30 Dec 2014: Afternoon Drama - Memories of a Cad
30 Dec 2014. A comedy drama about a meeting between Terry Thomas and Richard Briers in Majorca in 1984, when the younger star met the veteran actor. Terry-Thomas: Martin Jarvis, Richard Briers: Alistair McGowan, Belinda Cunningham: Laura Shavin, Spender Tracy: Lewis Macleod. Produced by Liz Anstee. Indie (CPL production).
27 May 2013: Afternoon Drama - Goodnight from Him
This play tells the story of Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker, from their beginnings in cabaret and repertory theatre, via their first meeting at the bar of the Buckstone Club in 1963 and being chosen by David Frost for his new show The Frost Report (alongside John Cleese), to getting their own Saturday night BBC1 series The Two Ronnies in 1971. The show ran for an extraordinary sixteen years, always topping the ratings, ending in 1986 with Ronnie Barker's early retirement. The play explores the differences between the two: Corbett the happy-go-lucky sketch performer and extrovert, comfortable chatting to an audience; and Barker the shy introvert who needed to hide behind his characters to face an audience and worked like a demon behind the scenes. They worked together for twenty years without a cross word. Ronnie Barker ....... Robert Daws, Ronnie Corbett ....... Aidan McArdle, David Frost ....... James Lance, John Cleese ....... Matt Addis. Producer: Liz Anstee. Indie (CPL production).
7 May 2012: Afternoon Drama - Dear Arthur, Love John
It's often assumed that it was Dad's Army which made John Le Mesurier and Arthur Lowe well known. This is not so; they were well-known already, but it was Dad's Army, late in their lives, which brought them fame, fortune and the oddest of friendships. Arthur was a ex-grammar school boy, John a public schoolboy who'd shamed his family by going into show business. ; Arthur was Tory, John a life-long Liberal; Arthur had a happy marriage, John notoriously difficult ones - his first wife (Hattie Jacques) had left him for a car-dealer, his second wife (Joan) had left him for the comedian Tony Hancock. In 1982, well after 'Dad's Army' had finished, John writes to Arthur. We flashback to Dad's Army: the first read through; the reaction to getting 21 million viewers; Lowe's hatred of being recognised by the public; the rivalry between John Laurie and Arnold Ridley; Lowe's hostility to Clive Dunn and socialism; the affection Le Mesurier had for them all, particularly Jimmy Beck; and how, after initial snobbery about the show, the cast came to realise it was the best time of their lives. Cast: John Le Mesurier ..... Anton Lesser, Arthur Lowe ..... Robert Daws, John Laurie ..... Kenny Ireland, James Beck ..... James Lance, Ian Lavender ..... Matt Addis. Producer: Liz Anstee. A CPL Production (Indie).
DEAR ARTHUR, LOVE JOHN (R4, 1430, 7 May 2012) was another drama by Roy Smiles about some well-known entertainers. This time we learned about the friendship between Arthur Lowe and John le Mesurier and the making of the TV series 'Dad's Army'. In 1982, John wrote a letter to Arthur saying how much he missed him. They were like chalk and cheese personally and politically, but they remained lifelong friends. In the play there are flashbacks to the early days of the series, with very passable impersonations of Mainwairing, Sergeant Wilson, Pike, and the rest. We hear the first read through, the actors' reaction to the show's enormous popularity, rivalry, affection, and as the story progresses, the cast's realization that this was the best time of their lives. (...ND, Diversity Website review, Sept 2012)
15 Sep 2010 Pythonesque
The story of Graham Chapman's history with the Monty Python team; how he met and started writing with John Cleese, his rise through the ranks writing The Frost Report, the glory, glory years with the Pythons and his struggle to overcome his considerable drinking demons. And how the collective kindness of Messrs Cleese, Jones, Idle, Palin and Gilliam saved him from oblivion and gave him the lead in the two funniest British films of all time: Monty Python And The Holy Grail and Monty Python's Life Of Brian. Apparently Chapman was recruited into the RAF at birth and flew bombing missions over Germany in a pram; Cleese got into the Footlights by doing a rather peculiar walk; Chapman had to take a test to become an alcoholic; Cleese returned to a pet shop to sing the praises of a recently purchased budgie and Chapman discovered on his last day on earth that Death likes Spam and drives a Ford Anglia. Written by Roy Smiles, Pythonesque is an affectionate tribute to a troubled, brilliant, kind man who was part of the funniest comedy team ever. Cast: Eric Idle/Terry Gilliam ..... James Lance Terry Jones/Michael Palin ..... Matt Addis, John Cleese ..... Mark Oosterveen , Graham Chapman ..... Chris Polick. Producer: Liz Anstee. Indie (CPL production)..
Roy Smiles' tribute to Graham Chapman, the Python star, in PYTHONESQUE (R4, 1415, 15 Sep 10) was originally written in 2008 and performed on stage at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009. It mixes biographical material, well-known sketches, and a plot where the deceased Graham Chapman is conversing with a man with a clipboard at the gates of heaven. Will he be allowed in, or sent to the other place? Roy Smiles has done similar radio plays before, about 'Beyond the Fringe' and the Goons. This one attracted a lot of comment, positive and negative in roughly equal amounts, on the BBC messageboard. There are clearly many people listening to radio 4 who do not find the Pythons funny, but I found the play to be a pleasant reminder of their best work. James Lance played Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle; Matt Addis was Terry Jones and Michael Palin, Mark Oosterveen was John Cleese, and Chris Polick was Graham Chapman. The producer was Liz Anstee. (...ND, Diversity Website review, Sept 2010)
14 Apr 2008 Good Evening
This celebration of the Beyond the Fringe team takes a funny and affectionate look at how four young men from Oxbridge changed the face of British comedy. Alan Bennett ...... Matt Addis, Peter Cook ...... Rory Kinnear, Jonathan Miller ...... Jonathan Aris, Dudley Moore ...... Benedict Cumberbatch . Rpt. R4, 24 Sep 09. Indie (CPL production).
4 Apr 2007 Ying Tong: A Walk with the Goons
Roy Smiles' play about Spike Milligan's last days with the Goons and his complex and often fractious relationship with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. SpikeMilligan ...... James Clyde, Harry Secombe ...... Kai Owen, Peter Sellers ...... Toby Longworth, Wal Greenslade ...... Benedick Blythe. Indie (CPL production).
Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website
Back to top