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ERIC PRINGLE RADIO PLAYS

BBC BROADCASTS

24.02.83 Jogger
01.06.92 Sort of a Hero
10.08.92 Voyage of the Swallow
17.04.93 Meeting Bea*
??.08.93 Dancing with Jacques*, tmt
01.01.94 Ways of Escape-Sarah*
25.02.95 Ways of Escape-Elizabeth
07.02.96 Paupers and Pig Killers* series 1
04.02.98 Hard Row to Porlock*
16.11.98 Life's little ironies-an imaginative woman
29.10.99 Paupers and Pig Killers* series 2
10.02.00 The July Ghost (A.S.Byatt), dram
11.02.00 The New People (R.Tremain), dram
16.08.00 The Last Piano Player*
17.03.01 Something Strange
02.08.01 Henry's Leg *(Anne Pilling), dram. 2 x 45m
31.08.01 Stone Trees (Jane Gardam), dram
04.08.02 The Good Companions* (Priestley), dram 3 x 55m
11.11.02 The Tears of War (C.Fyfe), dram
28.08.03 Scenes from Provincial Life, serial

date nk Is there anybody there? Serial R5(?)
date nk Goodbye Simple Girl, tmt, R4
date nk It's Cold Outside, tmt, R4

Asterisked plays located by VRPCC

NOTES

JOGGER....1983
With Malcolm Stoddard & Alison Fiske. No other details available.

SORT OF A HERO....1992
1 Jun 92. Afternoon play.

VOYAGE OF THE SWALLOW....1992
10 Aug 92. Afternoon play.

MEETING BEA....1993
With Stephanie Cole/Clive Swift. Interesting biographical play about the later life of Beatrix Potter, who wrote the books about Jemimah Puddleduck, Mrs. Tiggywinkle, and other familiar children's characters. Potter had overbearing upper-class parents who made her early adult life very unhappy; in fact she was well over forty before she broke away from them and married her publisher. She spent about a decade writing and illustrating the works for which she is so famous.

Afterwards, she put the books behind her, moved to the Lake District and bought land and farmed sheep.

The play looks at her life from the point of view of the young Sally Worboyes (now also a well-known artist and writer) and her American publisher.

Potter became a big landowner who eventually left fifteen farms to the National Trust, to help keep hill farming alive. When about sixty she was approached by an American who wanted her to write another 'Beatrix Potter' book for the American market. Eventually she agreed, and produced, after much labour, "The Fairy Caravan". It wasn't in the same class as her other work, but it enabled her to save another farm from the developers at a time when preserving the countryside for the future wasn't in fashion.

Stephanie Cole plays the hard-bitten Beatrix Potter, and Clive Swift her second husband. The producer was Adrian Bean.

DANCING WITH JACQUES....1993
No details available at time of writing, though I have the recording..

WAYS OF ESCAPE-ELIZABETH....1995
With Stephen Moore, Anna Massey, Deborah Findlay. No other details available.

WAYS OF ESCAPE-SARAH....1994
With Stephen Moore, Anna Massey, Deborah Findlay. The rector's sister befriends a poor family, with unforeseen consequences. Social story set in 1815. ND comments......very sad tale of what life was like in the 1820s on the north-east coast; the rector, the squire and their friends have as much as they want; the poor, living close by, are almost starving. They could be deported to Van Dieman's Land or hanged for the relatively trivial offence of poaching. This play is a reminder of how short and brutish a person's existence could be only a few generations ago......Good use of period music in some scenes (Field nocturnes).

PAUPERS AND PIG KILLERS....1996
Series 1: ep. 1. 7 Feb 96; ep. 2 The Fruits of the earth 14 Feb 96; ep 3 'Pastoral', 21 Feb 96.

LIFE'S LITTLE IRONIES-AN IMAGINATIVE WOMAN....1998
Ella Marchmill longs to meet her favourite poet. The more elusive he remains, the more her desire increases. With Amanda Root, Sean Baker, Shirley Dixon; dir. Clive Brill

HARD ROW TO PORLOCK....1998
I was pleased to be contacted by Clive Lever (2004), who supplied the following information:
"You may be interested to know that my great grandfather once featured as a character in a radio 4 play. In the series 'who sings the hero', they did a play called Hard Row To Porlock', about the Lynmouth lifeboat rescue of 1897. They had to haul the lifeboat several miles over land and knock two houses down in order to launch and rescue. My great-grandad was Richard Ridler. He was credited on the play as the bowman, as in bows and arrows; he was of course the Bowman as in the bow of the ship. The bowman didn't have a speaking part but was named during the action of the play. Omitting him from the cast did seem to me rather like doing the Beatles story, and saying at the end: 'Oh and by the way, George Harrison was the lead guitarist'".

