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Gerry Jones Radio Plays

Gerry Jones was born in Colwyn Bay in 1931. His career began as an actor in 1957. Whilst a member of the Old Vic Co. in 1962 he had his first radio play, "All Through the Night", accepted by the BBC. He wrote many plays for radio & television until joining the BBC in 1966, where he began as a script reader. He wrote more plays, including the classic "Time After Time", and later went into directing, working on the first three "Fear on Four" series, Saturday Night Theatre, and much more. He directed a very large number of plays over a period of about 20 years, and left the BBC in 1989 ("we would spend a day in the studio on a half-hour play, going up to 3 days for a ninety-minuter"). He wrote a novel, "The Sin Eater", in 1973. .....N.D, from a telephone conversation with Gerry Jones, 2002.



In Feb. 2005 Bert Coules put the following on the BBC7 messageboard:

...........I thought people here might like to know the sad news that Gerry Jones, the radio and TV playwright and radio drama producer, died last week at the age of seventy-four. Gerry was a good friend of mine when I was on the staff at the Beeb; it was back then that he and fellow-producer Martin Jenkins - and a great double-act they made, the pair of them - were responsible for reviving the old "Man in Black" concept under the new title Fear on Four. Gerry directed all three of my episodes, and I couldn't have wished for a better job.

BBC Broadcasts

20.03.1963 All Through The Night*
07.08.1963 Out of the Rain*
25.01.1964 There used to be Trees
17.03.1965 Third Time Down
19.01.1966 A Smell of Lavender*
29.06.1966 A Question of Disposal*
30.11.1966 Once in a Lifetime
28.10.1967 A Hell of a Day on Monday
22.11.1969 Tell me a story
08.05.1970 A Smell Of Lavender (rpt?)
12.04.1972 A Welcome in the Hillside
16.11.1972 Out Of The Rain, rpt
06.07.1973 Out Of The Rain, rpt
25.08.1977 A Welcome in the Hillside
30.05.1979 Time After Time
18.06.1980 Time After Time, rpt
12.09.1981 Give the clown his supper*
19.12.1981 The Chosen
25.04.1984 Time After Time*
27.07.1986 A kind of Halloween*, R3
30.09.1987 The Fiend*
11.12.1988 Taybridge*
19.08.1989 Jack In The Box*
06.02.1992 Is there anybody there?*
17.06.1992 Dried Flowers*
22.06.1995 The angels they grow lonely*
09.03.2006 Time after Time (remake)*

Gerry also lists the following:
Three Ring Circus*
Snake*
The sun going down and coming up and everything* 30m

Gerry Jones as Director or Producer:

1971 Sounds in the sky
1972 Astronaut
1972 The Freezer (Hugh C. Rae)
1975 The Blop
1975 Brian and the brain factory
1976 A Full Account* (John Kirkmorris)
1977 The one who came back
1978 Under Milk Wood
1980 A Resistance to pressure* (David Baum)
05.09.1980 Oboe at the Embassy* (James Follett)
??.01.1984 The Killing Season* (5 x 30 mins; Rodney Wingfield)
1984 Orbital decay
1988 The Spirit of the House* (Michael Robson)
1989 Survival (John Wyndham)
23.09.1992 Saving of the Saluto* (Melville Jones)
1992 The Seagull (Chekhov)

others will be added to the list as I find them

Asterisked plays known to exist within VRPCC

NOTES

ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT....1963
Set in a Welsh village; about a strike which takes place in one of the mines. A murder has been committed; the body is in the house, and our miner friend will dispose of it before his wife gets home. But a strike is declared at the mine...will he get home in time to get rid of the body?

OUT OF THE RAIN....1963
It's the 1960s, and a young man and a woman meet on the sea front in the rain. They make their way to a disused cinema. But the man has an over-developed imagination; there is something wrong with him... Elizabeth Morgan as Susan and David Valor as Jimmy. Produced by Norman Wright.

A SMELL OF LAVENDER....1966
A little Welsh village is dying; the mine has shut, and the trains no longer stop there. Only one famous person has come from the village, and now he's lecturing all around the world. The villagers appeal to him for help - his response is unexpected, and so is what happens next....with Jessie Evans, Anthony Hall, Michael McLean, Harry Stamper; produced by John Powell.

A QUESTION OF DISPOSAL....1966
A typical ex-army man and his wife...it all begins with a 'phone call from an anonymous caller. Some days later, Mr. Brook moves in to the empty lodgings next door, and in Peter Evett's mind, some unpleasant memories, long hidden, begin to come to the surface. He is to learn that there is more than one way of taking revenge...

This play has been broadcast both in the UK and South Africa (Springbok Radio 1990). The South African version is adapted and produced by Zeona Burnell; Mr. Brook was played by Colin Fish, Brian O'Shaunessy was Peter Evett and Jenny Gratis was his wife.

A Hell of a Day on Monday....1967
Geoffrey Wincott/Haydn Jones/Ronald Herdman.
28.10.1967

Tell me a story....1969
22 November 1969, 20:30 hrs, with Tony Steedman/Tony Britton/Prunella Scales/Robin Bailey

SNAKE....1970s?
The plot defies description; it is another play which can only work on radio, and won Spain's International Ondas Award in 1976. With Colette O'Neill as Sandra, Peter Jeffery as Peter, Anthony Smee as Trevor, Elizabeth Lindsey as the boy, with John Rye, Frank Carson; narrated by John Rowe. The music was written by David Caine; played by George Calne and John Royston-Mitchell; produced by Martin Jenkins.

JACK IN THE BOX....1970s?
Another "radio-only" play; with memories, recollections and flashbacks from a man in a retirement home; full of insightful anecdotes and humorous moments.

