Jonquil Panting Radio Plays

In June we had an interesting series of mainly-factual plays entitled THE PRICE OF OIL (R4, 1415, first episode beginnning 11 Jun 22). The 7 dramas covered various aspects of the oil industry; we had a mix of history, politics, the dangers of oil exploration and even a speculative play set in the future. There was an episode about The Gulf War of 1990; another on corruption and environmental degradation in Nigeria in 1994, and another beginning with an explosion on an oil rig. These were good listening for those interested in energy policy. There were plays by Nigel Williams, Joy Wilkinson, Tamsin Oglesby and Rex Obano; the other three were by Jonathan Myerson. The producers were Nicolas Kent and Jonquil Panting. (....ND, Diversity website review, Sep 2022)

An interesting three-episode series of plays about the Republican Party by Jonathan Myerson, produced by Jonquil Panting, was broadcast during October. The first play, RONALD REAGAN - DEATH VALLEY DAYS (R4,1430, 6 Oct 18) was set in 1965. Ronnie Reagan is working as the host and actor on Death Valley Days, a well-loved TV show. Meanwhile the country has election fever, and Barry Goldwater is the Republican candidate. His campaign against Lyndon Johnson is turning out to be a disaster. The party needs a fresh face; someone who can handle television with confidence. One day, Reagan, a very popular figure, is approached by the Republican Party with an offer. Will he consider standing for president at some point in the future? Reagan begins to wonder about the possibility of a president with no political experience. The drama is framed as an episode of the TV show. Reagan is played by Kerry Shale, Nancy by Madeleine Potter, Maureen Reagan by Samantha Dakin and Barry Goldwater by Corey Johnson. Richard Nixon (Jonathan Hyde) also makes an appearance. Johnson was president from 1963-69; Nixon from 1969-74.

The second play was RICHARD NIXON: SEARCHLIGHT HAS LEFT THE BUILDING (R4, 1430, 13 Oct 18). It's now 1970 and President Nixon has announced the invasion of Cambodia in a televised address to the nation. He justifies it as a necessary response to North Vietnamese aggression, and he says that the objective is to capture the headquarters of the communist military operation in South Vitenam. Student have protested loudly and vigorously; their protests have spread across America, with National Guardsmen shooting four students dead at Kent State University. Washington is on high alert. When President Nixon wakes up in the middle of the night and sees beligerent students gathering at the Lincoln Memorial, he walks over to talk to them. Richard Nixon was played by Jonathan Hyde, young Richard Nixon by Rupert Simonian, Bob Haldemann by Aaron Vodovoz and Manolo Sanchez by Joseph Balderrama.

The concluding play was about President Ford, who succeeded Richard Nixon in 1974 after the Watergate affair, in GERALD FORD - FASCIST INSECT (R4, 1430, 20 Oct 2018). Time has moved on; it's 1975; the President is fighting for his political survival and the Republican Party is in poor shape. Challenger Ronald Reagan is attacking him in weekly radio broadcasts: “Make America Great Again” is his catchphrase. Saigon has just fallen and the Panama Canal is threatened. There’s political fervour everywhere. Even Patty Hearst, celebrity rich-girl kidnap victim, seems to have turned terrorist. Then an FBI informant, Sara Jane Moore, decides that she is the woman to catalyse the revolution. She attempts to shoot Gerald Ford at a gathering in California, only 17 days after a failed assassination attempt in Sacramento. Two days later, California governor Jerry Brown responded to both assassination attempts by signing into law bills imposing mandatory sentences for persons convicted of using guns in committing serious crimes. (Ford was succeeded by Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1977, and Reagan eventually became president in 1981, serving a double term.) Gerald Ford was played by Nathan Osgood, Betty Ford by Barbara Barnes, Sara Jane Moore by Sian Thomas and Bob Hartmann by Daniel Betts. (....ND, Diversity Website review, Dec 2018)

21 Mar 18: Tommies, 1. 21 March 1918.
By Jonathan Ruffle, illustrating events in WW1, 100 years later to the day. Three signallers have to make a terrifying choice: between thick fog and German stormtroopers, as they become involved in the surprise British retreat of 1918. Mickey Bliss: Lee Ross, Sapper Juma Gubanda: John MacMillan, Sergeant Desmond Dixon: Daniel Weyman, Sapper Ezekiel Warmby: Tom Vallen, Major George Fenniman: Philip Bretherton, Sergeant Castle: Ryan Early, Captain Hubert Puckle: Simon Wilson, Sapper John Quennell: Nick Underwood, WAAC Florrie Fanshawe: Karen Bartke, messengers: Ryan Whittle and Lukie Bailey, commentator: Indira Varma. Series producers: David Hunter, Jonquil Panting and Jonathan Ruffle; director for the episode: Jonquil Panting.

