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Jeremy Mortimer Radio Plays

Jeremy Mortimer is currently an Executive Producer in BBC Radio Drama. He joined the BBC Radio Drama Script Unit in 1981 after a career in publishing and a short stint as a travel journalist, and after nearly two years of being locked in an office with a pile of scripts discovered the thrill of drama production.

He began editing the R4 Afternoon Play in 1983 and since then has done most jobs in the department including becoming Deputy Head in 1992 and taking on the role of Editor, Single Plays and Readings. He set up and ran the first BBC Radio Young Playwright's Festival in 1988 and edited the subsequent Festivals in 1992 and 1995. He won Sony Awards (Best Drama Productions) for 'HIROSHIMA THE MOVIE' by Michael Wall, 'DIFFERENT STATES' by Mike Walker. and FIVE KINDS OF SILENCE by Shelagh Stephenson, which also won a Writer's Guild Award in 1996. His production of 'Nicholas Nickleby' won a Voice of the Listener Award, and 'The Old Curiosity Shop' was Best Drama Production in 2003. Recent productions include LES MISERABLES, HAMLET, RICHARD 11, TROY, a trilogy of plays for Radio 3 on the Trojan War by Andrew Rissik, and a a new trilogy of plays, also by Andrew Rissik, on the Easter theme for broadcast on Radio 3 over Easter 2004.

Between 1998 and 2001, Jeremy was the chair of the European Broadcasting Union Drama Project Group. He has written for the stage and for radio. In 1996 he co-produced a 10' x 10' film for BBC 2 and in 1998 he produced and co-directed a 30’ film about Thackeray for BBC Choice.

"Radio plays are too often packed with words, as if the writer is desperate to fit in as much information as possible to compensate for not having pictures. But one of the sounds you need in radio drama is silence. Radio is very much like film in its perspective and depth of focus - you can zoom in to things and then leave it quiet"............Jeremy Mortimer

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Producer's Choice - Jeremy Mortimer - BBC7
A new series featuring Radio Drama Producers selecting five of their own plays.

Mon 19 Jan 2004, 11:00 - 11:45 45 mins Painting Mrs Jones - by Rachel Joyce: Jennifer Jones sits for her portrait and wonders if the painting will reveal a new truth about her inner self. Lindsay Duncan stars in this dark tale. (original TX 15/5/98, repeated 3/12/98)

Tue 20 Jan 2004, 11:00 - 11:45 45 mins Milk - by Nell Leyshon & Stephen McAnena: Two parents have been forced to leave their dairy farm, and in unfamiliar surroundings, they face an even more demanding challenge. A meditation on the nature of fear and love, starring Kim Wall and Anabelle Apsion. The script won a Richard Imison Award. (original TX 7/3/02)

Wed 21 Jan 2004, 11:00 - 11:45 45 mins Human Rights - by Jonathan Lichtenstein: A police interview and a prisoner of conscience - but are either what they appear to be? (original TX 4/12/01)

Thu 22 Jan 2004, 11:00 - 11:45 45 mins The Disappearance Of Shirley McGill - by Katie Hims: Shirley's put up with marriage to the overbearing Vernon for 20 years. She turns to her only friend, the butcher, for solace. (original TX 27/2/03)

Fri 23 Jan 2004, 11:00 - 11:45 45 mins Starry Eyes - by Lucy Catherine: Leanne washes up in an all-night cafe. Remembering the lessons her father taught her, she finds consolation in the constellations. With Robin Weaver, Barry Foster and Tessa Worsley (original TX 6/5/99)

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NOTES

PLAYS IN ORDER OF BROADCAST, 1982-2010-:

JAPANESE STYLE....1982
By Michael Wall. A strange, rather unhappy story of romance. With Michael Cochrane, Megumi Shimanuki. Produced by Jeremy Mortimer (ND)

A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE....1983
By Michael Wall. With Dorota Zieciowska, Michael Kitchen and Dilys Laye. Produced by Jeremy Mortimer.

SOUND EXPLOSION....1984
By Michael Wall. With Tessa Peake-Jones, Christopher Fairbank and Amanda Kirby. Produced by Jeremy Mortimer.

