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Andy Jordan Radio Plays

Andy Jordan is a director and producer in Radio, TV, Film and Theatre.

For 11 years he was a Senior Radio Drama Producer with the BBC, working at Christchurch Studio in Bristol, Pebble Mill in Birmingham, and in London with R4 and BBC World Service. His radio productions have won numerous International Awards.

Andy has worked in many areas of radio and audio production, including programmes such as The Archers, single plays, drama series and serials, dramatised features, comedy drama, drama-documentaries, book and serial readings, music documentaries and features, language tapes, in-flight entertainment and tour guides. He has devised panel games, music discussion,, and book and arts programmes. He has had editorial and senior managerial experience at the highest levels within BBC radio and elsewhere.

Andy has worked with some of the leading independent radio production companies, including: Above The Title Productions, Catherine Bailey Ltd, Unique Broadcasting, Watershed Productions, Watchmaker Productions, and Ladbroke Radio, and for commercial clients including: V&A Museum / Acoustiguide Ltd, NHK Japan / Virgin Airlines, AIM Ltd/Sony Records.

In radio, Andy is particularly associated with music in drama and with music programming, stories which inspire, with sophisticated popular culture, with discovering and developing new writers, with popular new comedy, with filmic ideas and approaches to production, with innovative location recordings, and - as the list above demonstrates - with drama-documentaries and large-scale Seasons of Work.

He lectures regularly at BBC Radio Training, leading courses in Music in Drama, Radio Acting, Location Drama, and Readings Production. He has led workshops and lectured on radio drama at colleges, drama schools and universities, including Brunel University, Central School (St Martin’s), the Universities of Westminster and Kent, and, currently, the University of Lincoln.


AWARDS etc
2002 Nominated for NY Radio Festival Award for WS production of 'The Island'
1998 BBC WS Play of the Week (New York Radio Festival Award)
1995 The Paradise Machine (European Broadcasting Award)
1994 Night of the Hunter (Sony)
1994 Capital Gains (represented the BBC at Prix Italia)
1991 Figure with Meat (Giles Cooper)
1989 By where the old shed used to be (Giles Cooper)



Favourite Andy Jordan productions:

Drama-documentaries REMEMBER LIVE AID, with Sir Paul McCartney and Phil Collins in acting roles, Toyah Willcox, Ken Cranham and Gary Olsen; THIN BOY, the story of Claude Eatherley, the USAF reconnaissance pilot who claimed to have dropped the Hiroshima bomb; 1926, the story of the General Strike; and the drama-documentary GURNEY, the story of the genius English poet-composer, Ivor Gurney.

R4 Film Noir Season - Saturday Night at the Movies: DOUBLE INDEMNITY with Frederic Forrest, Molly Ringwald and Theresa Russell, Mildred Pierce, with Martin Jarvis, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, with William Hope, and THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, with Betsy Blair ; his R4 Rock `n’ Roll Season - ALL SHOOK UP: The Sound of Fury (Billy Fury), A City Called Glory (Sam Cooke), Take the Night (Roy Orbison), Lonely Joe (Joe Meek) and Fever (Little Willie John); American Noir, the R4 Crime Noir Season, which included James Ellroy’s White Jazz;

Radio 4's Cinema 100 Season, which included STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, with Anton Lesser, Saskia Reeves and Michael Sheen (about to be released by BBC Worldwide on audiocassette), the drama-documentary THE MAKING OF NAPOLEON, featuring Kevin Brownlow and Carl Davis, the Ealing comedies THE LADYKILLERS, with Sir Donald Sinden, Edward Petherbridge, Gary Waldhorn, Stratford Johns and Johnny Morris, KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS, with Michael Kitchen, Hadyn Gwynne, Sir Michael Denison and Harry Enfield; and his season of short stories by and about men, MALE SHOTS.

Two plays by Craig Warner: BY WHERE THE OLD SHED USED TO BE, with Miranda Richardson and Siobhan Redmond, and FIGURE WITH MEAT, with Judy Parfitt and Lynsey Baxter; the disability drama NOVAVOX; the Collin Johnson comedy series CAPITAL GAINS, with Peter Jones, and sLAUGHTER IN THE DARK by Marius Brill; the 30’ comedies LOVE TO MADELEINE, with Philip Davis and Richard E. Grant, COLD CALL, with Alastair MacGowan, and TOO MANY CROOKS, by Hollywood screenwriter Donald E. Westlake; the powerful South African war drama, THE DEAD WAIT, with Paul Herzberg and Mick Ford; two highly original plays by American writer, Lisa Schlesinger, ROCK ENDS AHEAD and BOW ECHO, and a radio version of the landmark theatre play, THE ISLAND, with John Kani and Winston Ntshona .


