Julia Jones Radio Plays

Julia Jones (1923-2015) was born in Liverpool. During WW2, whilst working for the Auxiliary Territorial Service, she developed an interest in amateur dramatics and after the war she got an Alexander Korda scholarship to go to RADA. She left after two years to join Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, with whom she travelled to Czechoslovakia and Sweden. After that she got married, had two children and started writing children’s stories. In the 1960s she acted in some television plays and series, including Coronation Street and Emergency – Ward 10, but when her husband, the actor Edmund Bennett, became ill she started writing for television to earn extra money.

Between 1970 and 1989 she also wrote about a dozen radio plays.

Julia was one of the few women writing for television in the 1960s and 70s. Her first play, The Navigators (1965), was one of the first Wednesday Plays, and it was followed by plays for Theatre 625, Thirty-Minute Theatre, Armchair Theatre, Saturday Night Theatre and Play for Today. She also wrote for series such as Take Three Girls (BBC1, 1969-71) and The Duchess of Duke Street (BBC1, 1976-77), adapted novels, including Anne of Green Gables (1972), Our Mutual Friend (1976), Quiet as a Nun (1978), The Snow Spider (1988) and Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories (1995-97). She wrote three original serials, including Home and Away (1972), the first serial to be written by a woman for British television. The first two episodes were directed by Donald McWhinnie, who was also well-known as a radio producer.

The Guardian obituary is online; it's interesting though it omits any mention of her radio work; disappointing, because there is quite a lot of it.

Julia Jones, 2005: “I want to say first that whenever I wrote a play, comedy or otherwise, I felt I must have an underlying theme which had something relevant to say about the times. Also to give women a fair crack of the whip.”

(....I am indebted to the website https://forgottentelevisiiondrama.com for the biographical information - Ed.)

23.08.84 Dear Aunt (Margaret D'Arcy/Meg Davies)
05.05.83 Dear Aunt (Margaret D'Arcy/Meg Davies)
03.05.82 London, Look You ( Sian Phillips/Sion Probert/Phillip Joseph) rpt 10 May 82 and 6 Dec 84
28.06.79 Vegetating (Geoffrey Palmer/June Barrie/Fred Bryant)
03.05.79 This Football Lark (Patricia Gallimore/Peter Pacey/Susan Thomas) rpt 12 May 80
16.02.77 This Football Lark (Patricia Gallimore/Peter Pacey/Terry Molloy)

03.03.71 The Piano Tuner (Margaret Tyzack/Katherine Parr/George A. Cooper) rpt 16 Feb 77

10.05.80 London, Look You ( Sian Phillips/Sion Probert/Phillip Joseph)

05.01.70 Honey and Bread
06.12.84 A Little Learning AP
12.01.70 A Time to Laugh
03.03.71 The Piano Tuner MWT
28.06.79 Vegetating
03.07.89 Summer Break

From information supplied by Roger Bickerton from paper editions of the Radio Times.

....Thanks to Stephen Shaw who located the biographical website.


20.30, 5 Jan 70. The first of two plays based on novels by Rhys Davies, starring Hywel Bennett. 'He could not turn his possessive hands and eyes away from the beloved place. If it were wounded and ravaged. stabbed with girders and ulcerated with pits - then something within him, his own real life-pulse. would die, too ...' Produced by Lorraine Davies.

12 Jan 70, 8.30pm. Second play based based on novels by Rhys Davies. "Life's not going to fail us, I promise - we've got too good a hold on it. I'm afraid there'll never be much money, but we've got healthy minds and we're not greedy. Laugh, for God's sake, laugh." Produced by Lorraine Davies.

3 Mar 71. MWT. 8.15pm. With Margaret Tyzack ,Katherine Parr and George A. Cooper. Wilfred's chance encounterwith Delia, and the ensuing relationship, has repercussions for her sisters Daphne and Blanche. Produced by Alan Ayckbourn.

THIS FOOTBALL LARK....1977 16 Feb 77. Mum: "We should've stamped on it from the word go, your dad should never have bought you football boots for your birthday. I said to him ... I said ... ' Dad, no girl of seven needs football boots.' Biggest mistake we ever made, those football boots, and it's past time you had that baby up, Linda. Babies need feeding regular. " Producer: Michael Rolfe. BBC Br'um.

10 May 80, SNT. Set during the 1930s depression. Ifor and David, in spite of excellent qualifications, cannot find work as teachers. So they set out for London to find fame, fortune and romance. The play demonstrates the humour and courage of young people who laugh and enjoy themselves in spite of a dearth of material things which today are thought necessary for a happy life. The play stars Mary Wimbush. With members of the Cardiff Philharmonic Choir. Play directed by Shaun MacLoughlin, BBC Bristol.

DEAR AUNT....1983
5 May 83. 15.02, Afternoon Theatre. Eve is a young journalist working in London. When her mother dies, she writes to her Aunt May who she hasn't seen for years and who lives in Belfast. May is a spinster and a member of an ecumenical prayer group. Their first meeting is a disaster but Eve cannot resist visiting again. Producer: Shaun MacLoughlin. BBC Bristol.

With Christine Pollon as Gwyneth. Mary and Gwyneth have long enjoyed the gentle world of infant-teaching in rural Wales. But now the departure of one troublesome family from the village may mean their school has to close forever. That is unless Gwyneth can patch up Morgan Jones' failing marriage. Made with the assistance of the Llandaff Church and Llandaff Junior School, Cardiff. Producer: Adrian Mourby. BBC Wales.

With June Barrie as Cora Meg Davies as Blanche and Barbara Kellermann as Daphne. Why do the sisters always go on holiday together, when every year they quarrel? Directed by Shaun MacLoughlin, BBC Bristol.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Note ... I have compiled some of these notes with the help of the newly-online BBC 'Genome' project, but some of the scans are riddled with errors. Apologies for mis-spelling any names. I have cross-checked the entries with my own databases where possible.

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