Richard Monks Radio Plays

Richard Monks, now a well-known writer and director, attended Exeter College of Art from 1985-1988, followed by the Royal College of Art (Film Direction & Screenwriting) fromo 1989-1991. He has written award-winning plays for radio and television. His radio work includes "Hearing Sense", which won a Sony Award, and "One Church" which won an IVCA award for best radio drama in 2005. His television work includes "In the Cold Light of Day", "Mysterious Murders" (co-written with Julian Fellowes") and some episodes of "Heartbeat", "Doctors" and "Dangerfield".


BELGRANO, by Richard Monks (R4, 1415, 2-3 May 22) was a fascinating two-parter looking at the story of Clive Ponting, a civil servant who leaked documents about the sinking of the Argentinian cruiser, the General Belgrano, during the Falklands War forty years ago. Ponting was put on trial for his breach of the Official Secrets Act and the judge directed the jury to convict him. What was kept very quiet was that the rules of engagement had been broken. The drama looks at what drove Ponting to do what he did. The writer used Government Papers, newspaper reports, interviews, court transcripts and Ponting’s own account when writing the drama, and there are some imagined scenes and characters. The trial eventually led to some changes in the Official Secrets Act. Clive Ponting was played by John Heffernan, Sally Ponting by Ruth Everett and Richard Mottram by Geoffrey Streatfield. The producer was Sally Avens. (....ND, Diversity website review, Sep 2022)

14 May 15: Stone
By Richard Monks. Ep. 2/5 Blood Money. Stone investigates a hit-and-run on a cyclist, and finds that there are several people who wanted the man dead. Stone: Hugo Speer, Tanner: Craig Cheetham, Kelly: Deborah McAndrew, with Hugh Simon, Olwen May, Stephen Fletcher and Emily Pithon. Produced by Nadia Molinari.

17 Nov; 5x15m drama. Each episode is a witness statement at the inquest of a female soldier whose body has been found in a British river, but the background of sexual assaults in her barracks casts doubt on the cause of death. (Summary of Jane Anderson's remarks, Radio Times)

By Richard Monks, R3, 23 Feb 13.RT details - Taking refuge in a bunker under a 'sound mirror', Ella hears a noise and believes she has witnessed a murder. However her evidence is dismissed as unreliable; she is young, and she is deaf.

Ella ... Rose Ayling-Ellis, Birdman .... Robert Pickavance, Leanne .... Rachel Austin, Clare / PC .... Ruth Alexander-Rubin, Alastair ..... Jason Done, Audiologist / Craig ..... Matthew McNulty. Producer .... Nadia Molinari.

    Acoustic aircraft detection

    Prior to World War II and the invention of radar, acoustic mirrors were built as early warning devices around the coasts of Great Britain, with the aim of detecting incoming enemy aircraft by the sound of their engines. There are some at Denge on the Dungeness peninsula, at Hythe in Kent, and in other parts of Britain.

20 July: Afternoon Drama - By Richard Monks. The story behind barefoot runner Zola Budd's attempt to win gold at the 1984 Olympics. Zola Budd ..... Jessica Sian, Denis Howell ..... David Calder, Frank Budd ..... Jack Klaff, Brian Vine ..... Don Gilet, Sir David English ..... Patrick Brennan, Pieter Labuschagne ..... Harry Livingstone, Geoffrey Howe ..... Robert Blythe, Andrew Landen ..... Sam Alexander, Mrs. Darbo ..... Amaka Okafor, Reporter ..... Joe Sims. Producer: David Hunter.

R4, Woman's Hour serial, early 2010. A seemingly healthy man collapses from a heart condition and is told that a transplant is the only option. Five monologues explore what happens, from different perspectives. With Derek Riddell, Julia Ford, Samantha Bond, JeffHordley, Maxine Peak.

27 Jan 10; afternoon play. RT info: A chance sighting on the News leads to an extraordinary reunionbetween two siblings and the father they thought had died four years earlier. The play explores the emotional hinterland of reconciliation. With Robert Glenister, Suranne Jones, Joanne Mitchell, David Hargreaves, Terence Mann. Producer Nadia Molinari.

Set in a motorway service station, the play tells the story of a young Romanian cleaner who discovers an illegal immigrant in the back of a container lorry. Through a shared love of music a friendship develops, and Eva hides the Zimbabwean refugee from the authorities. With Lucian Msamati & Cristina Catalina. Afternoon Play.

MOLE, MOLE.... 2009
R4 24 Feb 09, 1415. Afternoon Play. Richard Monks' comic tale of an amateur gardener who becomes dangerously obsessed with hunting down the mole that has dared to desecrate his pristine lawn. But his obsession hides a deeper and more damaging problem. Margaret ...... Lesley Sharp Colin ...... Neil Dudgeon Mathew ...... Robert Lonsdale Jonte ...... Paul Rider Nurse ...... Manjeet Mann Doctor ...... Gunnar Cauthery. Directed by Marc Beeby.

    A play about bereavement, grief, repression, marriage and madness.

24 May 08. Writers create a fictional response to the week's news. Featured writer this week Richard Monks.
    With the Bank of England warning of a sharprise in unemployment and reports of a debt crisis hitting the middle classes, this topical drama looks at the personal cost of the credit crunch. With Joseph Alessi & Katharine Dow Blyton.

