Barnes, Derek: Benjamin Whitrow, Lily: Carolyn Pickles, Sheila: Maggie McCarthy, Eric: Rod Beacham. Director: Richard Wortley. (Repeated on 14 March 1987)

10 September 1987:
Bedtime Story
By Sean O’Casey. John Joe Mulligan is generally considered to be a pillar of the Church. When he takes a girl out for the evening, it is always to Mass or Benediction. So why has he asked Angela back to his rooms? Is it really to hear his recitation of Yeats’s poetry? Play also produced on Third Programme (25 June 1957) and on Radio 4 (1 June 1972). John Joe Mulligan: John Lynch, Angela: Julia Dearden, Halibut: Killian McKenna, Miss Mossie: Sorcha Cusack. Director: Peter Kavanagh. (Repeated on Radio 4 on 8 August 1987)

16 September 1987:
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. (Repeat from 6 May 1986)

18 September 1987:
The Magnetic Lady
By Ben Jonson, adapt. Peter Barnes. Jonson’s last play, first performed in 1632, is subtitled “Or Humours Reconciled”). The magnetic Lady Loadstone, a brave and bountiful housekeeper and virtuous widow, has a young niece, ripe for marriage, being pursued by various suitors, who don’t realise she is penniless and pregnant. John Trygust: Andrew Branch, Probee: Peter Howell, Damplay: Edward de Souza, Compass: Dinsdale Landen, Captain Ironside: Richard Durden, Lady Loadstone: Rachel Gurney, Parson Palate: Timothy Bateson, Dr Rut: Peter Woodthorpe, Mistress Polish: Dilys Laye, Sir Diaphanous Silkworm: John Moffatt, Practice: Peter Eyre, Sir Moth Interest: Peter Bayliss, Bias: Tim Reynolds, Pleasance: Tina Marian, Placentia: Karen Ascoe, Keep: Elizabeth Spriggs, Needle: Steven Harrold, Timothy Item: Jonathan Tafler, Chair: Sheila. Music: improvised and played by Stephen Deutsch. Director: Ian Cotterell. (Repeated on 23 June 1987)

22 September 1987:
Cock-a-Doodle Dandy
By Sean O’Casey, adapt. Peter Kavanagh. A 1949 play by the Irish playwright. Michael Marthraun, a rich farmer, believes his prodigal daughter, Loreleen, and entire household has been possessed by a “demon bird” as they strive to enjoy life and love. Michael Marthraun: Joseph O'Conor, Sailor Mahan: Stephen Brennan, Fr Domineer: TP McKenna, Lorna: Pauline Delany, Loreleen: Felicity Hayes-McCoy, Marion: Marcella Riordan, Shanaar: Allan McClelland, Messenger: Alan Devlin, First Rough Fellow/One-Eyed Larry: John Kavanagh, Second Rough Fellow/ Lorry Driver Shay Fox, Sergeant: Harry Webster, Porter: Ronald Herdman, Bellman/Cock: Shaun Prendergast, Julia: Elaine Claxton. Accordion: Jack Emblow. Director: Peter Kavanagh. (Repeated on 25 November 1988)

25 September 1987:
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. (Repeat from 18 July 1986)

26 September 1987:
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 18 September 1986)

29 September 1987:
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: TP McKenna. Musical director: Michael Henry. Director: Susan Hogg (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeat from 16 September 1986)

30 September 1987:
Pacific Overtures
Musical by Stephen Sondheim. Book by John Weidman. Additional material by Hugh Wheeler. The English National Opera’s production of Sondheim’s 1976 musical dealing with US Commander Perry’s use of military force to persuade Japan to open up trade relations in 1853. Reciter: Richard Angas (bass), Kayama Yesaemon, a Samurai promoted to Prefect of Police: Malcolm Rivers (baritone), John Manjiro, a Japanese fisherman brought up in Massachusetts: Christopher Booth-Jones (baritone), Lord Abe, the Shogun’s Chief Councillor: John Kitchener (baritone). With Edward Byles, Gordon Christie, Terry Jenkins, Harry Nicoll, Michael Sadler, Paul Strathearn, Alan Woodrow (tenors), Leon Berger, John Cashmore, Eric Roberts (baritones), Ian Comboy, Simon Masterton-Smith (basses). Musical orchestrations: Jonathan Tunick. On-stage Musicians: Yoshikazu Iwamoto (shakuhachi), Joji Hirota (percussion). English National Opera Orchestra led by Raymond Ovens, conducted by James Holmes.

2 October 1987:
The Mote in the Eye
By Frederick Bradnum. Catherine and Peggy were Whitehall secretaries together 30 years ago. Catherine is now married to Owen Griffiths, a Marxist historian, and Peggy to Desmond Dethewright ,a former Tory minister. Now brought together by chance, the couples explore old times. Catherine: Sian Phillips, Owen: Gabriel Woolf, Peggy: Monica Grey, Desmond: Guy Rolfe, Rosa: Carol Marsh, Sir Reginald: William Fox. Director: Graham Gauld

4 October 1987:
On the Edge of Certainty
By Raymond Tallis. During the last days of his life in 1951 in Cambridge, Wittgenstein finds his mind seething with fragments of philosophy and of Carmen Miranda movies he once loved to watch. Ludwig Wittgenstein: David Suchet. Narrator: John Rowe. Producer: David Perry. (Repeated on 28 July 1988)

