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Jessica Dromgoole Radio Drama

Jessica Dromgoole was a freelance theatre director and Literary Manager of Paines Plough Theatre Company, before she joined the BBC writersroom. After producing on the World Service soap, Westway, and launching an Urdu language radio drama series in Pakistan, she joined BBC Radio Drama.


BBC RADIO PLAYS include....

FOR THE TIME BEING - with David Hunter & Connor Lennon
JUST LIKE RONALDINHO
SOS
ARCADIA
GUARDIAN ANGEL
HUSUD
I CAN SEE YOU
JIMMY'S LETTERS
NO NIGHTINGALES NO SNAKES
OLD PETER'S RUSSIAN TALES - SERIES 1 & 2
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE DIVIDED WORLD
SPLENDOUR
THE CITY SPEAKS - Play 1 - PUSHING
THE INCOMPLETE RECORDED WORKS OF A DEAD BODY - Winner, Prix Italia 2008
THE STORY OF THE STONE
BEYOND WORDS - with Marc Beeby
EIGHT FEET HIGH AND RISING
LISTEN TO THE WORDS - Winner of BBC Audio & Music Awards for Best Drama 2009
LOVE MY RIFLE MORE THAN YOU
DOMBEY & SON - with Jeremy Mortimer
NEW METAMORPHOSES - ZEUS & SEMELE
PAID SERVANT
PLANET B - SERIES 1 EPS 1,2, 5 & 10, SERIES 2 EPS 3 & 4
SISTER AGNES INVESTIGATES
THE KISS
WORDSMITH
PILGRIM - SERIES 1 EPS 2 (Winner of the Prix Marulic 2009) & 4, SERIES 2 EPS 2 & 4
28
DEWEY EYED
EDWARD THE SECOND
EMIL & THE DETECTIVES
FIVE WEDDING DRESSES
OUR MUTUAL FRIEND - with Jeremy Mortimer
HIGHLITES
INMATES
MASTER CLASS
NQ48
RUMINATIONS UPON MORTALITY
THE YELLOWPLUSH PAPERS
THE LADY OF KINGSLAND WASTE
ALL THE BLOOD IN MY VEINS
CINDERS
THE CONSPIRACY OF THE ILLUMINATI
DANTON'S DEATH
LENNON: A WEEK IN THE LIFE
SARAH AND KEN
THE GREAT GAME - with Sasha Yevtushenko & Indhu Rubasingham
THE SHOOTING PARTY
WE OUTNUMBER YOU
ESCAPE FROM GAZA
A NEW CYCLE OF MYSTERY PLAYS
PLANTAGENET - with Jeremy Mortimer
LOST PROPERTY
THE FAR PAVILIONS - with Marc Beeby
A FAREWELL TO ARMS


NOTES ON SOME OF THE PLAYS


DRACULA....2012
It's been a few years since Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' was broadcast, and this new version, by Rebecca Lenkiewic, went out in the 'Classic Serial' slot on successive Sundays (2 x 55m), beginning on 14 October. Cast: Nicky Henson as The Count, Charles Edwards, Don Gilet, Michael Shelford, Ellie Kendrick, Scarlett Brookes, John Dougall, Joe Sims. Producer Jessica Dromgoole.

Jessica wrote some interesting remarks in the Radio Times about the sound effects in the production, in response to a letter which said 'I'd love to know how they created the biting, sucking noise as Dracula seduced then drained his victims. Gruesome but disgustingly realistic':



    " ... many studio managers contributed to the unusual and often horrible sound of the production. One of the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of heading into the studio is planning the new spot (live) sound effects we're going to need. None of us had tried piercing a jugular and draining blood before. Jenni Burnett - the 'spot' SM -was ready with a cut and partially hollowed-out orange, to be sucked and lapped at, but Nicky Henson, who played Dracula, asked to try his own sound, which he'd worked on at home. It was made entirely vocally, and, as you heard, was really revolting. Combined with a wince and a gasp from the actress being bitten, and then in the eidt (by Peter Ringrose) with a hollow wind, an unsettling rumble and the beautiful singing of Adriana Festeu, the moment becomes very animal, and sexual, and violent."

