Paul Dodgson Radio Plays

Writer, actor, producer, musician....his plays often have musical themes... and yes, this is Paul Dodgson the composer.

as writer:
2016 On the Road Not Taken, 45m
2015 The Mermaid Of Zennor, 45m
2014 Home, 45m
2012 You Drive Me Crazy, 45m
2007 The Loft Room, 15m (reading)
2007 Windscale, 2 x 45m
2006 Betjamin's Women, 5 x 15m.
2005 The life and loves of Lorenzo da Ponte, 45m
2004 Famous, 45m
2003 A Grey Seal Odyssey
2002 Famous
2001 Mrs. Sheen (reading)
2001 The Loft Room (Woman's Hour drama), 15m
1999 Orchestra Paloma, 45m

As producer: Paul has produced about three hundred programmes: on poetry, drama, readings, literature and words, and features. Here are a few examples:

1999 From Galway to Graceland by Sue Teddern
2005 Hans Christian Andersen, 2 x 45m
3 Nov 2005 Hip-Hop Central, feature
31 Dec 2005 Ian Dury at the BBC (PD as musician)
22 Jan 2006 Poetry Please: the Romantic Poets.
25 Dec 2006 Simon Fanshawe gets to the bottom of Christmas (compilation, inc Tom Lehrer)
16 Jan 2008 The Making of Ivan the Terrible, by Hattie Naylor
4 Nov 2009 Ivan and the Dogs, by Hattie Naylor
6 Sep 2010 Word of Mouth: endangered languages
25 Feb 2011 Conclave, by Hugh Costello
23 Jun 2011 The pain and pleasure of public transport, feature
20 Jan 2012 The Prague Trial (about Vaclav Havel); shared production with Nick Patrick
11 Jun 2012 Page of Wands, by Carole Hayman (Pier Productions; Indie)
13 Aug 2012 With Great Pleasure: Doctor Phil Hammond
19 Dec 2014 King Albert's Book, by Hall Caine; 3 episodes


24 Aug 2016: On The Road Not Taken
By Paul Dodgson. Autobiographical drama. As a teenager, Paul longed to head out on the road with a guitar and his head full of songs, but he was too scared and got a proper job instead. Now, thirty years later, he's actually doing it. [I am in touch with Paul on FB; he is posting regular updates as to his progress around the country and news about his gigs. Use Google (search for "Road Not Taken" plus his name) to find details of venues / dates)]. Young Paul: Isaac Rouse, Fred: Max Abraham, Andy: Tyler Bennington-Poulter, Paul's dad: Ewan Bailey, Paul's mum: Sally Orrock. Produced by Kate McAll.

20 Oct 2015: The Mermaid of Zennor
By Paul Dodgson. A supernatural story of mystery and obsession based on a Cornish folk tale. A beautiful young woman haunts the Cornisg clifftop village of Zennor, especially a young man who is struggling to get his life under control. Jack: Nigel Lindsay, Mary: Robin Weaver, Matt: Joe Gaminera, Bel: Alice Hoskyns, Mermaid: Teresa Gallagher. Producer: Celia de Wolff; music by Paul Dodgson.

15 Oct 14. By PD. When you're a child your home feels like the centre of the universe. As a teenager it starts to feel claustrophobic. You begin to hate what it represents and can't wait to leave. Then one day, when you're a bit older and faced with losing it for good, you find you're going to miss it. This play is about what makes a home... Narrator- Paul Dodgson, Older mum - Pameli Benham, Younger mum - Sally Orrock, Dad - Ewan Bailey. Producer - Kate McAll. BBC Wales.

12 Jan 12. Nostalgic play starring the writer. As a young boy Paul wanted to be a racing driver, and he was always keen on cars and driving. He reminisces about his motoring experiences in the back seat of his parents car in the sixties, his first driving test, and on numerous occasions afterwards. Then in his thirties he suddenly finds driving a lot more difficult ...

Paul Dodgson plays himself, with Ewan Bailey as Dad and Sally Orrock as Mum. Producer Kate McAll.

    .....an atmospheric piece which uses imaginative sound design to build the tension as this man's life unravels (Tony Peters, Radio Times)

Story written and read by Paul Dodgson, touching on the lack of communication between a father and son until it is too late. 23 Jan 07, R4. In the series 'Growing Pains'.

WINDSCALE, by Paul Dodgson (R4, 1415, 8-9 Oct 07) was broadcast on two successive days and told the true story of what happened at Windscale in 1957. This was a time when America and Britain led the world in nuclear technology. Britain was developing its own atomic bomb, using plutonium produced at Windscale in its two atomic piles. But during October 1957, there was an accident during routine maintenance. It was usual, at regular intervals, to allow the graphite core to heat up slowly, to release the energy which builds up when it's irradiated. But the temperature measuring instruments were inaccurate (footnote for scientific readers below #), and little by little, the core became dangerously overheated.

