William Keenan Radio Plays

1988 Fatima
1982 Margaret Clitherow
1978 The Vienna Connection
1976 The night of Caesar's knives*
1975 The dark windows of a room*
1974 Late into the night*; rpt. 1976


BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 14th May 1988 @ 7:45 p.m.

One of the strangest and most beautiful stories of the twentieth century occured between the years 1916 and 1920 in the hill country of central Portugal. Three shepherd children (the eldest 10; the youngest 7) reported six times in 1917 that they had seen a lady made wholely of light who stood on a small tree, spoke to them, and vanished. Two of the little shepherds died in childhood, as the lady had foretold. Time has verified her other prophecies: The Russian Revolution which began soon after; the horrors of World War II and the spread of terrorism and violence. It is a story that also contains a secret and a message on which the future of our civilisation may depend.

With Mary Wimbush [Sister Lucia], Sara O'Keefe [Young Lucia], Barnaby Jenkins [Francisco], Mary McLoughlin [Jacinta], Deborah Makepeace [Our Lady], Christian Rodska [Marto], Polly James [Olympia], Anthony Jackson [Antonio de Oliveiro], Zelah Clarke [Maria Candida da Silva], Steve Hodson [Santos], Peter Crays [Jose], Alan Dudley [The Minister], Stephen Rashbrook [The Official], William Eedle [Father Silva], John Baddeley [Father Ferarra], John Sampson [The Doctor], Caroline Gruber [The Nurse], Eva Stuart [The Neighbour].

Directed by Shaun McLoughlin in Bristol. 1 hr. 30 min.

Margaret Clitherow....1982
08.05.82, rpt. 25.10.1986, with Elizabeth Proud/Steve Hodson

The Vienna Connection....1978
29.7.1978/2030 - Anna Cropper/John Bennett/Ronald Herdman

The Night of Caesar's Knives....1976

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 14th February 1976 @ 8:30 p.m. Sequel to "The Dark Windows..... (below).

Doris and Michael return from their honeymoon when Michael receives a call from Tom Renshawe, offering him a second honeymoon in Rome for Michael and his wife, compliments of British Intelligence. They wanted to thank him for his earlier work in Germany. Though while he is there in Rome, they want him to shadow a gentleman called Gerald Picton. British Intelligence wants to know where he goes and whom he meets.

But while in Rome, Michael is approached by a good friend of Picton's who asks to set up a meeting with Michael. When Michael shows up he finds himself on a murder scene with himself as the prime suspect.

With Anna Cropper [Doris Hayward], John Bennett [Michael Hayward], Elizabeth Kelly [Aunt Claire O'Connell], Geoffrey Matthews [Tom Renshawe], Ronald Herdman [Gerald Picton], Geoffrey Wheeler [Sven Best / Count Galetao], Peter Bell [Captain Averno of the Rome Police], David Marlowe [Colonel Boris Balakev of the KGB], Geoffrey Banks [Rodson, Head of the German Section of British Intelligence], Graham Tenant [Harry Carson], Meera Stowe [Jean Tyler, Gerald Picton's secretary].

Produced by Trevor Hill

...note from Adrian Stephens, correcting an error of mine ... "Tom Renshawe is most particularly 'with an "e"' as this is a running joke through the play" ...

thanks Adrian - N.D.

The play was re-broadcast on BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre on 15th July 1978 @ 8:30 p.m.

Time: 1 hr. 28 min.

The Dark Windows Of A Room....1975
6.9.1975/2030, Brian Trueman/Geoffrey Banks/Jane Knowles

Late into the Night....1974

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 21st September 1974 @ 8:30 p.m.

Doris is getting strange telephone calls from someone in Germany who is trying to reach her boss, Michael Hayward, who is out of the office at the moment. When Doris asks the man for a return number for Michael to reach him at, the stranger replies in an agitated way that he can't stay where he is because he's on the move.

Later, when the stranger finally gets a hold of Hayward, he tells him that he's an old army mate, Dave Owen Thomas, whom he hasn't seen in 15 years. Dave sounds very agitated over the phone saying that he's in trouble and asks Mike if he could fly over and help him out.

When Mike arrives at a pre-arranged meeting place, David is nowhere to be found. The hotel room David is supposed to be in is occupied by an elderly english gentleman. At 3:00 a.m. the next morning Michael is awaken by the hotel manager who tells him that the elderly english gentleman has fallen or was pushed from an upper floor window - he is still barely alive and is asking for Michael. When Michael arrives, the old man asks him if he reads poetry. When Michael says yes the old man whispers in his ear so no one else could hear: "...late into the night..." before dying.

Now, the German police are wondering what has Michael to do with his death?

With Anna Cropper [Doris Wickham, Hayward's secretary], John Bennett [Michael Hayward], Elizabeth Kelly [Aunt Claire O'Connell], David Marlowe [Colonel Boris Balakev of the KGB], and Ronald Herdman.

Note by ND - there's a running musical joke through the play - the same background music keeps appearing in different scenes - through the taxi-driver's radio, through the tannoy at the airport, and elsewhere - on different instruments and as variations. It's very well done. Composed by David Fleming-Williams, I think.

Re-broadcast on BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre on 7th February 1976 @ 8:30 p.m. Time: 1 hr. 26 min.

Reviews sent by a person preferring to stay in the background... many thanks "SJ".

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

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