Allegra has worked on a variety of programme types: readings, features and more recently, drama. Allegra has produced a wide range of plays; at present she is working with Jessica Dromgoole on the BBC's epic WW1 series Home Front, which is following the First War (1914-18) exactly one hundred years later to the day, from the point of view of ordinary people living in Tynemouth and North Shields. It is difficult to overstate the effect of this conflict on the UK.
A few of Allegra's productions are described below.
FALL DOWN SEVEN TIMES, GET UP EIGHT .... 2017
By Naoki Higashida; 5 episodes beginning Mon 17 Jul; Book of the Week.
Naoki suffers from severe non-verbal autism. As a 13-year-old boy he wrote the book "The Reason I Jump - One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism", published in 2013, looking at the world through the lens of autism. It was broadcast by the BBC in 2013; see the note on the production at the bottom of this page.
This second book gives more insights into the world as Naoki sees it, as a young adult, five years later. Emma Sweeney, writing for the FT, described it as wise and witty. The reading was by Matthew Beard and the adaptation (and production) was by Allegra McIlroy.
The first episode was introduced by David Mitchell, whose son has the condition. With his wife he did the translation and the adaptation.
30 Jan 17 Albert Wilson
Lloyd George refuses to meet a group of suffragettes at Downing Street. They want votes for women. Prod. AM & JD.
31Jan17 Marion Wardle
Three people are arrested for their plot to assassinate the Prime Minister. In North Shields, Marion reveals Edie Kitty's secret. With Laura Elphinstone, Kathryn Beaumont, Fiston Barek and Margan Armstrong. Prod. AM & JD.
1Feb17 Cressida Marshall
Germany resumes submarine warfare, officially. Meanwhile, Cressida in Tynemouth takes a small but courageous step forward. Prod. AM & JD.
The official formation of the Women's Land Army takes place. In Tynemouth, Dilys works out how to win her fight. Prod. AM & JD.
3Feb17 Edie Chadwick
America formally breaks diplomatic relations with Germany. In North Shields, the Munitionsettes Football Team have a challenge of their own. By Katie Hims, producers Allegra McIllroy & Jessica Dromgoole.
13Jan17 Alan Lowther
A new German peace note blames the Allies for the continued bloodshed. In Tynemouth, Alan struggles under his burden of responsibility. By CT, prod AM.
12Jan17 Marion Wardle
There are riots in Hamburg because of food shortages, and there is unrest on Tynemouth's streets. By CT, prod AM.
11Jan17 Laster Reed
An explosion at a New Jersey munitions factory raises fears of german saboteurs. Lester continues to point the finger at Tynemouth's enemies within. By CT, prod AM.
The "Silent Sentinels" begin a suffrage protest outside the White House. In Tynemouth, Mr. Saltz feels insubordinate.By CT, prod AM.
9Jan17 Anthony Yates
Tensions continue to run high at the munitions factory despite efforts to smooth the waters. By Claudine Toutoungi, produced by Allegra McIllroy.
30Dec16 Lester Read
The Allies reject a peace proposal. In Tynemouth, Lester stirs up the fighting spirit. By SM, prod. AM.
Rasputin assassinated in Russia. Walker, in Tynemouth, discovers an unexpected ally. By SM, prod. AM.
28Dec16 Kitty Lumley
Chronic food shortages reported in Germany. It's not quite so bad in Tynemouth. By By SM, prod. AM.
27Dec16 Edie Chadwick
A local paper praises local munitionettes "invasion of man's vigorous pursuits" at a ladies' football match. The Marshall girls also say 'fiddlesticks to convention'. By SM, prod. AM.
26Dec16 Cressida Marshall
400 soldiers' children entertained at Windsor Castle, and at Marshall's factory, Boxing Day is festive too. By Shaun McKenna, prod. Allegra McIllroy.
16Dec16 Edgar Bates
Newcastle papers condemn German use of Belgian slaves. At The Examiner, Edgar Bates' new reporter is not what he expects. By SB, prod AM.
15Dec16 Martha Lamb
The Women's Imperial Defence Council discusses fears of "the hidden hand", and at Marshall's factory, Martha Lamb is determined that the women's voices are heard. By SB, prod AM.
14Dec16 Lester Reed
Food Controller Lord Devonport says that rationing may become necessary. Meanwhile in Tynemouth, Lester is delighted with his lot. By SB, prod AM.
13Dec16 Marion Wardle
French President briand dismisses germany's peace offer. Meanwhile marion in Tynemouth rekindles and old friendships, and builds a new one. By SB, prod AM.
12Dec16 Geoffrey Marshall
Germany offers peace terms to the Allies via neutral America. In Tynemouth, Geoffrey builds a new alliance with a steel magnate. By Sebastian Baczkiewicz, ed. Jessica Dromgoole, prod. Allegra McIllroy.