6 October 1987:
Largo Desolato
By Vaclav Havel, trans. Tom Stoppard. A blackly comic play written by the dissident Czech playwright in 1985. Leopold, in fear of being taken away by the secret police for offending the authorities with a philosophical essay, is expected by friends and acquaintances to act like a hero and stand up for freedom. But all he wishes is to be left alone. Professor Leopold Nettles: Richard Briers, Edward: Paul Gregory, Suzana: Jennifer Piercey, First Sidney: Philip Jackson, Second Sidney: David Goodland, Lucy: Belinda Lang, Bertram: John Moffatt, First Chap: Anthony Jackson, Second Chap: Ian Thompson, Marguerite: Sue Broomfield. Director: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 7 October 1988 and 15 April 2012)

9 October 1987:
Dialogues on a Broken Sphere
By Stephen Davis. The Renaissance-era mathematician and astronomer Nikolaus Koppernigk (Nicolaus Copernicus) has formulated a model of the universe with the Sun rather than the Earth at its centre. As both a Canon of the Church and a scientist, should he publish and perhaps be damned for ever for turning the order of medieval, Catholic-dominated Europe upside-down? In 1539, a young Lutheran scholar travels to Poland to try to persuade him to make up his mind. Nikolaus Koppernigk: Freddie Jones, J Von Rheticus: Hywel Bennett, Tiedemann Giese: Peter Vaughan, Canon Sculteti: John Moffatt, Anna Schilling: Anne Jameson, Joachim Fabritius: Jonathan Tafler, Widow Gacek: Sheila Grant, Andreas: John Church, Melancthon: Stephen Thorne, Janek: Anthony Jackson, Anselm: Andrew Branch, Otho: Brian Hewlett, Borowski: Michael Tudor Barnes. Director: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 16 January 1988)

13 October 1987:
By Wally K Daly. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene wait outside Jesus' tomb, each locked in her own thoughts surrounding the events leading up to his crucifixion. Winner of the Giles Cooper Award as one of the five outstanding new radio plays of 1987. With Barbara Jefford and Imelda Staunton. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on 14 October 1988)

20 October 1987:
Death Duties
By Frederick Bradnum. Jeremiah is approaching his century, harried by his bizarre family intent on wrenching his worldly goods away from his housekeeper/mistress and their daughter. Jeremiah: Maurice Denham, Broome: Martin Jarvis, Agatha: Jill Balcon, Millicent: Margaret Courtenay, Ogg: Peter Marinker, Joanna: Carole Boyd, Susan: Deborah Makepeace, Ambrose: Alan Dudley, Gambututo: Cyril Nri, Herbert: Michael Deacon, Pierre: Michael Tudor Barnes, Shaw: Jonathan Tafler. Director: Glyn Dearman. (Repeated on 15 August 1987)

23 October 1987:
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). (Repeat from 3 November 1986)

27 October 1987:
Don Juan and Faust
By Christian Dietrich Grabbe, adapt. Peter Barnes. Grabbe (1801-1836) was described by poet and critic Heinrich Heine as “one of the greatest German poets” and “a drunken Shakespeare”. This 1829 play, the only one of his works to be performed in Grabbe’s lifetime, chronicles the extraordinary meeting and mixing of two mythical heroes, Don Juan and Faust. Don Juan: John Shrapnel, Dr Faust: Robert Lang, Leporello: Shaun Prendergast, The Devil: Bruce Alexander, Donna Anna: Tina Marian, Governor: Godfrey Kenton, Don Octavio: Peter Howell, Lisette: Karen Ascoe, Signor Rubio, Chief of Police: John Church, Signor Negro: George Parsons, Gasparo: Richard Durden, Priest: James Goode. Music: Stephen Deutsch. Director: Ian Cotterell

30 October 1987:
The Golden Ass
By Lucius Apuleius, adapt. Peter Mackie. A comedy of the ancient world, in which Lucius is turned into an ass and, with the mind of a man, observes the life of his times before the Goddess Isis brings him to his destiny. Lucius: Richard Griffiths, Charite/Goddess: Claire Faulconbridge, Granny/First Wife: Gillian Goodman, Fotis: Charlotte Martin, Thrasyllus/Manager/Pythias: Terry Molloy, Babarus/First Guest/Alcimus/Meroe: Andy Hockley, Traveller/Councillor: Hu Pryce, Old Man/Father/Priest/Thyasus: Geoff Serle, Aristomenes/Cook/Bailiff: Tim Brierley, Demochares/Philo/Demeas: Alan Meadows, Boy/Diophanes: Richard Allenson, Second Guest: Rob Swinton, Pamphile/Lady/Second Wife: Avril Clark. Director: Philip Martin (BBC Pebble Mill). (Repeated on 11 August 1991 and 11 July 1993)

