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Nandita Ghose Radio Plays

Nandita Ghose is an experienced producer of radio drama who has written original radio plays and dramatised the work of others. She has also written plays for stage and TV. In the words of 'Doollee' (owner of www.doollee.com) Nandita combines humour, wit, rhythm and musicality to make hard hitting observations about society today. She also explores her dual heritage of being Indian and English in her poetry.

When asked 'Why do you write for radio?' by Tom McCarthy in 2001 (see Nandita - interview her answer was as follows:

" I love radio. It's completely intimate as a medium. It's like the best of a novel and the best of a film: you can have a broad sweep and also this one-to-one. I was a radio producer for seven years, working for the BBC, so I know the medium well, and feel I have a large palate to choose from.

The other thing is sound: you get the sounds of the language, the words themselves, then the sounds the actors make during their dialogues. Also, it's easier to write about India for the radio: it's not expensive to produce, you don't have to go there with a film crew. You can have a huge Indian crowd making a lot of noise and then pan straight into someone's thoughts without a massive budget.

Radio is like film in many ways. People say it's not visual, but I think it is; it's just that the image isn't right in front of you. It's a very imaginative medium."



NOTES ON SOME OF THE PLAYS

30 Jun 16: Tommies
30 June 1916. Written by Nandita Ghose. Episode 5 of 5. The German lines have been under constant bombardment for days. An attack is coming, but it is vital that the enemy does not know exactly when. As vast numbers of men, machinery and armaments move to their final jumping-off points, the Indian cavalry of the 34th Poona Horse face their battle plan. Meanwhile, Mickey Bliss is training the signallers of the Tyneside Scottish. He has thought of almost everything, but there's a detail he has missed. Mickey Bliss: Lee Ross, commentator: Indira Varma, Kenny Stokoe: Dean Logan, Sergeant Dixon: Daniel Weyman, Joseph Gascoigne: Neil Grainger, Francis Woodrington: Nick Underwood, Jemandar Mehta: Raj Ghatak, Sowar Gopal: Munir Khairdin. Series producers: David Hunter, Jonquil Panting and Jonathan Ruffle. Director for this episode: Jonquil Panting.

    This episode is the buildup immediately before the First Battle of the Somme. My grandfather, Fred T (b 1890) was in this battle, fighting as a Lewis gunner for the Leicester regiment. (He had volunteered in 1914 in Loughborough where the new recruits were signed up - Ed). Here's his picture:


18 May 15: Tommies
4/5. By Michael Chaplin. The Russians are retreating but the renegade Price Balashov is determined to wrench some kind of victory from defeat. Celestine: Pippa Nixon, Marjorie: Elaine Claxton, Narrator: Indira Varma, Balashov: Parth Thakerar, Maxim: Matthew Watson, Kolya: David Cann, Mamasha: Jane Slavin, Reissner: Damian Lynch, Nikolai: Michael Bertenshaw. Producers for the series: Nandita Ghose, David Hunter, Jonquil Panting, Jonathan Ruffle. Nandita directed this episode.


13 Apr 15: Clean Trade
By Winsome Pinnock. Play set in an investment bank where a group of cleaners do some trading on the stock market. They start to make money, but this causes problems. Ayesha Antoine, Golda Rosheuvel, Ivana Basic, Jane Whittenshaw, Lorna Gayle, Jude Akuwudike, Mark Edel-Hunt,. Neet Mohan, Sam Dale. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


23 Feb 15: In Aldershot
An unemployed man known as Suitboy, and Gurung, an ex-Gurkha, whose Nepalese community has caused unrest in the area, meet at a job centre and form an unexpected friendship. Social story by Matthew Wilkie. Suitboy: Ian Conningham, Gurung: Bhasker Patel, Pushpa: Ritu Arya, Karen: Rhiannon Neads, Gary: Mark Edel-Hunt, Mark: Samuel Valentine, Adviser: Jane Slavin. Produced by Nandita Ghose; directed by Liz Webb.