Cast list:
Rev Hockley- John Rowe
Billy Richards - Tom Bevan
Crowcombe- Chris Wright
Innkeeper - Hugh Dickson
Moore- Ewan Thomas
George Richards- Brian Parr
Tom Willis - Stephen Thorne
Crick - Gerard McDermott
Soames- Gerard McDermott
Director- Cherry Cookson

Clive also adds...Gerard McDermott tells me that Cherry Cookson wanted to feature the crew singing a sea shanty, but none of the actors knew any, with the exception of Gerard. He therefore had some fun in teaching the only one he knew (not from Somerset, or anywhere near) to the cast before they could include it in the play.

PAUPERS AND PIG KILLERS....1999
Three part series about life in a Somerset parsonage in the early 1800s. Ronald Pickup plays the parson, William Holland, and Rowena Cooper is Mary. Also stars Gavin Muir and Gordon Gostelow; dir. Cherry Cookson. 3 x 45m. Ep.1 'Don't look down your nose at me, Sir' 29 Oct 99; Ep 2 'Travel broadens the Seat 5 Nov 11; Ep 3 'The Year of the Cuckoo' 12 Nov 99. Afternoon plays.

THE JULY GHOST....2000
I missed this one, so cannot say anything about the plot. Stars KateBuffery, Clive Owen, Gavin Muir, Oliver Cookson; dir. Tracey Neal.

THE NEW PEOPLE....2000
Millicent's success as a poet is diminishing; she decides to move to Italy to have a fresh start with her partner Alison. But the influence of her past is still very strong. With Ursula Howells, Eleanor Bron; dir. Cherry Cookson.

THE LAST PIANO PLAYER....2000
It is 2020; in an empty Norfolk resort, a lone piano player continues his playing, uninterested in the technological world around him. A tatty quiz extravaganza, the "Simon Swain Show", finds out about his playing and features him on the show. It's easy to humiliate him in a superficial way, but the show organisers get more than they bargained for. With Bernard Cribbins as the piano player, and Philip Jackson; dir. Cherry Cookson: an outstanding afternoon play.

HENRY'S LEG....2001
A two-part dramatisation of Ann Pilling's children's story. Danny Crompton has stolen the dummy's leg; Henry is determined to recover it. Stars Adam Nagaitis, Robert Pollard, Brigit Forsyth; dir. Pauline Harris.

STONE TREES....2001
On love and loss: Lou's husband has died, leaving her in a state of shock. But perhaps her marriage wasn't quite as good as the picture she paints...

SOMETHING STRANGE....2001
A psychological thriller, where an innocent flirtation develops into something menacing. Stars Beth Chalmers, Robert Glenister, Geoffrey Whitehead, Thomas Arnold. Dir. Tracey Neal.

THE GOOD COMPANIONS....2002
The well-known story by J.B.Priestley. Stars Helen Longworth, Philip Jackson. Broadcast as "Classic Serial".

THE TEARS OF WAR....2002
R4, 1415, 11 Nov 02. By Charlotte Fyfe; adapted by Eric Pringle. A true love story set against the background of the First World War, told with letters and poems written by the young poet May Cannan and the man she loved, Bevil Quiller- Couch. With Jasmine Hyde as May, James Purefoy as Bevil, Beth Chalmers as Dorothea, Derek Waring as Sir Arthur, also stars Emma Woollams, Scott Brooksbank, Simon Donaldson. Director Marc Beeby.


Scenes From Provincial Life....2003
27 Aug 03. Eric Pringle's four-part dramatisation of this ground-breaking comic novel by William Cooper, exploring the life and loves of a schoolmaster and his friends in pre-war Leicester.
Joe Lunn ...... David Thorpe
Myrtle ...... Alison Pettitt
Tom ...... Jonathan Keeble
Steve ...... Robert Harper
Bolshaw ...... Keith Drinkel
Frank ...... Clive Standen

©Nigel Deacon, Diversity website

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