Peter Leslie Wild website
Our Producer of Choice this week is Birmingham-based Peter Leslie Wild. Peter's professional directing career started when he won the BP Young Directors' Award in 1989 and has flourished ever since. Since joining the BBC as a Radio Drama Producer in 1995, his work has included the Classic Serial version of Watership Down, a fifteen-part Woman's Hour dramatisation of Wuthering Heights, as well as 100 episodes of The Archers.
His chosen plays are:
- Skeggy by Chris Thompson (TX 3/9/99)
- Nevermore by Nicholas McInerny - (TX 29/3/00; rpt 24/5/01)
- My Mother And Other Strange Creatures by Claire Bennett (TX 12/6/01)
- Glorious John by Glyn Hughes (TX 8/8/02)
- The Perfect Wood by Andy Barrett (TX 30/5/03)
11:00 Producer's Choice: Peter Wild
Monday 1 March
Skeggy: By Chris Thompson. A play following the progress of three couples in the holiday resort of Skegness, each with their own reasons for returning to the scene of their happiest holiday. With Norman Bird, Susan Brooke and Alison Carney.
Nevermore: Nicholas McInerny's drama tells the story of Gauguin's painting, which was a response to the death of his baby just days after its birth. He depicted his teenage wife as a nude Venus in a tropical setting, with a raven gazing over the scene. With Anton Lesser and Inika Leigh Wright. The painting is discussed by Prof John House. (last in the Beyond The Canvas series, 3 drama documentaries about the creation of paintings.)
My Mother and Other Strange Creatures: Millie, a bright teenager, has an eccentric mother, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the circumstances.
Glorious John: By Glyn Hughes. A retired lecturer looks back on his adolescence in Manchester through a dialogue with his childhood sweetheart.
The Perfect Wood: In a small village, the passion of Margaret and Bill is bowls, but they feel threatened when a young couple start to play.
..............info. located by Greg Linden
OTHER WORK BY PETER LESLIE WILD:
OUT IN THE DARK....1999
R4, by Vanessa Rosenthal; prod. Peter Leslie Wild, Birmingham. The poet Edward Thomas was a volunteer in the First War. He left behind a young family. He just begun writing poetry, after a meeting with Robert Frost. With Vanessa Rosenthal, Stephen Tomlin, Oona Beeson.
Plays of the Severn: A Magnificent Prospect of the Works....2000
By Peter Roberts, with poetry by Alex Jones. The
first of three plays charting the course of Britain's
longest river through history and landscape. An
artist looking for inspiration clashes with an
obsessed inventor at the dawn of the steam age.
With Jane Lapotaire, Stephen Tomlin, Nick Fletcher
and Jeffery Dench. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
WATERSHIP DOWN.... 2002 2 x 60min
A superb dramatisation of the story by Richard Adams, by Neville Teller, to celebrate
the 30th anniversary of the publication of the novel. With Simon
Chandler as Hazel, Tom George as Fiver; also stars Stephen Tomlin,
Christian Rodska, Ian Brooker, Peter Meakin, Sean Connolly, Robert
Lister, Colin Rote, Susan Jeffrey, Alison Belbin. Dir. Peter Leslie
Wild; music arranged and played by Chris Leslie. Classic Serial.
THE PERFECT WOOD, by Andy Barrett (R4, 1415, 30 May 03) was a lighthearted comedy - drama about rivalries on the bowling green. Bill has just retired and is looking forward to winning the local bowls championship with his wife; they're easily the best players in the area. But two skilful young newcomers move in, bringing some unwelcome changes and the realisation that perhaps the championship is not in the bag. Bill and his wife were played by Geoffrey Palmer and Stephanie Cole, and their rivals by Ben Crowe and Sara Poyzer; Peter Leslie Wild directed.......ND, VRPCC newsletter
R4, 1415, 29 Sep 03; by Robin Brooks and Richard Heacock:
In 1907, the young Hungarian violinist Stefi Geyer was at the height
of her fame, enchanting audiences as much with her physical beauty as
with her playing. That summer, two men fell seriously under her spell.
