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NIGEL BALDWIN RADIO PLAYS

NIGEL BALDWIN was born in 1951 and got his first job in the professional theatre as an ASM when he was twenty. He has done virtually every job in the theatrical world except design and administration. While working as an actor he began writing and staging his own plays and one of these found its way to the Royal Court in London in 1976. Following this he became resident playwright at the Court.He has written numerous plays for stage, radio and television and has received awards for his radio and television work. His radio plays are listed below.

BBC Radio Plays
1981 Letter to the old man on a cassette recorder
1982 Broken Heads
1983 Boney Jan and the Flying Man
1983 Ar Lan Y Mor
1984 The man who gave up first place in the race
1986 Impressions of an English Inner City American Tap Dancer*
1987 Broadsheet testimonies
1987 Chris Martin's Lex Talionis*
1989 The Bass Saxophone
1989 The Heat*
1989 Zanna
1990 Show me the way, ugly angels
1990 Burnt*
1992 Cordoba*
1993 Merlin and Arthur on their way to Glastonbury*.....
1993 Tuth in Dark Places (sic)
1994 Keep On Running
1995 The Tree of Liberty
1997 Broad Canvasses
2010 The Conspiracy of the Illuminati

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections.

NOTES ON THE PLAYS

1981
LETTER TO THE OLD MAN ON A CASSETTE RECORDER (Radio 3 105' Single Play) "Michael reflects on his life in a tape sent to his dying father. A deft and economical technique which stings the listening mind." Sunday Times. With Bill Nighy as Michael. "A remarkable radio play, mingling reflections on the death of Empire in Cyprus and Ireland; the failure of love; the struggle to become adult; and yes the condition of Britain." Sunday Times.

1982
BROKEN HEADS (Capital Radio. 60' Single Play) A bunch of yobs invade a local youth group. One of them who carries a torch for one of the middle class girls there has to confess to her. But despite her fascination at him and his anger the relationship is doomed. With Phil Davis and Judy Lloyd. "A powerful little play by Nigel Baldwin…(who) gives a deadly accurate portrayal of the attitudes that divide the middle and working classes of this country." The Listener.

1983
AR LAN Y MOR (Radio 3. 30' Single Play) A chapel-going woman on a beach in North Wales laments the loss of her lover to two pissed newly-weds from Manchester at pub chucking out time. And then her husband turns up to vent his spleen. "A piece full of gentle pathos". Telegraph.

1983
BONEY JAN AND THE FLYING MAN (Radio 3. 105' Single Play.) Jan is a political motivated aid worker in Africa. She meets an RAF pilot who is delivering aid. He is her ticket back to England and the chaos of the early eighties. Through their destructive relationship she learns that she can't hack it and goes back to Africa, leaving the pilot to pick up the pieces. With Charlotte Cornwell and Tom Wilkinson. "A play so tough and spiky…full of the deafening rattle of social conscience." Sunday Times.

1984
THE MAN WHO GAVE UP FIRST PLACE IN THE RACE (Radio 4 90' Single Play) A parable for our times. A runner takes a 'dive' in the 5000 metres to let someone else take the gold in the Olympic arena. This act of selflessness is deliberately misinterpreted and the athlete is treated as a pariah as his life falls apart. With Chris Fairbank. "Excellent hard hitting stuff…a real hell fire sermon. People like me…must have been cheering loudly." The Listener.

1986
IMPRESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH INNER CITY AMERICAN TAP DANCER (Radio 3. 35' single play.) Laura is a cynical, sad, middle-aged tap teacher teaching unteachable kids in an inner city community centre. The kids would rather riot and Laura would rather let them. And then her star pupil – the one Laura thinks has got it – has misinterpreted Laura's attentions. With Jill Baker as Laura. "…this was sheer brilliance on tap." Mail on Sunday.

1987
CHRIS MARTIN'S LEX TALIONIS (Radio 3. 105' Single Play.) Nominated as best play of 1987, 1988 Sony Radio Awards. Chris Martin is a screenwriter who doesn't believe in revenge and is writing a film about exactly that. And then his film – and his life – start to go badly wrong and he finds he can't live up to his high moral standards. With Bill Nighy as Chris and Harriet Walter as Charlie. "…would make a very powerful psychological drama on screen and comes across extremely effectively on radio." Evening Standard.

1987
BROADSHEET TESTIMONIES (Radio 4. 45' Single Play) The editor of a provincial newspaper tries to assuage his guilt. He has sent a young reporter to rake up old sordid news and as a consequence she is attacked by a man with a chainsaw.

1989
ZANNA (Radio 4. 90' Single Play) Zanna, a tearaway in a provincial town, is arrested for murdering her step-father. Up until recently she had been participating in drama workshops at the local theatre. Det. Sgt Hennessey asks the facilitator, Nate Parker, why this tragedy might have happened. Psychological drama with Madeline Church, Barry Foster, and Struan Roger. "Nigel Baldwin's work always tends to have that ultra-contemporary edge combining the grit of 'The Bill' with the analytical fever of a Mamet play." Time Out. "A gripping drama by Nigel Baldwin…an impressive and disturbing piece." New Statesman.

