David Greig Radio Plays

David Greig, the National Theatre of Scotland's first Dramaturg, is a playwright whose work has been produced around the world. His plays include Dunsinane, a sequel to Macbeth, The Events, written after the Breivik massacre in Norway; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and his Yes/No plays on Twitter before the Scottish referendum. His first play for radio was Copper Sulphate in 1996.

Many of David Greig's plays concentrate on war or conflict and its effects on ordinary people.

04.07.14 *The Events, R4
24.05.13 *Midsummer, R4
01.01.13 *Letter Of Last Resort, R4
30.01.11 *Dunsinane, R3
10.10.10 *Miniskirts of Kabul, in "The Great Game", R3
20.11.04 *Dr Korczak's Example, R4
14.05.04 *An ember in the straw, R4
30.08.03 *The Commuter, R3, 60m.
05.05.02 *Outlying Islands, R3
11.02.00 *The Swansong, 60m, R4
10.11.96 *Copper Sulphate, R3

Asterisked plays know to exist in VRPCC collections.


4 Jul 2014: 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.)

24 May 2013 Friday Drama: Midsummer
A play with songs, by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre. It's a Midsummer's weekend in Edinburgh. It's raining. Two thirtysomethings are sitting in a New Town bar waiting for something to turn up. Midsummer is the story of Bob and Helena and a great lost weekend of bridge burning, wedding bust-ups, chases, bondage miscalculations, midnight trysts and horrible hungover self loathing misery. A warm hearted adult romantic comedy. First produced by the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. It was also performed at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has since toured Ireland, Canada and England. Helena .......Cora Bissett, Bob ...... Matthew Pidgeon, All other parts played by Cora and Matthew. Producer ..... David Ian Neville.

1 Jan 2013 Saturday Drama: The Letter of Last Resort
By David Greig;originally commissioned and produced by the Tricycle Theatre as part of a cycle of plays 'The Bomb - A Partial History'. The Letter of Last Resort is a hand-written letter from the Prime Minister to the commanding officer of each of Trident's submarines. It contains instruction on what action the commanding officer of the submarine should take in the event that Britain is obliterated by nuclear attack and all those in authority deceased. The letter can only say one of two things: retaliate, or, don't retaliate. Each new British prime minister must write the letter upon taking office.

Set in the near future, the play is a conversation between the new prime minister (in this case a woman) and the Head of Arrangements at the end of her first day. It looks at the arguments around nuclear deterrents - and the surreal position of the prime minster under these circumstances. Prime Minister ....... Belinda Lang, John ..... Simon Chandler. Directed by Nicolas Kent and produced by Lu Kemp.

30 Jan 2011, R3. Sequel to Macbeth, 90m, producer David Ian Neville. A normal drama - not in Shakesperian verse. 90m.

    Macbeth is dead. Under cover of night, an English army has swept through the landscape, killed the tyrant and taken the seat of power. Attempting to restore peace and put in place a new ruler, the commanding officer is beset by a brutal guerrilla uprising and simmering discontent amongst his own inexperienced troops. This is a vision of one man's attempt to restore peace in a country ravaged by war. Siward ..... Jonny Phillips, Gruach ..... Siobhan Redmond, The Boy Soldier ..... Jack Farthing, Malcolm ..... Brian Ferguson, MacDuff ..... Ewan Stewart, Egham ..... Alex Mann, Edward ..... Daniel Rose, Eric ..... Joshua Jenkins, Lulach ..... Sandy Grierson, Hen Girl ..... Lisa Hogg. Other parts played by members of the company. Original songs and music composed by Nick Powell and performed by Alex Lee, Sarah Wilson and Lisa Hogg. Director, Roxana Silbert; Producer, David Ian Neville.

10.10.2010 Drama on 3 - The Great Game
A sequence of four plays tracing the history of the war in Afghanistan from the 1840s to the present day, introduced by Robin Lustig. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

    'Bugles at the Gates of Jalalabad' by Stephen Jeffreys
    In January 1842 a contingent of British soldiers, 16000 strong, retreated from Kabul. Only a few stragglers were left alive in the British Army's worst defeat in history. The General's wife, Lady Sale, documents the battles in the Hindu Kush; whilst four buglers sound the advance at the gates of Jalalabad as a signal to any survivors. Lady Sale ..... Jemma Redgrave, McCann ..... Daniel Betts, Dickensen ..... Tom McKay, Hendrick ..... Rick Warden, Winterflood ..... Karl Davies, Afzal ..... Nabil Elouahabi. Produced by Indhu Rubasingham.

    'Miniskirts of Kabul' by David Greig
    The Taliban are closing in on Kabul: shells and rockets are exploding around the capital. A woman is interviewing President Najibullah, who has sought refuge in the UN compound. He talks about fashion, communism, torture and whisky, but time is running out. Writer ..... Jemma Redgrave, Najibullah ..... Daniel Rabin. Produced by Indhu Rubasingham.

    'Honey' by Ben Ockrent
    While civil war rages, a lone CIA agent realises the dangers of American disengagement. He's found an 'in' to persuade Commander Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir, to help them get back into the game. But with the Taliban closing in on Kabul, will it be enough? Masood Khalili ..... Vincent Ebrahim, Robin Raphel ..... Jemma Redgrave, Gary Schroen ..... Michael Cochrane, Ahmad Shah Massoud ..... Daniel Rabin, Reporter ..... Danny Rahim, Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.