SOME RECENT PRODUCTIONS

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, for BBC R3, with Joss Ackland, Alison Steadman, Gemma Jones, Roy Dotrice, Clive Carter, Marcus D’Amico and Elizabeth McGovern. With Ladbroke Radio. Music by Jon Nicholls. First radio drama to record at Town House Studios. Directed by Andy Jordan (‘This version is a tour de force. The cast is as strong as the script’ Jane Anderson, Radio Times)

Grace by Mick Gordon and A. C. Grayling, for BBC Radio 4, directed by Mick Gordon, produced by Andy Jordan, starring Trevor Peacock, Paola Dionisotti, Will Keen. Broadcast 2008.

Don Carlos by Schiller, co-directed by Michael Grandage and Andy Jordan, a Ladbroke Radio production with AJP Ltd for BBC R3, a radio transfer of the acclaimed Sheffield Crucible/West End production starring Sir Derek Jacobi and Richard Coyle. First radio drama to record at Abbey Road Studios.

The Harder They Fall by Budd Schulberg, adapted from the novel by Kerry Shale, for BBC R4, starring Tim Blake Nelson, Yul Vasquez, Allison Daugherty, Peter Gerety, Dominic Hawksley and Dominic Chianese, recorded on location in New York City, June 2005. Directed by Andy Jordan, Produced by Helen Chattwell and Bruce Hyman for Above The Title Productions. (‘Visceral and vital, this will have you gripped from the start…This is about as close as radio gets to film noir and the whole production team should be congratulated for some of the most brilliant (if sickening) sounds effects |I’ve ever heard. It’s a tough but equally terrific listen.’ Jane Anderson, Radio Times)

NOW, VOYAGER adapted from the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty by Neville Teller, for BBC Radio 4, starring Dame Joan Plowright, Sarah Lancashire, Anthony Head, Lorelei King, Lysette Anthony, Debora Weston, John Rowe and Jon Glover. Directed and Produced by Andy Jordan.

IN THE COMPANY OF MEN by Edward Bond. 120’ For BBC R3/Ladbroke Productions. Starring John Wood, Kenneth Cranham, John Sessions, Oliver Dimsdale and George Anton.


NOTES ON SOME OF THE PLAYS

GRACE....2008
Family drama by Mick Gordon and AC Grayling. Grace; a scientist and champion of atheism; is faced with the decision of her son Tom to become a priest. Grace ...... Paola Dionisotti,Tom ...... Will Keen, Tony ...... Trevor Peacock, Ruth ...... Priyanga Burford, Michael ...... Nathan Osgood. Directed by Mick Gordon.

.............'So nice to hear a play which is about something...It was direct, engaging, always interesting and made for a great 45' of radio' (Jeremy Howe, Commissioning Editor, Radio 4)

NOW, VOYAGER....2004
The following is part of a review by Gillian Reynolds of this well-received Saturday play, in November 2004:

...........this was not the soundtrack of the old 1942 film with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid, nor was it a radio re-make. Neville Teller, who has adapted books by the ton and did a memorably fine version of The Lady Vanishes for the World Service, went back to the original novel..

If the name of its author, Olive Higgins Prouty, does not ring a bell with you, remind yourself that you are not in Teller's league when it comes to the scouting out of forgotten works of fiction. She does not, after all, appear in the Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, nor is her work tucked into the pages of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. So I cannot tell you whether one of the most famous closing speeches in cinema - 'Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars' - came from the Higgins Prouty pen or that of the screenwriter, Casey Robinson.

It was certainly there in the Teller version, uttered by Sarah Lancashire with all the shivery conviction she brought to the role of Charlotte and addressed, climactically, to Jerry, the married man with whom she has found true happiness. (Director: Andy Jordan).

HABAKKUK OF ICE ....2001
By Steve Walker. 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.

The Circle, New Series ....1999
24 Apr 99-. A six-part comedy series by Elizabeth Baines. 1: `Squaring the Circle'. When wheeler-dealer snooker manager Geoff Bryant decides to join a babysitting circle, his wife Jenny knows he is up to something. With Sherrie Hewson, John McArdle and Jane Hazlegrove. Director Andy Jordan.

PLANTATION....1998
By John Pilkington. 60-minute radio adaptation of own stage play, produced by Andy Jordan for BBC World Service, Play of the Week, Jan-Feb 1998.

