The Disposal Man
by T.D.Webster

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 18th June 1983 @ 8:30 p.m.

Max Quixall, a successful writer of the cloak and dagger story, wants to spend his remaining years out of the limelight even though he is only middle-aged. His wife Elaine, also a writer, wants to be a success in her own right. Something has to give....

As a writer, Max Quixall started off as a bastard and became nice while his wife, Elaine, started off as a nice little mouse and became a bitch. Though she puts up a very good show, success has changed Elaine considerably. Max has not enjoyed seeing her wheel and deal her way to the top using his name when it suited her. Max, at his worst, was never as pushy or as abrasive as she is. When Max was a bastard, he was a bastard to everybody - high or low while Elaine is sweetness and light to those who matter and to hell with the rest. Max has reacted by opting out of the sort of life they lead which, of course, infuriates her as it's her turn for the limelight. Many people still see Elaine as Max's wife. The couple only stay together because if ever they parted, there would be a hell of a row on who got custody of "The Reach", their house. It's the only thing they have in common.

They both fell in love with "The Reach" at first sight. They don't give a damn about each other but still care for the house - enough to keep them together. Their marriage was more or less on the rocks when they found it and it seemed to bring them back together. Elaine took up her career again and Max slipped gratefully into the background. He still pays all the bills as the house is in his name. Whenever he needs ready cash, he turns out a televison play or a short story for the American market as he's still in great demand - the scarcity value.

But Elaine gets an idea on how to break this deadlock. Her lover, Eddie, tells her of a firm that specialises in disposals. No bodies, no mess, nothing. For a price, they disappear and don't come back - ever. Elaine decides to make contact with this firm as she is in need of a disposal man....

With Edward Woodward [Max Quixall], Caroline Mortimer [Elaine Bright, Max's Wife], Brian Croucher [Eddie Jackson, Elaine's Lover], Graham Padden [Vincent Brownlow], Geoffrey Matthews [Robert], Steve Hodson [James, Max's Agent], Natasha Pyne [Liz Brown, Elaine's Personal Assistant], and Alan Dudley [Bill Rayner aka J. W. / The Inspector].

Other parts played by members of the cast.

Directed by Peter Windows in Birmingham.

Re-broadcast on Monday 20th June 1983 @ 3:02 p.m. on BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Theatre

90 minutes


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