    'Canopy of Stars' by Simon Stephens
    In a bunker guarding the Kajaki Dam, two soldiers talk of chips and gravy, football, women and whether the British should start to negotiate with the Taliban insurgents. It gives an insight into soldiers at war, and what happens when they go home. Sergeant Jay Watkins ..... Tom McKay, Private Richard Kendall ..... Karl Davies, Lloyd ..... Lloyd Thomas, Murray ..... Danny Rahim, Cutty/Voice on Radio ..... Rick Warden, Cheryl/Medic ..... Cloudia Swann. Produced by Jessica Dromgoole.

      Related play - 17 Sep 2010 The Stanley Baxter Playhouse - Series 4, The Porter's Story
      Written by Rona Munro. A comedy based on Shakespeare's Scottish play, where the porter becomes the hero and invites us to hear his version of the events leading the murder of King Duncan and what might have happened after it. Porter ..... Stanley Baxter, Macbeth ...... Gordon Kennedy, Lady Macbeth ...... Siobhan Redmond, Duncan/Nobleman ...... Stuart McQuarrie. (Siobhan Redmond starred in the RSC production of Dunsinane by David Greig, where she played Lady Macbeth. Gordon Kennedy was Little John in the BBC TV series Robin Hood.) Producer: Marilyn Imrie. Indie (Catherine Bailey).

The Saturday Play: Dr Korczak's Example....2004
By David Greig. 20.11.04, rpt. 01.07.06. R4. Based on the true story of Janusz Korczak, best-selling children's novelist, paediatrician and social experimenter, who set up a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw and ran it as a children's democracy. In the play, when the Nazis close in on Warsaw, Korczak and the children are forced to move into the ghetto - stretching Korczak's pacifist ideals to the limit. But the doctor's values are threatened not only by the Nazi regime but by the arrival of a young Jewish boy who believes in fighting back. Dr Korczak ...... Alexander Morton, Stephanie ...... Vicki Liddelle, Adzio ...... Simon Donaldson, Cerniakow ...... Sandy Neilson, Stepan ...... Anthony Hutcheson , Priest ...... Matthew Zajac, Abraza ...... Ewan Macleod, Tadeusz ...... Fergus Hitchcock, Bruno ...... Finn Hitchcock, Miriam/Zelda ...... Katie Neville, Coco ...... Sarah-Beth Neville, Violinist ...... Daphne Godson, Director Lu Kemp.

An Ember in the Straw....2004
14.05.04. The Friday Play, set in an unnamed war-torn country that could be anywhere, tells the tragi-comic story of the arrival in a farmer's field of a shot-down American pilot.

In the series "The Wire", radio 3. David Greig's play follows the extraordinary journey of an ordinary man with a briefcase, as he struggles to get home to Scotland across an England flooded and lawless after forty days and forty nights of rain. The Commuter ...... Liam Brennan, Johnny ...... Paul Blair. Produced by Patrick Rayner. Rpt. 30.8.03.

5.5.2002 Drama on 3: Outlying Islands
By David Greig. On the eve of World War II, two naive young scientists are sent to pave the way for the introduction of anthrax on a remote Scottish island. Rpt. 17.11.02.

11 Feb 00. A contemporary variation of the legend LEDA AND THE SWAN. A young woman sits by a pond with only a bottle of gin for company. Then a handsome stranger waddles out of the rushes and whisks her off of a magical and memorable night on the town. With Vicki Masson, Michael Nardone and John Kazek. Producer: Patrick Rayner. R4. 9.02pm. 58m.

10.11.1996 Drama Now -Copper Sulphate
This new play, David Grieg's first for radio, is set in West Africa. A young man returns to the former colony of Bushiya to discover more about the death of Innocence Andeyaba, a prominent political activist and once his boyhood friend. Leonard .......... Tom Smith, Charity .......... Bella Enahoro, Ake .......... Benon Wukwe, Governor .......... Ben Thomas, Victor .......... Jude Akuwudike, Terry .......... Michael MacKenzie, Nicola .......... Mairi Gillespie, Young Leonard .......... Grace Glover. Producer: Patrick Rayner. R3.


FOUND AT SEA....2014
28 Dec 14, rpt. 3 Jan 14, radio 4. Andrew Greig recounts, in poetic sequence, the tale of his open dinghy voyage from Stromness in Scapa Flow to the remote island of Cava.Written in six weeks, Found at Sea is a 'very wee epic', (Andrew's words) about sailing, male friendship and a voyage to find a way through the rest of life by recalling the lives they've lived before. Cast: Narrator ............Andrew Greig, Skip ...................Lewis Howden, Crew .................Tam Dean Burn, Musician ............Rachel Newton. Sound Design Lee McPhail. Director Marilyn Imrie. Producer Gordon Kennedy. Indie. (Absolutely Productions).

"Found At Sea" was originally performed at the Traverse in Aug 2012, directed by David Grieg, and an expanded version, also directed by David Grieg, with Tam Dean Burn as 'Crew' and Lewis Howden as 'Skip', ran at the Traverse from 19th-23rd Feb 2013.

....compiled by Nigel Deacon, Diversity website

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

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