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Hugh Costello Radio Plays

1 Mar 2021: Top of the World
By Hugh Costello. Top of the World is Gloria’s podcast promising healing with altitude. She’s a relationship therapist who takes troubled couples for mountain walks. A couple has felt their ten year marriage crumble as political arguments became personal and Covid lockdown kept them from their one shared interest. Can Gloria help? Gloria: Jeany Spark, Sian: Siwan Morris, Jamie: Robert Wilfort, Tom: Matthew Aubrey. Producer: Alasdair Cross.


29 Jan 2021: Our Truth, Their Lies
By Hugh Costello. A reactive drama about the growing influence of conspiracy theories. Organised child sex abuse is coordinated by a cabal of global elites; vaccines are a form of disguised government control. So there you go. The story backtracks through 2020 as it follows Jen’s journey into the online conspiracy theory universe. A family is thrown into crisis as Michael and Louise try to make sense of Jen’s transformation. Jen: Monica Dolan, Michael: Nicholas Murchie, Louise: Macy Nyman, Luka: Matthew Aubrey, Newcaster/Bot: Jane Slavin Producer: Eoin O’Callaghan. Indie (Big Fish).


16 Jun 2020: Dangerous Visions - Forward Presence
By Hugh Costello, rpt, from 2017. The abduction of a solider by pro-Russian Estonians causes chaos on NATO's front line. Claire Cross is an Army Intelligence Corps officer stationed in Estonia where 800 British soldiers currently form part of a NATO forward presence, protecting the Baltic state from the threat of aggression from neighbouring Russia. She's called in to investigate the disappearance Darren, a young squaddie, last seen in a nearby bar - and to keep the matter as low-key as possible.Jeany Spark, Matthew Aubrey, Paul Panting, Ewan Bailey, Elaine Claxton, Nick Murchie. Produced by Eoin O'Callaghan. Indie (Big Fish).


29 May 2020: Personal Shopper
By Hugh Costello. A topical coronavirus drama about how living in enforced isolation can lead to the forging of new relationships, and to the revitalisation of old ones. It starts with a slip of paper posted through Nina’s letter box: Dear Neighbour. My name is Max. I am almost 15 years old and I live at number 76 of this road. My school has been shut and I am free to do shopping for anyone who needs it. Just ring me on the number below. Told through phone calls and Nina's audio diary, the drama follows the relationship developing between Max and Nina through the first weeks of enforced isolation. Nina .......... Monica Dolan, Frank ........ Phil Davis, Max .......... Tom Glenister, Sarah ....... Jane Slavin. Produced by Eoin O'Callaghan. Indie (Big Fish).


1 Nov 2019: Prestige
By Hugh Costello. The play is a reaction to recent events in the news. Despite a ban on arms destined for the Yemen, the manufacturers always seem to find a way. Monica: Jane Slavin, Samira: Jumaan Zizzari, Greg: Anton Lesser, Paul: Colin Stinton, Jamal: Khalid Laith. Producer: Eoin O'Callaghan.


16 Jun 2019: Classic Serial - Savages, 1
By Sabri Louatah, dram. in two parts by Hugh Costello from the translation by Gavin Bowd. An actor connects a French-Algerian wedding and a presidential campaign. Krim: Mohammad Amiri, Fouad and Benbaraka: Khalid Laith, Rabia: Sirine Saba, Luna/Kenza/Jasmine: Shavani Cameron, Uncle Bouzid: Nabil Elouahabi, Granny Nerrouche and the bride's mother: Amira Ghazalla, with Raad Rawi, Hamza Jeetooa, Farshid Rokey, Waleed Elgadi, Emma Frankland, Ali Barouti, Catriona Stirling and Will Howard. Producers: Nicolas Jackson and Steve Bond.. Executive Producer: Sara Davies.

    23 Jun 19: Classic Serial - Savages, 2
    By Sabri Louatah, dram. Hugh Costello from the translation by Gavin Bowd. An actor connects a French-Algerian wedding and a presidential campaign. Krim: Mohammad Amiri, Fouad and Benbaraka: Khalid Laith, Rabia: Sirine Saba, Luna/Kenza/Jasmine: Shavani Cameron, Uncle Bouzid: Nabil Elouahabi, Granny Nerrouche and the bride's mother: Amira Ghazalla, with Raad Rawi, Hamza Jeetooa, Farshid Rokey, Waleed Elgadi, Emma Frankland, Ali Barouti, Catriona Stirling and Will Howard. Producers: Nicolas Jackson and Steve Bond.. Executive Producer: Sara Davies.