HIROSHIMA-THE MOVIE....1985
By Michael Wall. A Japanese girl helps a film director as he makes a movie about the Hiroshima story. But she has a secret. This is a love story with a difference. With Bill Paterson, Megumi Shimanuki and Robin Summers. Produced by Jeremy Mortimer Rebroadcast bbc7, 30 Aug 03. The play won Sony and Giles Cooper awards. (ND)

Jeremy directed other plays by Michael Wall - please see Michael's page.

HIM AND IT ....1988
Here's a fairy tale like no other. What is the gender of the commissioner? Why is fungus growing in his HQ? Why does he have only squirrels for company? Will the eggs hatch, and what about gasmasks for the badgers? Starring Nicola Macauley as Maurice, James Saxon as commissioner Sylvia, with Gart Whitaker, Anthony Jackson and Joanna Mackey. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

PAINTING MRS. JONES....1998
People say that one of the great strengths of radio drama is that you can go anywhere or do anything. No sets to build; no costumes to design. This may be true, but in my experience, the radio writer wants to take the audience on a journey. He or she must start by creating characters they can believe in. As a very accomplished actress, Rachel Joyce knows all about bringing characters to life. I had worked with Rachel a few times when she told me she wanted to try her hand at writing radio drama. PAINTING MRS. JONES, with its echo of Oscar Wilde's "Portrait of Dorian Gray" was her third play for radio. I was delighted to be able to cast Lindsey Duncan and James Lawrenson......(taken from Jeremy's introduction to the BBC7 repeat)

THE DJ WHO USED TO BE A NUN'S TALE 2000
Part of the Chaucer 600th anniversary: "2000 Tales", where travellers who're stranded at a moterway service station because of appalling weather decide to tell each other stories to pass the time whilst waiting to be rescued...with Robert Glenister, Zita Sattar, Frances Tomelty, Carl Grosse, Eleanor Bron; directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

MILK....2002
A lot of people want to write, and those who are bitten by the bug know how much hard work is involved. Coming up with fresh ideas, finding a way to tell the story, creating the characters and finding a distinct voice for each of them. It can be exhilarating and dispiriting by turns. A few years ago in radio drama we set up the scheme called "Double Acts", pairing first-time radio writers and asking them to collaborate on a play. Nell Leyshon from Bournemouth and Stephen McAnena from Belfast worked away at theirs over the better part of nine months, exchanging drafts by email, and at one point, spending three days locked together in an office in Broadcasting House in London. This play, "Milk", is the fruit of their labours......(taken from Jeremy's introduction to the BBC7 repeat, 2004)

(Tx Dates given)

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, dramatised by Lin Coghlan and Sebastian Baczkiewicz Woman's Hour Monday 31st Dec 2001 - Friday 1st Feb 2002

Filling the Empty Space R3 Sunday Feature 12th May 2002

Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje dramatised by Sarah Phelps Friday Play Friday 16th August 2002

Frederica Quartet by A.S Byatt dramatised by John Harvey Woman's Hour Monday 13th - Friday 31st May, Monday 9th Sept - Fri 27th Sept 2002

By the Coast of Coromandel by Lavinia Murray Aft Play 26th Dec 2002

Footballing for Girls by Katie Hims Woman's Hour Monday 10th - Friday 14th June 2002

States of Mind by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan Friday Play Friday 18th October 2002

Mr. Bensley's Pram by Dylan Ritson Saturday Play 23rd November 2002

Little Joe by Murray Gold R3 Sunday Sunday 22nd December 2002

The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens, dramatised Mike Walker Woman's Hour Monday 22nd Dec 2002 - Fri Jan 17th 2003

Dad and the Afghan by Lizzie Slater Aft Play Mon 17th Feb 1415 2003

Agatha Christie presents The Case Of The Perfect Carer dramatised by Mike Walker 11.30 am Mons 17 Feb/ 24 Feb/3 Mar 2003

The Disappearance of Shirley McGill by Katie Hims Aft Play Thurs 27th February 1415 2003

    THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SHIRLEY McGILL....2003
    ....."Every so often, a writer appears on the scene who just takes your breath away. Katie Hims' first radio play, 'The Earthquake Girl', won a Richard Imison Award in 1998, and since then her work has never failed to make an impression . In Katie's world there is a semblance of normality but underneath all that you can be sure that something strange -- and rather magical -- is going on. I think that radio drama is at its best when it looks at the world through a slightly distorting lens, and Katie uses this to show us her stories of meek people doing heroic deeds and unlikely couples finding love. Stories which can make us laugh, and make us cry." (Jeremy Mortimer on BBC7, 22 January 2004).