8 Jan 15: The Last of the Pearl Fishers
By Hannah Khalil. Lillian becomes obsessed with her maid's disappearance. She tries to find her, but the search is more difficult than she thought. Lillian: Pippa Nixon, Celeste: Renée Montemayor, Ben: Ian Conningham, Mary: Tina Chiang, Amit: Paul Bazely, Marianne: Liz Sutherland, Jennifer: Elaine Claxton, Siobhan: Hannah Genesius. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


TOMMIES....2014
This is a series of six dramas, broadcast weekly, illustrating what was happening on the Western Front exactly one hundred years ago to the day, with episodes written by Michael Chaplin, Jonathan Ruffle and Nick Warburton. These have been excellent. The highlight for me was Nick Warburton's episode on 14 Oct. Walter Oddy, a soldier wounded in action, is among thousands who hope to receive medical attention as he arrives at a hospital in Boulogne. The doctor who treats him is a woman, and she is regarded by the male hospital hierarchy as a cross between a irritating suffragette and an office junior. Without her influential husband (a high-up in the government) she would never have been sent to France. Cast - Mickey Bliss: Lee Ross, Celestine: Pippa Nixon, Marjorie Blaikeley: Elaine Claxton, Commentator: Indira Varma, Captain George: Clive Hayward, Cyril Walton: Scott Arthur, Walter Oddy: Tony Pitts, Soldier: Mark Edel-Hunt, Sergeant: David Cann. Producers for the series: Nandita Ghose, David Hunter and Jonquil Panting. Director JP. (note that RT incorrectly credited the broadcast to Michael Chaplin, who wrote several of the episodes - ND)


THE CONLANG OF LOVE....2014
2 Oct 14: By Lou Ramsden. A fantasy geek invents a new language. It leads her into a different world. Frances - Oona Chaplin, Gethin - Paul Heath, Rita - Lorelei King, Vorgen - Shaun Mason, Jogo - Monty D'Inverno, Keritas - Bettrys Jones. Producer - Nandita Ghose; director Helen Perry.


'The Chemistry Between Them', a play by Adam Ganz (R4, 1415, 20 Aug 14) was about the friendship between Margaret Thatcher and her former Chemistry tutor, Dorothy Hodgkin, who worked at one time on determining the structure of DNA. The play flashes between Thatcher the student and Thatcher the Prime Minister. I liked the early reference to Bayer's strain theory, which explains why rings with 3 or 4 carbons are very hard to make; quite advanced Chemistry, which shows that Mr. Ganz has done his homework. There were also interesting conversations about the Soviet menace as perceived in the 1980s and the nuclear deterrent; strongly opposed by Hodgkin but regarded as essential by Thatcher; I also had an interest in this, having been a member of UKWMO for many years. Thatcher was played by Catherine Skinner, Dorothy by Jane Slavin, and Margaret's father by Stephen Critchlow. The producer was Nandita Ghose. (......ND, Diversity Website review, Sept 2014)


6 Oct 03 Afternoon Play: One Thousand Days, One Thousand Nights
By Nandita Ghose. Scheherazade and Dinarzade are sisters, named after the storytellers of A Thousand and One Nights. The family are torn apart by the 1979 revolution in Iran and the sisters don't meet again until 25 years later, when their only way of communicating is through the old Persian fables. Scheherazade: Souad Faress, Dinarzade: Bharti Patel, Young Scheherazade: Rina Mahoney, Young Dinarzade: Natalia Keery-Flsher, jyoti: Hema Mangoo, Mark: Andrew Greenough, John: Alexander Delamere, Father: Nasser Memarzia, Mother: Adlyn Ross. Producer Peter Leslie Wild; director Jenny Stephens.


24 Nov 02: The Classic Serial: Just So Stories
Nandita Ghose's dramatisation of Kipling's much-loved series of tales. With James Fleet, Alice Ford, Sakuntala Ramanee, Trevor Laird. Directed by Geni Hall-Kenny.


1 Jul 02 The Broken Nest
By Rabindranath Tagore, dramatised by Nandita Ghose. A newly married Bengali woman grows bored and lonely. When her husband's brother arrives, the consequences are shattering. Charu: Lolita Chakrabarti, Amal: Paul Bazely, Bhupati: Shiv Grewal, Manda: Sakuntala Ramanee, Umapada: Ravin J Ganatra, Auntie: Jamila Massey, Joshoda: Thusitha Jayasundera. Producer: Celia de Wolff.


18 Mar 02: Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee
A new 5 x 12m adaptation of the book by Meera Syal , interweaving the stories of three British-Asian women and the men in their lives, exploring love, friendship and betrayal. Dramatised by Nandita Ghose. 1: It's Chila's wedding day but will the happiest day of her life end in tears? All parts played by Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar. Producer: Nadia Molinari.