2 November 1987:
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. (Repeat from 8 October 1986)

3 November 1987:
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). (Repeat from 22 July 1986)

6 November 1987:
The Golden Years
By Arthur Miller. The world premiere of a previously unperformed play, written in 1940. Montezuma, Emperor of the Aztecs, believes that the Spanish Conquistador, Hernando Cortez, could be a reincarnation of the Mexican God of Peace. His refusal to attack the Spaniards leads to the destruction of his empire. Aztecs – Montezuma: Ronald Pickup, Cuitlahua, his brother: John Samson, Tecuichpo, his daughter: Victoria Carling, Cagama: Brian Hewlett, Guatemotzin: Kim Wall, Parach, a priest: Hugh Dickson, Tapaia: Tim Reynolds, Talua: Stephen Rashbrook, Boy: Stephen Tompkinson, Astronomer:/Xicontenga: David Timson, Judge/Quauhopoca: Norman Jones, Invaders – Cortez: John Shrapnel, Marina, his Indian woman: Hannah Gordon, Alvarado: John Hollis, Olid: Michael Deacon, Fr Olmedo: Norman Bird, Ordaz: John Bott, Montejo: Paul Gregory, Leon: Paul Sirr, Arbenga: Steven Harrold. Music: Christos Pittas. Director: Martin Jenkins. (Repeated on Radio 4 on 8 February 1988)

10 November 1987:
Bill of Health
By Steve Gooch. Four friends, health-conscious hippies in 1974, find themselves sucked into the world of competitive commerce in the 1980s as health becomes big business. Lea: Mary Rutherford, Si: Mark Wing-Davey, Jenny: Julie Berry, Pete: Jonathan Tafler, Chat Show Host: Simon Cuff, Customers: Deborah Makepeace, Stephen Rashbrook. Director: Penny Gold

15 November 1987:
By Ian Burton. A drama about Chikamatsu, the “Japanese?Shakespeare” and founder of 18th-century Bunraku theatre. Chikamatsu: John Moffatt, Masadayu: Anton Lesser. Puppets, puppeteers, monks and actors: Elaine Claxton, Steven Harrold, Stephen Hattersley, Peter Howell, Eric Stovell. Music: composed and performed by Yoshikazu Iwamoto (shakuhachi) with Ann Collis (percussion). Director: Piers Plowright

17 November 1987:
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. (Repeat from 13 June 1986)

19 November 1987:
Hang Up
By Anthony Minghella. This 20-minute play, winner of the 1988 Prix Italia, details a late-night phone-call between two lovers and the painful end of their doomed relationship. Originally commissioned by choreographer Jonathan Lunn to accompany a duet for himself and Lauren Potter for London Contemporary Dance Theatre. With Anton Lesser and Juliet Stevenson. Director: Robert Cooper (BBC Manchester). (Repeated on 2 January 1987)

20 November 1987:
By Tom Murphy. Night after night, bedridden Mommo, who lives with her granddaughter Mary on the outskirts of a small town in the west of Ireland, relates the story of a laughing competition in Bailegangaire and how the town came by its name – “the town without laughter”. Mary senses that somehow she is frightened of finishing it. Mommo: Marie Mullen, Mary: Catherine Byrne. Producer: Kathryn Porter (BBC Northern Ireland)

24 November 1987:
By Peter Tegel. Brigitta has adjusted better than her husband Martin to the shock of her illness. Martin's dying relative, Raisel, an Auschwitz survivor, complicates matters further with regards to her fortune. Martin: James Laurenson, Brigitta: Lynn Farleigh, Raisel/Mrs Meyer: Pauline Letts, Charles Barrett: Michael Tudor Barnes, Mrs Saunders: Joan Matheson, Girl: Zelah Clarke, Bank Manager: Laurence Payne. Director: Richard Wortley

1 December 1987:
A Long Fidelity
By Francoise Campo-Timal, trans. Barbara Bray. Vietnam after the Second World War is a place of violence and confusion. For the daughter of a French engineer living there, it leaves a terrifying legacy. The Woman: Cheryl Campbell, Grandmother: Rosemary Leach, Psychologist: Laurence Payne, Vietnamese Advisor: Lien Warder. Director: Tim Suter. (Repeated 1 July 1988)

4 December 1987:
Un zoom de trop
By Beatrice Audry. Winner of the 1986 Prix Italia, this Radio France drama is about a photographer, Blaise, and Rixa, his favourite model. Set during a single modelling session, each click of the shutter reveals more of their relationship. Rixa: Christine Boysson, Blaise: Jean Gabriel Nordmann. Director: Jacques Taron

8 December 1987 :
Still Life
By Emily Mann, adapted for radio by Walter Costa. Mark is haunted by memories of Vietnam, his wife is terrified by the gulf that has grown between them, and his mistress finds that her own cynicism is no match for her lover’s despair. First heard on the World Service on 1 September 1986. Mark: Stuart Milligan, Nadine: Mary Rutherford, Cheryl: Catherine Strauss. Director: Walter Acosta. (BBC World Service)

10 December 1987:
Languages Spoken Here
By Richard Nelson. Michael believes he is doing a favour for the Polish emigre writer, Janusz, by translating his book. But whose cause is he serving? A Giles Cooper Award winner as one of the best radio plays of 1987. Michael Milick: Colin Stinton, Annie Milick: Emily Richard: Janusz Vukovski: Renny Krupinski, Jan Kostka: Jiri Hanak, Andrew: Peter Craze, George Simpson: Steven Harrold, Peter Mack: John Samson, Jane: Karen Archer. Director: Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 10 December 1987 and Radio 7 on 28 June 2003)