28 Jan 2019: A Border Fantasy
By Hugh Costello; another play about Brexit. This one imagines what other possible Brexit outcomes might mean for Ireland. Tania is a business guru and boss of a global tech giant company who flies to the company's HQ in Dublin on the eve of Theresa May's crucial vote on Brexit. The under-achieving Fintan Cooke is delegated to show her the invisible border at the heart of the controversial 'backstop' issue. [Surely they should say wicket-keeper, not backstop - Ed]. Fintan: Colin Morgan, Sinead: Simone Kirby, Tania: Jeany Spark, Ross: Fergal McElherron, Douglas: Frank Laverty. Producer: Eoin O'Callaghan.


THE BENEFICIAL OWNER
By Hugh Costello (R4, 1415, 2 Nov 18) - an example of what can happen if you spend too much money too rapidly. An accountant whose twins are at an expensive private school has difficulty in keeping pace with the mortgage and the school bills. After a difficult interview with the Principal he meets another parent at the school; an attractive woman who offers him a way to make some extra money. He can't resist the offer or her, and before long he is in a lot deeper than he anticipated. Then there are BBC news reports of money laundering. He gets worried, and his problems increase. Tony was played by John McAndrew, his wife by Jane Slavin, and Xenia by Emma Fielding. Eoin O'Callaghan was the producer. (....ND, Diversity Website review, Dec 2018)


8 Oct 18: One Night in Lillehammer
By Hugh Costello, rpt. The play is set in summer 1973, inspired by real events following the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Detective Inge Olsen finds herself out of her depth investigating the murder of a Moroccan waiter. Det. Olsen: Andrea Lowe, Henning Rekdal: Bryan Dick, Sylvia Rafael: Emma Fielding, Martin Olsen: Enzo Clementi, Bjarne: Christian Rodska, Annaeus Schjodt: Simon Armstrong, Astrid/Brit: Joanna van Kampen, Ali Hassan Salameh: Philip Arditti. Producer: Alasdair Cross.


4 Oct 18: Hi Spec
By Hugh Costello. An ambitious podcaster discovers that her ex-boyfriend has gone missing on a gap-year adventure. It's not clear whether her desire to find him stems from concern or ego as she aims for the top of the podcast charts. (summarised from Jane Anderson's review in RT). Livvy Sanderson: Kirsty Oswald, Alan Prentice: John Mackay, Craig Panting: Tom Forrister, Tony: Siakat Ahamed, Mei: Elizabeth Tan, Ben Prentice: Arthur Darvill, Christine Prentice: Emma Handy, prison guard and Embassy receptionist: Sahir Mehta. Producer: Alasdair Cross.


19 Jun 2018: Forward Presence
By Hugh Costello. DV series. A soldier goes missing in Estonia. Has NATO action provoked his abduction? Sgt. Claire Cross: Jenny Spark, Fusilier Darren Evans: Matthew Aubrey, Lt.Col Tomkins: Paul Panting, Insp. Leks Talvik: Ewan Bailey, Mrs. Christine Evans: Elaine Claxton, Viktor: Nicholas Murchie. Producer: Eoin O'Callaghan.


Redacted ....2017
By Hugh Costello. Political thriller, repeated 19 Nov 2020. Twice a year thousands of confidential state files are released to the press and public- files that detail the workings of the British government of thirty years ago. If you want to know how Margaret Thatcher reacted to Islamic terror in Lebanon or how the Cabinet responded to the AIDS crisis then these are the documents you're waiting for. But some of those files will be disfigured by a black marker pen- they'll be "redacted". Secrets too sensitive, even thirty years on, will remain in the shadows. In this play, a senior civil servant notices the name of his wife at the bottom of an incriminating document. Jonathan: Nicholas Murchie, Monica: Greta Scacchi, Fiona: Lauren O'Neill, Shofi: Ashley Kumar, Justin: John Dougall, Derek: Christian Patterson, Lucas: David Reakes, Kitty: Alice Kerriganx. Producer: Alasdair Cross.