Isabella-The Real Mrs. Beeton....2001
R4, 27 Jan 01, 60m, Saturday play. Interesting biographical play about the famous gardening and cooking expert Mrs. Beeton; her life and marriage, and the way she compiled her books. Her books of "Gardening Management" and "Household Management" are still in print. They still give reliable information and a view of the world of the well-off Victorian lady. Based on the stage play by Alison Neal. With Michael Maloney as Sam Beeton, Natasha Little as Isabella Beeton, mother Dawling by Joan Walker, mother Beeton by Carolyn Jones, also stars David Glover, Poppy Miller, Mark Straker, Oliver Cookson. Directed by Nandita Ghose - Indie - a "Bona Lattie" production.

    RT notes, summarised:
    (27-01-2001) Isabella - The Real Mrs. Beeton.
    By Tony Coult, based on Alison Neil's stage play. The surprising story of Britain's most famous cookery expert, who couldn't cook, didn't write recipes and died young - and whose fame was thanks to her husband.


24 Sep 00 Classic Serial: Esmond in India
By Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, dramatised in two parts by Nandita Ghose. In post-independence Delhi, two influential families now have very different lives. Between them moves Esmond, the enigmatic Englishman, with his love-hate attitude to India. 1: Esmond meets the idealistic Shakuntala. With Nina Wadia, Roshan Seth, Simon Armstrong, Nadim Sawalha and Mina Anwar.


SO BEATS MY HEART....1999
By Nandita Ghose; 30 Oct 99, rpt. 26 Nov 99. A surreal love story. Heart transplants take on a new dimension in this tale of a man who discovers his heart and his life. With John Bowe and Indira Varma. Produced by Janet Whitaker; repeated as one of her favourite productions during 2000.


THE MISANTHROPE....1998
By Moliere. 4 Jan 98, Sunday Play, R3, trans/adap Tony Harrison. Alceste is the original misanthrope: he rants against human hypocrisy and saves his most pointed attacks for those around him. Whether friend or foe, he is determined to be honest, no matter what it costs. But Alceste is in love with Celimene, who does not appear to be as pure and virtuous as she seems. With David Schofield, Alan Cox, Maria Miles, Randel Herley, Brigit Forsyth and Michael Begley. Director Nandita Ghose. (120m)


JERUSALEM NORTH WEST....1998
R4, Produced by Nandita Ghose, Manchester. A Jewish convert looks back over her life, and remembers the man with whom she once fell in love. With Sarah Lancashire, David Fleeshman and Brigit Forsyth.


DIVIDED HARVEST....1998
R4, fast track commission, prod. Nandita Ghose, Manchester. An actress meets her lover, an Israeli, after many years apart. With Sheila Steafel, Jack Klaff and Jane Cameron.


18 May 97 Sunday Play - The Red Oleander
By Rabindranath Tagore , translated by Bishaka Ghose and adapted for radio by Tanika Gupta.R3. A king counts out the gold his miners have given their lives for. Then a beautiful girl comes to the mine. King .......... Saeed Jafrey, Nandini .......... Aileen Gonsalves, Professor .......... Rashid Karapiet, Bishu .......... Neil D'Souza, Captain .......... Antony Zaki, Phagulal .......... Shiv Grewal, Chandra .......... Souad Faress, Gossain .......... Kriss Dosanjh, Kishor .......... Anil Desai, Ranjan .......... Ravin J Ganatra. Music composed and performed by Harjinder Boparai. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


16 Feb 97: The Sunday Play - The Hour of the Star
By Clarice Lispector , dramatised by Lavinia Murray. Alone in a surreal world, a poor girl searches for life and love. Macabea .......... Lolita Chakrabarti, Author .......... John Branwell, Olimipico RAY .......... Emmet Brown, Aunt .......... Kathryn Hunt, Gloria .......... Saskia Downes, Boss .......... Malcolm Hebden, Pink-ribboned girl 1 .......... Stephanie Susan Jones, Pink-ribboned girl 2 .......... Becky Simpson. Violinist: Julian Gregory. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


10 Dec 96: Thirty Minute Theatre: I Should Be So Lucky
By Lesley Whiteley. In this comic play Rosetta wants to be just like Kylie, but escape's not that easy when you've got a dead end job and a downbeat boyfriend. Rosetta: Sunetra Sarker, Terry: Andrew Schofield, Sandra: Melissa Sinden, Dave: Jamie Greer, Elvis: Claude Close, Director: Nandita Ghose.