Stalingrad Kiss by Sebastian Baczkiewicz R3 Sunday Sun. 9th March 2003

Dionysos by Andrew Rissik R3 Sunday Sun 20th April 18.30 2003

Williwaw by David Zane Mairowitz Aft Play Fri 2nd May / 14.15 2003

A Packet of Seeds (Various) R3 Sunday Sunday 22nd June 2003

Clean by Jennifer Farmer R3 Wire Thursday 3rd July 2003

CAESAR ! By Mike Walker, after Suetonius Classic Sundays 20th July, 27th July, 3rd August 2003

Where There's A Will by John Mortimer Book of the Week Mon 27th Oct - Fri 31st Oct 2003

Dolphin Therapy by Nat Segnit Friday Play Friday 16th January 2004

Killing Mr Mort by Peter Sansom Aft Play Monday 19th January 2004

Canterbury Tales readings Monday 2nd - Friday 6th February 2004

A Profound Secret by Josceline Dimbleby Book of the Week Mon 5 April - Fri 2 April 0945 2004

Little Violet by Philip Osment Aft Play Monday 5th April 1415 2004

The Art of Love by Andrew Rissik R3 Sunday Sunday 11th April 1830 2004

Resurrection by by Andrew Rissik R3 Sunday Sunday 11th April 2030 2004

Caesar! R4 Classic Serial by Mike Walker. July 2005, 3 episodes.

Caesar....2007
Mar 07; classic serial. Three more plays about the rulers of Rome; by Mike Walker. BBC blurb for episode 3: An Empire Without End As the Empire in the West begins to crumble before the forces of Atilla the Hun; it is left to an unlikely coalition of kingmakers to select the last Roman Emperor. Can Romulus Augustus survive? Romulus ...... Tom Hiddleston /Priscus ...... David Collings /Barbaria ...... Adjoa Andoh/Emperor Leo ...... George Baker /Maximinus ...... Sam Dale /Attila ...... Victor Sobchak /Orestes ...... Mark Straker /Odo ...... Joseph Kloska /Ricimer ...... Christian Rodska / Other parts played by Saikat Ahamed and Paul Richard Biggin. / Director Jenny Mortimer.

Daphnis and Chloe….2007
27 Jun 07. By Longus, adapted by Hattie Naylor. Two naive young lovers, beset by pirates, are aided by supernatural forces and the power of love. Producer Jeremy Mortimer.

Dombey and Son....2007
Mike Walker's adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale of family relationships, in 20 episodes, for Woman's Hour. Charles Dickens ...... Alex Jennings Dombey ...... Robert Glenister Florence ...... Abigail Hollick Young Florence ...... Eliza Darby Paul ...... Jacob Theato Mr Carker ...... Adrian Lukis Captain Cuttle ...... Trevor Peacock Mrs Brown ...... Geraldine James Dr Blimber ...... Robin Soans Mrs Pipchin ...... Flaminia Cinque Dr Peps ...... Karl Johnson Polly Toodles ...... Pam Ferris Susan ...... Nadine Marshall Walter ...... Joseph Arkley Young Walter ...... Jordan Clarke Toots ...... Sam Pamphilon Other parts played by Ben Crowe; Peter Marinker; Simon Treves; Alex Lanipekun and Lloyd Thomas. Music by Nicolai Abrahamsen. Directed by Jessica Dromgoole and Jeremy Mortimer.

