Barry Bermange Radio Plays

??.09.1981 The Mortification*, R3
??.??.1980 Never Forget a Face*
06.05.1979 Social Welfare
08.03.1979 Scenes From Family Life
13.06.1978 S.O.S*
16.11.1977 Oldenberg
03.09.1976 No Quarter*, new cast
10.03.1972 No Quarter,rpt
??.??.1967 As a man grows older
??.??.1966 Letters of a Portuguese Nun
18.01.1965 Paths of Glory, from novel by Humphrey Cobb
01.04.1965 The After-Life
05.01.1964 Within Dreams*, R3
16.11.1964 Amor Dei
??.??.1964 The Mortification
??.??.1964 The Detour
??.??.1964 Four Inventions
14.11.1962 No Quarter*
28.02.1962 A Glass of Lemonade*
??.??.1962 Nathan and Tabileth
20.07.1962 Freedom Hours
??.??.1962 The Imposters, series
??.??.1961 Never Forget a Face
??.??.1960 The Voice of the Peanut

*known to exist in collections within VRPCC


Rather disturbing but well-written play about the sort of guy who hangs around on street corners.

20 jul 62: Not a play; old people talk about the way they spend their time. An old man talks about his gardening and his home-made wine. "The days are not long enough ..." An old man, 95 years old, describes his daily round. "I don't worry at all, there's no point in it, but it would be nice to have someone to talk to ... An old man, 80 years old this year, with a very pronounced theatrical manner, has written a play called Leonardo, and is trying to get it produced. He also teaches dress design at an evening institute, and mentions its name - "I'm advertising but I don't care". He is never sorry for himself - "My heart is as young as it was at 18"... An old woman says she is "a bit lonely sometimes", but is rarely depressed - "I like my wireless". Nowadays she goes seldom to the pictures - "they've fallen off". She ends, unexpectedly, "Oh, dear, that tea has given me indigestion again - I've got a couple of tablets in here". The programme was compiled by Barry Bermange, and produced by David Thomson. The speakers were recorded at an old people's club; sometimes a piano is heard behind the voices, but the music is not identifiable

Play, produced by Robin Midgley. Two old people sit side by side on a park bench. Everything seems familiar, but already the memory is beginning to play strange tricks ... their hold on life seems tenuous and uncertain. The past is too difficult to remember, the future is beyond them, it is all they can do to live in the present; their awareness of other people is reduced to an intimate awareness of each other. When a young man calls on them and tells them he is their grandson, they take him at his word (Radio Times) 10-Jun-1962 Meier Tzelniker, Beatrix Lehmann, Haydn Jones.

NO QUARTER....1962 and 1976
Play; produced by John Gibson. "Two men, unknown to one another, ask for rooms in an hotel. A single room only is vacant. They share it.....with others." (RT) Special effects recorded by John Gibson and Roy Maynard. Incidental music composed and conducted by John Buckland. 14-Nov-1962- Peter Pratt, Felix Felton, Denys Hawthorne, Carleton Hobbs.

---Kafkaesque tale with a small group of assorted oddballs trapped, lost and disoriented in a tower block...excellent R3-type play. I would like to obtain a complete copy of the 1976 recording; mine has the ending missing---ND. .....UPDATE - recording obtained...

Another Kafkaesque play with "the victim" a worker of 20 years' experience in a large company, perpetually on the move from office to office...superb casting - Cyril Shaps, Hugh Burden as far as I can recall. Excellent piece of radio.

"Within Dreams" is a radio collage, not a play, done in collaboration with Delia Derbyshire, of "Dr. Who theme" fame. "This programme of sounds and voices is an attempt to re-create in five movements some sensations of dreaming - running away, falling, landscape, underwater and colour. All the voices were recorded from life (by Barry Bermange) and arranged in a setting of pure electronic sounds." (RT) -Produced by David Thomson.

Comment from ND - this piece is something of a curiosity. The effects are interesting, but the same bits are heard again and again. I had to switch it off after ten minutes, and I probably won't listen to it again.

---Note also BBC RADIO 3 19.10.93 Between the Ears: The Dreams by Barry Bermange An invention for radio: people talking about recurring elements in their dreams; ethereal electronic sounds. Introduced by Mark Russell in conversation with Barry Bermange.

AMOR DEI....1964
A second invention for radio by Barry Bermange, in collaboration with the B.B.C.'s Radiophonic Workshop, with talk recorded in co-operation with the Old People's Welfare Council, Hornsey. Producer: David Thomson. An attempt to describe God in human terms, and to create, in the manner of a religious painting, an overall impression of man's love for Him. The voices were recorded from life and arranged by the author in a setting of radiophonic sound. Plainsong Antiphon John Hahessy (boy soprano) - unacc. 16-Nov-1964

Monday play 18/01/65, based on the novel by Humphrey Cobb. By Barry Bermange.

The third in a cycle of inventions for radio by Barry Bermange, in collaboration with the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop. Produced by David Thomson. "This programme is an attempt to reconstruct in sound the spiritualistic vision of Death and Eternity. It is conceived as a dream of Death. Using the montage process of his earlier programmes, 'The Dreams' and 'Amor Dei', the author has arranged in settings of electronic sound a collection of voices recorded from life. There are four movements." Radio Times. "Actuality" voices recorded in co-operation with the Old People's Welfare Council, Hornsey. 1-Apr-1965.

- a play; producer: Shaun MacLoughlin R4 16-Nov-1977 David March, Colette O'Neil, Colin Baker.

S.O.S. ....1978
A new work for voices by Barry Bermange. Drawn from 'The International Code Of Signals for the use of All Nations (1874)'. An audio-collage of Signals Of Distress, presented in a transcribed form as a vocal composition with acoustic & electronic effects, in which voices singly or in choral groups call to each other across an ocean for help that never comes. Special Sound: Henry Parker, of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Producer: Barry Bermange. The production contains many sound effects & silences, which are outside the norms of broadcasting. R3 13-Jun-1978 Karen Archer, David Ashford, Elizabeth Bell, Michael Goldie, Henry Knowles, Hilda Kriseman, Joan Matheson, Mary Elliott Nelson, John Pullen, Roy Spencer, Robert Trotter. Technical presentation: David Greenwood.

- a play; produced by Alec Reid R3 06-May-1979. Cast List : Sean Barrett, Jill Balcon, Peter Wickham.

List of plays compiled from info. supplied by Roger Bickerton and Steve Arnold.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Updated Jun 2008

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