Drama Page 44

Many thanks to David H, William W, Susan, Martin F and Walter C for contributions to this page.

The Trouble With CavesTrouble With Caves. By Ronan Bennett. Ian is hearing voices, distant voices, apparently coming from underground. Who is down there? Are they trapped? Can they be helped? This original, humorous and thought-provoking new play takes us into the subterranean world of ‘Cave 73’ where some modern day cave dwellers teeter on the brink of momentous change.

TerremotoTerremoto. By Catrin Clarke. Daniel is a young free runner, who has been all over the world, jumping across cities everywhere but never really seeing them. His latest goal is to run solo across the Atacama desert in Northern Chile, a new extreme challenge. He’s earning a huge amount of money by being filmed at the end of his run drinking a particular extreme sports drink. But he has to get there on a certain day, and his time is tight. Ayelen 30 something year old Chilean woman, who has lived in the Uk for most of her life. She has come home on a family reunion with her mother but has run out after yet another family row. She has ‘borrowed’ a run down 4 by 4 from the garage where her brother works – and she is travelling across the desert alone. Then all of the sudden the earthquake hits. Ayelen’s car is thrown off course, she is trapped and Daniel, who has seen it all from a nearby ridge, is forced to rescue her. He is reluctant to break his meticulously planned run – but you can’t abandon a human being in a place like this. Their subsequent journey across the desert is a life changing experience for both of them. Terremoto is written by Catrin Clarke, an experienced television and radio writer, and based on her own knowledge of Chile and running the desert.

The Accountant of Solyanka Square.The Accountant of Solyanka Square. By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. Now that Andrei’s business interests are legitimate, he never talks about how he made his millions. But when he is kidnapped by his estranged son Victor, who will stop at nothing to get answers, he is forced to reveal his secrets. Set against the backdrop of Russia’s turbulent recent past – from the Soviet Union’s fall to Putin’s rise – this slick thriller explores the period which gave birth to the now infamous ‘oligarchs’.

The Adding MachineThe Adding Machine. By Elmer Rice. Elmer Rice’s wildly imaginative Expressionist classic play from 1923. Mr Zero has spent the last 25 years adding up columns of figures and dreaming of advancement. But when the boss finally calls him into his office, Zero does not get the promotion he was expecting – quite the opposite in fact.

The Amorous GhostThe Amorous Ghost. By Enid Bagnold. Mr Templeman’s wife is away, but it seems someone is sleeping in her nightgowns.

The Cadoro CafeThe Ca’d’oro Café. By Donna Franceschild. The Ca’d’oro Café is a dark comedy about love, money and desperation. Melanie is a waitress in a café. It is closing time when Billy walks in with a bleeding forehead. This is the moment she has dreamt of – being alone with Billy. Only it isn’t… She can’t lose this job and she has got to shut up shop for the night. But Billy has got his own reasons for staying. He has just lost the job that has kept him afloat and now he wants to go back to the only other place he felt settled – jail. Once he has pulled Melanie into his world and filled her with even more love for him, he’ll start smashing windows.

The Dancing FaunThe Dancing Faun. By Paul Bryers. Kate and Janice are spending a peaceful day out in the heart of the Sussex countryside. While looking around Berwick Church in Rodmell, Janice accidentally bumps into an “old flame” — a local MP. His curious behaviour arouses their suspicion and with nothing better to do, they decide to make a few inquiries. Then Janice disappears.

The Diabolical GourmetThe Diabolical Gourmet. Historical drama, written by Alex Shearer. Death by fine dining: the true story of Pere Gourier and his string of perfectly legal murders in the finest restaurants of 1790s Paris. Bored with his wife and homelife, the well-off land-owner begins to amuse himself by taking hard-up acquaintances every day to the best restaurants in Paris and dining them to death. Everyone knows about it but – as he isn’t doing anything against the law – no one can stop him. Dealing with a succulent batch of topics – food, wine, fine dining, the effects of over-indulgence, a loophole in the law and a murderer who can’t be stopped – this true story unfolds from the perspective of Ameline, the executioner’s assistant who volunteers to take on the murdering bon vivant Gourier at his own game in the richest restaurants in Paris. The intensity and opulence of Gourier’s deadly feasts (he would order 15 steaks at a sitting, trying to kill off his fellow diner) lead to a final dining-room confrontation between him and Ameline, the table groaning under the weight of course after course of rich, deadly food – the murder weapon of a rich, deadly gourmet.

The Magic CottageThe Magic Cottage. By James Herbert. A cottage was found in the heart of the forest. It was charming maybe, a little run-down, but so peaceful – a magical haven for creativity and love. But the cottage had an alternative side – the bad magic. What happened there was horrendous beyond belief.

The Man In The Dark.The Man in the Dark. By John Ferguson, dramatised for radio by Gwen Cherrell.?Murder on a foggy night at Ealing in the presence of a down-and-out war veteran who couldn’t see the crime sends the blind man in flight with the assassin’s accomplice.

