I am putting together information about the radio dramatist Eric Ewens, who died in 1998. If anyone
wishes to contribute information, please email.
(ND, 26 Sep 08)
A TOKYO MURDER - JOHN DRYDEN
I am grateful to John Dryden, who has sent full production details of his latest radio play, to be broadcast in three episodes on the afternoons of September 16,17, 18. He also sent some photographs taken by Daan Archer during recordings. These can be accessed at the bottom of John's page.
(ND, 27 Aug 08)
BBC WORLD SERVICE
An interesting letter about BBC World Service appeared in the press recently, from Charles Durrant. It reminded us that the World Service is funded by the Foreign Office, supposedly as Britain's voice around the world. But both the BBC and the government see its audience as largely Africa and Asia, with eastern Europe and South America a poor third and fourth, which is why France has been dropped. Rather than present Britain to the world – as it once did with British plays, British music, British literature, news about Britain – it now sees itself as an uncritical broadcaster of global events. The little music played is anything but British.
A reply came from Neville Teller a couple of days later, where he states: 'As an erstwhile contributor to the BBC World Service’s drama and literary output, I can vouch for the truth of Charles Durrant’s strictures.
Virtually the whole of that output – once a showcase for the world of the best of British drama and literature – has suffered death by a thousand cuts. First to go, in the mid-1990s, was the regular weekly 30-minute serial slot, to which I contributed dramatisations of books such as George A. Birmingham’s Spanish Gold, and Robert Goddard’s Into the Blue.
Next, in 2006, the regular 15-minute slot for radio readings, Off the Shelf, was removed from the schedules. Finally, the weekly Play of the Week, was excised. Adjusting to this brave new world has been a painful experience for radio writers. I believe listeners have suffered as well.' (10Aug 08)
By Don Taylor - new information about this serial (broadcast 1988) on the Don Taylor page. (Jun 08) Also - we now have a recording of this excellent production.
THE MONDAY PLAY
Roger Bickerton has kindly supplied a complete listing of the Monday Play, 1945-1998, compiled from Radio Times. This fills a big gap in our listings of lost plays.
The Monday Play was usually more thoughtful than Saturday Night Theatre or the afternoon play - not as 'highbrow' as Radio 3, but a serious piece of work, usually 90 minutes in length..... Many thanks, Roger - ND.
FAVOURITE RADIO PLAYS
I get a lot of requests asking me to list more of my favourite radio plays. A new list is
here; I hope you find it of interest. I've also made a bit more progress in naming plays on the
unidentified plays page.
One other matter - I notice there's no Friday Play today, nor next week. What's going on?
N.D., 16 May 08
This play is by John Latham and I think is vaguely related to cricket. Does anyone have a copy? He also wrote "The Spinning Room of Drunken Lovers" (1991) and "The hanging of Ernest Moon" (1993). Copies of these are also sought.
NIGEL MOFFATT and ALEC REID
Please note a new page on the playwright and writer Nigel Moffat, plus links to his site. He wrote
the excellent 'Mamma Decemba', broadcast in 1997. There is also a page about Alec Reid who produced a large number of radio plays in the 1980s including Gilgamesh, The Machine, and the Father Brown stories.
I have spent two hours today (3 Feb 08) updating the lost plays lists, taking account of recordings found in the last 12 months.
RONNIE BALLS and ADRIENNE MANS
George Balls has sent me a recording of a play written by his grandfather: THE FIRST TRAIN HOME ,
3.6.1961, by Ronnie Balls, who also played the part of the Skipper in the radio play - one of the fishermen who took part in "D-Day" in a Yarmouth herring drifter. I have also received a recording of TRAITOR, by Adrienne Mans (1971). Juergen Schlenker has supplied biographical details of Adrienne Mans, which are on the Writers page. Information on "Traitor" is on the 'radio plays' page for 1971.
Roger was heavily involved with Independent Radio Drama in the 1980s.
He's written an interesting account of this on our articles pages: click on
"It's Drama, but with Adverts"
to read it. There's also a separate page about Roger's work on the
writers' index page.
Back to top