Drama Page 70

Many thanks to Dick L for contributions to this page.

All the Dark Corners.All the Dark Corners.
The Desk. By Andrew Readman. The first in a chilling series of three plays. Davis Finch is a hack TV writer with aspirations to write a novel. In order to be a real writer he feels he needs a proper desk. The one he buys changes his life. He becomes a success – but at what price?
Something in the Water. By Paul Cornell. When crusading scientist and committed atheist James Woolmer is sacked from his job as a columnist, he decides to up sticks and move his family to the country to get away from it all. What he finds is a village gripped by hysteria and fear and a lucrative tourist industry surrounding Standlake’s resident lake monster, Lachey. Despite the weird skin abrasions and the rumbling in the pipes James is utterly sceptical, until he sees something in the water.
The Dying Wish. By Rosemary Kay. Fran and her partner Abe are befriended by a lonely old woman, Joy, who lives in the flat above. Joy persuades them to perform an ancient ritual after she’s died. They unwittingly agree without realising the terrifying consequences of their action. A quest for eternal life and the living dead permeate this chilling horror story.

An Angel at My Table. The autobiography of Janet Frame, dramatised for radio by Anita Sullivan. Frame was New Zealand’s best known but least public writer. The author of 12 novels, four story collections, one book of poetry and three volumes of autobiography, even at the height of her success Frame shunned publicity – which had the effect of making the media and her readership even more intrusively interested. It was the issue of her mental health which generated the most conjecture.
In her twenties she spent four and a half years in mental hospitals and was wrongly diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her writing saved her; the success of her first collection of short stories (The Lagoon and Other Stories) convincing doctors that she did not need a planned lobotomy.
To “set the record straight” about the circumstances of her committal to mental hospitals, in the early 80’s Janet Frame wrote her autobiography; three volumes entitled ‘To The Is-land (1982) An Angel At My Table and The Envoy From Mirror City (both 1984). It was after the publication of “An Angel At My Table”, at a time when several of her books had gone out of print, that Frame’s literary status was cemented.

Before the FactBefore the Fact. By Frances Iles. Emilia Fox, Ben Caplan and Patricia Hodge star in a dramatisation of the novel that Alfred Hitchcock based his film, ‘Suspicion’ on. Set in the early 1930s, Emilia Fox plays the part of Lina – a girl in her late twenties, from a wealthy family. In danger of becoming a spinster, life changes for the better when Lina meets Johnnie Aysgarth, a charming stranger who proposes marriage. Johnnie saves Lina from a boring life with her parents and whisks her off on an extravagant honeymoon. But on their return Lina begins to discover that Johnnie is not all he seems. His gambling threatens to ruin them but is her growing suspicion that he is also a murderer founded on reality or her imagination?

Bowen and BetjemanBowen and Betjeman. By John Banville. Award winning novelist, John Banville, imagines an encounter between Elizabeth Bowen and John Betjeman as they meet for luncheon in a Dublin hotel during the Second World War. As their conversation ranges over their lives, their loves, their politics, we are given a portrait of wartime Dublin and London and of the place of the artist in a world at war.

Bretton Woods.Bretton Woods. By Steve Waters. Seventy years ago, in July 1944, with the most disastrous war in history in its death-throes, a secret meeting took place in a hotel deep in the forests of New Hampshire. Bankers and economists from over forty nations met to draw up a settlement to save the world economy and secure the peace. Everything depended on two men – John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White, played in this new play by Simon Callow as Keynes and Henry Goodman as White.
Seen through the eyes of the main participants (including the eccentric Lady Keynes) this dive into big money and high politics takes Bretton Woods as a lens to reflect on one of the most burning issues of our times. Out of this meeting emerged two powerful institutions, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The international gold standard had come to grief in the Depression of the 1930s. A succession of countries, led by Britain, detached their currencies from gold rather than be forced by a fixed exchange-rate to cut demand and increase unemployment. By the summer of 1941, Britain was in debt not just to the United States but to the countries playing host to her armies, such as India and Egypt. Without currency controls, Britain was bankrupt. John Maynard Keynes envisaged a supernational bank in which trading accounts would be settled in bank money that would be available to members as an overdraft facility according to their share of world trade. Behind it would stand the greatest creditor nation, the United States. Over just three weeks in July 1944, the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, better known from the Mount Washington Hotel’s railway stop as the Bretton Woods conference, established a currency regime and the IMF and the World Bank.

