Many thanks to Roger P and Walter C for contributions to this page.
An English Tragedy. By Ronald Harwood. Based on actual events at the end of World War Two, this play by Oscar winner Ronald Harwood stars Derek Jacobi. May 1945: victory in Europe, and a Labour landslide. English traitor John Amery is arrested in Italy and brought back to London for trial. If convicted, he faces the death penalty. But his father is a senior politician; surely the Establishment will look after its own…The play charts the weeks leading up to the execution, following John’s arrest in Italy and trial in London. Like a real-life Sebastian Flyte, he clutches his teddy bear, lies, boasts and jokes as the day of execution draws inexorably nearer. Meanwhile his distraught parents try everything in their power to save him. John Amery was the Harrow educated son of Churchill’s Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery. His brother Julian was later to become a prominent Conservative MP. A troubled man, who had been expelled from Public School and bankrupted as a young entrepreneur, John became a passionate fascist. He broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda during World War 2 and ran a programme recruiting British POWs to fight for Germany on the Eastern Front. Unlike his brother Julian, John was a wild boy – bisexual, hedonistic and unstable. Why?
Bright Young Things. (R) Series of three classic short stories celebrating the riotous, witty, cocktail-swilling party people of the 1920s, dubbed by Evelyn Waugh the ‘Bright Young Things’.
Jeeves And The Yuletide Sprit. By P G Wodehouse. An unexpected invitation to spend the festive season in the country throws Jeeves’s plans for a yuletide break in Monte Carlo into disarray. But as the hapless Bertie Wooster gaily wreaks havoc in the season of goodwill, his loyal manservant soon has Monte Carlo
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The Garden Party. By Katherine Mansfield. A lavish party at the luxurious Sheridan family home is jeopardised when a local workman meets with a tragic death.
Bernice Bobs Her Hair. By F Scott Fitzgerald. The dowdy Bernice becomes a ‘society vampire’ after guidance from her popular cousin Marjorie. But when the new party girl Bernice begins to threaten her cousin’s own popularity, Marjorie lays a fiendish trap for her gullible cousin.
The Casino. (R) Recently rediscovered by publisher Persephone Books, Margaret Bonham’s, The Casino, is a beautifully crafted collection of short stories written in the 1940s. The stories offer unsettling insights into the relationship between parent and child, where the point of view of the child is particularly sharply observed.
The Horse. Angela is writing her essay on the horse while her mother entertains a number of her intellectual friends. The guests decide to help Angela with her homework, but their suggestions find more favour with the mother than with the daughter.
Miss King. A meditation on the art of giving. Emma King takes issue with the views of Lin Young’s mother, a malicious outcome ensues.
The River. The River is a source of passion for William and his three year old daughter Frankie. When it floods, catastrophe follows.
The Two Mrs Reeds. Two women with the same name convalesce in a maternity ward.
The Professor’s Daughter. Young Britta and her fearful imagination cause social embarrassment for Miss Jenner, in this story by Margaret Bonham.
Charlottes Web. By E. B. White. Wilbur the baby pig is rescued from an untimely death by farmer’s daughter Fern, only to discover that he’s being fattened up for the dinner table. Can his life be saved a second time? The classic children’s story about the friendship between Wilbur and Charlotte, the spider who can write.
In Mates. Comedy by Sue Teddern. Michelle from Orpington sends audio tapes to her new pen pal, Randall – who is on Death Row. Michelle is a happy woman, with a lovely social life, and poor Randall could do with this outlet, surely. Or at least, that’s how the relationship begins.
Moeran’s Last Symphony. By Martyn Wade. A dramatic portrait of the last weeks in the life of the English composer E.J.Moeran [1894-1950]. After the triumphant reception of his first Symphony he was commissioned by the prestigious Halle Orchestra to write a second. Tortured by the end of his marriage to the cellist Peers Coetmore and in constant pain from injuries sustained during the Great War which had driven him to drink, he retreated to Kenmare in Ireland, a place of previous inspiration, hoping this would provide the right setting for creativity. But it was not to be, and his untimely death was both tragic and haunting.
A Dark Blue Perfume. On returning from abroad, a retired businessman decides to find his ex-wife who left him for another man many years before.
The Wink. An elderly woman exacts revenge on the man who raped her when she was a teenager.
Computer Seance. One day, a medium with a laptop bumps into Jimmy, who just happens to be her dead brother.
The Wrong Category. Barry ignores his mother’s fears and goes out after dark, to visit the sites of six recent murders.
Burning End. A woman caring for her difficult mother-in-law watches as strong sunlight hits a glass vase in the old lady’s home and scorches the papers beneath.
Ruth Rendell’s The Fever Tree. Murderous crime thrillers dramatised by Yvonne Antrobus.
The Fever Tree. Ford and Tricia travel to a mosquito-ridden South African nature reserve in an attempt to patch up their awful marriage. It’s a terrible idea, and Ford is soon wondering if the leopards can rid him of his wife quicker than the divorce courts.
