Chris Wallis Radio Plays

Charlotte's Web....2005
R4, 1415, 22-23 Mar 05 - a 90-minute children's play for adults, broadcast in two halves on successive days during Easter Week. A baby pig is rescued from an early death, only to discover that he's being fattened up for the dinner table. Fern is the farmer's daughter, who is able to talk to the animals; Charlotte is the spider who is able to bring them together in an attempt to save the little pig's life. The dramatisation was by Joe Robinette, from the story by E.B.White; Chris Wallis directed. Ken Campbell plays the sneaky rat Templeton; Ken also featured in a programme a couple of months earlier about radio ventriloquists and gave his usual value for money in both broadcasts. .....ND, vrpcc newsletter

.......10 Jun 03 saw the broadcast of a delightful second play with Delphinium the fairy played by Thelma Barlow: But are you sure it's Educational?, by Val Syms. This time Delphinium has to help out in running a school trip, and what can go wrong, does....also stars James Lacey, Joy Blakeman, Vincent Davies, Phillip Cotterill as the helpless student teacher, Anna Healey, Phil Hearne, David Thorpe; the little horrors played by Stephanie Davis, Greg Fossard and Gary Molyneux. The director was Chris Wallis. More in the same vein would be very welcome.

High Noon at the Sad Cafe....2003
By Val Syms. R4, 3 Nov 03, 1415; Pleasant comedy-drama about the disillusioned owner of a run-down cafe. His new wife runs off with all his money and Hughie from Condiments of Distinction. Then his elderly mother has an idea to get rhe business back on its feet. Thelma Barlow plays the clever old lady - as in the "Delphinium" stories - and the other parts are taken by Phil Hearne, Paul Broughton, Stephen Fletcher, Rod Arthur, Phillip Cotterill, Angela Walsh, Stephen Aintree, Genevieve Walsh and Linda Thornhill. Dir. Chris Wallis. (VRPCC newesletter, Dec 03)

..................Val Syms has produced some good work recently. Two years ago we had Not like Enid Blyton, (due to be repeated on 6 Aug 02 but replaced by a repeated Tinniswood monologue at the last minute), a comic adventure about two young schoolgirls. Billy and Elvis (R4,1415, 16 Aug 02) was semi-autobiographical; Billy Syms, Val's husband, died on the same day as Elvis. She weaves the stories of the two mens' lives together, and produces a very effective radio piece on the nature of love and loss. Another Syms play, A Fairy lost in the 21st Century (R4, 1415, 16 May 02) was a light comedy with Thelma Barlow as Delphinium, a fairy who has been asleep for 700 years, accidentally woken by 11 year old Darren. He takes her home, and strange things start to happen. Chris Wallis directed both productions. (VRPCC newsletter, Sep 02)

'Till the words come back....2002
Eleven year old Liam is annoying in the extreme, never knows when to keep his mouth shut. He cannot stop talking, until....... something happens, and everything changes. With Joy Blakeman, Phil Hearne, Greg Fossard, Lea Higginson, James Lacey, Stephen Aintree, Sean Barratt, Heather Bleasdale, Lynda Thornhill. Director (and producer) Chris Wallis.

Dramatisation in 2 one-hour parts as Classic Serial; too familiar to say anything about it other than to name the cast and to say it's an excellent dramatisation: with Robert Hardy, Tom Huntingford, Henry Peters, Jordan Copeland. Directed by Chris Wallis.

Tom Brown's Schooldays, by Thomas Hughes, was dramatised by Joe Dunlop(R4, Classic Serial, two episodes, beginning 1502, 10 Jun 01) . Tom Brown arrives at Rugby school full of innocence and eagerness to learn. He is not disappointed, but some of the lessons are harsher than he expects. Robert Hardy was Tom, Tom Huntingford was young Tom, and Jordan Copeland was an excellent Flashman..... ND, VRPCC newsletter, Sept 01

............Not Like Enid Blyton (R4 1415 26 Apr 00 ) by Val Syms, was a comedy-drama involving two schoolgirls. They are determined to have adventures, but mother insists that they take along baby Dominic. Unfortunately they become distracted and lose the pram. Brenda and Pat were played by Natalie Lynch and Victoria McGovern, and the action was set in the mid 50s; Chris Wallis directed. (VRPCC newsletter, Sep 00)

copyright Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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