Guy Meredith is a well-known radio writer and dramatist. His most recent play went out recently on radio 3; a drama about the antipathy between Verdi and Wagner. He has a wide range, as the list below shows.
Barry Pike's piece was written at a time when 'social realism' in BBC drama seemed to take precedence over a good story. That time is now past, and entertaining plays are once again being commissioned, including 8 of Guy Meredith's.
So - over to ........
BARRY PIKE, writing in 2002.........
CRAFT (1984) is the first of two linked plays, of which the second, CRAFT II: THE TOKYO CORRECTION (sic), appeared in 1993. Both are ebullient, light-hearted thrillers, set among artists and picture dealers, with Norman Rodway as a devious painter and James Grout as the bullish policeman investigating his activities. (To hear the latter attempting to communicate by telephone with a French colleague is to experience comedy of a high order.) The second play takes up the story ten years later, adding to the mixture an eccentric art collector, played with enormous relish by Steve Hodson.
MAD, BAD (1989) is a half- hour squib in which Bill Nighy, hag -ridden on both flanks, contrives at the last minute to evade his oppressors. ARCADY (1991) is a haunting play; at once a dissection of thatcherite market forces and an unconventional ghost story. THE SURPRISE SYMPHONY (1991) is one of Meredith's triumphs, a two-hander for Norman Rodway and Imelda Staunton as the surviving members of a doomed orchestra, most of whom, one after the other, meet death by violence. It is supremely clever and monstrously funny. MARTIN GUERRE (1992) confirmed Meredith's range and reliability; a powerful version of the French story about a supposed return from the dead, adapted in two parts for the "Classic Serial". VICTORY (1993) is a moving play about a doomed eternal triangle in post-war Germany. It brought Guy Meredith's radio career to an impressive close - but the discriminating listener has been the poorer since he stopped writing for the medium.
Barry Pike, 2002.
GUY MEREDITH RADIO PLAYS
THE SURPRISE SYMPHONY....1991
THE COLOUR OF MURDER, by Julian Symons, dram. G. Meredith, 1991
SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK ....2003
VRPCC RADIO REVIEW Sep 03
Guy Meredith's new play, SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK (R4, 1430, 19 Jul 03), was an amusing comedy-drama starring Stephen Moore and Samantha Spiro. Dennis is getting remarried but isn't sure he's doing the right thing. His first wife, Maggie, is a plumber; she has to sort out some leaking pipes before the reception guests arrive. There are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. Cherry Cookson directed, I hope more of Guy Meredith's work will be heard soon.
DAUNT & DERVISH....2003
1:After the Ball is Over - Two women who worked in the Ministry of Defence in the Second World War resolve their feelings of uselessness by setting up a detective agency.
2:South of the Border - Daunt and Dervish have established their detective agency and there is a steady flow of business. This episode starts with a woman trying to drown herself by jumping off a bridge.
3:A Question of Class - The detectives return to their Covent Garden office early one morning to discover an Oxford undergraduate drunk on their doorstep.
4:Games of Chance - The detectives are called in on a sporting assignment when they are asked to do a 24-hour watch on a young East End boy about to fight for a place in the 1948 Olympics...
5:The Singer, not the Song - When a newspaper magnate is murdered, the obvious suspect is his much younger wife. But when the police discover Daunt and Dervish were actually in the grounds of his house earlier that evening, they are under suspicion and more..........
Cast: *Anna Massey, *Imelda Staunton, *Bill Paterson, Nicky Henson, Alison Petitt, Gerard McDermott, Harry Myers, Andrew Harrison, Marlene Sidaway, Stephen Critchlow, Liza Sadovy, Carl Prekopp, Dermot Crowley, Charlie Simpson, Scott Handy, Tom George, Rachel Atkins, Jonathan Keeble, Helen Longworth, Carolyn Jones, Ioan Meredith, Bill Nighy, Kate Buffery, Rupert Vansittart, Beth Chalmers. Pianist Harry Myers; directed by Cherry Cookson (episodes 1,3,4,5) and Janet Whitaker (episode 2). *in all 5 episodes
ND's comments.......I wasn't expecting anything like "Craft" or "Surprise Symphony", and these 45-minute lighthearted dramas were very agreeable. The first two contained a few cliches (................. "the gun in my right hand is loaded"); after a while it became clear that they were deliberate; an old hand like Guy Meredith doesn't make mistakes like that. By the third episode I was liking the style, and the series was getting into its stride. The two lady detectives are excellent - one prim and proper; the other not far from a female Superman; Bill Paterson is excellent as their advisor........with good reviews and audience reaction, perhaps we'll get some more.. it's as good as "Baldi" and "McLevy".....
Incidentally, there was a play broadcast some years
back called "The gun in my right hand is loaded", by Timothy West............a skit on
how not to write radio plays...anyone reading this know who was in it,
and where I can get a copy?
Nigel Deacon, Diversity website
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