Softly In The Shadows,
by Graham Blackett

BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Theatre

Broadcast: Thursday 8th January 1976

Inspector Anderson of the Regional Crime Squad visits David Watson, an unemployed and unemployable author, at the Watsons' home. He is there to enquire about Gerald Chambers, an old friend of David's. It seems David and Gerald met the night before at the Park Hotel where David picked Gerald up and the two of them went for a few drinks - a sort of "pub crawl". They parted around 11:30 pm.

David and Gerald were born on the same street; they went to school together; they played football together; and the first time they got drunk they were together. But nowadays he hardly sees Gerald at all because he lives abroad and travels a lot - something to do with with an international building consortium. When Gerald is in London it's never for more than two or three days over which the two would go on a "pub crawl".

The Inspector asks David about the bag he brought back - the one Gerald gave him when they parted - what was in it? David's wife, Jenny, tells the Inspector the bag contained three shirts, seven pairs of socks, two vests, and four pairs of pants, all soiled and crumpled and deposited on Jenny's bed at 12:45 am by her soiled and crumpled husband.

Surprised at all this questioning, they ask the Inspector what's it all about? He breaks the news to them that Gerald is dead - he had been taken out of the river earlier that morning. The Inspector is looking for some papers that were missing from Gerald's hotel - papers connected with a civil engineering project in the Middle East regarding a pipeline.

After the Inspector leaves, David and Jenny wonder how the Inspector knew that Gerald gave him a bag - someone had been watching them, or more to the point - Gerald. Having time on his hands, David decides to do a bit of investigating on his own with his first stop being Regional Crime Squad Headquarters where he will have a chat with Inspector Anderson. It is there he will receive his next surprise....

With Geoffrey Beevers [David Watson, a Struggling Author], Caroline John [Jenny Watson, David's Wife - a Typist], Ronald Herdman [Inspector Anderson of the Regional Crime Squad], John Rye [Gerald Chambers, an Old Friend of David's], Eva Haddon [Maria], Trader Faulkner [Manuel, Maria's Brother], Christopher Bidmead [Schroder, Man Hired by Manuel & Maria], and Nigel Lambert [The Young Constable at Regional Crime Squad Headquarters].

Other parts played by members of the cast.

Produced by Gerry Jones.


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