15 Aug 96: The Road to Paradise
By Julia Pascal. When war breaks out, a young Jewish refugee finds herself evacuated to Guernsey. Rosa: Tracey Wiles, Eric: John Jardine, Young Eric: Terence Mann, Esther: Vanessa Rosenthal, Hilde: Melissa Sinden, David: Russell Dixon, with Martin Reeve , John Griffin , Nicola Reynolds , Sarah Nixon , Stephanie Jones and William Haigh. Director: Nandita Ghose.


12 Aug 96: True Blue
By Jez Simons and Jyoti Patel. A single-minded Indian woman has a dream: she wants to be an MP - for the Tory party. Susheila: Sudha Bhuchar, Ashwin: Aftab Sachak, Michael: William Boyd, Mrs Stevenson: Vanessa Rosenthal, with Nizwar Karanj , Nina Wadia, Sakuntala Ramanee, Kulvinder Ghir and Fiona Kerr. Music composed and played by Harjinder Boparai. Director: Nandita Ghose.


4 Jun 96: Thirty Minute Theatre: The Queen of Revenge
By Tove Granqvist, translated by Lotte Troup. A child's fairy tale merges with reality. Sessa: Naomi Kerbel, Queen: Kathryn Hunt, King: Malcolm Hebden, Psychologist: David Fleeshman, Henrik: John Jardine, Beata: Laura Richmond, Teacher: Laura Richmond, with Kay Purcell. Producer Nandita Ghose.


14 Apr 96: The Classic Serial: The Constant Nymph
By Margaret Kennedy, dramatised in two parts by Louise Paige. 1: Sanger's Circus. Tessa, the daughter of bohemian composer Sanger, has given her heart to childhood friend Lewis. Tessa: Maria Miles, Rorence: Suzanna Hamilton, Lewis: Alan Cox, Sanger: John Stride, Charles: Richard Hope, Birnbaum: Jamie Glover, Antonia: Lena Headey, Kate: Sarah Redmond, with Steve Hodson, Lucy Davies, Anna Keaveney, Justin Webb, Danielle Del Guidice. Music by Errollyn Wallen, played by Guy Cowley (clarinet), Joanne May (percussion), Stephanie Rees (horn) and Joseph Spooner (cello). Producer: Nandita Ghose.


29 Feb 96: How to Murder Your Husband
Jean Alexander stars as Flo, and Bill Dean as Frank, in Julie Rutterford's play. Murder is on the menu when Flo finds out her husband is taking early retirement. Fran: Julie Riley Tim: Terence Mann, Carmella Schwartz: Lorelei King, Jim/Cab driver: Jimmi Hibbert, with Melissa Jane Sinden, John Culshore and Janet James. Director Nandita Ghose. Rpt.


3 Feb 96:Saturday Playhouse - Absolute Beginners
Christopher Hawes's dramatisation of the book by Colin Maclnnes. The Absolute Beginner of the title is out for kicks, as he gets to know what is happening in London in 1958. With John Culshore , Laura Richmond , Nicolas Moss , Sarah Nixon , Taff Girdlestone , John Bramwell , Ray Emmet Brown and Leroy Golding. Music composed and played by Keith Jafrate with David Pitt (bass) and Paul Hession (drums). Producer Nandita Ghose.


12 Aug 95 Studio Three - Xango's Challenge
By Peter Kalu. R3. Rpt 18 Aug 1996. An ancient battle is played out through music, text and sound when two African gods meet to fight again. Thunderous Xango, the God of Revenge, is determined to kill his rival, Ogun, God of Justice, and to avenge the legacy of slavery. But Ogun finds an unexpected ally in modern times. Xango .......... Treva Etienne, Ogun .......... Jefferey Kissoon, Isobel .......... Emily Woof, Narrator .......... Joy Richardson, Chorus .......... Ann-Marie Frater, Diva .......... Una Higgins. Musicians Roy Johnson and Richard Bostock. Composer Ansell Broderick. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


