Michael Bartlett, a keen writer, now running Crimson Cats Audio Books,
began work with the BBC as an SM (studio manager). In 1972 he had his first radio play
broadcast, followed by many more in the 70s and 80s. Comparisons are a little invidious,
but to someone who hasn't heard anything by Mike Bartlett, I'd
say that if you like Don Haworth's work, you'll like
As with many of the best radio plays, the stories are often
set in a closed environment, where the
characters have no choice but to put up with one another; think of Giles
Cooper's "Mathry Beacon", for example, or "Unman, Wittering and Zigo".
"Two minutes to the top of the hour" takes place in a local radio station where some of the
presenters can't stand each other, and "I'd give my right arm" concerns a
permanently stationed outside a primary school containing a fearsome
headmistress who objects to the way he sees the children across the road.
Michael also wrote radio
a number of classic stories including "The Chrysalids" and
"Appointment with Venus", and acted as producer in many more.
Mike was for a time Commissioning Editor for
radio drama at the BBC. He left the BBC in the late 80s and set up a company
documentary and drama scripts for management training, business
training and business communication.
|Happy Deathday to You, 45m||R4||25.10.1972
|Are you lying comfortably? 30m ||R4 ||1975
|A Touch of the Mondays, 55m, from stage play||R4||27.9.1984
|I'd Give My Right Arm To Be Ambidextrous, 75m||R4|| 9.2.1985
|Please Listen: about child abuse; for Open Univ.||R4|| 1988
|There's a slight depression centred over Britain,60m||R.Clyde|| nk
|Tomorrow never comes, 90m||R4|| nk
|Questions, 55m ||R4||nk
|Two minutes to the top of the hour,55m||R4|| nk
|Junglemania, 45m|| R4|| nk
DRAMATISATIONS FOR RADIO:
The Chamois (1)
Opera Wonyosi (2)
Appointment with Venus (4)
Educating Rita (5)
Billy Liar (6)
Black Bartlemy's Treasure (7)
Martin Conisby's Vengeance (8)
1) 30' dramatisation of Daphne du Maurier short story for BBC WS
2) 90' adaptation of stage musical by Wole Soyinka for BBC WS
3) Modern verse version of the play by Aristophanes for BBC WS
4) 4 x 30' dramatisation of the novel by Jerard Tickell for BBC WS & R4
5) 60' radio version of the play by Willy Russell for BBC WS
6) 60' radio version of the play by Keith Waterhouse & Willis Hall for BBC WS
7) 90' dramatisation of the novel by Jeffrey Farnol for R4
8) 90' dramatisation of the novel by Jeffrey Farnol (sequel to 7) for R4
Many examples including:
A Nation In His Hand: 90' dramatised documentary for Swansea Sound.
Written, produced and directed by Michael Bartlett under the
pseudonym of Michael Jones
From Peter To Paul: 2 hour radio documentary for Canadian
Broadcasting on the history of the Popes
RADIO SCHOOLS PROGRAMMES: (PLAYS & DOCUMENTARIES)
|No Way Back||10' play for A Service For Schools
|The Last Dragon Slayer||4 x 10' plays for A Service For Schools
|Search For The South Wind||4 x 10' plays for A Service For Schools
|Princess September||20' dramatisation of a Maughan short story for Let's Join In
|Many Moons ||20' dramatisation of a James Thurber story for Let's Join In
|Journey To The Great Exhibition ||20' feature on Victorian railways
|On The Same Lines||10' feature comparing Victorian railways with modern ones
|Seeing To The Children ||10' feature: changing attitudes to children over the past 100 years..
|The Prisoner in the Tower|| 20' dram. of the escape sequence from Benvenuto Cellini's autobiog.
|Choices || 5 x 10' plays for A Service For Schools
|David and Jonathan||4 x 10' plays re-telling the Bible story in modern language
|Lend An Ear||2 x 25' programmes examining styles of speech & language
|Many other short story abridgements ||
MISCELLANEOUS RADIO & AUDIO:
|Many talks and short stories||BBC English By Radio
|The Archers||Michael Bartlett was one of the team of
|Corporate Audio || Documentary and drama scripts for
management training, business training and business communication
|Abridgements of Novels || Many examples including books for
Hodder Headline and the Agatha Christie Estate
NOTES ON SOME OF THE PLAYS
A TOUCH OF THE MONDAYS....1984
A fumbling attempt by a man leaving his wife to find a purpose for living. Producer Glyn Dearman.
HAPPY DEATHDAY TO YOU....1972
Michael Bartlett's first radio play; an entertaining, off-
beat comedy. Derek Seaton as Harold, Rolf Lefevre as Dunwoody,
Jane Knowles as Rosamund, Prunella Scales as Vera, Edward Kelsey
as Hockley, John Rowe as Kenneth, Leo MacGuire as Victor, Hilda
Schroder as Mrs. Hockley; also stars John Sampson, Nigel Graham.
Produced by Richard Wortley.
ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY?....1975
Another title for this might be 'the exchange' - you realise why when you've heard it. Good example of a play which can only work on radio. 30m.
TOMORROW NEVER COMES - 9-Nov-1987 -
With Selina Cadell, Kim Wall, Rowena Cooper, John
Baddeley, Pauline Letts, Zelah Clarke, Julie Berry,
Caroline Gruber, Michael Tudor Barnes, Alan Dudley,
Laurence Payne; produced by Jane Morgan. Sad story of
a woman who is fearful of going out.
PLEASE LISTEN .... 1988
"Please Listen" is not an easy listen. It was written for the OU as part of
a social services training course, and concerned a fictional case of child
abuse. 30m. Not intended for general broadcast. It is quite harrowing and
a strong piece of writing.