The Trial and Death of Socrates by Sebastian Baczkiewicz Radio 3 Drama on 3 Sun 10th Feb 2008 With Joss Ackland as Socrates

Myrrah: New Metamorphoses by Colin Teevan Radio 4 Afternoon Play Mon 3rd March 2008

Take One Night by Rachel Joyce Radio 4 Afternoon Play Fri 13th June 2008

Balance of Power by Deborah Davis Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Drama 8th – 12th Sept 2008

The Dig by John Preston Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Drama 15th- 19th Sept 2008

Random by Debbie Tucker Green Radio 3 The Wire Sat 11th October 2008

The Late Mr Shakespeare by Robert Nye dramatised by Jonathan Broadbent Radio 4 Saturday Play Sat 1st November 2008 With Jim Broadbent as Pickleherring

The Pattern of Painful Adventures by Stephen Wakelam Radio 3 Drama on 3 Sun 23rd November 2008 With Sir Antony Sher as William Shakespeare

Mr Luby’s Fear of Heaven By John Mortimer Radio 4 Afternoon Play 31st December 2008 With Jeremy Irons as Lewis Luby

The Man in Black : The Tower by Mike Walker Radio 7 January 2009

Déjà vu by Alexis Zegerman Radio 4 Afternoon Play Wed 4th feb 2009

Planet B Series 1 – The Wild Gang by Matthew Broughton Radio 7 9th March 2009

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells dramatised by Philip Osment Radio 3 Drama on 3 22nd Feb 2009 With Robert Glenister as the Time Traveller

Henry VIII by William Shakespeare Radio 3 Drama on 3 19th April 2009 With Matthew Marsh as Henry, and Patrick Malahide as Cardinal Wolsey

The Black Bono by Gabriel Bisset Smith Radio 4 Friday Play 28th Aug 2009

The Night They Tried to Kidnap the Prime Minister by Martin Jameson Radio 4 Afternoon Play 15th July 2009 with Tim McInnerney as Alec Douglas Home

The Last Tsar by Ian Curteis Radio 4 Afternoon Play 28th August 2009 with Sir Derek Jacobi as George Vth

The Farewell Symphony by Stephen Wyatt Radio 3 20 minutes 10th Sept 2009 with Richard Briers as Haydn

Life complicated: Status Pending by Marcy Kahan Radio 4 Afternoon Play 7th Oct 2009

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens dramatised by Mike Walker Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Drama Nov/Dec 2009 Cast: Alex Jennings, Daisy Haggard, Lizzy Watts, Carl Prekopp, Patrick Kennedy, Matt Addis, Jason Watkins, Pauline Quirke, Philip Fox, Annabelle Dowler, Adam Arnold, Neil Stuke, Lee Ross, Stephen Hogan, Jamie Foreman, Lynn Farleigh, Benjamin Askew, Nicola Miles-Wildin, Paul Rider, Malcolm Tierney, Janice Acquah, Jonathan Tafler

The Changeling by Thomas Middleton Radio 3 Drama on 3 29th November 2009 With Anna Madely and Zubin Varla

The Tobacco Merchant’s Lawyer by Iain Heggie Radio 4 Afternoon Play 14th December 2009 with Ian MacDiamid

Plantagenet Series 1 by Mike Walker, Radio 4 Classic Serial February 2009 With David Warner, Jane Lapotaire, Ed Stoppard and Neil Stuke

The Herald in the Sky by Glyn Maxwell Radio 4 29th November 2009

Planet B Series 2 – Dark Star by Matthew Broughton 27th December 2009

Say What You Want to Hear: The Startup by Tim Wright Radio 4 Afternoon Play Tuesday 9th Feb 2010

Can You Tell Me the Name of the Prime Minister ? by Martin Jameson Radio 4 Afternoon Play Fri 14th 2010

An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley Radio 4 Saturday Play 29th May 2010 With David Calder, Frances Barber, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Morvern Christie and Sam Alexander

A Chaos of Wealth and Want by Penny Gold Radio 4 Afternoon Play Friday 9th July 2010 with David Haig

London Street Cries Radio 4 Afternoon Feature 5th – 9th July 2010

Rescue Me by Tanika Gupta Radio 4 Afternoon Play Wed 31st August 2010

Stopgap by Julie Mayhew Radio 4 Afternoon Play Wed 8th Sept 2010


NOTES ON SOME OF THE 2010 PLAYS

11 Feb 10 Say What You Want to Hear - The Startup
By Tim Wright. Erik and Mike set up a website for people to voice their secret thoughts. Erik ...... Stephen Tompkinson, Mike ...... Ewan Bailey, Scarlett ...... Keely Beresford, Stephen ...... John Biggins, Roseanne ...... Alison Pettit , Max ...... Nigel Hastings. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