Brexit play no. 3, ANGELA - 7 DAYS TO SAVE EUROPE (R4, 1415, 14 Dec 2016), again by Hugh Costello, looked a few months into the future, to examine the dilemma to be faced by France and Germany when the UK leaves the European Union. It asked whether the EU can, or should, be saved. Perhaps the title should be "Angela - 7 Days to Save the European Union", because there's nothing wrong with Europe itself; it is a wonderful place. There are many who believe that the EU is intent on quietly removing the ability of separate countries to make democratic decisions on key issues such as energy and border controls, and to impose so much regulation on companies that only the bigger outfits can survive. It is not surprising that the British referendum split the country down the middle. Heike Menzel was played by Haydn Gwynne, Angela Merkel by Pamela Miles, Petra Hannah by Bryony Hannah and Jean-Luc Chardy by John McAndrew. The producer was Eoin O'Callaghan. (..........ND, Diversity website review, Dec 2016)


PROMISES....2016
By Hugh Costello. 6 Dec 2016. A middle class couple with marital problems campaign for a child with medical problems, but they find that the child's parents have dipped into the charity fund and spent part of it on themselves. Do they expose the crime? Sarah: Emma Fielding, George: Nick Dunning, DC Moore: Patrick FitzSymons, Judy: Julia Dearden, Simona: Amy McAllister, Pete: Chris McHallem. Producer: Eoin O'Callaghan.


DESECRATION....2014
By Hugh Costello, set in WW2. 5 Nov 2014.The drama was inspired by recently discovered documents showing that Hitler intended to invade Ireland. The play imagines how the first few days of such an invasion would have taken place. It also shows the dilemmas faced by Ireland's leaders when choosing between resistance and collaboration. Patrick Fitzsymons, Dawn Bradfield, Owen Roe, Nicholas Grace, Faolan Morgan and Niall Cusack. Producer: Eoin O'Callaghan.


FARRAN AT BAY....2014
10 Jul 14. By Hugh Costello. Jerusalem, 1947. A Jewish teenager is seen handing out anti-British propaganda; then witnesses see him being forced into a car by English-speaking armed men. He is never seen again. Within hours a British war hero flees the scene, and the subsequent investigation has consequences for Britain's hold on Palestine. This thriller is based on a scandal which blighted the final days of Britain's 30-year control of the Holy Land. John MacKay, Jonathan Firth, Michael Shelford, Frank Laverty, Christian Rodska, Philip Arditti, Russell Boulter, David Collins, Simon Armstrong. Producer Alasdair Cross.


THE FEWNESS OF HIS WORDS....2013
10 Apr 13, afternoon drama. Hugh Costello is well-known for his political and religious plays, he wrote one a couple of years ago about the Vatican conclave after the short reign and mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. This was another play about the priesthood. Father Richard Mercer has to persuade former priest Father George Lawson to face justice; he has sought sanctuary in an Italian monastery after being accused of child abuse. As he argues and negotiates with Lawson, Mercer is forced to think about his own understanding of compassion and relationship with God, and the way in which he must resolve the affair. Father Richard was played by Declan Conlon, Father George by Andrew Sachs, and Cardinal Vargas by Gerard Murphy; the producer was Eoin O'Callaghan. ....ND, 'Diversity' review, April 2013...


BELARUS....2012
7 Jun 12; afternoon play. A London priest and a Belarus dissident. The priest is a traditionalist; he likes the ideas of the new Pope Benedict. There may be a chance of a secondment to Rome, but this prospect is interrupted when one of his parishioners, a woman from Belarus, tells him about her father, imprisoned in Minsk. He took part in demonstrations in late 2010 against the rigged elections which returned Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko to power. Like hundreds of others, he has been detained without charge or trial. The family have heard nothing of him for months. Shocked both by Max's plight and by his own ignorance of these events going on within Europe, Philip resolves to inform his superiors. If the church can be persuaded to speak out it might shame Lukashenko into releasing some of those held. Fr. Philip Meade was played by Jonathan Firth, with Lia Williams, David Calder, Jane Slavin, Jonathan Tafler, Paul Freeman, Jon Glover. The play was produced in Belfast by Eoin O'Callaghan.