29 Jan 95 The Sunday Play - The Amazons
By Arthur Wing Pinero, adapted by Stephen Wyatt. R3. In this role-reversing comedy three girls are brought up as boys by their eccentric mother, Lady Castlejordan. It's a man's world - until they fall in love. Lady Castlejordan .......... Su Douglas, Noeline .......... Emma Croft, Thomasin .......... Pooky Quesnel, Wilhelmina .......... Joanne Sherry, Tweenways .......... Richard Pearce, Litterly .......... Nicholas Boulton, De Grival .......... John Griffin, Minchin .......... Finetime Fontayne, Orts .......... Finetime Fontayne, Youatt .......... Robert Whelan, Fitton .......... Robert Whelan, Sergeant Shuter .......... Kay Purcell. Original music by Errollyn Watlen. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


1 Nov 94 Lost and Found
Performance poet Martin Glynn uses poetry and prose accompanied by improvised jazz to explore a young man's search for his lost identity. A young man has never met his Jamaican father or his family. But one night a pair of mysterious strangers transport him on a journey back to an unknown past and help him to discover who he really is. Mark .......... Joseph Jones, Victor .......... Burt Caesar, Eunice .......... Adjoa Andoh, Percj val .......... Colin McFarlane, Ann .......... Ann-Marie Frater. Musicians Keith Jafrate (sax) and Paul Hession (drums). Producer: Nandita Ghose.


25 Oct 94 In Conversation with Madonna.
By Julie Rutterford. Thirty Minute Theatre; a comic love story. Life is totally confusing for Shirley as she receives conflicting advice from two very different icons. Can the two Madonnas sort out her man problems or will they just make matters worse? Shirley: Julie Riley, Mam: Paula Tilbrook, Cart: John Brobbey, Colin: Jimmy Hibbert, Madonna: Lorelei King, Mrs Ackerley: Vanessa Rosenthal. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


23 Oct 94 Children's Radio 4: Time Hops
A five-part comedy sci-fi by Alan Gilbey and David Richard-Fox . 1: A screwball scientist mouse escapes from the future to 1994 and enlists the help of three children to save the planet. EK6: Sara Crowe, RV101: David Harewood, Steph: Nicola Stapleton, Baz: Paul Reynolds, Max: Dax O'Callaghan, Harley: Bradley Lavelle, Norton: Ian Masters, Mrs Miller: Margaret John, Scarrion: Gavin Muir, Scab: Oliver Senton, Music by Richard Attree. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


28 Aug 94 Badal and His Bike
By Tanika Gupta. Badal has always wanted a bike and one day his dream comes true when he receives a very special birthday present. With Ashish Raja as Badal, Preeya Kalidas , Rashid Karapiet. John Hollis , Shireen Shah , Sidney Cole , David Holt and Gurdial Sira. Producer: Nandita Ghose.


KISS ME QUICK....1994
A serial for teenagers. Directed by Sally Avens and Nandita Ghose. 7 eps. BBC Radio 5, beginning January 1994.


HANUMAN'S CHILD....1993
By Nandita Ghose; 20 Jan 93.In the series 'Child's Play' play no. 3, rpt 26 Nov 99. The play was discussed in some detail when Tom McCarthy interviewed Nandita at the Austrian Cultural Institute in March 2001. (see Nandita - interview ) Nandita is speaking ...

    "One of the earliest stories I was told when I was young was about Hanuman, the monkey god of Hindu mythology, who in essence is a traveller. He can travel in a battling sense, to achieve some great deed, or he can travel within his own body, change his form and shrink or become huge. He corresponds to the figure of the trickster, a Nancy. That always fascinated me as a child, and still does: the idea that you can change form as a way of dealing with things. That was the inspiration for my play Hanuman's Child."


      BBC Notes (RT), summarised:
      Child's Play, a series of five plays.
      'Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. Nobody that matters, that is.' (Edna St Vincent Millay)
      Play 3: Hanuman's Child. Sunetra's father is Indian and her mother English, but where does she belong? She loved her father's stories of Hanuman the Monkey King when she was little, but can they help her in real life? Sunetra: Anna Abrahams, Sanjay/Hanuman: Madhav Sharma, Ruth: Melinda Walker, Granny: Jill Graham, Stewardess: Sandra James-Young, Indian guest: Rashid Karapiet, Lucy: Charlotte Tomkys, Shorojini: Preeya Kaudas, Natalie: Sarah Harvey Smart, Jane: Adele Sanders, Boy: Anthony Hamblin, Girl 1: Kristy Bruce, Girl 2: Laura Tomkys. Producer: Janet Whitaker.






Nigel Deacon, Diversity Website

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