The Dreadful Day of Judgement. Three lost souls are thrown together over the Christmas period when they find themselves clearing up an abandoned graveyard. As time goes on, their personal demons loom larger, and something eventually has to give.
Thornapple. James’s interest in poisons – particularly the highly potent brew made from thornapples – is purely scientific. If only everyone else felt the same way.
Paperwork. (R) By Ruth Rendell. Cruelty and silence lead a man to confront his past in a house piled high with papers – and secrets.
Sacred Statues. By William Trevor. Penniless sculptor Corry struggles to make ends meet for his pregnant wife Nuala and their children. Unbeknown to him, Nuala comes up with a shocking plan. Gifted Sculptor Corry is struggling to make ends meet for his pregnant wife Nuala and their children. He may be left with no choice but to sacrifice his beautiful statue carving and take a labouring job. Surely, Nuala reckons, there must be a way to safeguard his talent? She must find a way.
Scummow – Things Washed Up by the Sea. Comedy about faith, love and redemption by Annamaria Murphy.When a delirious Irishman arrives in a Cornish harbour, baker Mary Kneebone takes him in, and soon the sick and gullible are queuing at her door.
Staring into the Fridge. By Annie Mccartney. With two twenty-something children and a dubious boyfriend eating her out of house and home, Maggie, is beginning to lose the will to live. She feels she has no one to talk to or listen. But all that is about to change when she hears a voice speaking to her from the corner of the kitchen. It seems that the only one who understands her predicament is her Fridge. But unlike poor beleaguered Maggie, this fridge has got ‘attitude’ and is determined to help her get her life back on track!
Stepniak. Martyn Wade’s bitter-sweet real life love story of Olive Garnett, sister of the famous Russian translator, Constance, who meets and falls for a Russian expatriate whose charms hide a secret and rather sinister past.
Swimming Around Ireland. By Martin Meenan. Steven was badly injured in a traffic accident, his physiotherapy sessions haven’t been going well and he has grown depressed and despondent. Keen to motivate him and make some progress his physiotherapist Caet decides to try some hydrotherapy in the pool. But the first session goes badly, Steven can’t move his leg and grows increasingly frustrated: ‘It’s not as if I’ll ever swim around Ireland is it?’ But Caet has an idea to prove that Steven can do just that. For every move or kick Steven makes they will travel ten kilometres around Ireland, plotting their progress on a map. So begins an unusual journey of imagination and discovery as Steven and Caet set out to ‘swim’ around Ireland!
The Captain Of The Polestar. A Dundee whaling ship becomes trapped in the arctic. Strange cries sound across the ice at night and a figure is glimpsed on the floes. Is it the Captain’s lost love come to reclaim him? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysterious tale of apparitions on the ice, adapted for radio.
Olalla. By Robert Louis Stevenson. During the Peninsular War in Spain, a wounded Scottish soldier is sent to stay in a remote house in the hills. The soldier falls in love with the daughter of the house, but the family harbours a terrible secret.
The Brownie of the Black Haggs. James Hogg’s tale of unnatural obsession, adapted for radio. Lady Wheelhope has a reputation as a violent mistress to those under her power. Yet when desire for a mysterious servant overwhelms her, it’s her own soul she yields to terrible risk.
The Nine Billion Names Of God. A Tibetan monastery’s new computer sparks fears that the world will end.
The Star. A priest’s faith is severely tested during an expedition on a burnt planet.
Death And The Senator. If a medical space station can cure cardiac conditions, who gets treatment?
Superiority. In war, the more technologically advanced side can still be defeated.
The Sentinal. The story from which Arthur C Clarke developed the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.
Wakefield. By Nathaniel Hawthorne, dramatised by Martyn Wade. A bored, dull middle-aged man devises a plan to temporarily leave home and observe the effect on his wife from the flat opposite. But the longer he stays away, the harder it becomes to return…
What the Nun Discovered. By Harriet O’Carroll Sr. MaryJo returns home to Ireland after 25 years as a missionary in Uganda, to a disillusioned public and a Church which has lost so much of its moral authority. But with an honesty and simplicity learned in another continent she sets in train a quiet but radical revolution.
The Mumbai Chuzzlewits. By Ayeesha Menon. Sony award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon reworks Charles Dickens ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ and sets it amongst the Catholic community in modern-day Mumbai, India. Convinced his relatives are after his money, miserly old recluse Martin Chuzzlewit, adopts orphan girl, Mary, to be his carer. As she will inherit nothing upon his death, he believes she will do her utmost to keep him in good health. But when his grandson Mickey falls in love with her, Martin’s plans are thrown into disarray. Disinheriting him, Martin triggers a complex web of deceit, betrayal and manipulation as the extended family and hangers-on close in, in pursuit of his fortune. Told from the point of view of orphan Thomas, an observer into the world of the Chuzzlewits, this is a fast-paced drama full of intrigue, romance, suspense and murder…