THE BURNING GLASS....1998
By Jo Anderson.

IVOR GURNEY....1998
An interesting biography of the composer Ivor Gurney went out on R4, 8 Feb, 1415, entitled simply "Gurney", by Tim Sanders. Gurney's output is quite small, but includes some attractive songs, piano pieces, and chamber and orchestral works, all of which showed great potential. He was badly affected by his war service, however, and he retired from music, ending his days in a mental hospital in 1947.Gurney was played by Anton Lesser. Directed by Andy Jordan. Rpt. R4, 2000. (....ND, VRPCC newsletter)

United States....1996
By Tony Coult. Friday Play. The remarkable story of Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins, born into 19th century feudal Siam, and dying as gentleman farmers in North Carolina, USA. R4, 90m, 17.6.96. with Bert Kwok, Ossie Yule, Glen Gwie, Richard Rees, Buffy Davis, Alice Arnold, Stuart Milligan, Claire Benedict, Justine Middar, Pix-en Lin, Geoffrey Whitehead, Stephen Critchlow, Kim Wall, Keith Drinkel, Dennis Hawthorne, David Timpson, Jane Whittenshaw, Colleen Prendergast, Elaine Hyke. "Speculations on the life of Chang and Eng Bunker" was directed by Andy Jordan.

REMEMBER LIVE AID....1995
A remarkable play based on the events leading to the Live Aid concert in 1985 - the largest musical concert in history, organised by the Boomtown Rats pop-singer Bob Geldof, whose dynamism and refusal to be beaten resulted in millions of pounds being raised for the starving of Ethiopia. Geldof comes across as a bundle of raw energy and determination, and this cannot be far from the truth, or the concert and its follow-ups would never have happened. Directed by Andy Jordan, with Peter O'Meara, Toyah Willcox, Kenneth Cranham, Simon Bates, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins.

THE SOUND OF FURY....1994
The Billy Fury story, by Mike Walker.
“The writing is seductive.. and the cast (with Rory Bremner as Russell Harty) play it with such conviction that come midnight tonight there’ll be many an old rocker with tears on the pillow for poor dead Billy”. (Laurie Taylor, The Times)

A CITY CALLED GLORY....1994
The Sam Cooke story, by Neil McKay.

TAKE THE NIGHT....1994
The Roy Orbison story, by Neil McKay.
“.... Producer Andy Jordan drew a pair of splendid performances from Kerry Shale and Marcus D’Amico, and was wonderfully promiscuous with Orbison’s music - all luscious longing in a thoroughly absorbing production”. (Anne Karpf, The Guardian)

FEVER....1994
The Little Wille John story, by Roy MacGregor.

DEAD MAN'S BUTTON....1994
By John Pilkington. Thirty Minute Theatre; fun and games two hundred feet up in the cab of a crane...you've all heard of the train driver's "dead man's handle"; in a crane there's a similar device called the dead man's button. The story takes place on the ground and in the air. Stars Tony Selby, Nick Stringer, Chris Harris, Nigel Carrington; dir. Andy Jordan. 30-minute original drama, produced by Andy Jordan, R4 1994. Prod. Radio South Africa 1995.

DOUBLE INDEMNITY, dram, 1993
Dram. John Fletcher. From the Hollywood film, by James M. Cain. With Walter Hough, Molly Ringwald, Teresa Russell, John Wood, Michael Drew, John Goraczio, John Baddeley, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Roger May. Technical presentation by Graham Hoyland, Dave Parkinson, Andrew Lawrence, Fiona Baker, Christine Hall, Mark Decker. Directed at Christchurch Studios in Bristol by Andy Jordan.

“Double Indemnity was a treat. As the snake-like Phyllis, Theresa Russell even managed to overcome memories of Barbara Stanwyck’s horrifying performance...” (David Sexton, Sunday Telegraph)

NIGHT OF THE HUNTER....1993
R4, 3.9.93; subsequently repeated by ABC. Directed by Andy Jordan. The children know where the money is hidden; so does a psychopathic preacher. Dramatised from the story by Davis Grubb.

“Simply magnificent - one of the most chilling and moving thrillers I have heard on radio..... Intensely visual, atmospheric and totally unsentimental... I have seen the original film, and this performance left that for dead. (S.M., Cumbria)

MILDRED PIERCE ....1993
Dramatised by John Fletcher. “In its third foray into film noir, R4 again stands up well to any comparisons with the original. And Shelley Thompson is great as Mildred.” (Sid Smith, Time Out)

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE....1993
By Shaun McKenna. “Another rivetting radio version of a Hollywood classic.” (Daily Mail) - a play in the series SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: the Radio 4 Film Noir Season, conceived, produced and directed by Andy Jordan.