By a Young Officer Churchill on the North West Frontier.By a Young Officer: Churchill on the North West Frontier. By Michael Eaton. Douglas Booth stars as the young Winston Churchill. The year is 1897 and news is just reaching London that Islamic insurgents are causing havoc in the mountainous border between British India and Afghanistan.

Burning Desires.Burning Desires. By Colin Bytheway. Between 1914 and 1918, Parisian Henri Désiré Landru proposed to ten women. Always the same method, always the same hideous outcome: The lonely hearts advertisement, the courtship, the proposal, the opening of a joint bank account. Then a trip to his country house. He always bought a return ticket for himself, but never his companions. As they were not returning. They were murdered, dismembered and burned in his kitchen stove. This is his story. Sort of…

City of Two Continents.City of Two Continents. Series of short stories marking Istanbul’s tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2010.
The Byzantine Passage. (R) By Jenny White. A young girl’s life changes forever when she glimpses the man to whom she is betrothed.
The Abyss as Viewed from Istanbul On 27th October 1962. (R) By Maureen Freely. The Cuban Missile Crisis as viewed from the streets of Istanbul.
As the world stands on the brink of annihilation, one city resident negotiates the fears and preoccupations of his lovers, friends and neighbours.
True Turk. (R) By Moris Farhi. A wise gypsy wrestler comes to the aid of a couple whose relationship is threatened by their families’ entrenched prejudices.

Crossing the Dark SeaCrossing the Dark Sea. By Michael Symmons Roberts. An eyewitness the night before the D-Day landings described the sea as black with boats. The voice of this programme is that of an ordinary soldier on one of those boats. Christopher Eccleston plays Alec, a young British soldier destined for France and for war. Katherine Jenkins (mezzo) sings the voice of his sweetheart, Sian, in a poetic response to the day’s events,

Original British Dramatists.Original British Dramatists. Discover 10 new voices over 10 Afternoon Dramas. The BBC Writers’ prize was established to create a unique opportunity for new and established writers who want to write for Radio Drama and Radio Comedy. The response was extraordinary, with over 1,200 original scripts submitted to BBC writersroom for consideration.

Rock Me Amadeus. By Simon Topping. Charlie was born a boy but has always known that he’s really a girl. What’s to be done? The arrival of a German exchange student prompts Charlie to take action. 

Simon Topping is one of the two winners of the newly established BBC Writer’s Prize. This is his first play for radio.

Paris, Nana & Me. By Caroline Horton. In 2009 writer and performer Caroline Horton took her ninety year-old Grandmother on one last trip to Paris. Having grown up hearing her Nana’s vivid stories of the city, Caroline excitedly planned their Parisian adventure. But it’s hard to have an unforgettable trip with someone who can’t remember what they were doing yesterday. And sight-seeing is not much fun with somebody who is virtually blind. A funny and heartbreakingly poignant journey through the city of love and the ravages of time.

When The Night Has No Right To Be King. By John Lynch. A man finds himself suspended between the living and the dead in John Lynch’s moving and powerful drama about grief and the redemptive power of love. Inspired by Greek mythology of the Underworld, it explores altered consciousness and the turbulence of time and memory. 

John Lynch is a successful film and television actor (Cal, In The Name of the Father, Sliding Doors, The Fall). He is also a writer. He has written two novels ‘Torn Water’ and ‘Falling out of Heaven’. He co-wrote the screenplay ‘Best’ about George Best. He is currently writing his third novel. This is his first drama for radio.