A police sergeant is excellent at his job, but his D.I. suspects
that he's neglecting domestic matters...none of his business, of course, unless
it starts affecting his work. Why does the sergeant relate so well to
criminals and so poorly to his family? It's a question of priorities....
THERE'S A SLIGHT DEPRESSION OVER BRITAIN
Very entertaining, refreshingly daft play based on the story of Noah's
Ark, and, possibly, the Marriott Edgar / Stanley Holloway monologue
"Three ha'pence a foot". With Dinsdale Landen and a strong supporting
cast. Unusual in that it was done for Radio Clyde - not often
that a local radio station commissions radio drama. Studio recording
done in Glasgow. Late 1980s.
MICHAEL BARTLETT AS PRODUCER / DIRECTOR
Note- "producer" and "director" are more or less synonymous
in a radio play, but the director has overall
administrative responsibility. Frequently the director is also the
MEN OF VIOLENCE....c1985
Rather sobering tale of an elderly thug who gets a little more
admiration than he's due when his fishing boat gets marooned on the
rocks. With Leslie Sands as Arthur Winterbottom, Eric Allen, Amanda
Murray, Kenneth Cranham, Bill Monks, Norman Shelley, Betty Hardy,
Kenneth Shanley, John Vine, Tim Bentinck. Directed by Michael
- by John Wyndham, dramatised by Barbara Clegg.
25-Apr-1981 Spencer Banks, Phillipa Ritchie, Jennifer Lee Anne, Kathryn Hurlbutt, Susan Sheridan, Elissa Derwent, Jennifer Piercey, Robin Browne, Elizabeth Rider, Peter Baldwin, Sonia Fraser, Michael Spice, John Rye, William Eedle, Martyn Read, Jane Knowles
The LAST CHRISTMAS....1980
- by Christopher Russell. Music played by Gary Yershon. 21-Dec-1980 George Baker, Maurice Denham, Colin Jeavons, Haydn Wood, Peter Woodthorpe, John Church, Jane Knowles, Roger Hammond, David McAlister
HOW FAR TO RUN....1979
- by Grant C. Eustace, 27-Jan-1979. With Fred Bryant, John Salthouse, Tom Cotcher, Richard Derrington, Martyn Read
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN BATTLESHIP
- by Geoffrey Hubbard. With Peter Tuddenham, Norman Shelley, Margot Boyd, Fred Bryant, Martyn Read, David Parfitt, Liza Flanagan, Danny Schiller
- a radio pantomime by John Morley. With Alfred Marks, Polly James, Hugh Paddick, Fenella Fielding, John Bott, Jenny Twigge, Leonard Fenton, Michael McStay, Gary Yershon / Music by Gary Yershon.
- by Roy Russell. 14-Apr-1979. James Cossins, Ray Brooks, Petra Davies, Heather Tobias.
- A play for late-night listening by Christopher Russell. With Ian Holm & James Bolam. Producer: 5-Jan-1979
DYING TO SEE YOU....1979
- by Deborah Guarino. With Paula Wilcox and Derek Seaton.
PLAY SOFT THEN ATTACK....1978
-by Peter Terson.
19-Nov-1978 Harry H. Corbett, Zena Walker Polly, Petra Davies, Peter Craze
BLACK BARTLEMY'S TREASURE....1991
By Jeffery Farnol; broadcast 30 Nov 91. Excellent pirate story; great dramatization, 90m; if you have a bit of imagination it's just like watching a film. With Stephen Pacey as Martin Coningsby, Sean Barratt as Adam Penfeather, Julia Swift as Joan Brandon. Rest of cast: Ronald Herdman, Sean Arnold, Fraser Kerr, Mark Straker, Andrew Wincott, Colin MacFarlane, Teresa Streatfield. SMs Wilfredo Acosta, Alison Carter, Colin Guthrie. Dramatised by Michael Bartlett and produced by Glyn Dearman.
MARTIN CONINGSBY'S VENGEANCE....1991
By Jeffery Farnol; broadcast 7 Dec 91. Sequel to 'Black Bartlemy's Treasure', broadcast a week later. 90m. A treasure map, a love story, and more pirates! Cast: Stephen Pacey, Sean Barratt, Julia Swift, John Moffatt, Siriol Jenkins, Nigel Anthony, John Baddeley, John Church, David Holt, David Thorpe, Philip Anthony. SMs Wilfredo Acosta, Alison Carter, Colin Guthrie. Dramatised by Michael Bartlett and produced by Glyn Dearman.
- by Jon Rollason & Keith Williams. With Philip Sully, Frank Windsor, John Vine, Joe Dunlop
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website,
Many thanks for info.
from Michael Bartlett and Steve Arnold.
Michael has also set up "Crimson Cats", a company which
publishes books on CD which are unlikely to be available in audio anywhere else.
Some of their titles:
The Authentic Narrative of the Death of Lord Nelson – an account of the battle of Trafalgar by William Beatty M.D. who, as surgeon on board HMS Victory, tended the dying Admiral
My Life and Times – the sentimental and amusing autobiography of Jerome K Jerome, author of the classic “Three Men In A Boat”.
The Beetle Hunter and Other Stories - a selection of short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.
Everyman’s England – a selection of travel writing and personal observations of England in the 1930s by the thriller writer Victor Canning.
Gods and Fighting Men – the classic collection of Lady Gregory’s translations of the Irish stories of Finn McCool
Further titles are available - please visit the site.
For further information about Crimson Cats Audio Books:
The Red Cottage
Phone: 01379 854888
Mob: 07796 694129
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