David Hunter, radio producer

WHEN TO RUN....2008
26 Feb 08, afternoon play, 45m. Sophie Woolley brings a new version of her one-woman stage show to the radio; a bizarre story of three women who run; a dog-walker in search of romance and a man who looks a bit like Tony Soprano.

Julia ...... Katy Cavanagh
Shelley ...... Sophie Woolley
Emma ...... Tracy Wiles
Celia ...... Liza Sadovy
Producer...... David Hunter.

This is Alan Bennett's new play about education, recently showing at the National Theatre. The play is adapted by Richard Wortley, probably the most experienced radio play producer in the country, with 2,000 radio plays under his belt . It was recorded in the BBC's premier drama studio, Maida Vale 6, London, and broadcast on Radio 3, 12 Mar 2006. A very unusual feature of the recording was that it was done without scripts, since the actors were playing the same parts on the stage later in the week. The cast included Richard Griffiths, Geoffrey Streatfield, Frances de la Tour, Clive Merrison, Samuel Anderson and Samuel Barnett; the producer was David Hunter and Richard Wortley directed.

Before Bennett started writing the play he re-read Giles Cooper's "Unman, Wittering and Zigo. *The History Boys" are kinder than the murderous schoolboys in Cooper's play, but some of the banter between master and class is similar. In Bennett's play, the boys are meant to be 17 or 18 and clever, and with the beginnings of wisdom. They are tolerant and understanding of one another, and perhaps this explains the spell which their charismatic teacher, Hector, casts over them. At the heart of the play are four characters with contrasting outlooks on teaching and school - Hector, passionate about his subject but with no interest in exams, a young coach, Irwin, dedicated to teaching exams tricks and being an educational yes-man; a traditionalist who teaches history without gimmicks or passion, and a headmaster obsessed with results. The play won an Olivier Award at the National. The play is in the BBC Radio Collection. ....N.D., VRPCC newsletter.

Getting the Joke....2005 by Neil Brand (R4, 1415, 20 Oct 05) examined an incident in Donald McGill's life. For 60 years, McGill had created some of the most popular seaside postcards in the land. In 1954, aged 80, he was arrested on obscene publication charges. In today's climate, his humour seems harmless enough, but things were different then. McGill's were time-honoured themes: the saucy chamber maid, the eager old maid, the flirt, the suave seducer, the final surrender and the bungled honeymoon, all sketched with meticulous care and capped with a clever double-entendre. Obscene? Nonsense! John Wood played McGill, Ann Beach was Molly, and the director was David Hunter. ....N.D., VRPCC newsletter.

I was pleased to see a Perry Pontac play on the schedules; he's one of our best comic writers. Readers may remember his "Hamlet, part II" and "Nothing Personal" - the play about the eskimo and the bank manager. In the words of a guy on the R4 messageboard: I was having a lousy day...dealt with Alzheimer afflicted mother...sat in cat vomit on the window sill..put off yet again cleaning filthy house...then I heard the start of Perry Pontac's "Incurable Romantics" (R4, 1130, 16 Dec 05) and my day was transformed. Three geriatric gents in a rest home in Florence turn out to be Shelley, Keats and Byron who, contrary to popular myth, did not die tragically and romantically but are eking out their old age no doubt paid for by the top sales of their oeuvres due to their early demise. Fanny Brawn, Keats' early love interest arrives as a raddled old hag looking up her old flame after her Texan husband dies. Byron chats her up and she comments "I'm sweatin' like a weasel in a waffle iron". Funny, literate, and beautifully comically acted. John Moffatt played Keats, John Rowe was Shelley and John Wood was Byron; Sandra Dickinson was Fanny, and the director David Hunter. ....N.D., VRPCC newsletter.

Dram Jonathan Holloway. Angela Moping visits her father in the asylum. His loyal secretary is Mr. Loveday. Stars Charlotte Attenborough, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Stephen Throne. Dir. David Hunter.

Flotsam & Jetsam....1999
By Nick Darke. A family tale based in Porthnant Bay, Cornwall. Gone Fishing has the same setting. With Carl Grose, Diana Berriman, Mike Shepherd, Emma Rice, Bec Applebee, Rachel Atkins, Sue Hill. Dir. David Hunter.

Missed this, so no information apart from the cast: Tristan Sturrock, Alison Pettitt; dir. David Hunter. By Jonathan Holloway.

By Jonathan Holloway. Set on the Edinburgh Fringe...John, an ex-teacher, takes his one-man show there; he has a treacherous manager and less than ideal love affair. Stars Stephen Critchlow, Tracy Wiles. Dir. David Hunter. 5 x 12m.

5 x 12m. By Jonathan Holloway. Set in Cornwall. Cast: Elaine Pyke, Tim McInnerney, Iwan Thomas, Becky Hindley. Dir. David Hunter.

THE FALL....1998
5 x 12m. By Jonathan Holloway. Social story set in Cornwall. With Charlotte Coleman, Elaine Pyke. Dir. David Hunter.

A ghost story based on a short story by Willa Cather. Dram Jonathan Holloway. Terrapin Rodgers recounts to Will Carter the riddle of his friend's death. Carter becomes involved, and terrified. Stars Kerry Shale, Nancy Crane, Stuart Milligan. Dir. David Hunter.

Based on a short story by Walter de la Mare. Dram Jonathan Holloway. Cast: Samuel West as Rupert Withers, Margaret Robertson as Seaton's Aunt, Andrew Wincott as Arthur Seaton, Tereas Gallagher as young Seaton, young Withers by Melinda Walker, Patience Tomlinson as de Witt. Music composed & played by Adrian Johnston; directed by David Hunter.

copyright Nigel Deacon, Greg Linden and VRPCC / Diversity website

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