23 Jan 18: How Success Ruined Me
By Christopher Green. Fred Barnes (1885 – 1938) was an English music hall singer known for his song, "The Black Sheep of the Family", which he first performed in 1907. Although popular on stage, Barnes became well-known for his erratic private life and was often mentioned in the press. He was openly homosexual (the closest thing to a 'gay icon' permissible at the time, to paraphrase Jane Anderson in RT). This is not a normal afternoon drama; the format is that of Christopher Green and Roy Hudd 'rehearsing' a play which Christopher has written about Fred Barnes. Cast: Christopher and Roy, with producer Jonquil Panting.

7 Jan 10, R4, Afternoon play. The TSR-2 was a Cold War strike aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the early 1960s. It was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in the rear with close-in bomb runs and precision drops. It included a number of features which made it the most advanced aircraft for the role, yet the programme was controversially cancelled in favour of the F-111. Ten TSR2s were built; not all were completed, and only one flew.

The play stars Ewan Bailey, Bruce Alexander, Jon Glover, Joseph Cohen-Cole, John Biggins, Nigel Hastings, Rhys Jennings, Kate Layden, Emerald O'Hanrahan and Piers Wehner. The producer was Jonquil Panting. More about this play on the "2010" page.

Just Plain Gardening....2002
By Jyll Bradley with Jonquil Panting. A comedy set in a school for lady gardeners. 5 x 15m.

Central 822 ....2000
A police drama by Sarah Woods. With Tessa Peake-Jones, Danny Webb and Sean Baker. Director Jonquil Panting

Hold That Dream ....2000
Father-and-daughter journalists Sam and Abi Maguire uncover more crime in Brighton. When someone starts buying up elderly residents' homes on the cheap, Abi gets on the trail of a property scandal. With Frank Windsor, Emma Fielding, Jimmy Yuill and Joe Caffrey. Directed by Jonquil Panting. Author anyone?

By Hattie Naylor. Jeff's daughter is born whilst the mistral is blowing....she becomes a turbulent force in his ordered life. With Kim Wall, Tracy-Ann Oberman; dir. Jonquil Panting.

Real Women ....1998
Judith French's three stories of extraordinary 18th-century women, told through the writings of the day. 1: `Miss Linley's Matrimonial Excursion'. In which the foremost young soprano of the day, Miss Elizabeth Linley, becomes entangled with aspiring young playwright Richard Sheridan, and all of fashionable England is agog. With Sarah-Jane Holm, David Bamber and James Fleet. Director Jonquil Panting. 4 Nov 98.

2: `Condemn'd for Piracy'. In which the real-life trial of the notorious female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read gets a little out of hand... With Pauline McLynn, Charlotte Coleman and Robin Bailey. Director Jonquil Panting. 5 Nov 98.

3: `A Spinster of No Profession' focuses on the French mathematician Sophie Germain. Growing up in revolutionary France, she was barred by her sex from entering uninversity, Using an assumed name, she corresponded with Carl Friedrich Gauss, the most famous mathematician of the day. With Kathryn Pogson and Nigel Anthony. Director Jonquil Panting (3/3). 6 Nov 98,

LONG TIME MAN ....1997
By Judy Upton. Three lonely women start writing letters to the same long-term prisoner. They reveal more of themselves than is wise, perhaps....life can get complicated for the recipient when he receives so many of their dreams....with Paul Higgins as Scott, Di Botcher as Donna; also stars Leda Hodgson, Alison Pettett, Rachel Atkins, Sarah Rice, Iwan Thomas, John Rowe, Anthony Ofoegbu, Gerard McDermott, Alastair Danson, Carolyn Jones. Pruction assistant Emma Mayhew, dir. Jonquil Panting. SMs Keith Graham (Panel), Colin Guthrie (Grams), Charlie Hume (Spot). [for explanation of these terms, see Radio page - Bert Coules' article].

Learning the Language ....1997
11 Sep 97. By Harwant Bains. Dave has followed the girl he loves to her native Spain, but how can he be the man of her dreams when he does not even speak her language? With Gregor Truter, Stuart Milligan and Victoria Duarri. Director Jonquil Panting.

29 Oct 96. By Lucy Gough. An urban Gothic comedy about a decapitated head, directed by Jonquil Panting and starring Lisa Sandovey and Tom Hollander. This is published in a volume of plays along with Our 'Lady of Shadows' and 'Crossing the Bar'.

copyright Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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