Between 1988 and 1993 Steve Walker wrote 40
radioplays, mostly for the BBC but a few for foreign networks. In
addition, several of the BBC plays have had separate
productions in Europe and America, and some have made the
jump to other media. His plays THE POPE'S BROTHER and
MICKEY MOOKEY won Giles Cooper Awards for Best Radio
Play in successive years, the only occasion on which a
writer won two years in a row in the awardís history.
Among his other radioplays, comedies, histories and tragedies
are: HOLUS BOLUS, THE FIVE LINES OF SHERIDAN CRUMMEY,
ROMAN EPIC, CRIBB & THE BLACK, HABBAKUK OF ICE, the
series WHOPPERS and 21st CENTURY BLUES.
Steve's view of the present state of radio drama
is on the Radio Plays page (Articles 4). There's an
interview with Steve on a website brought to my attention by
devoted to Nathaniel Parker, who stars in Steve's "Journey to the
Centre of the Earth" adaptation:
and another interview with Steve on Emon Hassan's website, in newsletter 8:
-it's in a large pdf file so if you're on dialup you'll
be better to use Google to find the hassberry site and then look at the cached
Here are the plays he's written; the texts of almost all of them of
them are available from his website (details below).
UPDATE: Steve has written two more plays (2004) including
one for RTE. Details of "The Birth of Olympia", for BBC World Service,
are shown below.
STEVE WALKER RADIO PLAYS
|Him and It||R4|| 10.1988||45m
|The Pope's Brother||R4||28.7.1990/1945||75m
|also various productions USA,
Hungary; Giles Cooper Award,
published by Methuen
|The Francophile at the Frog Hunt||unproduced||30m
|Haunted by more cake ||R4 ||24.6.1990||45m
|Oates after his fingers ||R4 ||2.12.1991||75m
|Whoppers (9 x 30m; 2 series):||R5|| 8.1991-11.1991||
| 1.1 Bees will be Bees|
| 1.2 Mickey Mookey;|
Giles Cooper Award
| 1.3 The Zaratan|
| 1.4 A Mammoth Whopper|
| 1.5 The Iceman Cometh|
| 1.6 The Shaggy Beast|
| 2.7 The thing at the top of the tree|
| 2.8 Taromosulata|
| 2.9 The Poshest Ever Whopper|
|Boot (Kofferaum) ||Suddeutscher Rundfunk|| 1992 ||15m
|The Grassy Knoll|| R3||c1992 ||60m
|The Pipsqueak ||WS||1992|| 60m
|The 5 Lines of Sheridan Crummey|| RTE||1993|| 30m
|Holus Bolus ||R4 ||4.10.1993/1945||75m
|Roman Epic||R4 ||14.5.1994/1950||
|21st Century Blues (6 x 30m):||R4|| 9.1994-10.1994||
| 1.1 The Golfing Chaffinch|
| 1.2 The exploding Mrs. Chaffinch|
| 1.3 Severiano's Spiritual Exercises|
| 1.4 Venusian Sex Survey|
| 1.5 The Sleepless Chaffinch|
| 1.6 Hans Feet and Bumpsadaisy|
|Journey to the Centre of the Earth || R4||28.12.1994||90m
|The Dolphinarium ||R4|| 15.1.1996/1402|| 60m
|Cribb & the Black|| R4/WS||26.2.1999||60m
|The Animals of Farthing Wood:|| ||Talking Book, BBC Enterprises||150m
|One of God's Little Jokes||unproduced||15m
|Habakkuk of Ice|| R4/WS||2001|| 60m
|The Birth of Olympia|| WS||2004|| 60m
Compiled from ND catalogue & information supplied by Steve Walker, Sue Walker & Roger Bickerton.
Steve Walker has an interesting website, a large part
of which is devoted to radio drama.
You'll find more information about most of his plays; and lots of
on-line texts. His "Total Government" cartoons are
a wonderful send-up of the lunacies of Whitehall. Enjoy the linocuts
and his other artwork... web address is:
HIM AND IT ....1988
Here's a fairy tale like no other. What is the gender of the
commissioner? Why is fungus growing in his HQ? Why does he
have only squirrels for company? Will the eggs hatch, and what
about gasmasks for the badgers? Starring Nicola Macauley as
Maurice, James Saxon as commissioner Sylvia, with Gart Whitaker,
Anthony Jackson and Joanna Mackey. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.
HAUNTED BY MORE CAKE ....1990
We are in the territory of the very very odd... I am going
to a concert, and I can hear a tea-party going on in my
stomach...why is the attractive young lady (also down there) playing
tennis with Mario, and has she heard his conversation before? And
why are there thousands of old balls in no-man's land behind the tennis
court? Stars Graham Crowden as Uncle Ginger, Joan Mattheson as Aunt
Maud, and Stephen Tompkinson as their nephew Lional. Also stars
Victoria Carling, John Bull, Richard Pearce, Philip Sully, John
Warner, Joan Walker, Nicholas Courtney, Jo Kendall. SMs Peter Novis,
Jane Napier, Keith Graham; directed by Ned Chaillet.
THE POPE'S BROTHER ....1990
Awarded a prize for being one of the 2 best plays of 1990; hugely
entertaining and witty. Sydney and Gregory Collyweston are twins;
Sydney wallows in every indulgence, goes to the racecourse every day,
and does everything to excess. After hearing of the new
Papal appointment, he visits the Vatican, where his illustrious
brother asks him to stay to help him combat his unworldliness...which
is when the trouble starts.
With Dinsdale Landen as Sydney, Ben Onwukwe as the Cardinal with the
unspellable name, John Bull, Jenny Howe, Denis Hawthorne as Pope
Gregory, Henry Goodman, David Bannerman, Vincent Brimble, Jenny Howe.