    JD


PLANTAGENET....2011
A second Classic Serial series about the Plantagenets, 3 x 60 min, beginning 29 May 2011. Europe is emerging from the Dark Ages. To get rid of an enemy you slit his throat, or have him hanged, drawn and quartered. This bloody chronicle is fast-paced and gory but has a great script. It's full of intrigue, plotting and filthy skirmishes. Edward Longshanks is at war with France and with Scotland. Catch every episode....

Cast for ep. 1: Philip Jackson, Ellie Kendrick, Sam Troughton, Simon Bubb, James Lailey, Jonathan Forbes, Sean Baker, Brian Bowles, Nyasha Hatendi, Stuart McLoughlin, Joanna Monro, Peter Polycarpou, Daniel Rabin, Alun Raglan, Jane Whittenshaw. Producers Jeremy Mortimer and Jessica Dromgoole.
    This was reviewed in 'The Guardian' by Elizabeth Mahoney, who drew particular attention to the quality of the production and Mike Walker's excellent script. How topical it all sounded, too, with a cash-strapped treasury and Scottish independence as themes - though this was 1299. This is a cracking tale, to rank alongside Don Taylor's 12-hour classic "God's Revolution". So far, "Plantagenet" adds up to six hours, and I hope there's more to come.

    As episode 1 begins, King Edward is sixty. His first wife Eleanor has been dead ten years. The Scottish Wars permitting, he is ready to marry again....

    Elizabeth M.....

    ..........What gave the production texture and depth, though, were some subtle touches. So, while the drama included some splendidly gory sounds of people in pain, all horrible convulsions and last-breath gurgles, it also gave its protagonists credible, affecting lines. Margaret, the young French queen admirably played by Ellie Kendrick, was daunted by her wedding night. "It is," she said quietly, "so very..... 'here'."

    It's good to see a national paper taking radio drama seriously. It would have been nice to see a credit for the producers, but perhaps next time ......... - Ed



KATIE HIMS TRILOGY....2011
Plays based on missing people .... (1) It's wartime and a tiny child evacuee whose paperwork is lost ends up at the wrong address; (2) a generation later and mother leaves home; (3) the sequel, thirty years later. A very affecting production; one wonders how often a train of events like this occurs in times of war. The plays, which went out under the collective title 'Lost Property' were:

(1)THE WRONG LABEL
3 May 2011.....1941, and children are evacuated from London to escape the bombing. Rosie Cavaliero, Alex Tregear, Katie Angelou, Daniel Cooper, Daniel Rabin, Stuart McLoughlin.

(2)THE YEAR MY MOTHER WENT MISSING
10 May 2011.....1979; Ruthie's mother has disappeared. Rosie Cavaliero, Shannon Flynn, Cealleach Spellman, Elliott Griffiths, Ralph Ineson.

(3)A TELEGRAM FROM THE QUEEN
17 May 2011.....Ruthie sets out to bring the members of the family back together. Rosie Cavaliero, Edna Dore, Gary Beadle, Daniel Rabin, Sean Baker, Jane Whittenshaw.



THE GREAT GAME....2010
10 Oct 10. Four plays tracing the history of war in Afghanistan. R3. Total duration 2 hours. the plays are: Bugles at the Gates of Jalabad, by Stephen Jeffreys, Miniskirts of Kabul, by David Greig, Honey, by Ben Okrent, and A Canopy of Stars by Simon Stephens. Producer Jeremy Mortimer. Directors Jessica Dromgoole, Indhu Rubasingham and Sasha Yevtushenko.
    Part of BBC blurb from Radio Times, by Claire Webb, edited slightly.....

    Bugles at the Gate remembers the British Army's worst defeat in history when 16,000 soldiers perished fleeing Kabul in 1842. We share the bugler's horror on hearing the news and reading the diary entries of a rare survivor, the General's wife.

    Miniskirts of Kabul is set in 1992; a western woman interviews President Najibullah as he shelters in a UN compound.

    Honey is about a CIA agent who realises the folly of American disengagement.