Both were composers and both were besotted with her. Otherwise, they
could not have been more different: the intense, fiercely intellectual
and pathologically shy Hungarian, Bela Bartok; and the dashing,
hell-raising Swiss Lothario, Othmar Schoeck. Each rival sought to
immortalise his new-found muse by writing her a violin concerto.
With Cathy Sara, Tom Goodman-Hill, James Howard, Alexander Delamere,
Directors Rosie Boulton and Peter Leslie Wild.
13 Jan 04, by Louise Ramsden. Among the collection of Victorian samplers in the Victoria and Albert Museum is a piece of needlework: catalogue number Sampler T6-1965. In tiny red stitching on plain linen it tells the amazing life-story of its creator, Elizabeth Parker. The play imagines how it came to be made, and why Elizabeth chose this unusual medium to tell her story. With Amy Shindler, Michael Maloney, Frances Jeater, Gbemisola Ikumelo and Stephen Critchlow; director / producer Peter Leslie Wild.
THE WALSALL BOYS....2004
R4, Saturday Play, 31 Jan 04, written by Nick McCarty. 1892, and a gang of Socialists in the
Black Country town of Walsall are targeted by the Fenian Branch and a group of international
anarchists. The secretary of the local Socialist club becomes drawn
into events and quickly gets out of his depth. With Alex Jones as
the secretary, and Stephen Critchlow, Julia Hills, Tom George,
John Webb, Ann beach, Jo Rafferty, Michael Tudor Barnes, Greg Hobbs and Ben Crowe.
Director: Peter Leslie Wild.
FALCO - THE SILVER PIGS ....2004
R4, 5-26 Mar 04. Written by Lindsey Davies; 4-episode serial. Dramatised by Mary Cutler. Exciting story set in ancient Rome. With Anton Lesser as Falco, with Felicity Jones, Fritha Goody, Ben Crowe, Robert Lister, Richard derrington, Frances jeater, Gillian Goodman, Sean Connelly, Michael Tudor Barnes, Jonathan Keeble, Declan Wilson, Susan Jeffrey, Helen Monks, Ian Brooker, Alex Jones.
FALCO - VENUS IN COPPER ....2006
Another Falco serial, 6 x 30m; began R4, 18 May 06. Writtem by Lindsey Davies.
19 Mar 07. Drama-documentaries taking musical form as their starting point. 2/2. Variations. Pianist John Lill explores the shape of Beethoven's Variations at the end of his Sonata in E, Op 109, while Tim Jackson's interlinked drama reflects the beauty and pathos of the music.
Alex ...... Alex Jennings,
Kirsty ...... Anna Madeley,
Maximiliane ...... Alex Kelly,
Juliet ...... Christine Kavanagh,
Young Maxi ...... Olivia Coldicutt,
Producer Peter Leslie Wild.
5/5. By Gary Brown. In 1936; the business is run by a Jewish family. Melvyn's batter is limp and lifeless until a stranger arrives with a new recipe. Narrator ...... Stephen Greif Melvyn ...... David Fleeshman Malcolm ...... Jeff Hordley Jean ...... Olwyn May Bobby ...... Vanessa Rosenthal Rachel ...... Julia Rayner Harvey ...... Richard Jackson Rabbi ...... Lloyd Peters. Produced by Peter Leslie Wild.
BREAKING THE SILENCE....2007
This was originally a stage drama, written in 1984.
Edited excerpts from Radio Review, 18 Jun 07, "The Stage", by Moira Petty
Dramatist Stephen Poliakoff’s Russian Jewish emigre grandfather, an inventor who left his homeland with his family after the Revolution, smuggling diamonds in their shoes to fund their new life, inspired the 1984 play of a family in exile, Breaking The Silence.
It was first produced by the RSC, but his focus on the internal lives of his characters, living through change or looking back in reflective analysis, makes his plays eminently adaptable for radio.
In Breaking The Silence, a man of brilliant ideas and the polished manners of a previous era is forced, under Stalin, to eke out his life of the mind and refined politenesses in unimaginable new circumstances. He is ordered to work as telephone examiner on the Northern Railway and set up home, with the family silver, in one room. Anton Lesser played the inventor (who, like Poliakoff’s grandfather, was in the forefront of bringing sound to the movies) with an authentic sense of melancholy.