14 Feb 10 Classic Serial Plantagenet, What is A Man?
1/3.Series of plays by Mike Walker, inspired by Holinshed's Chronicles, about the early years of the Plantagenet dynasty. Notes for episode I: The first of the House of Anjou to be king of England, Henry II's long reign was finally beset by conflict with his sons. King Henry II ...... David Warner, Queen Eleanor ...... Jane Lapotaire, Prince Richard ...... Joseph Cohen-Cole, Prince Hal ...... Piers Wehner, Prince Geoffrey ...... Rhys Jennings, William Marshall ...... Stephen Hogan, Bertran de Bourne ...... Bruce Alexander, King Louis ...... Philip Fox, Courtier ...... John Biggins. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

14 May 10 Can You Tell Me the Name of The Prime Minister?
By Martin Jameson. A week after the election, psychiatrist Liz De Souza is called to examine a patient at a secure government research facility. Disorientated and confused, he is convinced that Tony Blair is still Prime Minister. A Science Fiction mystery. Liz De Souza...........Amita Dhiri , Sarah De Souza........Suzanna Hamilton , Mal ......................Jude Akuwudike, Greer.....................Tony Bell , Thorpe..................David Seddon, Debbie Campbell......Christine Kavanagh. Director: Jeremy Mortimer.

29 May 10 An Inspector Calls
By JB Priestley. The Birlings are celebrating the engagement of their daughter Sheila when a police Inspector calls. Each member of the family is questioned about their relationship with a young woman, Eva Smith. And they each have to face up to their role in her tragic story. Inspector Goole ..... Toby Jones, Arthur Birling.......David Calder, Sibyl Birling......Frances Barber, Sheila Birling ...... Morvern Christie, Eric Birling ...... Sam Alexander, Gerald Croft ......Geoffrey Streatfeild, Edna......... Vineeta Rishi. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

9 Jul 10 A Chaos of Wealth and Want
The play focuses on an episode in the career of the great chronicler of London life and pioneer of oral history, Henry Mayhew. In the 1850s, Mayhew spent his days gathering verbatim testimonies from the city's poor for his 'London Labour and the London Poor'. No moralising do-gooder, he believed he could talk to such people on equal terms. It took his challenging friendship with Jack, a sharp-witted teenage coster (market trader) and his over-trusting attempt to assist Mouse, a drunken child-runaway with a winning smile, to teach him where the borders lie. At the heart of the story is Mayhew himself: a vigorous, humorous, volatile, improvident, totally engaging, totally exasperating man. No wonder he sees similarities between himself and the street people he interviews; no wonder he drives his wife to distraction. Henry Mayhew ... David Haig, Jane Mayhew .... Alison Pettit, Jack........ Steven Webb, Mouse....... Sam Alexander, Sal.......... Joanna Monroe, Arthur ........ Sam Dale, With Keely Beresford, Michael Shelford, Vineeta Rishi. Written by Penny Gold. Director Jeremy Mortimer.

4 Aug 10 Rescue Me
By Tanika Gupta. Rukhsana is a successful lawyer in her late 20s, living in London where she shares a house with Arif, who, like her, is British Bengali. When her mother has a heart attack, Rukshana returns to Dhaka to be with her family. Then she calls Arif. Her parents have taken her mobile and her passport. And they won't let her leave the house. She's very scared. Arif ...Richard Sumitro, James ...Tony Bell, Rukhsana ...Nisha Nayar, Munera ...Nina Wadia, Shaqueeb ...Shiv Grewal , Mother/Nurse ...Shobu Kapur, Cabbie/ Priest ...Bhasker Patel. Written by Tanika Gupta. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

8 Sep 10 Stopgap
By Julie Mayhew. New graduate Max takes a temp job while on her way to bigger things. She considers her colleague Emma to be a victim of dull office life, but Emma's secret postcards tell a very different story. Emma ..... Liz White, Max...... Claire Harry, Ian..... Iain Batchelor. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer.

From Gillian Reynolds' radio review, DT, 7 Jan 13:
Jeremy Mortimer leaves the BBC in March but he has more plays to be broadcast before then: a serial version of Orwell's '1984' (with Pippa Nixon), two afternoon plays about Orwell, and new plays by Craig Warner and Mark Ravenhill.

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