Nick Dear Radio Plays

Nick Dear was born in 1955; he is a writer for stage, radio and screen. He has also written opera libretti.

He began his career twenty years ago by writing radio plays. He subsequently moved into writing for theatre, working for the Royal Shakespeare Company. More recently he has become involved with screenplays. His non-radio work is described in Wikipedia.


27 Mar 2016: The News From Home [95m]
By Nick Dear. R3. Play written for the centenary of the Easter rising in Dublin. The plays views the events of Easter Week 1916 and its aftermath through the eyes of Kitty and Nora, maidservants at an English country house in the New Forest. They have come from Tipperary and regard themselves as British citizens, until they learn that there has been an armed insurrection in their homeland. Kitty: Clare Dunn, Nora: Charlene McKenna, Ilsa: Geraldine Somerville, Blanche: Nelly Harker, Scammell: Sam Dale, Cook: Serena Evans, Archie: Sam Troughton, Ken: Ferdinand Kingsley. Producer: Celia de Wolff.

Play about three teenagers who live together in a bombed house in Leningrad during the siege by the Germans. They promise to keep in touch in the future. The play explores, over the years, whether the vow has been kept. R3; producer Sasha Yevtushenko, 90m.

The play was originally performed in London in the 1960s. This new adaptation was by Nick Dear, using the translation by Ariadne Nicolaeff.

A full review is on Laurence Raw's website. Cast: Ruth Wilson as Lika, Harry Lloyd as Leonidik, Russell Tovey as Marak.

Feb 07, R4 (?). No other details.

Radio 3. 2 Jun 05; 'The Wire'. A couple go to London for a weekend of passion, but it doesn't work out as planned. 55m. With Frances Tomelty (who appeared in Stewart Parker's 'Radio Pictures') as Amanda and Jasper Britton as Josh; music by Neil Brand and produced by Ned Chaillet.

29 Nov 92. 110m. The play was originally written for stage. Here are a few notes on the radio version:

Directed by Richard Wortley
Technical presentation Tim Sturgeon, Keith Graham, Alison Carter

William Hogarth …... Michael Kitchen
Jane Hogarth ………. Robin Weaver
Sarah Sprackling …... Penny Downie
Henry Fielding …….. Linus Roach
Oliver ……………… Simon Russell Beale
Mrs Needham ……… Irene Sutcliffe
Louisa ……………... Sally Dexter
Robert Walpole ……. Ronald Herdman
Frank / Gaoler ……... Rhett Usher
Queen Caroline ……. Ann Windsor
Drama Girl ………… Jane Whittenshaw

A cracking play; Michael Kitchen is superb as Hogarth. The story, such as it is, concerns the copyright law (which ensured royalties for writers) and censorship by the Lord Chamberlain (which affected performances in public for two centuries). Older readers, for example, may remember that in the 1930s (and the 1940s?), naked women were allowed on stage - but only if they did not move......ND

More about this play (Roger Lewis, Charles Spencer and B.A.Young) on the 1991 page.

Monday Play; no other details.

IN THE RUINS....1984
3 Jun 84. The madness of George III, with Nigel Stock.

    ..........Prior to Alan Bennett Nick Dear wrote a study ‘In The Ruins’ of King George III’s lunacy and the splendid stalwart Nigel Stock sweated so profusely in his ‘madness’ that he had to change his shirt three times.

    Down in the basement of Broadcasting House (a studio later turned into a car park) saw me with Nick Dear adapting his stage play on the painter Hogarth ‘The Art of Success’. A feverishly atmospheric ‘history’ play with Michael Kitchen ‘nailing’ his previous triumph on the boards, also with Penny Downie who later became the author’s wife.

    -Richard Wortley, "Some Reflections on a Lifetime in Radio", written for 'Diversity' website, 2004.

1.9.83, 45m. A door-to-door salesman calls on an alchemist. With Patrick Troughton, Elizabeth Spriggs, Derek Fowldes. An 'Allegory' for radio, according to RT, whatever that is supposed to mean.....

Nick's first radio play.

ALAN: I don't talk to myself. I have to choose my words carefully. To rendezvous in parks and Public places with myself. The freedom to muiible and swear might be pleasant - but obviously, I have to enunciate clearly.

He might have been a BBC announcer: he is under the psychiatrist believing his words are being broadcast wherever he is; he remembers the year that Children's Hour ceased; he is obsessed with truth in a mendacious world; he begins to rebel against social engineering and corporate monoliths.

Directed by Richard Wortley. 24 Oct 1980; 45m. Radio 3.

(Details supplied by Andrew Jupp of r4x; many thanks.)

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