15 December 1987:
The Devil is an Ass
By Ben Jonson, adapt. Peter Barnes. Pug, a lesser devil, is bored with minor mischief-making and is allowed one day to cause havoc in London, but finds himself outclassed by the lust and avarice of the capital. Pug: Jonathan Tafler, Satan: Peter Bayliss, Wrath: Anthony Jackson, Lady Vanity: Caroline Gruber, Covetousness: Stephen Boxer, Iniquity: Norman Bird, Pitfall/Woman: Victoria Carling, Ambler/Sergeant: Kim Wall, Fabian Fitzdotterel: Freddie Jones, Engine: Alan Dudley, Wittipol: Michael Maloney, Eustace Manly: Stephen Rashbrook, Mrs Frances Fitzdotterel: Emily Richard, Meercraft: Aubrey Woods, Trains: Steve Hodson, Thomas Gilthead: Timothy Bateson, Plutarchus: Richard Pearce, Everill: John Rye, Lady Tailbush: Tina Marian, Lady Eitherside: Diana Fairfax, Sledge: Peter Craze, Shackles: John Samson, Sir Paul Eitherside: Laurence Payne. Music: Stephen Boxer. Director: Ian Cotterell

21 December 1987:
The Ass
By Kate and Mike Westbrook. A music-theatre entertainment based on the poem by DH Lawrence and on his letters from Taormina. Adapted for radio by the authors from the Foco Novo Theatre production. Lawrence: Stephen Boxer. Other parts played by members of the Sicilian Band: Kate Westbrook (vocals/ tenor horn/friscalettu), Trevor Allan (accordion/ clarinet), Lesia Melnyk, (violin/mandolin), Peter Whyman (alto/soprano saxophones/clarinet), Mike Westbrook (tuba/piano) 

22 December 1987:
Family Voices
By Harold Pinter. Written in 1980, and first heard on Radio 3 on 22 January 1981, Pinter’s play features interlocking monologues as the stories of a son and his mother and dead father are revealed through letters. With Peggy Ashcroft, Michael Kitchen and Mark Dignam. Director: Peter Hall. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 19 February 1981, 7 October 1990, 2 July 1991)

By Arthur Schnitzler, trans. Michael Robinson. Seven one-act comedies written by the Viennese playwright between 1889 and 1892 featuring the Viennese playboy Anatol. Music: Colin Guthrie, played by the composer, Perry Montague-Mason and Chris Laurence. Director: Glyn Dearman.

22 December 1987:
Fate Questioned
Anatol is persuaded by his friend Max to hypnotise his current lover, Cora, to find out if she has been unfaithful. Anatol: Malcolm Sinclair, Max: Simon Shepherd, Cora: Victoria Carling

Christmas Shopping
Anatol meets Gabriele, a former lover, who agrees to help him choose a present for his current lover. Anatol: Malcolm Sinclair, Gabriele: Pauline Moran

Jewels and Memories
Anatol questions his lover Emilie about the discovery of a diamond and black gem in her desk. Anatol: Malcolm Sinclair, Emilie: Julia Swift. (Repeated on 28 July 1987)

23 December 1987:
A package of keepsakes prompts Anatol to tell his friend Max about a former lover, a circus performer called Bianca, whom he says was his greatest love. Max isn’t convinced. Anatol: Malcolm Sinclair, Max: Simon Shepherd, Bianca: Helena Breck

Farewell Supper
Anatol is in a restaurant with Max when Annie arrives to declare their affair is over, but Anatol wants to make sure she knows that it was he who ended their relationship. Anatol: Malcolm Sinclair, Max: Simon Shepherd, Annie: Jane Bertish, Jean: Richard Pearce

24 December 1987:
Else, Anatol’s latest lover, arrives at his apartment shortly after Max has left and proceeds to persuade her to elope with him. Anatol: Malcolm Sinclair, Max: Simon Shepherd, Else: Emily Richard

Anatol’s Wedding Morning
Anatol wakes up with his lover Ilona in bed, not telling her that he is getting married that day. Anatol: Malcolm Sinclair, Max: Simon Shepherd, Ilona: Melinda Walker, Franz: Roy Miles

23 December 1987:
By Rhys Adrian. A comedy set in a park. Two work-shy park-keepers have to contend with a self-righteous, complaining married couple. First heard as a Radio 4 Afternoon Play on 4 January 1987. Edward: Peter Vaughan, Jack: James Grout, Mrs Hendrix, Elizabeth Spriggs, Mr Hendrix: William Fox, The Copper: Michael Graham Cox. Director: John Tydeman

28 December 1987:
A Very Great Man Indeed
By Henry Reed. The first of seven comedies by Henry Reed featuring the “composeress” Hilda Tablet and critic Herbert Reeve. In the first, Reeve’s attention is taken up with investigating the novelist Richard Shewin, hailed as “the poet’s novelist”. This is a restaging of the play (6 June 1961), first heard on 7 September 1953, and repeated in 1987 as part of a tribute to producer Douglas Cleverdon (1903-1987). Herbert Reeve: Hugh Burden, Stephen Shewin: Carleton Hobbs, Connie, his wife: Gwen Cherrell, Muffy: Vivienne Chatterton, Misses Adela and Betty Burkley: Janette Richer, Marjorie Westbury, Richard Shewin's Valet: Frank Duncan, TH Powers, another novelist: Norman Shelley, Lady Blackie: Betty Hardy, Hilda Tablet, a composeress: Mary O'Farrell, Elsa: Marjorie Westbury, Miss: Rich Cecile Chevreau, Nancy Shewin: Dorothy Primrose, Janet, her daughter: Gwen Cherrell, Owen, Brian and George, a few of her sons: Denis Quilley, Anthony Reese, Marjorie Westbury, Narrative Prose: Frank Duncan. Settings by Schopenhauer and “Don't Hurt My Heart” composed and played by Donald Swann. Producer: Douglas Cleverdon. (Repeated on 17 May 1961)