WHAT THE BISHOPS KNEW....2012
Afternoon Play, 1 May 12. An accusation about an accusation of child abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in Ireland, and the alleged cover-up by the church hierarchy to protect its reputation. Note that the related play 'The Fewness of his Words' (2013) is based on a different set of characters. The cast... Brid Brennan, Mark Lambert, Patrick Fitzsymons, Peter Gilmore, Kevin Flood, Pat Laffan, Niall Cusack, Gerard Murphy, Des Nealon, producer Eoin O'Callaghan.


THE BAIL-OUT (GREED IS GOOD)....2011
Afternoon Play, 24 Feb 11, rpt. 8 Sep 2014. On Feb 24th 2011 (the Eve of the Irish General Election) we flash back to the end of November 2010, when Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, made an announcement that confirmed the nation's spectacular decline from economic miracle to European basket-case. A decade of mismanagement and barefaced corruption had left the economy in freefall. The Bailout chronicles the resignations, the rancour, the public fury and the gradual dissolution of a parliament barely able to ratify the IMF loan before it collapses in disarray at the end of January 2011. And we follow events as they unfold right up to the eve of the general election on 25th February the day after our broadcast.Using an urgent, fast-moving drama-documentary approach, The Bail-Out follows 3 months of tumult - which leaves the British listener thinking, there but for the grace of God..... CAST: Annie Clancy - Karen Ardiff , And Niall Clancy - Patrick Fitzsymons, Colm Keating - Richard Dormer, Lorraine Keating - Ali White, Eamon Cullotty -Mark Lambert , Ger McQuaid - Niall Cusack , The Radio Presenter - Miche Doherty, And a Woman in street - Aine McCartney. Producer - Eoin O'Callaghan.

    RT notes from 2014 repeat: GREED IS GOOD
    8 Sep 2014. Drama-documentary inspired by the recent public inquiry into Ireland's financial crash, exploring the difficulty of leading a virtuous life in a sector which encourages people to make what they can. Produced by Eoin O'Callaghan.

      summarised Daily Telegraph comment from Gillian Reynolds....
      .... a writer who specialises in drama drawn from current affairs. He asks here whether, if bankers had a chance to do it again, they would do it differently. The collapse of the Irish banks left every man, woman and child with a 25-year debt of £30,000.


MY DEAR CHILDREN OF THE WHOLE WORLD....2011
This play concerned the refusal of the wartime Pope Pius to condemn Nazi atrocities in his Xmas speech of 1942.

    29 Jan 11: 14:30 Saturday Drama - My Dear Children of the Whole World
    BBC notes: Vatican City, December 1942. As war rages across the globe, Pope Pius XII prepares to deliver his annual Christmas message. It is perhaps the most important public address he will ever give - and that's why the Pontiff faces the starkest dilemma of his reign. For months beforehand evidence has been growing of a vast, organised genocide of Jews and other races in German-occupied lands. Now the Vatican is coming under increasing pressure to speak out against Nazi atrocities. In private audiences, the British and American ambassadors to the Holy See urge Pius to show moral leadership by explicitly attacking Hitler in his Christmas message. Yet Pius is reluctant to specifically condemn the Holocaust. He is concerned that speaking out risks making things worse. As Pius writes and discards draft after draft of the message, it becomes clear that there are other factors to explain his ambivalence. Europe's future seems to hang in the balance between Nazism and Bolshevism, and it is the latter ideology that he most fears. Pope Pius XII .... Hugh Ross And Sir Francis Osborne by Nick Dunning, Cardinal Maglione .... by Pat Laffan, Monsignor Tardini.... Patrick Fitzsymons, Mother Pasqualina ..... Stella McCusker, Harold Tittman ..... Stuart Milligan, Myron Taylor ..... Colin Stinton, And Sister Teresia Benedicta ..... Christine Kavanagh. Produced in Belfast by Eoin O'Callaghan.


