Alan Melville was a playwright, revue author and lyricist well-known in the forties and fifties. He became a television personality and tv writer in the sixties. As far as I am aware he wrote no radio plays but some of his stage plays were adapted for radio, and Radio 4 had an Alan Melville season in 1983.
Melville was a prolific contributor to West End revues which dominated the lighter side of West End theatre. His satire was gentle, and he poked fun at the middle classes. Long-running plays of his include DEAR CHARLES, DEVIL MAY CARE, CASTLE IN THE AIR and SIMON AND LAURA. He wrote topical sketches and lyrics for revue and his SWEET AND LOW, SWEETER AND LOWER and SWEETEST AND LOWEST lasted about 2000 performances. He also wrote lyrics for Arthur Askey in the musical BET YOUR LIFE, and collaborated with Ivor Novello on his last show GAY'S THE WORD.
He moved on to television, though as a non-tv watcher I have no idea what he wrote for it. He lived in Brighton and died in 1983.
PAUL GAFFNEY of Ottawa adds the follwing:
"I was doing some internet research on Alan Melville because
of a reference I found in a book titled "Broadcast from the Front -
Canadian Radio Oversees in the Second World War" by A.E. Powley
(Hakkert, Toronto, 1975, ISBN 0-88866-565-2). According to Powley, Melville wrote (or was, at least, one of the
writers of) Britain's first soap opera -- "Front Line Family" -- a
serial story of the fictional Robinson family that was first
broadcast in Canada and the United States on April 4th, 1941, and subsequently
carried by the BBC."
BBC Radio Broadcasts
ALAN MELVILLE PLAYS
05.05.66 Dear Charles*
17.05.67 The Minister's Mallard*, rpt 16.8.69
??.??.68 Events at Black Tor* (Roy Clarke) dir A. Melville
19.07.75 Balance Of Power*
04.09.76 At Your Service, rpt. 26.2.79
27.04.77 Lovely Morning This Evening!
15.09.78 The Knocker
??.??.83 Change of View*
??.??.83 Don't come into the garden*
??.??.83 Normal Service*
20.04.82 Blythe thou never wert*, rpt.14.9.83
29.04.81 A Lovesome Thing
compiled from info. supplied by Roger Bickerton, and own
Asterisked plays exist within VRPCC.
NOTES ON THE PLAYS
DEAR CHARLES 1966
An excellent light comedy where a lady gets her three ex-lovers
together to decide which one will be the best father to her children...
THE MINISTER'S MALLARD 1967
Another excellent light comedy, featuring some daft politicians,
a woman with commonsense, and an orphan duck. With
Michael Denison as the Minister, Corrall Brown as Janet, David
Glover as Roger, Irene Sutcliffe as Mrs. Nicholson, Beth Boyd as
Miss Dempster, Donald Perlmuir as Mr. Harrison, Clive Francis as
David, Rosalind Shanks as Jennifer, Dennis Aliver-Peters as Mr.
Aquieueueu, Preston Lockwood as Coombs, Betty Huntley-Wright as
Mrs. Frome; Anthony Vickers and Clive Francis as the announcers;
other parts by members of the BBC Drama Repertory Company. Produced
by Guy Vaison.
EVENTS AT BLACK TOR 1968
A frightening, atmospheric serial, 6 x 30 min, with supernatural
overtones. Directed by Melville; written by Roy Clarke, better known for his television series
"Last of the Summer Wine".
BALANCE OF POWER 1975
The Tories and the Socialists each have 307 seats in the
Commons...this means that the Scottish Independent MP holds
the balance of power...90m, with Jean Anderson as Morag McGregor,
Robert Lang as Arnold Sellars, Edward Hardwick as Vincent Mellors,
Simon Lack as Duncan, Sandra Clarke as Jessie, Hector Ross as
Andrew Lumley,Kate Coleridge as Miss F, with Nigel Anthony,
Christopher Bidmead, Michael Cochran, Anthony Daniels, Maddi
Head, Ann Jameson, Fraser Kerr, Clifford Norgate, Deborah Page,
Roger Snowden, Goodran Euir, Peter Whitman and Peter Williams.
Produced by John Tydeman.
BLYTHE THOU NEVER WERT 1982
A dotty inventor discovers a new fuel for vehicles. With Lockwood
West as Arthur, Catherine Parr as Wyn, Margot Boyd as Florence,
Patience Tomlinson as Brenda, Duncan Faber as Darren, Andrew Branch
as P.C. Tarquin-Law, Alan Melville as Mr. Otterway, Peter Arne as
Yamani, John Livesey as Harriman, Frances Jeater as Rose. Directed by
CHANGE OF VIEW 1983
Fun and games when two wives decide to move house. The husbands'
policy of amiable inertia may not be enough to prevent it...
Jill Bennett as Janet, Michael Aldridge as James, Fenella Fielding
as Geraldine, Timothy Bateson as Gerald. The director was Glyn
NORMAL SERVICE 1983
A butler, who has worked at the highest level, finds he has to lower
his sights a little. His new employers are definitely not "top
drawer"...with Dave King as Charles, Sheila Steifel as Maggie, George Baker as
Harry, Maddie Head as Mildred, Timothy Bateson as Mr. Kaupfman, and
Jill Symcox as Mrs. Kaupfman. Directed by Glyn Dearman.
DON'T COME INTO THE GARDEN 1983
Amusing play about a jobbing writer...Norman Rodway as Aubrey
Delaware, Dilys Laye as Angela, Timothy
Bateson as Bernie, Stuart Organ as the editor, Maddi Head as Mrs.
Dewsbury, Jean Trend as Mrs. McPhie, and Ronald Baddily as Colonel
Latimer. Directed by Glyn Dearman.
Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website
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