9 Jan 16: Saturday Play: How To Flee From Sorrow - Stradella
By F.C.Boyce. A play about the colourful life of Alessandro Stradella, baroque composer from 17th century Italy. Stradella is fairly well-known for his chamber cantatas. His patron was Queen Christina in Rome. His interesting life and his love for Agnese, the Doge's niece, has been put together from original historical letters. Alessandro: Trystan Gravelle, Corelli: Harry Treadaway, Lonati: Ralf Little, Agnese von Uffele: Alice St. Clair, Cardinal Cibo: David Houslow, Contarini, Doge of Venice: Chris Pavlo, Duchess Maria Giovanna: Amelia Lowdell, Stage Manager: George Watkins, Nuns: Debra Baker, Rebecca Hamilton and Katie Redford, Domenico: Caolan McCarthy, Innkeeper: Stephen Critchlow, Damiano: Leo Wan, Violin: Dr. Alberto Sanna. Produced by Allegra McIllroy. [See also the play "Cadenza" from 1998, by David Pownall - ND]
Cottrell-Boyce’s play was a funny, sensitive, intelligent evocation of a real 17th-century composer’s life. He introduced us to Alessandro Stradello in Rome; we followed him to Venice, Turin and Genoa, one step ahead of people pursuing him for debt, betrayal, seduction. His music always made him a living; the play showed why. Music and how it speaks to us was woven through the text, sudden illustrations of rainbow emotions. A fine piece, beautifully produced by Allegra McIlroy.(Summarised from Daily Telegraph radio review, Gillian Reynolds, 12Jan16)
23 Oct 15 Omnibus edn, 19-23 Oct 15
Epic drama series set in Great War Britain a hundred years ago this week, when crises lead to drastic actions. By Richard Monks.
Story-led by Sarah Daniels.
Consultant Historian: Professor Maggie Andrews,
Music: Matthew Strachan,
Editor: Jessica Dromgoole,
Adam ........ Billy Kennedy,
Adeline ........ Helen Schlesinger,
Albert ........ Harry Myers,
Alice ........ Claire-Louise Cordwell,
Beau ........ Stephen Critchlow,
Dolly ........ Elaine Claxton,
Dorothea ........ Rachel Shelley,
Esme ........ Katie Angelou,
Florrie ........ Claire Rushbrook,
Foxton ........ Sam Dale,
Isabel ........ Keely Beresford,
Johnnie ........ Paul Ready,
Juliet ........ Lizzie Bourne,
Kitty ........ Ami Metcalf,
Lilian ........ Alex Tregear,
Maggie ........ Hollie Thoupos,
Mrs Edkins ........ Rachel Davies,
Nancy ........ Jane Whittenshaw,
Norman Harris ........ Sean Baker,
Roland ........ Jack Holden,
Roy ........ Tim Beckmann,
Sally ........ Sarah Thom,
Sam ........ Alexander Aze,
Soldier 1 ........ Owen Clark,
Soldier 2 ........ Neet Mohan,
Producer ........ Allegra McIlroy.
24 Oct 15. By Marina Warner.Fifty years since the publication of Betty Friedan's feminist work The Feminine Mystique, Radio 4 has commissioned three writers to celebrate her influence in new short stories exploring the contemporary feminist landscape.Emma Fielding reads the first story in this series, by Marina Warner.Marina explores feminine mystique through a housewife in the 1950s who weaves hope and freedom into her longing for a mink coat.The other writers in the series are Aminatta Forna and Sarah Hall.
Reader ....... Emma Fielding,
producer ......Allegra McIlroy.
WHAT TO EXPECT
31 Oct 15 By Aminatta Forna. A young woman rebels against the weight of expectation and the minute daily constraints of appropriate behaviour.
Reader ......... Doon Mackichan,
Producer ........ Allegra McIlroy.
16 Sep15 - Kitty Lumley
By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. A letter from Marion and the bairns sets Kitty's heart racing.
Kitty ........ Ami Metcalf,
Edie ......... Kathryn Beaumont,
Stella ......... Ava Bell,
Ray ......... Scarlet Bell,
Mrs Edkins ........ Rachel Davies,
Marion ......... Laura Elphinstone,
Adeline ......... Helen Schlesinger,
Producer.......... Allegra McIlroy.
15 Sep15 - Alice Macknade
By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. Alice and Roy try to evade the inevitable in the hope Roy can escape transfer to France, or even court martial.
Alice ....... Claire-Louise Cordwell,
Roy .........Tim Beckmann,
Beau ....... Stephen Critchlow,
Solly ........ Stephen Critchlow,
Ivy .......... Lizzy Watts,
Producer...... Allegra McIlroy
14 Sep 15 Sylvia Graham
By Sebastian Baczkiewicz. In the Graham household, new science and technology offers some practical comfort.