The Reluctant Millionaire.The Reluctant Millionaire. By Wendy Oberman. Annie Marriott, a self employed hairdresser, who whilst facing bankruptcy, finds a winning lottery ticket. Desperate to avoid closure and losing her house, Annie claims the money and pays off her most pressing debts. But now, she and her husband, an invalided war veteran, face an agonizing moral dilemma which is made worse when they discover their newest friend is claiming the ticket is his.

The VeldtThe Veldt. By Ray Bradbury. A family has just bought a house with the latest technology. It is called the “Happylife Home” and its installation cost $30,000. The house is filled with machines that do everything for them from cooking meals, to clothing them, to rocking them to sleep. The two children, Peter and Wendy, become fascinated with the “nursery,” a virtual reality room that is able to connect with the children telepathically to reproduce any place they imagine. The parents, George and Lydia, soon realize that there is something wrong with their way of life.

There is a another version of The Veldt in the ‘Bradbury 13’ collection on Drama Page 53.

The Voyage of the DemeterThe Voyage of the Demeter. By Robert Forrest. Chilling tale of the supernatural, set on a schooner sailing from Bulgaria to England in 1867. Something very unpleasant is lurking aboard the ship, and the voyage becomes a terrifying ordeal.

TrollTroll. By Ed Harris. Adult cares mix with childhood fears, in this comic twisted fairy tale. In the middle of a family crisis, Olivia discovers a troll under her mother’s kitchen sink. A troll to whom, in the magic days of childhood, she once promised herself as a meal.

Box_Of_DelightsThe Box of Delights. By John Masefield. When Kay Harker meets an old Punch and Judy man on his way home for Christmas, he little realizes that he is about to be plunged into adventure. The old man entrusts Kay with a magical box that transports him through time and space, where he battles against terrifying forces.

There are two versions available, one from 1978 with David Davis and a 1995 version with Donald Sinden.

MidnightFolkThe Midnight Folk. By John Masefield. Kay Harker sets out to discover what became of a fortune stolen from his sea-faring great grandfather Aston Tirrold Harker (in reality, Aston Tirrold is a village in Oxfordshire). The treasure is also sought by a coven of witches who are also seeking it for their own ends. Kay Harker is aided in his quest by various talking animals, most notably Nibbins the cat, who used to be a witch’s cat but has reformed. There are two other household cats: the main antagonist is Blackmalkin, and he is aided by the mysterious Greymalkin who takes his name from the witch’s familiar in the opening scene of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Kay Harker experiences various adventures-—sailing on the high seas, swimming with mermaids, flying on broomsticks. At one point in the novel he manages to see into the past. Many maternal characters appear in the book, one takes Kay on a nocturnal ride on a magical horse. She then reappears at the end of the book as Caroline Louisa, Kay’s new governess. She tells Kay, “..I loved your mother…”. It is possible that she represents Masefield’s memory of his own mother who died when he was very young.

The Ministry Of FearThe Ministry of Fear. By Graham Greene. For Arthur Rowe the charity fete was a trip back to childhood, a welcome chance to escape the terror of the Blitz. Then he correctly guesses the weight of a cake and from that moment – he’s a hunted man.

Philip MarloweIn 1939 Raymond Chandler created a different kind of detective, the fast-talking, trouble seeking Californian private eye Philip Marlowe. Toby Stephens plays Philip Marlowe in a landmark series bringing all Chandler’s ground breaking Philip Marlowe novels together in one collection. This collection is from 2011 and the 2006 collection starring Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe is also available.

The Big Sleep. Marlowe’s entanglement with the Sternwood family – respectable sister with gambling addiction, younger sister with drink/drug problem and an attendant cast of colourful underworld figures – is enshrined in the iconic film version with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

The 2006 version available dramatised by Bill Morrison and starring Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe.

The Lady in the Lake. By Raymond Chandler. Derace Kingsley, a wealthy businessman, hires Marlowe to find his estranged wife Crystal. Kingsley fears that rich, reckless Crystal may have got herself into a scandal and the last place she was known to have been was a resort called Little Fawn Lake.

The 2006 version available dramatised by Bill Morrison and starring Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe.

Farewell My Lovely. By Raymond Chandler. Dramatised by Robin Brooks. When Philip Marlowe sees a huge, loudly dressed man casually throwing a bouncer out onto the the pavement as he goes into a bar, he knows it’s time to walk away, so he follows him inside. The big guy is Moose Molloy, recently released from an eight year prison sentence and now on the hunt for his old sweetheart, a red-haired nightclub singer named Velma Valento. Marlowe follows a trail which includes a stick-up, blackmail, an irresistible blonde, a psychic, drugs and murder, and it leads him all the way to the top of a corrupt state of California. Farewell My Lovely was the second of Chandler’s novels featuring Marlowe. It was adapted for the big screen three times.

The 2006 version available dramatised by Bill Morrison and starring Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe.

