Alan Ayckbourn: BBC Radio Drama Collection

Alan Ayckbourn is a prolific British playwright and director.
from archive.org

Alan Ayckbourn is a prolific British playwright and director. As of 2023, he has written and produced more than eighty full-length plays and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance. More than forty have subsequently been produced in the London West End, at the Royal National Theatre or by the Royal Shakespeare Company since his first hit Relatively Speaking opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1967.

Collected here are ten BBC Radio productions of Ayckbourn's plays.

The Norman Conquests
The Norman Conquests is an interlinked trilogy of plays, widely considered the masterwork of Alan Ayckbourn. Each of the plays depicts the same six characters over the same weekend in a different part of a country house. Table Manners is set in the dining room, Living Together in the living room, and Round and Round the Garden in the garden. They can be listened to in any order, or each play may be enjoyed on its own.
When the deviously amorous Norman plans a clandestine weekend away with his sister-in-law, he has some fun and games in mind. But not quite the fun and games that he gets:
Norman .... Robin Herford
Annie .... Diane Bull
Reg .... Simon Jones
Tom .... Jon Strickland
Sarah .... Tessa Peake-Jones
Ruth .... Lisa Ryder
Adapted and directed by Gordon House
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 1990

Just Between Ourselves
Dennis spends his spare time messing about in his untidy garage, indifferent to the fact that his wife is being driven to distraction and beyond by his possessive mother. The hidden tension and antagonisms under an apparently normal surface build up to a climax of bizarre violence and madness.
Dennis ...... Stephen Critchlow
Vera ...... Samantha Spiro
Marjorie ...... Auriol Smith
Neil ...... Chris Pavlo
Pam ...... Alison Pettitt
Adapted and directed by Gordon House
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2010

Bedroom Farce
Anything but a typical bedroom farce - though we hear about a range of sexual troubles. Is marriage sustained more by habit than mutual excitement? Or is there a certain blessedness? Written and set in 1975, before mobile phones.
Trevor ..... Stephen Mangan
Susannah ..... Susannah Fielding
Malcolm ..... George Blagden
Kate ..... Laura Pitt-Pulford
Jan ..... Lisa Dillon
Nick ..... Edward Bennett
Ernest ..... Martin Jarvis
Delia ..... Rosalind Ayres
Directed by Martin Jarvis
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 2022

Man of the Moment
The price of accidental fame is hashed out in this comedy about a famous bank robber and the clerk who foiled his biggest heist. Ayckbourn's 1988 play anticipates the popularity and absurdity of reality television.
Jill Rillington .... Rosalind Ayres
Trudy Parks .... Jane Carr
Douglas Beechey .... Kenneth Danziger
Vic Parks .... Martin Jarvis
Kenny Collins .... Ian Oglivy
Sharon Giffin .... Yeardley Smith
Directed by Robert Robinson
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in February 1994

Things We Do For Love
Barbara has chosen to live alone. Her immaculate flat is a male-free and child-free zone. As lady of the house, she rents out the bottom flat to Gilbert, a postman with a passion for painting. Her role in life is to remain single and to look after her boss. When her old school friend, Nikki, moves into the upstairs flat with her fianc?, Hamish, Barbara is there to keep an eye on her. However, her orderly life quickly takes a very different direction.
Joanna van Gyseghem .... Barbara
Cameron Stewart .... Hamish
Gavin Muir .... Gilbert
Teresa Gallagher .... Nikki
Adapted by Martyn Read
Directed by Gordon House
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2000

In the near-future, Jerome, a composer with a creative block, develops a plan to persuade his estranged wife Corinna that his home life is sufficiently stable for her to allow their daughter to stay with him. The plan involves an actress and an android.
Jerome .... Jared Harris
Nan (act I) and Corrina .... Anne Heche
Mervyn .... Jack Davenport
Geain .... Paula Jane Newman
Zoe and Nan (act II) .... Moira Quirk
Lupus .... Darren Richardson
Directed by Martin Jarvis
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2011

Season's Greetings
Christmas is a time when family and friends get together to celebrate the festive season. But the celebrations don't always go quite as planned. It's bad form, for instance, for a hostess to try and seduce her sister's boyfriend. And elderly uncles, who once worked for a security firm, should definitely be discouraged from going around with razor-sharp throwing knives under their trouser legs and loaded shotguns in their pockets. Who knows what might happen?
Harvey .... Peter Vaughan
Bernard .... Ronald Herdman
Belinda .... Maggie McCarthy
Pattie .... Heather Bell
Neville .... Nicky Henson
Eddie .... Robin Summers
Rachel .... Jennifer Piercey
Phyllis .... Susan Uebel
Clive .... Guy Holden
Adapted by Richard Wigmore
Director: Gordon House
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 1985

Emily, an orphan who lives with her uncle Martin, an inventor, has her life disrupted by the arrival of her Aunt Charity and Uncle Lucas, and her cousin Clara. Unbeknown to Martin, Emily is bullied, and one night she witnesses a violent and cruel episode. Desperate to escape, she hides in Martin's latest invention - a time machine.
Emily .... Sarah Manton
Lucas .... Malcolm Sinclair
Oscar .... Jonjo O'Neill
Martin / Bill / Nigel .... Roger Allam
Clara aged 12 / Minnie / Char Tee .... Saskia Butler
Mrs Binns / Mrs Green / Time keeper .... Barbara Dickson
Charity aged 30 / Clara aged 66 .... Liza Sadovy
Bob / George / Chauffeur / Ziggi .... Tony Timberlake
Woolton / Mr Green / Hoombean .... Nigel Williams
Written and adapted by Alan Ayckbourn
Music written and performed by Denis King
Producer/Director Bruce Hyman
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2006

  1. Table Manners (78.8Mb)
  2. Living Together (73.5Mb)
  3. Round and Round the Garden (75.6Mb)
  4. Just Between Ourselves (76.8Mb)
  5. Bedroom Farce (103.6Mb)
  6. Man of the Moment (103.8Mb)
  7. Things We Do For Love (77.6Mb)
  8. Henceforward (110.9Mb)
  9. Season's Greetings (80.4Mb)
  10. Whenever (80.3Mb)

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