    In Canopy of Stars, two squaddies discuss chips, football and Taliban insurgents.



WE OUTNUMBER YOU....2010
...............Later on 23 Apr was the play WE OUTNUMBER YOU, by Ed Hime (R4, 2100, 23 Apr 10), one of the last dramas to be broadcast in the Friday Play slot. A big oil company opens a new zoo on the Isle of Wight, to show its environmental commitment. Unfortunately the zoo contains some dangerous animals and one night two deranged 'greenies' hide inside. They hatch a plot, it goes hideously wrong, and the play rapidly turns into a horror story. Kenneth Cranham stars as the oil company boss, and the cast also included Luke Treadaway, Joanna Monro, Georgia Groome, Vineeta Rishi and Ben Crowe. The producer was Jessica Dromgoole. ............ND, VRPCC review, Apr 2010


DEWEY EYED (R4, 1415, 30 Mar 09) was a quirky play about a recently-widowed lady, Vera, who is finding it difficult to focus on life. Her daughter tries to get through to her using the only language they have in common - Dewey Decimal. They're both librarians. Against my expectations, the play worked well. The cast included Olivia Colman, Sheila Reid, Caroline Guthrie and Paul Rider and was produced by Jessica Dromgoole. (..........ND, VRPCC review, Apr 09)


JIMMY'S LETTERS....2007
24,Sep,2007. Andrew Sherlock's play is based on the true story of his parents' courtship; charted through Audrey's reminiscences and Jimmy's letters from Korea; where he was serving in the early 1950s. Jimmy ...... Andy Pointon Audrey ...... Gillian Kearney Evelyn ...... Elizabeth Estensen Marie ...... Laura Molyneux Pat ...... John Dougall Marzy ...... Katy Cavanagh Dennis ...... Sam Pamphilon Jean Metcalfe ...... Joannah Tincey. Directed by Jessica Dromgoole.


ARCADIA....2007
30,Jun,2007. Tom Stoppard's comedy juggles notions of literature; mathematics; landscape gardening and love through the lives and preoccupations of the inhabitants of Sidley Park; Derbyshire in the early 19th and late 20th centuries. Bernard ...... Jason Watkins Hannah ...... Nicola Redmond Septimus ...... Jack Laskey Thomasina ...... Jade Williams Chloe ...... Carey Mulligan Valentine ...... Joseph Kloska Chater ...... John Dougall Lady Croom ...... Liza Sadovy Noakes ...... Jot Davies Jellaby Simon Treves Brice ...... Anthony Glennon Augustus ...... Sam Pamphilon Directed by Jessica Dromgoole.

........a new radio adaptation, by Stoppard, of ARCADIA, a scintillating play in which present day researchers seek to find the truth about people and events from a former time - in this case, about 200 years earlier.It was broadcast by Radio 3 in the year of its first performance at the National Theatre, 1993. The action displays both past and present, opening in 1808 before switching to the 1990s. The listener learns the truth of both eras, but, predictably, the modern researchers construct a false picture of the past, which gathers sufficient momentum to displace the true one. It juggles notions of literature, Mathematics, landscape gardening and love through the lives of the inhabitants of Sidney Park, Derbyshire. It starred Jason Watkins, Nicola Redmond, Jack Laskey, Jade Williams and Carey Mulligan; the director was Jessica Dromgoole. (ND, VRPCC newsletter)


INDIA AND PAKISTAN....2007
11,Aug,2007. Samina Baig's tale of sibling rivalry; jealousy; forbidden passion and murder. Set in an India waking up to massive change; this story of two sisters and one man reflects the unease between old world values and new world ambition. Shazia ...... Archie Panjabi Mother ...... Nimra Bucha Shaheen/Soni ...... Sakuntala Ramanee Rahan ...... Nitin Ganatra Uncle/Inspector ...... Kris Dosanji Beggar ...... Shiv Grewal Driver/Hitesh ...... Saikat Ahamed Bismillah ...... Leena Dhingra Directed by Jessica Dromgoole. Part of the India and Pakistan 07 season.


Dombey and Son....2007
Dec 07. 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.

compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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