30 December 1987:
A Hedge, Backwards
By Henry Reed. The fourth of seven comedies by Henry Reed, featuring the “composeress” Hilda Tablet and critic Herbert Reeve, focuses on the posthumous production of Richard Shewin’s only play while Hilda works on a “Musique concrète” score for her production of Antony and Cleopatra. First broadcast on 29 February 1956. Herbert Reeve: Hugh Burden, Stephen Shewin: Carleton Hobbs, Connie Shewin: Gwen Cherrell, Hilda Tablet: Mary O’Farrell, Elsa Strauss/George, Shewin: Marjorie Westbury, Nancy Shewin: Dorothy Primrose, Owen Shewin: Denis Quilley, Brian Shewin: Wilfred Downing, Muffy, Milly etc: Vivienne Chatterton, General Gland: Deryck Guyler, Neville Pikelet: Allan McClelland, Helene: Cecile Chevreau, Richard Shewin’s Prose: Frank Duncan. Characters in: Richard Shewin’s works – Peter: Michael Meacham, Paul: Denis Quilley, Mrs Bannister: Vivienne Chatterton, Roger: Michael Meacham, Billy: Frank Duncan, Jenny: Janette Richer Roger’s Mother (Daisy Treddle): Vivienne Chatterton. Music: Musique concrète renforcée and settings of “There Once Was a Garden” realised by Donald Swann. Producer: Douglas Cleverdon  


15 February 1987:
Waiting for the New Wave
Gerard Gould investigates why, at the time of this documentary, a vibrant French theatre seems wary of new plays, and seeks the views of directors, arts administrators and playwrights. Among those taking part: directors Antoine Vitez, Bernard Sobel, Daniel Mesguish and Ariane Mnouchkine;  General Administrators of the Comedie Francaise Jean-Pierre Vincent and Jean Le Poulin; critic Pierre Laville and playwrights Jean-Claude Grumberg, Arlette Namiand and Bernard Marie Koltes, and Dr Keith Gore of Worcester College, Oxford. Readings by Paul Gregory, Rachel Gurney and Stuart Organ. Producer: John Theocharis

25 March 1987:
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. (Repeat from 11 August 1986

2 April 1987:
Is Shakespeare Still our Contemporary?
Since the early 1960s, productions of Shakespeare have frequently emphasised the contemporary connotations of his works. John Elsom reflects on the validity of this trend. (Repeated on 29 May 1987)

4 April 1987
A documentary in seven acts on the life and work of artist Michelangelo Caravaggio (1569-1610), compiled by Sanda Miller. Performed by Sheila Grant, Peter Howell, Stuart Organ, Shaun Prendergast, Natasha Pyne, Jonathan Tafler and Manning Wilson. With comments from Jennifer Fletcher, Francis Haskell, Derek Jarman and Michael Kitson. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 26 August 1987)

25 April 1987:
The Ballad Thinker
Brecht’s plays had always been developed to fit the requirements of the rhyming ballad. With illustrations from records, Ronald Hayman considers the musical influences exerted on his stage works. Producer: Arthur Johnson (Repeated on 4 September 1988)

13 June 1987:
The Music of WB Yeats
An enquiry by Ann Mann into the poet’s relationship with music. Contributors include Brian Boydell, Marie Goossens, John Kelly, Brendan Kennelly, Ronald Schuchard, Michael Yeats and Grainne Yeats. WB Yeats: T.P. McKenna. Other voices; Sheila Grant, Paul Gregory and Ian Thompson. Music played by Carl Dolmetsch (psaltery) and Ann Collis (percussion). Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 7 October 1987)

21 June 1987:
Talking to Itself
An investigation of Irish theatre by Douglas Kennedy. The Irish theatre has been a mirror of Irish politics and society since the plays of Sean O'Casey. In its bom-again vitality since the “Troubles” of the 1970s and 1980s, is it speaking for Ireland or simply talking to itself? With Hugh Leonard, Stephen Rea, Joe Dowling, Patrick Mason, Stewart Parker, Frank McGuinness and Tom Maclntyre. Producer: Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 19 September 1987)

28 June 1987:
Crisis in the Mirror
Since his death, the work of playwright Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) has been branded dark and cerebral with much of his humour lost in translation and performance, and much of his output seldom revived. Doug Thompson, Head of the Italian Department at the University of Hull, takes a fresh look at the work of Pirandello, with the help of other British and Italian experts, including Susan Bassnett, Felicity Firth, Laura Lepschy, Jennifer Lorch, David Hirst, Renzo Tien, Claudio Vicentini and the actor Philip Stone. Readers: Elaine Claxton, Peter Howell and Jennifer Piercey. Producer: John Theocharis

9 July 1987:
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. (Repeat from 6 April 1986)

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

25 July 1987:
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. (Repeat from 28 December 1986)

26 July 1987:
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. (Repeat from 29 December 1986)

27 July 1987:
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. (Repeat from 30 December 1986)

2 August 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. (Repeat from 2 January 1987)

15 August 1987:
By Arthur Johnson. The collaboration between Eisenstein and Prokofiev in the making of the 1938 film Alexander Nevsky was a landmark in the history of the cinema. Some years later, Eisenstein recalled the experience. Eisenstein: John Moffatt, Prokofiev: Anthony Jackson, Horn Player/Sound Engineer: Steven Harrold. Producer: Arthur Johnson. (Repeated on 20 November 1988)