Sylvia ........ Joanna David,
Gabriel ......... Michael Bertenshaw,
Juliet .......... Lizzie Bourne,,
Howard ......... Gunnar Cauthery,
Adeline .......... Helen Schlesinger,
Nancy ...........Jane Whittenshaw.
Producer:......... Allegra McIlroy.
12 Apr 15: Classic Serial: The Left Hand Of Darkness
By Ursula Le Guin, science fiction, adapted by Judith Adams in two episodes. Ep. 1: In a snow-changed city in the middle of an Ice Age on an alien world, one young man prepares for the biggest mission of his life. Alone and unarmed, Genly Ai has been sent from Earth to persuade the world of Gethen to join The Ekumen, a union of planets. But it's a task fraught with danger. Genly is shocking to the natives. This is a world in which humans are ambigendered - everyone can be a mother, and everyone can be a father. First Minister Estraven is the only person who champions Genly's cause, but their relationship is deeply incomprehensible and troubling. Genly's life is at risk and he must decide who to trust. Genly Ai: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Estravan: Lesley Sharp, Argaven: Toby Jones, with Louise Brearley, Noma Dumezweni, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh, Stephen Critchlow, David Acton, David Hounslow, Rhiannon Neads. Produced by Allegra McIlroy.
19 Apr: Part 2. Genly Ai has arrived from Earth onto the planet Gethen, a world in which humans are ambigendered - everyone can be a mother and everyone can be a father. In coming to terms with their otherness - and also their sameness - Genly must let go of everything he understood about his own identity. Cast as ep. 1, plus Ayesha Antoine. Produced by Allegra McIlroy.
13 Jan 15 11:30 - Kitch!
(Feature programme) June 1948. The Empire Windrush docks at Tilbury carrying 492 West Indian "citizens of the British Empire". Newsreel footage captures forever the suited new arrivals waiting to alight. As the reporter introduces one young man as "their spokesman", a gently smiling Aldwyn Roberts sings a Calypso he wrote on the the voyage, 'London is the place for me, London, this lovely city...'. Aldwyn Roberts was 26 years old and already well known in Trinidad as Calypso star Lord Kitchener. He lived in England for about 15 years, married a girl in Manchester, was celebrated by upper class English society and became the voice of a generation of Caribbean immigrants far from home.
Poet and musician Anthony Joseph also left Trinidad for London in his twenties and has always felt a powerful connection to Kitch. He once spoke to him when he saw Kitch standing alone for a moment at Carnival in Trinidad. Now, fifteen years after Kitchener's death Anthony Joseph tries to get to the heart of the man behind the famous footage. Presenter: Anthony Joseph. Producer: Allegra McIlroy.
4 Jul 14: Friday Drama: The Events
By David Greig, 55m. A female priest searches for understanding after a mass shooting in which members of her mixed-race community choir were killed. Claire - Neve McIntosh, with Sophie Stanton, Michael Bertenshaw, Rudi Dharmalingam, Clifford Samuel and Justin Salinger. Produced by Allegra McIlroy. Directors: Ramin Gray and Allegra McIlroy.
.....set in the aftermath of an atrocity, the focus is upon a female priest, Claire, who has survived a mass shooting of her congregation. There is a feel of a Greek tragedy about it, with the voices of dead choir-members drifting in and out like a haunting chorus.... but Claire is driven to understand the killer rather than take revenge.....(Jane Anderson, writing in RT, summarised by ND.)
26 June 14: A Hospital Odyssey
A contemporary version of Homer's Odyssey, written and dramatized by Gwyneth Lewis and set in a hospital. A woman's husband is diagnosed with cancer and she embarks on a mission to save him. Alexander Roach, Alex Beckett, Patrick Brennan, Heather Craney, Wilf Scolding and Michael Bertenshaw. Producer - Allegra McIlroy.
[Very interesting production - ND]
THE REASON I JUMP.... 2013
By Naoki Higashida in 5 episodes; Book of the Week. Translated by David Mitchell and his wife; abridgement and production by Allegra McIlroy. Read by Kasper Hilton-Hille. A fascinating insight into the world of autism as described by a boy aged 13.
The translators deliberated over each end every word in Naoki's book to ensure the work remained completely true to the author.
"My wife and I translated the book from Japanese to English, but in a sense even the original is a translation, from Autism to Japanese. As Naoki Higashida says, people with autism have no mother-tongue. We're delighted that Radio 4 have chosen The Reason I Jump as its book of the week, because it lends a voice to people who often have none – what a brilliant use of radio. "
David has written at length about the 2013 production on the BBC website; an internet search will find it.
Numerous readings, including "Book at Bedtime" and "Book Of The Week".
compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
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