Juliet Stevenson was his wife, in an understated performance in which she evoked a woman freeing
herself of the constraints of her old life. She removed her stockings to feel the sun on her legs and
quietly did the office administration her husband ignored, an omission seen as subversive in such
The entire household, which also included their son (Oliver J Hembrough) and servant (Anna Madeley),
were forced out of their old attitudes by the new challenges of their lives. Nikolai's’s wife voices how she
felt under her husband’s benevolent repression. As the family sped into exile, her husband
acknowledged how she had enabled the whole family to release their separate energies.
Additions by N.D. .....Broadcast 16 Jun 07, 90m; rest of cast: Gary Lewis, John Flitcroft, Jez Thomas; directed by Peter Leslie Wild. More information on RADIO PLAYS BY YEAR page....2007.
19 10 2008 Classic Serial - Robinson Crusoe and His Farther Adventures
Adaptation of Daniel Defoe's less famous sequel to the classic adventure Robinson Crusoe. 1/2. After returning to England from his island home; Robinson Crusoe sets sail once more in search of adventure. Robinson Crusoe ...... Tim McInnerny Merchant ...... Jonathan Tafler Prince ...... Adrian Grove Barnes ...... Stephen Critchlow Father ...... David Timson Mary ...... Alison Pettitt Friday/Wells ...... Ben Onwukwe Directed by Peter Leslie Wild. Dramatised by Andy Barratt.
8 3 2008 Blinded by the Sun
Saturday Play. A new radio version of Stephen Poliakoff's 1996 National Theatre play about a scientific fraud in an English university. The pressure to succeed leads a scientist to claim a major breakthrough in the energy field. But when he fails to replicate his experiment; the fallout causes long-term conflict amongst a previously close set of colleagues. Al Golfar ...... Alex Jennings Elinor Brickman ...... Harriet Walter Christopher Lathwell ...... Steven Pacey Joanna ...... Jodie Whittaker Professor ...... John Rowe Ghislane Lathwell ...... Christine Kavanagh Barbara ...... Helen Longworth Charlie ...... Christian Rodska. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
24 4 2008 Fifteen Ways to Leave Your Lover
Comedy by Carolyn Scott-Jeffs; following the fortunes of a couple who can't live together and can't survive apart. Rob and Sam split up after their first date when they were teenagers and they have been getting together and splitting up ever since. Cricket obsessed Rob talks things over in his imagination with his mentor Henry Blofeld; while Sam tries to sort things out with a number of different agony aunts. Sam ...... Alex Kelly Rob ...... Tom Goodman-Hill Young Sam ...... Lucy Jones Young Rob ...... Jacob Lloyd. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
21 6 2008 Beat the Dog in His Own Kennel
Fast-moving thriller by Gary Brown; set soon after the Second World War and based on real events as Britain attempts to block the establishment of an independent Jewish state. A young Jewish lad from the East End; released from prison after causing trouble at a Fascist rally; is approached by a member of the Jewish underground who is planning to assassinate foreign secretary Ernest Bevin. He finds himself out of his depth and torn between two loyalties. Harry ...... Jonathan Tafler, Dov ...... Richard Katz, Thompson ...... Robert Lister, Sarah ...... Amy Shindler, Joey ...... Dan Crow, Avi ...... Stephen Greif, Len ...... Ben Crowe. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
26 10 2008 Classic Serial - Robinson Crusoe and His Farther Adventures
Adaptation of Daniel Defoe's less famous sequel to the classic adventure Robinson Crusoe. 2/2. Crusoe has found his way to the North but the ruby is having a profound effect on him. Do his nightmares about the island have any foundation? Robinson Crusoe ...... Tim McInnerny, Merchant ...... Jonathan Tafler, Prince ...... Adrian Grove, Captain ...... Stephen Critchlow, Friday ...... Ben Onwukwe, Atkins ...... Mark Carey, Spaniard ...... David Timson, Kirk ...... Sam Graham. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild. Dramatised by Andy Barratt.