23 August 1987:
Glimpses of Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)
In 1933, Bertolt Brecht and his actress wife Helene Weigel escaped from Hitler’s Germany to Scandinavia, with their children, Stephan aged nine, and Barbara, three. In 1941, as the Germans advanced into Finland, they fled to the USA and settled in Santa Monica. In 1948 they returned to the Russian sector of the devastated Berlin, where Brecht founded the Berliner Ensemble. Barbara Brecht-Schall remembers her father. Alec McCowen reads some of his poetry. Producer: John Theocharis

28 August 1987:
Brittle Language
John Elsom argues that the language of drama is losing its potency, as our lives become saturated by the theatrical process on television and radio. (Repeated on 22 May 1988)

17, 23, 24, 29 & 30 October 1987:
The Seeds of Hatred
By David Bean. Narrated by Garard Green. Five dramatised documentaries telling the story of the Boer War in the words of eye-witnesses. Producer: Alan Haydock. (Repeated 4-8 July 1988)

1. The Boojers and the Khakis 2. The Black Week 3. Spion Kop 4. The Tide Turns 5. The Surrender  

6 December 1987:
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. (Repeat from 17 March 1986)


3 January 1987:
After a Night Out with the Biscuitmen by Ron Butlin (read by David McKail)
An episode taken from Butlin’s debut novel, The Sound of My Voice. Producer: Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland) (Repeated on 6 September 1987)

4 January 1987:
Breakfast with a Snowman by Ron Butlin (read by David McKail)
Morris Magellan, biscuit executive and family man, encounters something abominable in the kitchen. Producer: Patrick Rayner (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 11 September 1987)

5 January 1987:
The Temptation of the Rabbi by Eugene Dubnov (read by Denis Lill)
“To each Jew, just before his death, comes the temptation to renounce his faith.” Translated by the author and Simon Ervine. Producer Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 24 June 1987)

11 January 1987:
Georges Mlnh by Jackson Webb (read by Stuart Milligan)
Producer: Gregor Graham (BBC Scotland)

12 March 1987:
Mr Gottlieb Will Not Be Writing by Michael Swiss (read by David Garth)
(Repeated from 22 March 1986 and also on 21 April 1988)

14 January 1987:
By Justice or Otherwise
A sequence of prose and poetry on the theme of liberty compiled by Christopher Hampton. Read by Peter Welch, Manning Wilson, Jane Wenham and Michael Jenner. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 29 September 1985)

15 January 1987:
Perilous Seas by Florence Turner (read by Margaret Robertson)
Producer: Patrick Rayner. (BBC Scotland) (Repeat from 18 August 1986)

16 January 1987:
The Chinese Garden by Ronald Frame (read by Patrick Malahide)
Murder in a Parisian square, by person or persons unknown. A crime with no clues – and a detective with no wife. Patrick Rayner. (BBC Scotland). (Repeated on 24 May 1987)

17 January 1987:
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. (Repeat from 29 May 1986)

25 January 1987:
The Eye of the Lord by Evgeny Popov (read by Clive Merrison) 
A savagely truthful observation of Soviet provincial life, Translated by Frank Williams. Producer AJ Quinn. (Repeated on 6 June 1987)

31 January 1987:
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 February 1987:
Brother by John Cameron Burnside (read by Peter Quigley)
Producer: Clive Brill

4 February 1987:
Migratory Birds by Michael Kelly (read by David Warner)
Producer: Alec Reid (BBC Bristol). (Repeated on 8 July 1988)

7 February 1987:
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). (Repeat from 26 September 1986)

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

21 February 1987:
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. (Repeat from 7 December 1986)

22 February 1987:
The Marshalling Yard by Ted Moore (read by Paul Copley)
Ken wages a battle against disorder in the railway goods yard, but his own life is beginning to slip out of control. Producer: Sheila Fox (Repeated on 2 June 1987 and on Radio 4, 25 March 1993)

26 February 1987:
The Last Appointment by Douglas Eves (read by Alec McCowen)
Producer: Ed Thomason. (Repeated on 3 December 1987)

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. (Repeat from 7 September 1986)

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

8 March 1987:
Bliss by Barbara Frischmuth (read by Anna Massey)
Short story by the Austrian writer, translated by Anthony Vivis. Producer: Judith Bumpus. (Repeated on 13 October 1987)

9 March 1987:
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. (Repeat from 11 November 1986)

11 March 1987:
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. (Repeat from 14 December 1986)

15 March 1987:
A Handful of Pleasant Delights
Extracts from The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton, adapted by Robert Ralph and 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. (Repeat from 30 April 1986)

17 March 1987:
A Trip to Dublin by Mary Benson (read by June Tobin)
A memoir. (Repeat from 22 June 1986)

19 March 1987:
Felix by Jeremy Paxman (read by Allan McElvey)
“I thought maybe they'd got a nickname for me, like ‘False Alarm Frank’. It stopped me phoning for a while. Then I phoned in with a warning there was a bomb in the centre of town.” Producer: Jeremy Mortimer

23 March 1987:
Hygiene of the Spirit by Eugene Dubnov (read by Sam Dastor)
A Moscow student is pleased with himself when he manages to cheat a second-hand bookseller, but the effect on his work is curious and unnerving. Translated by the author and John Heath-Stubbs. Producer: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 27 June 1987)

