J B Priestley

John Boynton Priestley was one of the great figures in British theatre in the mid-twentieth century. Even in the twenty-first century he had two plays running in London: DANGEROUS CORNER, his first stage play, and AN INSPECTOR CALLS, probably his most famous play. Both have been produced repeatedly on radio, the former most notably in 1968, when Flora Robson again played the part she created in 1932, the latter most recently on the World Service, with Bob Peck as the eerie Inspector.

Priestley' plays have featured on radio since the 1930s and his major stage plays have been revived repeatedly: EDEN END; WHEN WE ARE MARRIED; I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE. His novels have been adapted and some of his least-known plays have found a wider audience. BRIGHT DAY and ANGEL PAVEMENT have figured both as plays and serials, and there have been four versions of THE GOOD COMPANIONS, his first bestseller. LOST EMPIRES, the late novel about the music halls, was one of the successes of a centenary season in 1994, with Tom Baker as Ganga Dun, the Maharaj of Mystery.

The less famous titles include the neglected comedy, BEES ON THE BOATDECK; an emotional drama, PEOPLE AT SEA; a play about the theatre, and JOHNSON OVER JORDAN, the experimental play that begins with the death of its protagonist. A delightful short comedy, THE DEMON KING, was a Christmas treat in 1962, with Ian Wallace and Marjorie Westbury on top form, singing and acting as if their lives depended on it.

Besides the centenary season, there was a Priestley Festival in 1955, culminating in a new play called THE GOLDEN ENTRY, about a beleaguered patron of the arts, played by Paul Rogers. Two other of Priestley's plays have been produced only on radio: END GAME AT THE DOLPHIN (1956), an intricate comedy- thriller that deserves revival; and SALT IS LEAVING, a clever detective play performed in 1975.

Barry Pike



Desert HighwayHome15.4.1944/2120
The Good Companions/Martyn C. WebsterHome7.7.1945/2120
Dangerous CornerHome10.11.1945/2120
Laburnum Grove/Lance SievekingHome9.3.1946/2120
Cornelius /Mollie GreenhalghHome10.7.1948/2120
When We Are MarriedHome27.11.1948/2120
Home Is TomorrowHome12.11.1949/2115
Eden EndHome4.11.1950/2115
I Have Been Here Before/Martyn C. WebsterHome12.7.1952/2115
People At Sea Peggy WellsHome5.9.1953/2115
Jenny VilliersHome16.1.1954/2115
Three Men In New Suits/Peter WattsHome12.11.1955/2115
End Game At The Dolphin Home26.12.1959/2115
The Key Man J. MacLaren-RossHome6.8.1960/2115
An Inspector CallsHome12.11.1960/2030
When We Are MarriedHome12.6.1965/2030
Bright ShadowHome6.11.1965/2030
Eden EndHome23.9.1967/2030
Dangerous CornerR41.6.1968/2030
Bright DayR412.10.1968/2030
Time & The ConwaysR41.2.1969/2030
Laburnum GroveR48.4.1972/2030
Eden End R47.9.1974/20
Salt Is LeavingR427.9.1975/2030
The Linden TreeR423.7.1977/2030
The Carfitt CrisisR412.11.1977/2030
The Thirty-First Of JuneR428.5.1983/2030
Dangerous CornerR48.9.1984/2030
Time & The ConwaysR415.9.1984/2030
I Have Been Here BeforeR422.9.1984/2030
When We Are MarriedR410.9.1994/1950
Time & The ConwaysR417.9.1994/1950
When We Are MarriedR418.11.1995/1950

compiled from info. supplied by Roger Bickerton

By J.B.Priestley; dramatised by Michael and Mollie Hardwick, directed by Charles Lefeaux. With Ian Wallace, Marjorie Westbury, Sheila Grant and George Merritt. Originally broadcast 26 Dec 1962; repeated 14 Dec 2003 on BBC7. A washed up actor arrives in a northern town to play The Demon King in pantomime. But when he fails to turn up for the performance, he has one hell of an understudy! ....(Greg Linden)

An Inspector Calls....1998
BBC7 repeat, Feb 2007........This play is Jane Anderson's Saturday Choice in next week's Radio Times and stars one of my all time favourite actors, the late Bob Peck, who "imparts a distincly eerie quality to Inspect Goole." As the well heeled Birling family celebrate an engagement, a sinister Police Inspector arrives to bring them some disturbing news, which effects each and every one of them. Stars Bob Peck, John Woodvine, Maggie Steed  Sarah-Jane Holm, David Antrobus and Jo Stone-Fewings. Adapted by John Foley and directed by Rosalynd Ward. First broadcast on the World Service in 1998.

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