THE FORGETTING CURVE....2011
7 Jan 09, rpt. 31 Mar 11: Afternoon Play. An expert on memory loss, Greg Cooke, is asked to invalidate the testimony of an eyewitness in a high-profile murder trial. He undermines the Prosecution's key witness by convincing the jury that we forget as much within 24 hours as we do over a whole year. As a result, a vicious murderer walks free, but Greg is soon to discover - there's a price to pay. RT....Though Greg's expert testimony is sufficient to acquit a vicious murderer; he little expects that the fallout from the trial will threaten his marriage; and even his life...................

Cast: Greg Cooke ... Michael Glenn Murphy, Isabelle Kavanagh ... Lia Williams, D.I. Baddely..... Chris McHallem, Eve Cooke.....Andrea Irvine, Valerie Ryan.....Karen Ardiff, Brenda.....Annie McCartney, Professor Nolan.....Richard Howard, Kelly.....Hugh Costello, Paul.....Inam Mirza. Recorded in Belfast; producer Eoin O'Callaghan.


SMOKE AND DAGGERS....2009
20 3 2009 Friday BBC Radio 4 14:15 Afternoon Play; Political thriller about the short-lived Celtic Tiger by Hugh Costello; set in 1997 around the time of Bertie Ahern's election as Taoiseach. Marrying into Dublin's political elite does wonders for Joe Finnerty's personal fortunes; but the unexplained death of his ex-partner casts a shadow which threatens all that Joe holds dear. Joe Finnerty ...... Patrick Fitzsymons, Fintan Sheridan ...... Michael J Murphy, Oliver McQuaid ...... John Kavanagh, Louise Finnerty ...... Amanda Hurwitz, Gemma ...... Cathy White, Murtagh ...... Hugh Costello, DI Glynn ...... Frankie McCafferty, Miriam ...... Nicky Doherty, Conor Finnerty ...... Padraig Dooney. Producer Eoin O'Callaghan. Rpt. 2011.


CONCLAVE....2008
By Hugh Costello, 60m. 11 Oct 08. This is the sequel to "The Last Confession". Drama about the Vatican conclave after the short reign and mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. It was decided to break with centuries of tradition and elect the first foreign Pope for nearly 500 years. Producer Sara Davies.

Cast: David Calder, Alison Reid. Nicholas le Prevost, Andrew Hilton (as Karol Wojtyla), Nigel Anthony, Paul Humpoletz, Paul Nicholson, Christian Rodska, Jonathan Nibbs, Bill Wallis, David Collins, Paul Dodgson, Kristian Phillips and John Sandeman. Rpt. 25 Feb 2011.


SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN WEST VIRGINIA....2008
7 1 2008 Monday 14:15 Slightly Larger than West Virginia By Hugh Costello. Sam Taft's career in the CIA took a turn for the worse when he allowed Osama to vanish from the caves of Tora Bora. Now redeployed in Ireland; Sam has had to alter his view of the world; and he is starting to like it. Taft ...... Colin Stinton Maria ...... Sarah Dillon Olsen ...... Nathan Osgood Pascal ...... Kieran Lagan Paula ...... Katy Gleadhill Inez ...... Annie McCartney McKnight ...... Niall Cusack Producer Eoin O'Callaghan.


ABEL'S LAW....2006
By Hugh Costello. 2 Jan 06. Following a series of deadly smallpox epidemics in the 19th century, the British Government introduced mandatory vaccination for infants under six months. It was only partly successful: in 1871, a smallpox epidemic killed 40,000 people. Moreover, vaccination carried its own agonising risks - not all babies were strong enough to survive the shock to their immune systems. Then in 1874 Bicester, Oxfordshire, Abel Ryder, shopkeeper and pillar of the community, was imprisoned because he refused to submit his newborn son Edward to a compulsory smallpox vaccination. Already two of his sons had died following vaccination, and he decided to take a stand. Abel's Law dramatises the story of his stand, his defiance of the law, the court case and the moral dilemna. The Magistrate ...... James Laurenson, Abel Ryder ...... Mark Meadows, Sophia Ryder ...... Kate Byers, Adelaide Ryder ...... Femke Witney, Daniel Burnham of The Times ...... David Leonard, Doctor Howard ...... Carl Prekopp, Margery Smithson ...... Hayley Doherty, Delane, the Editor of The Times ...... David Collins, Bicester townspeople ...... Kim Hicks, Chris Garner and Amy Clifton. Producer Jeremy Howe. Rpt. 20 Jun 07.





Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website

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