Art, Artefacts And Angels. By Phil Marley. The local museum has a real draw in the famous Russian bog body ‘The Angel of Archangelsk’. So when an exiled oligarch suggests the museum loans the Angel in return for a substantial sponsorship, they are delighted. A comedy about the realities of a cash strapped museum service.

This is Phil Marley’s first radio drama. In a previous life Phil was the ‘Front of House Manager’ of a large university museum. He is also an award winning writer with an MA in scriptwriting from the University of Salford. In 2011 he won the Co- Filmic comedy award for the short film “Boxed” which he co-wrote with Liam Fox.

When I Lived In Peru. By Andrew Viner. Stay-at-home Martin is driven crazy by the endless travel anecdotes of his globetrotting girlfriend, Claire. When he is unexpectedly made redundant, he starts pretending to Claire that he’s still going to work. Actually he is using his redundancy money to secretly fly to Tanzania each week to fake an impressive travel past for himself.

This is the first full length radio play by Andrew Viner. He was inspired to write this play by a friend who was always going on about their time in London while he was living in Sheffield and Andrew himself once drove across the Sahara in a Rover 213. He was originally a computer programmer like his protagonist, but after trying an evening course in writing on a whim, he gave it up to become a full time writer.

The Cloistered Soul. By Rachel Connor. Set in a Benedictine Convent, Rachel Connor’s lyrical drama is a glimpse into the rarely seen world of an enclosed religious order. When new postulant Bridget arrives, Sister Agatha is assigned to look after her. But Bridget’s questions force Agatha to confront the truth about herself and her faith.

Rachel Connor is a novelist and playwright. Her first novel Sisterwives was published in 2011 and she recently won the Hebden Shorts Competition with her play ‘Synchronous’.

Magpie. By Lee Mattinson. Jack Deam stars as Lance in this quirky, comedy drama. Lance is making changes. With new-found techniques to resist his urge to eat metal and a sensible job at the council secured, his life is on the mend. Until a little boy moves into his street, a little boy with a big secret.

Lee Mattinson has written for the Bush and Soho Theatres, National Theatre, Paines Plough, Live Theatre and BBC Three.

The Shining Heart. By Matt Haynes and Conor McCormack. When Louis, a schizophrenic, decides to stop taking his meds, his world becomes infused with wonder. His intoxicating mental universe furnishes him with everything he lacks in real life: friends to watch over him, unfettered adventure, supernatural powers. His happiness is complete when his girlfriend returns. But his caseworker Robert knows where it’ll end. Can Louie pull himself back from the blissful intensity of psychosis and save himself from institutionalisation?

Based on a true story and made in collaboration with the real ‘Louie’. BIFA nominated for his documentary work, Conor is currently undertaking a psychoanalytic training with the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. A veteran of many punk and hip hop groups, Matt is a Bristol based screen writer, script editor and music video director.

Lost Or Stolen. By Jessica Brown. Sarah and Dan meet when they a share a taxi after a night out in London. They are drawn to each other. But Sarah can’t resist stealing his phone. So begins an unorthodox love story. A two-hander, about finding love in the big city.

Jessica Brown is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers programme. Her debut play Chocolate Bounty won the Write Now New Writing Competition and premiered at The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre to great reviews. Jessica then won the competition for the second year running with her play Skinhead. She has since had work produced at the Southwark Playhouse.

From A To Z. By Rose Heiney. Suzie and Paul have been together for ten years, since they were kids really. But at the ripe old age of 29 it’s all gone a bit rubbish. Can A to Z dating help reignite their relationship? Even if Susie’s idea of fun is H (hang gliding) and Paul’s is K (knitting). Will it end in D for disaster or S for success?

Rose Heiney won the 4Talent Award for Best New Comedy Writer in 2008 and was a Broadcast Hotshot in 2009. Her first novel, The Days of Judy B was nominated for The Times/South Bank Show Breakthrough Award. Rose’s TV writing includes Miranda, Fresh Meat and Big Bad World.

Deadheading.Deadheading. By Val McDermid. Crime writer Val McDermid turns her hand to radio drama with a comic thriller set amongst the plots and sheds of a Lancashire allotment.

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