Rod Beacham, actor and playwright.... this page contains a piece about Rod's radio plays written by Barry Pike, a listing of those which have been broadcast by the BBC, and finally a few notes about individual plays, with cast lists where known.
Rod Beacham's Radio Plays, by Barry Pike
Of these, we know five: THE HUBRIS FILE (1982); THE GORTYS TRIANGLE (1983); THE INTER-CITY CONTRACT (1985); THE SLEEPERS OF FALLOW'S CROSS (1986); and PRINCE OF THIEVES (1987). Also preserved (within VRPCC) are FRAME OF DEFERENCE (1981) , a science fiction spoof, and a half-hour play HAVE A NICE DAY (1992).
THE HUBRIS FILE concerns the disappearance of a junior member of the government, whose personal diary is sent by post to Intelligence. His political ambitions have left him no time for his wife, who leaves him for another man; also, he appears to be on the track of a double agent. Despite his disappearance, he figures in the play by way of a series of flashbacks arising from the diary. It's a clever piece fof work, ingenious and absorbing.
THE GORTYS TRIANGLE is set on Crete, where a young man has drowned in unresolved circumstances. His visiting cousin, an archaeologist, acts as catalyst to the subsequent action, pushing and probling so that the truth of the young man's death eventually emerges. David March is in great form as the Greek policeman involved.
THE SLEEPERS OF FALLOW'S CROSS is an Intelligence thriller set at a high-level clinic for mental disorders. The potential for abuse of the clinical procedures forms the spring for the action, which twists and turns most gratifyingly. But who are the sleepers? Mr. Beacham lets us know that only when he is ready to tell us.
THE INTER-CITY CONTRACT is perhaps the best of these plays, a cracking contribution to that most alluring of sub-genres, mysteries set on trains. On board the London-Edinburgh sleeper are a richly varied group, both passengers and crew proving capable of springing surprises. Among those present are a hired killer and his intended victim, but neither is identified until the moment is ripe. There are some grand performances, notable from Margot Boyd as a septuagenarian mountaineer, Steve Hodson as a self-possessed smoothie, and Alan Downer as the irascible Welsh steward. It is all quite marvellous and nothing done on radio 4 nowadays comes within a mile of it.
PRINCE OF THIEVES is a light-hearted thriller rather in the vein of THE LADYKILLERS and the TV series PORRIDGE (though most of the action takes place outside the prison in which the play opens). Peter Vaughan presents to the life the sly and self-regarding Prince, the criminal mastermind of a successful plan to steal £3M in gold bullion. He's akin to Ronnie Barker's TV character, but, in the end, much more unpleasant. This doesn't disturb the comic balance of the play, which is consistently enjoyable and has the advantage of not only Peter Vaughan's performance but also a bravura display of uninhibited eccentricity by June Tobin, as the gang's reluctant landlady.
THE RADIO PLAYS:
??.11.77 Sunday Voices
*known to exist in collections within VRPCC
Prince of Thieves....1987
compiled from information supplied by Roger Bickerton
Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website
|Cosby Methodist Church|
|Links to other Sites|