The story of a remote rural community catapulted into the media spotlight when a train jumps the tracks on the outskirts of their village. One year on from the crash, 5 different characters recount their memories of the disaster, and how it has changed their lives. With Bryan Dick, Deborah Findlay, Katy Cavanagh. Woman's Hour Serial.

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEA .....2008
Friday Play. Adapted from Tom Reynolds's book of the same name. Paramedic Paul Masters's night shift suddenly changes from boredom to heart-stopping drama. Can trainee Kelly rescue him when his work and personal life head for a sharp collision? Paul ...... Martin Freeman Kelly ...... Elaine Cassidy Father ...... Ron Cook Martha ...... Lorna Gayle Mrs Roberts ...... Anne Reid Ruth ...... Liz White Michael ...... Ben Onwukwe Nurse ...... Liza Sadovy David ...... Peter Marinker Ian ...... Joe Prospero. Directed by Nadia Molinari.
    ................. the daily stresses and the nightly horrors of life in an ambulance. A fictional account of Reynolds’s experiences as a paramedic, which largely consists of increasingly depressing accounts of illness, injury and the sundry unpleasantnesses to which flesh is heir. After a while the listener becomes almost as emotionally inured as the central figure, Paul, who has more than enough troubles of his own. ....part of a review by Chris Campling, The Times.

The play was also reviewed favourably in The Observer.

R4, 1415, 17 Nov 06. A thought-provoking Friday play about corrupt business practices. Martin's house has been built along with hundreds of others on a flood plain. When the estate gets flooded, and a young girl dies, he discovers first-hand how big business operates. Producer Sally Avens. ND, VRPCC newsletter.
    When the Fairfield estate is flooded and the daughter of one of the families drowned, the insurers move in. As the loss adjuster tries to put a value on the loss of a life, the father discovers that corruption and cynicism lie behind the building of houses on a flood plain. Stars Neil Dudgeon, Claire Rushbrook, Shaun Dooley.

A five part adaptation of the novel by Bernice Rubens in which a lonely spinster finds new purpose in life through her diary. With Kenneth Cranham and Sheila Reid. Woman's Hour Serial.

Friday Play, 4 Feb 05. Adam Godley , Helen Longworth , Emma Fielding , Stephen Hogan , Chiwtei Ejiofor , Benjamin Whitrow , Ian Hughes Hugh Dickenson.

11 Feb 05. Friday Play. Benjamin Whitrow , Andrew Garfield , Chiwetel Ejiofor , Nick Boulton , Hugh Dickenson , Emily Wachter , Amy Brown, Ian Hughes , Philip Fox , Stuart McLoughlin , Rob Hastie , Jason Chan , Annette Badland , Ndidi Del Fatti , Stephen Hogan.
    Two linked plays....the story of sex and religion told by two young men for whom love has a very different meaning. In the first play, an idealistic young priest faces losing everything when he's accused of having a homosexual affair with a married man. The second play examines an establishment in crisis through the eyes of a conservative bishop, as the Worldwide Anglican Communion faces schism.

    These plays were reviewed favourably in The Observer, Sunday Telegraph & Financial Times

The tale of an inner city community brought together by an inspirational young woman and a flock of sheep. Woman's Hour Serial.

Friday Play. 55m. A mother is reunited with her son twenty years after his disappearance as a toddler - but it's not all good news. Rpt. 10 Sep 04. Julia Ford , Andrew Harrison , Nicholas Greaves , Jemma Churchill , Joe Duttine , Ben Crowe , Denise Black , Stephen Critchlow.
    .......When a young man is mugged outside a pub, police find in his jacket pocket a christening bracelet, with the same initials as those belonging to a baby who disappeared from a local beauty spot twenty years earlier. Suffering from amnesia and having had his wallet stolen, the young victim has no idea as to his own identity as he lies in a hospital bed. The baby’s mother, however, is convinced the young man is her son, as police reopen the notorious abduction case.

    (Favourably reviewed by the Sunday Telegraph, and reached the lists for the 2004 Sony Awards.)

Jan 01. A six-part comedy series by Richard Monks about caravanners. With Stephanie Cole, Bernard Hepton, Annette Badland.

Friday Play. A sound recordist has an extensive collection of sound effects. Social story by Richard Monks.
    RT blurb: Michael is a sound recordist. He has a collection far more extensive than any effects library, but something in his past weighs increasingly heavy - he warns us not to believe all that we hear. With Ioan Meredith, Gavin Muir, Rachel Atkins, Tessa Worsley, David Allister, Stephen Critchlow, James Butcher, Yasmin Hickson and Lily Howkins. Director David Hunter.

      ‘An enthralling and amazing drama about guilt, psychosis and the voices that sometimes get locked in your head like demons refusing to be exorcised'…(Sunday Times)

      'Uses sound in a way that only works in this medium' (Times).

      Also reviewed favourably in The Guardian.

      Winner – Radio Drama - Sony Silver Award 2000
      Winner - Radio Drama - Mental Health Media Awards 1999
      Nominated for Prix Europa – Berlin 1999

compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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