The fuel melted, fuel cans burst, the uranium caught fire, and the scientists had no experience of how to deal with it. At one stage they were poking scaffold tubes, in relays, into the radioactive nuclear core to free the red-hot fuel elements so they could shut the pile down. They struggled for several days, and did everything they could think of for example, pumping carbon dioxide into the core -but nothing seemed to work; it was beyond them. As a last resort they tried flooding the pile with water, fearing acetylene or hydrogen release, but not knowing what else to do. Luckily it worked, and the fire died down.

Meanwhile a cloud of radioactive dust containing iodine, plutonium, caesium and polonium isotopes had been released and was drifting south-east towards northern cities. The press reports of the day were muted, to prevent public panic, but it was clear to most people that a serious incident had occurred, and that the eventual consequences were likely to remain unknown.

Paul Dodgson's excellent play looks at that dramatic week through the eyes of Camilla who was a child at the time of the accident and whose father worked at the plant. Thirty years later we meet her again as she revisits those events. Camilla was played by Nicola Stephenson, young Camilla by Jessica Pearson, and the parents were Ben Crowe and Susan Cookson. Music was by Paul Dodgson and the director was Sara Davies.

The Windscale power station, on the same site, was shut down in 1981, and is now the UK's demonstration project for complete decommissioning of a power-generating reactor; a pilot for what will probably be the biggest waste of public money for a generation, though it must be said there are plenty of other contenders for the title. Meanwhile in the UK our nuclear expertise has all but disappeared and University Physics departments are being allowed to close.

# footnote - there is an oversimplification here. The problem was that the energy which builds up during irradiation - the "Wigner Energy" (see Google) - only does so if the core is below a certain temperature. The scientists thought, therefore - 'heat it up'. But the Wigner energy doesn't come out uniformly; it does so in bursts, because it's a solid-state transition between two crystalline phases. The temperature measuring equipment was probably OK, but at the time they couldn't believe the readings they were seeing. Overheating was the result.

Later reactors were designed to operate above the Wigner temperature and avoided this problem.... (this was explained to me by my father, who was a senior figure in the nuclear power industry for many years and who was the designer of the world's first nuclear 'dry store' for Uranium oxide fuel from a Magnox reactor, Wylfa, Anglesey, GEC Energy Systems, c1980 - ND)

Five episodes, daily, Woman's Hour drama, beginning 28 Aug 06 :
1-In a Bath Teashop
2-Death in Leamington Spa
3-A Subaltan's Daughter
4-Devonshire Street
5-Business Girls

Radio Times:....Fairy tales and history are intertwined in this life of Hans Christian Andersen, a story which begins in the spinning rooms of a lunatic asylum in Denmark and ends with international acclaim for his work. With Rachel Atkins, Jonathan Bullock, Ben Crowe, Daniel Goode, Catherine Harvey, Helen Longworth, Tim McMullan, Louise Plowright. Music composed by Paul Dodgson, who also directed the play. ....Broadcast on two successive days; episode 1 entitled "The kiss of the ice maiden" and episode 2 "Immortality". 25.5.05.

1415, 9 Feb 05; written by PD. From childhood to old age, Lorenzo da Ponte's life was packed with excitement and intrigue. He was the librettist for Mozart's operas; he started as a nobody living in poverty; for a while he joined the priesthood; he ended up living in obscurity, but bankrupt and happy. Gerald Harper was Old Lorenzo, Bertie Carvel was Young Lorenzo, Adam Paulden was boy Lorenzo, and Paul Dodgson was Mozart. Pauline Harris directed.

A Grey Seal Odyssey....2003
13 Jan 03. Written by PD. Bill Paterson narrates the first in a five-part series following the epic journey of a male grey seal around the coast of the British Isles in search of a mate. The dramatic story of the seal's journey is set against a backdrop of sounds recorded on location. Ep.1: at nine years old, Selkie has reached maturity and leaves the shores of Great Blasket, off the tip of southern Ireland, on the first leg of a hazardous journey that will take over a year to complete and will require every ounce of his stamina and resourcefulness. Sound recorded by Chris Watson; produced by Sarah Blunt.

22 Feb 02, afternoon play. When a couple hear their daughter's music playing in a department store, it's the first time they've heard her voice since she disappeared four years earlier. Rpt. 18 Jun 04. 45m.

29 May 01. Woman's Hour drama, 15m.

Mrs Sheen....2001
Five new stories performed on stage at the Bath Literature Festival. When an office cleaner becomes computer literate, her working life takes on a new dimension. Written by Paul Dodgson; read by Stephanie Cole.

Orchestra Paloma....1999
R4, 1415 8 Nov 99 - This play had Christian Rodska as a wife-deserter and womaniser giving up his job to follow an ex-girlfriend to Barcelona in order to busk in a string quartet. Rodska is particularly good at cutting asides and insults, and this play was full of them.

From Galway to Graceland ....1999
16 Feb 99. PD as producer. By Sue Teddern, based on a song by Richard Thompson. In a remote Irish village Marie becomes increasingly fixated with the music of Elvis Presley. One night, after a bitter row, she walks out of her home and sets out on a journey to Graceland. With Marcella Riordan, Struan Rodger and Clare Cathcart.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Most of above plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

Back to top

Radio Plays
Wine Making
Cosby Methodist Church
Gokart Racing
Links to other sites
Contact Us