1989
THE HEAT (Radio 4. 45' Single Play) Nev has gone out to Spain. He needs to find someone. He needs redemption. He needs to say sorry. Mystery set in Spain.

Remarks added by N.D: An interesting play involving a broken marriage and the nature of forgiveness. No casting details, unfortunately....email me if you can help.

1989
THE BASS SAXOPHONE (Adaptation, Radio 3.) 1990 Sony Radio Award for best production. Adapted from the novella by Josef Skvorecky. In the Second World War a boy is fascinated by the bass saxophonist and his instrument in an old German band. Music by Graham Collier. With John Woodvine and Jonathan Cullen. "An ingenious dramatization by Nigel Baldwin of Skvorecky's novella The Bass Saxophone." The Observer.

1990
BURNT (Radio 4 & BBC Wales. 6 x 30' thriller serial.) Milkie, a Londoner, who has a passion for a famous Welsh actress gets caught up in the politics of house burning in Wales and governmental corruption over the building of a nuclear power station. Mystery thriller with Dennis Waterman as Milkie. "A stylish political thriller." The Listener.

1990
SHOW ME THE WAY UGLY ANGELS (Radio 3. 90' Single Play) Jack Davis is a washed-out lecturer who wants to know whether there is any meaning to life. His two guardian angels in the college Christmas panto, Pinkie and Perkie, try to put him right. But then he has a Near Death Experience and the student he has taken up with is riddled with envy. Jack is confused.

1992
CORDOBA (Radio 4 & BBC Wales, 6 x 30' thriller serial) A man is mysteriously blown up in his boat. Local journalist D.T. Mitchell is sent to investigate and uncovers a web of deceit involving the mysterious deaths of children on the Gower peninsula in Wales. And a conspiracy to cover up a potential national disaster. Mystery thriller with Alison Steadman as D.T. Mitchell. "Deft plotting and skilful storytelling" Western Mail.

1993
MERLIN AND ARTHUR ON THEIR WAY TO GLASTONBURY FROM DEPTFORD HIGH STREET (NOT FORGETTING WHATSERFACE) (Radio 4. Single Play. 90') Tony Daly is spirited back to the Dark Ages by Merlin who mistakes him for Arthur who didn't turn up to pull the sword from the stone in the first place. Whatserface is along for the ride. A humorous take on the Arthurian legends with Nick Le Prevost as Merlin. "A very amusing rewrite of the legend of King Arthur." Pick of the Week, Radio 4.

1993
TUTH IN DARK PLACES (Radio 5. 6 x 30' Children's Serial) Tuth is extracted from her mouth and loses her home. In The Dark Places she joins forces with Loris the Laid Back Lion against the nasty Buggy Bors. And then The Mouth comes looking for her….With Bonny Langford as Tuth. "Like Alice in Wonderland, with whom it shares a quizzical young heroine, and the Wizard of Oz, with which it shares a lion whose roar is worse than it's bite. It's appeal is much wider (than for children). The spirit of Road Dahl hangs over it." Observer.

1994
KEEP ON RUNNING (Radio 5. 6 x 30' serial) A young boy from public school and a working class girl from the local town elope together after receiving disapproval from their parents. A nationwide hunt in full glare of the media ensues. Featuring Patterson Joseph and Siriol Jenkins.

1995
THE TREE OF LIBERTY (Radio 4, 4 x 60' series) Umbrella title for four separate detective stories set during the French Revolution with David Calder as Jacques Lacroix.

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES – a murder of a serving girl brings Maximillain Robespierre to the attention of Jacques Lacroix.

TO BE A PILGRIM – An alleged conspiracy by the Pilgrims of Jerusalem sets Jacques Lacroix off on the wrong trail when he should be looking closer to home. In the meantime he needs to protect the identity of the sorceress Madeline Bonniface.

THE HEALTH OF THE NATION – a doctor is mysteriously murdered as the Reign of Terror begins. The English steal a painting by Geroges Delacroix and Lacroix's prediction about the king is proved sadly wrong.

MOON CONJUNCT URANUS – Madeline Bonniface warns Lacroix that his astrological configuration means trouble ahead when he investigates the death of a young girl at a chateau where magic is practiced – illegally. "Stylish detective series." The Independent. "Skilfully uses the rhythm of good dialogue to carry the plot" The Times.

1997
BROAD CANVASSES (Radio 4, 3 x 60' series/serial) An inter-linking series of three plays:

THE THIRST QUENCHERS; THE SECRET SOUND OF THE SITKA SPRUCE; SARA. (Features D.T.Mitchell as a sequel to Cordoba.) Three inter-linking plays revolving around a mysterious death, an ecological 'accident', big business and an environmental campaigner with a personality disorder. With Sue Johnston as D.T. Mitchell.



THE CONSPIRACY OF THE ILLUMINATI....2010
27 Sep 2010. Afternoon play, 45m.


RUMINATIONS ON MORTALITY
Date nk.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website.

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