29 March 1987:
Oedipus Stalin by Zinovy Zinik (read by Michael Pennington).
“I was born on the day of our victory over the Hitlerite aggressors... loudspeakers barked out slogans hailing the architect of all our victories, Comrade Stalin!” Translated from the Russian by Frank Williams. Producer: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 13 May 1987)

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

2 April 1987:
Nellie’s Devils
By Michael Glover (read by Doreen Hepburn) Producer: Clive Brill (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 17 June 1988)

11 April 1987:
The Old Retainer by Douglas Eves (read by Peter Howell)
Producer: Piers Plowright

14 April 1987:
Models by Diane Rowe (read by Sara Mair-Thomas)
Producer: AJ Quinn

15 April 1987:
After School by Eugene Dubnov (read by Sam Dastor)
A Russian schoolboy tries to reinstate himself in his teacher's good books. Translated by the author and Kevin Windle. Producer: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 20 June 1987)

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

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

23 May 1987:
The Tigon and The Miracle Tree by Oskar Kokoschka (read by Edward de Souza)
Translated from the German by Anthony Vivis. Producer: Stuart Owen. (Repeated on 16 August 1987)

28 May 1987:
A celebration by Heathcote Williams. In the elephant, “a beast of the moon with crescent tusks who has emerged from the churning of the seas”, Brahma said he had concealed wisdom. Read by Heathcote Williams and Natasha Pyne. Director: Ned Chaillet. (Repeated on 26 October 1987)

30 May 1987:
Church Angels by Graeme Fife (read by Ingrid Lacey)
“Look, it came from the angels,” claims Robert Schumann, as he shows Clara his latest composition. But Robert is sick and the music bad. How should Clara react? Producer: Pat Trueman. (Repeated on 8 March 1988)

31 May 1987:
No Dialogue by John O’Neill (read by Richard Howard)
Producer: Clive Brill. (Repeated on 7 December 1988)

5 June 1987:
A Problem in Enjoyment by Graeme Fife (read by Edward de Souza)
In April 1829, Mendelssohn had said goodbye to his family at the start of a grand tour of Europe. To his sister Fanny, at home in Berlin, he kept up a stream of correspondence. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 20 August 1987)

8 June 1987:
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). (Repeat from 14 August 1986)

9 June 1987:
My Anarchist Uncle from Rome by RH Bowden (read by Nicholas David)
Producer: Alec Reid. (Repeated on 1 August 1988)

12 June 1986
Below Grass by Roberta Berke (read by Janet Suzman)
A sequence of poems from a Cornish journey. Music and sound by Elizabeth Parker of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 24 February 1988)

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

27 June 1987:
Which of Us Two?
A sequence of prose drawn from the plays of Luigi Pirandello and Daoist and Zen writing by Um Poh Sim. With David Goodland, David Graham, Francis Middleditch and John Samson. Producer: Piers Plowright

28 June 1987:
The Story of Our Daughter Virginia by Oskar Kokoschka (read by Edward de Souza)
A story by the Austrian artist, poet and playwright, best known for his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes. Translated from the German by Anthony Vivis. Producer: Stuart Owen. (Repeated on 31 October 1987)

2 July 1987:
The Partners by Luigi Pirandello (read by Anthony Jackson)
Translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 8 January 1987)

8 July 1987:
Crucible of Fire by Antonin Artaud (read by Christopher Logue)
Pages from a manifesto on Balinese theatre. Compiled by Um Poh Sim. Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeat from 5 September 1986)

11 July 1987:
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 writing Le bien public. Producer Peter Kavanagh. (Repeat from 24 August 1986)

17, 24, 29 July, 5, 7, 14 & 15 August 1987:
The Road to Canterbury
Seven selections from David Wright’s verse translation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The Narrator: John Franklyn-Robbins, The Reeve: Geoffrey Banks, The Prioress: Rosalind Shanks, The Wife of Bath: Prunella Scales, The Nun’s Priest: Martin Jarvis, The Sea Captain: Douglas Leach, The Summoner: Bert Paranaby. Music: Michael Ball, directed by Timothy Reynish with David Gale (treble), Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Janet Fisher (viola), Richard Scoates (trombone), John Turner (recorder), Paul Patrick (percussion). Producer: Fraser Steel (BBC Manchester). (Repeat from 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 October, 7 & 14 November 1985)

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

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

25 July 1987:
God’s First Draft by Stephen Dunstone (read by Anna Massey)
The world we know and live in may not be the only version of God’s attempt at the Creation. This story suggests there were other rejected drafts. Producer: John Tydeman. (Repeated on 23 March 1988)

8 August 1987:
Madame Paradis by Timberlake Wertenbaker (read by Jane Lapotaire)
Producer: David Johnston. (Repeated on 22 February 1987)

9 August 1987:
Publicity? Be Damned by Graeme Fife (read by Edward de Sousa)
For Italian Renaissance composer Bartolomeo Tromboncino, there is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is the mindless cruelty of not being talked about. Director: Jeremy Mortimer. (Repeated on 4 October 1987)

13 August 1987:
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe (read by Micheal Mac Liammoir)
A reading of Poe’s classic tale, first heard on the Home Service on 11 March 1959.

13 August 1987:
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. (Repeat from 28 September 1986)

18 August 1987:
Yosip Has Made It by Igor Pomerantsev (read by Ronald Pickup)
Translated by Frank Williams. Producer: Cherry Cookson.