THREE RING CIRCUS....1970s?
A beautiful girl working in a circus, and a champion boxer falls for her...but not everything ends happily. With Jim Norton, Mick Ford, John Junkin, Tessa Worsley, Natasha Pyne, Brett Usher, John Church, Carole Boyd; dir. Martin Jenkins.

TIME AFTER TIME....1979
One of the best plays ever written for radio -a traveller, suffering from amnesia, checks into a hotel. But it is like no other.... the staff are evasive; and no-one will tell him where he is. The conversations he has are odd, too; is it his imagination, or has he heard them already? After a while he decides to leave the building, to get his bearings, but each attempt leads him back to his room, and the same conversation he had ten minutes ago....

This play has been broadcast in three versions; two by the BBC and one by ABC (Australia). Both BBC R4 broadcasts were directed by Martin Jenkins.

For the later BBC broadcast, see notes for 2006 (below).

GIVE THE CLOWN HIS SUPPER....1981
Thirty minute theatre, 1430, 12.9.81: Julian Glover/Jennifer Piercy. A man and his wife have just taken part in a T.V. game show. Now comes the inquest.


A Kind of Hallowe'en....1986
27.07.86. Afternoon play, Sunday, R4. (?). One of my sources says this was also broadcast on radio 3. It's definitely a R3-type drama. Here's a few remarks about it, as read by the announcer just before the broadcast:

    A KIND OF HALLOWEEN by Gerry Jones received the 1985 Sony award for the best new radio play. It's set in the psychiatric wing of a mental hospital and it follows the fortunes of a man who believes himself to be a famous Welsh poet, despite the efforts of his doctor to convince him of his truw identity. This was Gerry's third award-winning radio play and reflects his own fascination with Dylan Thomas

    Gerry Jones: "I think every Welshman walks a bit in the shadow of Dylan Thomas. I have directed 'Under Milk Wood' both on radio and in the theatre so obviously I'm fascinated by his writing, and I've read a few books about him.

    I don't think this is a play necessarily just about Dylan Thomas, but I've always been fascinated by people who have a built-in kind of 'self-destruct' button in their personality; people like Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Marilyn Munroe, and to a certain extent I suppose, Richard Burton, and Dylan Thomas was certainly in that category."

THE FIEND....1987
A woman is being stalked in her home ... when she is out at work , someone is getting in. But a fiend may not be what he appears to be... With Maureen O'Brien as Mary, Mick Ford as Philip, Carole Boyd as Ann, John Rowe as the narrator; also starring Brian Hewlett, Victoria Carling. Directed by Martin Jenkins.

TAYBRIDGE....1988
A story of Harold, a very odd country vicar, his weak wife, and a dirty minded cat...plus his son Taybridge, living in the attic for 18 years, and never venturing from the house. Why is he called Taybridge? You think of a bigger disaster. Harold was Glyn Houston, Pearl was Elizabeth Morgan, Taybridge was Sean Probert; with John Bull, Peter Pacey, Peter Williams, Paul Gayman, Maddi Head and Kate Coleridge as the carol singers. Produced by Martin Jenkins.

DRIED FLOWERS....1992
A story within a story, about boxing and love...

IS THERE ANYBODY THERE?....1992
A rather sombre examination of a relationship; a man's wife leaves after twenty years of marriage. Why?

THE ANGELS THEY GROW LONELY....1995
A man finds that he is no longer subject to the law of gravity. Will his doctor understand? Unusual play starring Stephen Thorne.

TIME AFTER TIME....2006
This has been re-recorded a year after Gerry's death. It received good write-ups before the broadcast in the Radio Times and Daily Telegraph magazines:

"..........Gerry Jones was a superb radio drama directorbut he also wrote marvellous radio plays. This play, originally done in 1979, comes in a brand new production by the original producer, Martin Jenkins, who now works for an independent drama company, Piers Productions.It stars Michael Maloney and Anton Lesser in Jones's taut drama of fear, based on his own terror of losing the gift of speech". .....Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph......

"...........Paranoia and confusion reign in this new production of an unnerving drama from 1979 from Gerry Jones. Two men are trapped in a place where all doors lead to the same hotel room and all roads lead to the hotel. The same conversation happens over and over again, Frank Sinatra repeatedly sings "Time after Time"......there's an underlying sense of terror as the two men try to work out what has happened and if they can ever break free. Michael Maloney's measured performance conveys barely suppressed panic magnificnetly, while Anton Lesser is superb as his confused companion. As a meditation on the workings of our minds this throws up a lot of questions. The play's one downside is that it ends with an unnecessary explanation". .....David Crawford, Radio Times.......

G.J. AS PRODUCER / DIRECTOR

The Freezer...1972
By Hugh C Rae
With Eva Haddon and Henry Stamper
It's very quiet. A woman lives alone, her husband somewhere else. Then A man delivers a freezer and all hell is let loose.

Jock Henry Stamper
Diana Eva Haddon
Jenkins Douglas Blackwell
Producer - Gerry Jones.

THE ONE WHO CAME BACK....1977
By James Follett., produced by GJ, directed by Piers Plowright. A German P.O.W., East Berlin, 1946...

OBOE AT THE EMBASSY....1980
By James Follett, produced by GJ. He's home at 5.20 ... a respectable, contented, married man, secure in a nice routine. But someone is determined that the routine must end...her tight sweater and indecently split-skirt may help... with Jane Knowles, Rowena Roberts, Peter Jeffrey, Philip Voss and Michael Spice.

THE SAVING OF THE SALUTO....1992
An exciting story of rescue and heroism involving the Newlyn lifeboat, in the early years of the 20th century.

Grateful thanks to Gerry Jones, who supplied the biographical information above along with numerous recordings, along with the titles of plays which Roger Bickerton and I had missed.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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