Peter Roberts Radio Plays

2011 *Sleeping Dog
2005 *The Waterloo Model
2003 *A bird, a heart, a bicycle. Rpt 2005.
2001 *The rocky road to Wexford
2000 *Magnificent prospect of the Works
2000 *Raising the Sage
1996 *Billy Meredith
1994 The Devil's Province
1993 *The Holy Fool
1992 *Assassins
1991 *Breaking Up
1989 The action of the tiger
1989 *The Burma Star and the family treat
1987 Not Fade Away


Pete Roberts' latest play, SLEEPING DOG (R4, 1415, 28 Nov 11) was a comedy; the central character an architect who's a bit too cautious to make the big-time. He's spent many years doing dull projects, like designing public toilets. He's surprised when a big chance comes his way - an important new building - and he's determined to win the tender. Meanwhile, Fate is about to supply him with a problem; an unwelcome house-guest; a pop-singing busker who had a hit thirty years ago and who has some extremely irritating habits. Pete Roberts is good at comedy; he did "Breaking Up" many years ago; a school in chaos with the staff in revolt and the students taking over. In 'Sleeping Dog', David Shaw-Parker was the musician, Conrad Nelson the architect, and the producer was Gary Brown. ....ND, VRPCC drama review, Dec 2011

The Waterloo Model....2005
3 Nov 05, 1415. Afternoon play - based on fact. Young Lieutenant Siborne (played by David Birrell) is commissioned by the army in the 1830s to create a model of the battle of Waterloo, celebrating the famous victory, giving the public an idea of what it looked like. He starts off with great enthusiasm and confidence. Both are soon undermined. The Whig government thinks the project will glorify the leader of the Opposition, the Duke of Wellington. Wellington thinks Siborne is putting too many Prussians on his battlefield. (The actual model survives - it's in the National Army Museum, Chelsea). ...paraphrased from Gillian Reynolds' review in DT magazine, Nov 05.

A Bird, A Heart, A Bicycle....2003
17 Dec 03, 1415, Afternoon Play...rpt. 10 Nov 05. In December 1903, according to the history books, the Wright Brothers were the first men to achieve powered flight when their primitive plane took off over the dunes at Kitty Hawk. This play suggests a minor aristocrat named Walsh beat them to it. We meet some odd characters, including Otto Lilienthal, who built an artificial hill in Berlin from which to launch gliders, and Hiram Maxim, machine-gun inventor , who became convinced he had found the secret of flight.

As Walsh works, he gets himself into debt. He's so buried in the work that he fails to notice that his wife Elspeth, is becoming a little too fond of his engineer, Ernest. The cast: Walsh - Richard Derrington, Elspeth - Alison Pettitt, Old Elspeth - June Barrie, Ernest - Alex Jones, Otto Lilienthal/Hiram Maxim, - Andrew Wincott; directed by Peter Leslie Wild.

The Rocky Road to Wexford*....2001
R4, 1430, 31 Mar 01, 60m. Irish music competitions... a top ex- flautist meets a musician on the way up...will she be persuaded to join him in a prestigious music competition? With Janet Moore as Anna, Peter Meakin as Bernard, J.D.Kellagher as Brendan; also stars John O'Mahanie, Caroline Lennon, Richard Derrington, Thomas Arnold, Maggie McCarthy. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild. (#.....see foot of page)

Magnificent Prospect of the Works*....2000
R4, 1415, 5 Dec 00, 45m. An artist looking for inspiration clashes with an obsessed inventor at the start of the steam age. With Jane Laportaire as the voice fo the river, Geoffrey Dench as old Simmons, Nick Fletcher as young Simmons; also stars Stephen Tomlin, Alison Pettitt, Marian Kemmer, James Thackray; poems written by Alex Jones (Clive Horrobin from "The Archers") and the music was composed and played by Anthea Gomez, with Jill Hartfield on 'cello and Sally Wyatt on clarinet. Directed in Birmingham by Peter Leslie Wild.

Raising the Sage*....2000
R4, 4 Aug 00, 1415. Attempts are made to reinstate a bearded "sage" from the 1960s. Cast: Dorian Thomas, Amy Schindler, William Hope, Christina Greatorex, Marian Kemmer, Tyrone Huggins, Ian Brooker. Directed in Birmingham by Peter Leslie Wild.

Billy Meredith*....1996
Interesting true story of the footballing genius from the early 1900s. R4, 1430, 21 Sep 96. 60m. No casting details...my recording runs out at that point.

The Devil’s Province ....1994
Produced at Pebble Mill by Nigel Bryant. (The Monday Play) A 13th century Provencal troubadour, Bernard de Nairac, encounters an Cathar family and is dragged into the horrors of the Albigensian Crusade.

The Holy Fool....1993
with Michael Williams and William Chubb. (Saturday Afternoon Theatre) The story of William the Marshall, most chivalrous knight in England, as told by his disillusioned squire, Jean D’Erlee.

Produced at Pebble Mill by Nigel Bryant. (The Monday Play) The story of what happened to the three knights that murdered Thomas Becket as they sought redemption.

Breaking Up*....1991
A hilarious schools comedy, with the staff in revolt, the school in financial turmoil, and the oiks running riot. 60m, afternoon play, only broadcast on longwave; can't remember why. With Norman Rodway, James Telfer, Carl Wright.

The Burma Star and the Family Treat.... 1989
(with Glyn Houston and Bob Blythe) Produced at Pebble Mill by Vanessa Whitburn, (Afternoon Theatre) A fading veteran of the Burma campaign with a demanding family meets a wild and reckless old army comrade on a coach trip to Devon. The week turns chaotic and memorable, and his life is changed.

The Action of The Tiger....1989
(With Tim McInerney and Andy Hockley) Produced at Pebble Mill by Nigel Bryant (The Monday Play) The story of Mick Mannock, Britain’s highest scoring Great War fighter “ace.” Sensitive, rather too old for flying, a Socialist, Mannock is transformed by his experiences into a ruthlessly efficient and obsessive pilot.

Not Fade Away....1987
(with Bob Pugh) Produced at Llandaff by Adrian Mourby (Afternoon Theatre) A nostalgic teacher tries to reform the rock band he played in as a youth, but is undone by the huge ego of the singer.

Asterisked items known to exist in VRPCC collections.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website

#.....I may have mis-spelled some of the names of the actors; they are taken from my recording. Nor could I spell the names of the musicians who arranged and performed the music in the play. Email me if you know who they are.

Above information from own collection, supplemented by Peter Roberts.

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