Katie Hims Radio Plays

I have no information about Katie Hims other than her being the writer in residence at BBC Radio Drama in 2002. Her plays are well-written and full of action. Anyone with information about her - please email.

The BBC drama website contains an interesting quote by Katie: "When I wrote my first radio play I put in a lot of sound effects...I felt they ought to be there......my producer said the script was all right but why were there so many lousy sound effects? Sometimes these detract from the scene....."

Greg Linden sent the following transcription of Jeremy Mortimer's introduction to "The Disappearance of Shirley McGill" on BBC7's "Producer's Choice":

....."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).

BBC Broadcasts

The Earthquake Girl, 13 March 1997
(rpt 10 July 1998) Edie works in a library and is terrified of causing a world catastrophe. Her sister-in-law Lila thinks she should go out and find a man, but Edie would rather stay in and write a gothic romance. In fact, Edie would be a library if she could. With Saskia Reeves, Barbara Marten and Jean Alexander. Director Kate Rowland.

*Roberto Sultana, 6 May 1998 (rpt 14 Sep 1999)
Nine-year-old Shelly writes to her hero Roberto Sultana who is away looking for a man with a limp. Her mother will not eat, talk or get out of bed. Shelly needs some help. With Sarah Tingle, Christopher Horner and Liz Smith. Director Melanie Harris.
I seem to remember this as a frenetic comedy....

Bangers and Mash....1999
11 Jan - 15 Feb 1999; 6 x 30m serial - a comic drama. Jimmy works in the small Manchester catering business run by his brother, who is in debt to loan sharks. At the end of the first episode, the brother disappears, along with most of the furniture. Jimmy has six weeks to find £2500. Stars Gerard McDermott, Mark Straker, Catherine Harvey, Roger May, Jane Whittenshaw.

Child of the Suburbs: Milton and Sylvio's Story ....2000
19 June 2000 (3rd in an Afternoon Play 5-play cycle called "Child Of Our Time") The story of identical twins growing up in Belford Roxo, one of Brazil's most dangerous suburbs. They belong to the Candomble religion, brought to Brazil by the slaves, and they find escape from the violence around them by flying their kites. With Ike Hamilton and Bradley Martin. Director: Kate Rowland.

Lulu ....2000
7 Sep 2000. Meet Lulu, the tallest girl in the world, aged six, 12 and 18. She has grown up with a terrible secret. She made wish one day on the way to the beach, and it came true. She wished something would happen to her sister Angela - and it did. With Polly Lister, Daniel Poyser, Nicola Millington, Holly Grainger, Christine Mackie and Rob Pickavance. Director: Melanie Harris.

Cops and Robbers* .............was another excellent play by Katie Hims (R4, 1415, 30 Apr 01). A dry cleaner's assistant falls for a customer but as he crosses the road outside the shop he is knocked down by a car. As she gets to know him it transpires that perhaps this was not an accident. Amanda Root and Philip Jackson were Marion and the Inspector, and the shady Jonny was played by Nicholas Boulton; Peter Kavanagh directed. ND, VRPCC newsletter, Sep 01

Lila's husband has died, and her two brothers-in-law start to fall in love with her....R4,1415, 17 Jul 01 (rpt 8 Aug 03). With Denise Black, Jeff Hordley, John Bramwell, Michelle Davenport. Directed in Manchester by Melanie Harris.

Football Stories for Girls .....2002
10 to 14 June 02. Five short plays for "Woman's Hour" telling football stories from a woman's perspective. The characters include a professional footballer, a girl who goes to the football matches with her dad, a woman who keeps falling for goalies, the ghost of a 1966 footballing hero and a changing-room cleaner.

Tuesday is library day*....2002
Jessica has two mothers; why? R4, 8 Jan 02, 45m. Afternoon play. With Ellie Bevan as older Jessica, Laura Popplewell as younger Jessica; also stars Suzanne Hedcote, Sophie Shad, Carolyn Pickles, Christopher Godwin, David Timpson, Anna Popplewell and Victoria O'Donnell. Director Sue Broom. .....+see note below

Man with Travel Hairdryer*....2002
R4, Friday play, 60m, 13 Sep 02. An unarmed man is accidentally shot dead by a police officer. Directed by Toby Swift.

*The Disappearance Of Shirley McGill, 27 Feb 2003
Shirley has put up with marriage to her overbearing husband Vernon for 20 years. Her only friend is the butcher, and it is to the butcher she turns when she finds that, in spite of plenty of greens and red meat, she becomes at first translucent and then completely invisible. With Lesley Manville, Philip Jackson, Shaun Dingwall, Emma Woolliams and Scott Brooksbank. Director: Jeremy Mortimer.

Wild Lunch*....2003
R4, 25 Nov 03..RT.....an absurdist comedy....a terribly English, civilised lunch party gradually disintegrates on the day a man is hanged by an unspecified government. Even when the world is falling apart around them, there are those who will cling to the reality which suits them...with Claudia Harrison, Ben Miles, Richenda Carey, Ian Masters, Stephen Critchlow, Tracey Wiles, Kenny Blyth. Directed by Toby Swift.

+ Apologies -my recording is not very clear and I may have mis-spelled the names of some of the actors; please email any corrections to me.

The Day We Caught The Train.....2003
Two mysterious visitors arrive to pay their respects to the deceased but are horrified to see that her corpse has been dressed in black. Starring Paul McCrink, Duncan Preston and Thelma Barlow. (Woman's Hour drama; series title "Don't Step On The Cracks")

(R4, 1415, 17-20 Sep 07) CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN occupied the afternoon play slot for 4 days, and gave a less indigestible version of the well-known story. It's a romantic tale set during World War II on the island of Cephallonia. Pelagia is engaged to Mandras, an fisherman who has joined the Greek army. But whilst still engaged she falls for Captain Corelli, who is technically the enemy, and they decide to marry. Then Corelli disappears, only reappearing forty years later, during which time Pelagia has remained alone, waiting for him. The cast included Celia Meiras as Pelagia, Daniel Philpott as Corelli; Tom Goodman-Hill narrated. The dramatisation was by Katie Hims, and the producer was David Hunter. .......ND, VRPCC newsletter, Dec 07.....

THE KISS....2008
Five interlinked dramas for Woman's Hour around Valentine's Day. 11-15 Feb 08. The meaning of kissing, with illustrated examples - a boy and girl's goodbye kiss, an old lady's first kiss, an imagined kiss, a father who never kissed his son, and how every girl in the class wants to kiss the class hunk.

18 Nov 2010. Second of two plays commissioned for BBC Children in Need. Actors and carers tell the story of a young girl with responsibilities beyond her years. Producer Jessica Dromgoole.

Others: (dates nk)

*Word on the night breeze
*Harry and Gloria
*Lessons in Psychic Awareness

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections.

Nigel Deacon

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