Playback. By Raymond Chandler. Dramatised by Stephen Wyatt. Marlowe is hired to tail the mysterious Betty Mayfield all the way to the seaside town of Esmerelda, without knowing why or the identity of his employer. It’s not long before he realises that he’s not the only one on the trail, and that he too is being watched.

The Long Goodbye. By Raymond Chandler. California in the 50’s, as beautiful as a ripe fruit and rotten to the core, reflecting all the tarnished glitter of the American Dream. Outside a club on Sunset Boulevard Marlowe meets a drunk named Terry Lennox, a man with scars on one side of his face. They forge an uneasy friendship but everything changes when Lennox shows up late one night, asking for a favour.

The 2006 version available dramatised by Bill Morrison and starring Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe.

The High Window. By Raymond Chandler. When rare gold coin is stolen from her collection, Mrs Murdoch hires private eye Philip Marlowe to find it. The tough matriarch is convinced about the identity of the thief, but Marlowe’s own enquiries lead him elsewhere. He’s soon caught in the crossfire of a family at war with itself. This version is starring Toby Stephens as Philip Marlowe.

The 2006 version available dramatised by Bill Morrison and starring Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe.

The Little Sister. A small, neat girl walks into Philip Marlowe’s office. Orfamay Quest is looking for her brother Orrin. She gives Marlowe twenty dollars and lots of moral disapproval. Marlowe takes the case and finds himself drawn into the glamorous world of the Hollywood film studios.

The 2006 version available dramatised by Bill Morrison and starring Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe.

Poodle Springs. By Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker Dramatised by Robin Brooks. Fresh from his honeymoon with heiress Linda Loring, Philip Marlowe has set up shop in the upmarket Californian town of Poodle Springs. But the life of a kept man soon loses its charm, and when he’s asked to find a gambler on the run from his debts, Marlowe can’t resist. Toby Stephens plays iconic detective Philip Marlowe. The eighth and final Philip Marlowe novel, Raymond Chandler’s Poodle Springs was unfinished at the time of the author’s death in 1959. It remained so for another 30 years, until crime writer Robert B. Parker completed the novel to mark the centenary of Chandler’s birth.

Goldfish. (R) Adapted from the Raymond Chandler novel, PI Carmady sets out on a misson to retrieve valuable Leander pearls which were stolen 15 years ago.

goldfish girlGoldfish Girl. By Peter Souter. Joe can remember everything about Ally, the love of his life for ten years. Ally, however, can remember nothing about Joe.

puddlePuddle. Romantic comedy by Peter Souter. Advertising agency director Sam has mislaid his actress girlfriend Gemma, who is shooting a soap in New York, and is desperate to win her back.But when Sam finally gets to America, he hasn’t the courage to confront her. Instead he ends up in a New York gaol, where he pours out his a heart to a distinctly unimpressed fellow inmate.

streamStream River Sea. Romantic comedy by Peter Souter about sudden death and the effect it has on two dysfunctional adults and a precocious 13-year-old. Both numb with grief, Hugh and Bella have a series of chance encounters and eventually become friends, but Bella’s daughter Daisy is not pleased.

project archangelProject Raphael. By Jenny Stephens. A dangerous enemy agent of British Intelligence has died, taking his secrets to the grave. The only hope of retrieving them is to send someone after him. Raphael volunteers to become a ‘revenant’, a dead agent. However, once he is dead no one can contact him, and so a ghost-hunter is recruited.

Project Archangel. By Jenny Stephens. Malcolm Holmes is drawn back into the murky world of espionage from beyond the grave. Project Raphael sequel.

Appolo 21Apollo 21. Mockumentary by Nick Mohammed, recorded at Bedford University. Forty years after man first landed on the moon, the surviving astronauts tell us what it was like to be part of the moon mission.

Postscripts By J B PriestleyPostscripts. By J B Priestley.(R) Patrick Stewart reads a selection of Priestley’s Postscripts. The humanity and passion of Priestley’s wartime observations fired the imagination of millions when they were first broadcast.
01 Reflecting on the evacuation of Dunkirk, the broadcaster’s 1940 wartime observations.
02 Today, he describes a wartime outing to Margate.
03 Today, he compares the current war with his experiences of the previous world war.
04 The broadcaster looks back to the very first day of the war.
05 The broadcaster describes recent air-raids in his native city of Bradford.

pegasus-1Pegasus. By Eric Saward. When a bomb explodes in an East End alley in 1890, Insp. Maitland asks thespian actor Richard Mace are confronted with a crime of outstanding evil and international skulduggery.

For more Detective files go to the Detective Pages.

SpellboundSpellbound. By Francis Beeding. Amanda Dalton’s adaptation of Francis Beeding’s murder mystery The House of Dr Edwardes, upon which Hitchcock’s film Spellbound was based. The new head of a mental hospital is not what he claims to be – but who is he?

Spoonface SteinbergSpoonface Steinberg. By Lee Hall. An autistic girl comes to terms with her extraordinary life.

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