A FROZEN STREAM CALLED WOUNDED KNEE....1992
By John Pilkington; 90-minute original drama, R4 Monday Play, directed at BBC Bristol by Andy Jordan. 2 broadcasts 1992; produced Radio South Africa, 1994.

THE DREAM MAKER....1992
By Alec Shearer: a comedy - Stuart and his widowed mother live in a Devonshire village in the middle of nowhere. A stranger appears, claiming to be able to foretell the future in his dreams. With Andrew Howard, Bill Paterson, Tina Gray, James Lailey, Andrea Gascoigne, John Surman, Rio Fanning, John Church. Directed by Andy Jordan.

FIGURE WITH MEAT....1991
Just imagine that your beliefs regarding the afterlife actually determined your fate.....
Craig Warner’s latest grim entertainment has all the energetic surrealism and originality of 'by where the old shed used to be' ...... Funny, disturbing, and well made by Andy Jordan”. (Robert Hanks, The Independent).


It was great to laugh out loud at a R3 play for a change! Beautifully paced, quite FANTASTIC radio.” (Jeremy Mortimer)

LOVE TO MADELEINE....1990
By Craig Warner.

SOLSTICE....1990
By Jo Anderson.

BY WHERE THE OLD SHED USED TO BE....1989
“... a brutal, and occasionally heartless version of the Cinderella story.. and Andy Jordan’s production serves it nicely”. (Robert Hanks, The Independent)


OTHERS:

NEUROMANCER by William Gibson, dramatised by Mike Walker. BBC WS. 2 x 60’. With Nicola Walker, James Laurenson, Eoin McCarthy and John Shrapnel.

MY MATISSE by Howard Ginsberg. For CD release by Sony Records. With Samantha Bond, Jemma Redgrave, Sarah Jane Holm, Joanna Monro and Emilia Fox.

THE ISLAND by Athol Fugard, Winston Ntshona and John Kani. Radio Drama for BBC WS. 90’. With John Kani and Winston Ntshona. Nominated for the New York Radio Festival Award, 2002.

OXYGEN by Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann. BBC Radio Drama for WS. 60’. With Miles Anderson, Jan Ravens, Jack Klaff, Justine Midda, Jon Strickland and Alexander Hanson.

DIVAS OF THEIR DAY by Andy Jordan. 6 x 30’. Ladbroke Radio. Music documentary series for Radio 2. Contributors included Dame Vera Lynn, Lionel Blair, Denis Nordern, Denis Lotis, Joan Regan, Lita Roza, Barry Ryan.

THE ARCHERS (various writers and regular cast).

STATION ROAD (BBC Radio Wales’ daily soap opera. Various writers and regular cast).

AN IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION by Carl Djerassi (his first radio play). 60’; World Service. With Henry Goodman, Michael Cochrane and Penny Downie.

WORK IN PROGRESS by Gary Brown. 45’; Above The Title Productions for R4. With Alan Davies, Emma Pierson, Lloyd Peters, Justine Midda and Frances Barber.

The ART NOUVEAU Exhibition (THE V & A MUSEUM) by Brian McAvera and Andy Jordan. The Exhibition Tour Guide for acoustiguide Ltd. With Clive Russell and Nicholas Boulton.

THE LONDON AMERICAN STORY by Stuart Colman (with Andy Jordan & Jim Hiley). Ladbroke Radio 4 x 60’ Music documentary series for Radio 2. Contributors included: Sir Paul McCartney, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Duane Eddy, Bo Diddley and Jonathan King.

THE LADY VANISHES by Lina Ethel White, dramatised by Neville Teller. 60’; World Service. With Renee Asherson, Jenny Funnell, Mark Tandy, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Michael Roberts.

HARD TIMES by Charles Dickens, adapted by Nick McCarty. 4 x 60’; World Service/BBC Worldwide. With Tom Baker, Richard Griffiths, Anna Massey, Owen Teale, John Woodvine, Jean Boht, Julia Ford and Sarah Jane Holm.

MURDER IN PARIS by Howard Ginsberg (his first radio play). 90’; Radio 4. With Alan Bates; Bob Peck; Emilia Fox and Eleanor Bron.

SO LONG, LIFE (c1990?)
By Peter Nichols. 45m. With Constance Chapman, Patrick Malahide, Alison Steadman, Dian Quick; directed by Andy Jordan.

Compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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