15 12 2008 Wodehouse in Hollywood
Comedy by Tony Staveacre which intersperses PG Wodehouse's own writing with fictional scenes telling the story of the novelist's frustrating experiences in Hollywood. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
16 12 2008 How To Be An Internee With No Previous Experience
Last broadcast 16 Dec 2008; 14:15 on BBC . Drama by Colin Shindler based on the 1944 interviews between PG Wodehouse and a young Malcolm Muggeridge; working as a wartime interrogator for MI5; following Wodehouse's radio broadcasts to the United States from a Nazi internment camp. Wodehouse ...... Tim McInnerny, Muggeridge ...... Alex Jennings, Cussen ...... Anton Lesser, Connor ...... Stephen Critchlow, Flannery ...... Gunnar Cauthery. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
6 1 2009 Apes and Angels Apes and Angels
By Jim Eldridge. A clash over the teaching of creationism at a flagship academy school looks set to bring damaging publicity to the PFI programme in education and embarrass the schools minister; who has close links to the industrialist behind the academy. James White ...... Richard Katz Diane West ...... Anna Madeley Sir Reginald Thwaite ...... Robert Lister Sir Gerald le Vaux ...... Terrence Hardiman Lynne Gilbert ...... Miranda Keeling Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
21 9 2009 Blame the Parents
Episode 1 Drama by Nicholas McInerny and Jonathan Myerson about teenagers caught up in a violent crime outside their school. How much do parents really know about what their teenagers are up to? As far as the parents of Ben; Rory and Kris are concerned; their children have the world at their feet. But behind the promise of university and sporting achievement lies a much darker reality. Lekha Balaji ...... Bharti Patel Nitin Balaji ...... Paul Bhattacharjee Kris Balaji ...... Ashwin Bolar Millie Balaji ...... Chandeep Uppal Shona Peattie ...... Deborah McAndrew Malcolm Peattie ...... Tom Roberts Rory Peattie ...... James Rastall Linda Swann ...... Claire Benedict Ben Swann ...... Daniel Anderson Directed by Steven Canny and Peter Leslie Wild.
22 9 2009 Blame the Parents
Episode 2 In the days after the knifing; the three sets of parents try to comprehend how their children could have become involved. Lekha Balaji ...... Bharti Patel Nitin Balaji ...... Paul Bhattacharjee Kris Balaji ...... Ashwin Bolar Millie Balaji ...... Chandeep Uppal Shona Peattie ...... Deborah McAndrew Malcolm Peattie ...... Tom Roberts Rory Peattie ...... James Rastall Linda Swann ...... Claire Benedict Ben Swann ...... Daniel Anderson Directed by Steven Canny and Peter Leslie Wild.
14 11 2009 Saturday Play - The Shape of the Table, 1989
Originally staged by the National Theatre in 1990; David Edgar's powerful play charts the dramatic and dangerous transition of a fictional eastern European country from hard-line communism to the beginnings of western-style democracy. It is 1989; crowds are gathering in the streets and the Soviets are refusing to send in the troops. The government is on its own and faces a stark choice - suppress the demonstrators or instigate reform. Pavel Prus ...... Tim McInnerny Josef Lutz ...... Henry Goodman Michal Kaplan ...... Jeremy Clyde Victor Spassov ...... Michael Elwyn Petr Vladislav ...... Jonathan Keeble Jan Matkovic ...... Robert Lister Andrei Zietek ...... Joseph Kloska Vera Rousova ...... Carolyn Pickles Jan Milev ...... Christian Rodska Victoria Brodskaya ...... Laura Matthews Monica Freie ...... Emerald O'Hanrahan Original music by Malcolm McKee Direcred by Peter Leslie Wild.
1 Mar 10 Ashes to Antarctica
By Jim Eldridge. Jill plans to scatter her husband's ashes on the ice of Antarctica. Jill ...... Carolyn Pickles, Liz ...... Deborah McAndrew, Emilie ...... Yolanda Vazquez, Geoffrey ...... Mark Carey. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
20 Mar 10 Saturday Play Playing With Trains
Two 60-minute episodes; second part broadcast a week later.
An adaptation of Stephen Poliakoff's RSC play about an entrepreneurial engineer and his relationship with his son and daughter. After making his fortune in the gramophone industry in the 1960s, Bill Galpin becomes a champion of inventors and sets out to change the conservative attitude of British industry. His ambition and drive lead him into difficult waters with his talented daughter and son.