SM Wilfred Acosta; directed by Peter Kavanagh.
Series of nine 30-minute plays for children, produced by Sally
Avens. More details on Steve Walker's website; url as above.
BOOT ...Suddeutscher Rundfunk, 1992
A German youth finds a naked girl in the boot of his car. It
begins his involvement in a terrorist adventure. (no casting details;
please email if you can help)
THE PIPSQUEAK ....1992 ..WS
The biography of a minor civil servant from Galaxy HQ who is sent to
Earth in the early 1960. (more information on Steve Walker's website)
THE 5 LINES OF SHERIDAN CRUMMEY ....1993, RTE
Sheridan Crummey has had a small part in a whodunnit play in
London for 29 years - the same part in the same play. Now begins a
ghost story which started two generations ago in Ireland ...(no
casting details; please email if you can help)
OATES AFTER HIS FINGERS ....1991
Following on from his Giles Cooper Award-winning play "The
Pope's Brother", this play shows Captain Oates in the year
2065, alive and thawing out in the Antarctic. What will the old-
fashioned explorer think of an England laid waste by drought and
famine, where everyone speaks with an American accent? With
Stephen Dillane as Oates, Vincent Marzello as Archie; also
starring Lorelei King, David Graham, Pauline Letts, Sam Dastor,
Charles Millham, Nigel Carrington, Peter Penry-Jones, Norman
Jones, Tom Watt, David Bannerman, Colin McFarlane and Irene
Sutcliffe. Directed by Peter Kavanagh.
HOLUS BOLUS ....1993
Monday Play - Graham Baffner, the handsomest, most intelligent
man in the world, offers Mr. Placketts, a Yorkshire businessman,
the opportunity not to be himself....with Peter Woodthorpe as
Placketts, Richard E Grant as Baffneralso stars Geraldine Fitzgerald,
Harry Towb, Irene Sutcliffe, John Baddeley, Hugh Ross, Julian Rhind-
Tutt, Oona Beeson, James Telfer, Barry J Gordon, John Evetts.
Song arranged and performed by Neil Brand. Directed by Eoin O'Callahagn.
ROMAN EPIC ....1994, 90m
You will not hear another Roman Epic like it - a talking lion with
an American accent, Caractacus, dog-dealer and ex-British hero
betting on chariot races in the Circus Maximus, and Seneca, Boadicea, Mr.
Jones, the Great Rabbit, Imhotep, and a Vestal Virgin putting in sundry
appearances. With Dinsdale Landen
as Caractacus, Nicholas Grace as Nero, Harry Towb, James Larkin,
Susannah Corbett, Don McCorkindale, Frances Jeater, James Taylor,
Malcolm Ward, David Jason, Steve Walker (as Jesus), Paul Panting,
Gavin Muir, Peter Whitman, Tina Grey, David Jarvis, Tom Bevan; directed by
JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH....1994
A loose and stylish adaptation of the Jules Verne classic. With
Nathaniel Parker as Axel Lidenbrok, Nicholas le Prevost as Professor
Lidenbrok, also stars Kristin Milward, Oliver Senton, Deborah Berlin,
Michael Tudor-Barnes, Joshua Towb, Eva Stuart and Steve Walker
(as Heinrich). SMs: Roger Danes (panel), Ian Harker (grams), Rebecca
Kirby (spot). Directed by Eoin O'Callahagn.
THE DOLPHINARIUM ....1996, 60m
A famous explorer discovers a plot to turn the human race into
mindless automata- by destroying all the dolphins on
the planet ...with Michael Cochran as Sir Hartley, Bill Paterson as
Duncan McNab; also stars Mardav Sharma, Ed Bishop, Bryony Glascoe,
Avril Clarke, Helen Horton, Michael Tudor Barnes. SM: Graham Harper,
production assistant Nicky Hildebrand; directed by Gordon House.
CRIBB AND THE BLACK ....1999, 60m, WS and R4
Dramatisation of the true story of Tom Cribb, world champion boxer
in the bareknuckle era, and the challenge by Tom Molyneaux (Tom the
Black), an American slave who eventually became a free man. With Shaun
Parkes as Tom Molyneaux, Pat Roach as Tom Cribb. Also stars Burt Caesar,
James Cosmo, Robert Bathurst, Cecilia Noble, Justine Midda, William Roberts, Justine
Miller, Chris Emmett, Harry Myers, Ben Crowe, Giles Fagan, Chris Pavlo.
SM Peter Ringrose. Directed by Gordon House.
HABAKKUK OF ICE ....2001
One of the most amazing ideas never to be put to the test during WW2 : the
Habakkuk Project - building
battleships out of ice ...or in Churchill's words
"cutting a bit off
the North Pole and paddling up the Channel". Churchill
was sent a 250-
page report on the Habakkuk project but in the words of
the world's Most
Important People... "I never read
more than one page........I never turn over". With Tim McInnerney as
the mad inventor Geoffrey Pike, with Dermot Crowley, Melanie Hudson, Chris Emmett,
David Holt and Kerry Shale. Directed by Andy Jordan.
repeated BBC7, Nov 07.
THE BIRTH OF OLYMPIA....2004
Saturday 7 August 2004, 6.30-7.30pm; BBC World Service "Play Of The Week"
Steve Walker gives Homeric myth a modern twist, as
he tells the story of the first Olympic Games in a
play which features a soundtrack by Cold Cut.
When the demi-god, Heracles, founds the Olympics in
776BC, he sows seeds of strife by forbidding women
from the Games. His half-sister, Aphrodite, goddess of
love, is furious and decides to compete herself.
Needing a disguise, she takes possession of the
champion most likely to make the great Heracles look
foolish: Hipponax, the unfittest man in Greece.
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
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