20 August 1987:
Disgust, Embarrassment, Love by Igor Pomerantsev (read by Ronald Pickup)
Translated by Frank Williams. Producer: Cherry Cookson

24 August 1987:
Beloved by Igor Pomerantsev (read by Tessa Wojtczak)
Translated by Frank Williams. Producer: Cherry Cookson

3 September 1987:
A Marriage in the Country by Desmond Hogan (read by the author)
“She burned down half her house early that summer and killed her husband. He’d been caught upstairs. It was something she’d often threatened to do.” Producer: Kathryn Porter (BBC Northern Ireland). (Repeated on 14 December 1988)

12 September 1987:
Rubbish by Don Bloch (read by Miriam Margolyes)
Producer: Ed Thomason

13 September 1987:
The Saga of Eyrik by Charles Lewsen (read by the author)
Producer: Piers Plowright. (Repeated on 17 December 1987)

22 September 1987:
The Swans by Richard Wonnacott (read by Jack Klaff)
Producer: Vanessa Whitburn (BBC Pebble Mill). (Repeated on 7 December 1987)

23 September 1987:
A musical portrait of Tolstoy’s heroine, with music from the time of War and Peace and readings from the novel adapted for radio by Jane Bevan. Readers: Alice Krige and John Franklyn-Robbins. Soprano: Dinah Harris Producers: Jane Bevan and Piers Plowright. (Repeated from 13 November 1986)

27 September 1987:
Lancaster Gate by Lytton Strachey (read by Benjamin Whitrow) 
The critic and biographer Lytton Strachey (1880-1932) spent his first years in a cavernous house in Lancaster Gate, West London. Here he recalls the building that expressed the character of his age. Producer: Peter Kavanagh. (Repeated on 4 June 1988)

28 September 1987:
But He’s Married by Stuart Hannabuss (read by James Warwick)
A man and a woman meet at a party. What is the possibility of a future meeting and can this be left to chance? Producer: Pat Trueman

5 October 1986:
My Elongated Scar by Alan David Price (read by Pauline Letts)
“I look at myself and see this old woman with bloodshot eyes. Eyes intent, since childhood, on raising the dead. They come at you with arrogant voices or trembling kindness.” Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 26 January 1988)

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

8 October 1987:
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. (Repeat from 14 September 1986)

11 October 1987:
I Remember a Dog Called Venus by Alan Golightly (read by Terry Molloy)
Producer: Vanessa Whitburn (BBC Pebble Mill). (Repeated on 26 February 1988)

25 October 1987:
The Presentiment by Mario Benedetti (read by Kathryn Hurlbutt)
Story by the Uruguayan journalist, novelist and poet. Translated by Charles H. Stevenson. Producer: Vanessa Whitburn (BBC Pebble Mill). (Repeated on 13 June 1987)

2 November 1987:
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 from 31 May 1986)

16 November 1987:
Anna’s Purse by Michael Glover (read by Gillian Goodman)
Producer: Vanessa Whitburn (BBC Pebble Mill)

22 November 1987:
Cecilia of Sicilia by Graeme Fife (read by Edward de Souza)
It was rumoured that Cecilia gave the angels lessons in vocal harmony. She was, in the words of her uncle, Fatuus, the keynote of the celestial glee club. Director: Jeremy Mortimer

5 December 1987:
The House of the Broken Pediment by Alan David Price (read by Michael Deacon). 
Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated on 30 May 1988)

13, 18 & 20 December 1987:
The Alhambra Tales
By Washington Irving. In 1829, Irving travelled to Granada where, staying at the old Moorish Alhambra Palace of Alhambra, he soon fell under the spell of its exotic tales. Three stories are abridged in three episodes and read by Neville Jason. Producer: John Theocharis. (Repeated 28-30 July 1990)

1. The Legend of the Arabian Astrologer  A grateful King of Granada grants an astrologer his wish of furnishing his cave as a suitable hermitage.

2. The Legend of the Three Beautiful Princesses  As his daughters approach marriageable age, the King of Granada locks them up in a tower, where they fall in love with three captive Spanish cavaliers  

3. The Legend of the Moor’s Legacy  A manuscript contains an incantation for the recovery of stolen treasure, but can only be read at midnight by the light of a taper. 

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

20, 23, 24, 28, 29 & 30 December 1987:
Parodies Lost
Six parodies by Malcolm Burgess. Producer: Matthew Walters. (Repeated on 3 December 1988)

1. Is There Pernod on Mars? Not many people know that Jean Rhys was working on an epic science-fiction novel during the 1950s. Read by Eleanor Bron

2. A Movable Loom Revelations from recently discovered correspondence between Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. Read by Kerry Shale 

3. The Golden Compact Notebook Extracts from a little-known romantic novel by Doris Lessing. Read by Eleanor Bron 

4. The Rich Examined An insight into the mind of Truman Capote. Read by Kerry Shale

5. Jean et Jeanette  Jean-Paul Sartre’s only known work for children. Read by Eleanor Bron and Kerry Shale

6. Nembutal Cookery  Californian novelist Joan Didion’s favourite recipes. Read by Eleanor Bron 

26 December 1987:
The Clover Hill by John Wells.
A memoir of Douglas Cleverdon (1903-87), the man who brought Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, Henry Reed’s Hilda Tablet and David Jones’s In Parenthesis to radio.

Thanks to Ian Johns for compiling the entries, and also for doing the coding.

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