In the second part, the story continues in the 1980s, with Bill Galpin facing a major libel. The play tells the story of the rise and fall of Bill Galpin, a flambuoyant entrepreneur who pools his fortune into what are now known to be financially risky inventions concerned with protecting the environment. He also has a tempestuous relationship with his two children Roxanna and Danny. Playing With Trains deals with Britain inventing so much but manufacturing so little. Galpin makes a fortune and then becomes a self-appointed patron and champion of inventors and innovators, clashing with the establishment. His children develop well, in totally different ways, but he doesn't approve of the lives of either of them.
The play was originally staged at the RSC in 1989.
Cast: Bill Galpin Timothy Spall, Roxanna Galpin Zoe Tapper, Danny Galpin Geoffrey Streatfield, Frances Helen Longworth, Mick Joseph Kloska, Gant Michael Fenton Stevens, QC Bruce Alexander, Judge Nigel Hastings, Vernon Boyce ...... Nigel Hastings. . Producer/DirectorPeter Leslie Wild.
25 May 10 Scorched
Nicola Jones's tense, fast-moving thriller follows a man trying to re-interpret his memories of the long hot summer of 1976, when Mike's sixteen year old sister, Evie, walked out of the house and never came back. Now Mike is in his forties, his Mum is dead and a rare visit to his home town provides him with an opportunity to investigate the events of that scorching summer and reinterpret them from an adult perspective. Written by Nicola Jones,who has written one previous radio play, "Angels in Disguise" for Radio 7's Man in Black series. Mike - Tom Roberts, Bern - Kim Wall, Young Mike - Gabriel Towell, Evie - Chandeep Uppal , Sylvia - Bharti Patel, Jason - Robert Wilkinson, Taxi driver - Sean Connolly. Produced and directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
9 Jun 10 Prospero, Ariel, Reith and Gill
Gary Brown's comedy about artist Eric Gill's clash with the BBC over his famous sculpture of Prospero and Ariel. The argument was caused by the size of Ariel's genitals, believe it or not. No matter that you actually need a telescope to see the sculpture clearly...this even provoked a question in the House of Commons. Gill became quite a celebrity as he carved the statue in situ on scaffolding in front of Broadcasting House. In his trademark smock and beret, he drew the attention of the tabloid papers and became known as the "Married Monk". The play imagines conversations between Sir John and the artist as he passes him on his way into Broadcasting House each morning. It also looks at how Gill, the artist, struggled with reconciling his unusual beliefs and lifestyle with a major commission from the heart of the Establishment. Eric Gill . . . . . Anton Lesser, John Reith . . . . . Tim McInnerny, Newsreel Reporter . . . . . Jon Glover, Lady Snowden . . . . . Tina Gray, Charlie . . . . . David Seddon, Father Sean . . . . . Stephen Darcy, Nanny . . . . . Alison Pettitt, Producer/Director . . . . . Peter Leslie Wild.
23 Oct 10 Saturday Play - Beat the Dog in His Own Kennel
By Gary Brown. In recently released secret documents it was revealed there was a plot initiated in the Middle East to kill the British Foreign Secretary just after the Second World War. In this fictionalised account, East End market trader Harry becomes caught up in these events and quickly finds himself out of his depth as he comes under the spell of a mysterious visitor from Palestine. Harry - Jonathan Tafler, Dov - Richard Katz, Thompson - Robert Lister, Sarah - Amy Shindler, Joey - Dan Crow, Avi - Stephen Greif, Len - Ben Crowe. DirectorPeter Leslie Wild.
15 Dec 10 How To Be An Internee With No Previous Experience
By Colin Shindler. In 1944, PG Wodehouse, the creator of Jeeves and Wooster, was questioned by MI5 after broadcasting to America from a German internment camp. One of the interrogators was an up and coming journalist called Malcolm Muggeridge. The other was Major EJP Cussen, who later became a high court judge. The stakes were high: one of Britain's best loved authors was facing the possibility of the death penalty. Wodehouse - Tim McInnerny, Muggeridge - Alex Jennings, Cussen - Anton Lesser, Connor - Stephen Critchlow, Flannery - Gunnar Cauthery. Producer/Director Peter Leslie Wild.
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