The Audio Drama Show
Summary: Bringing you the best of original and adapted English language drama - classical and modern - from talented independent writers and producers.
- Artist: James Newberry
- Copyright: ℗ & © 2020 The Audio Drama Show
Mr Hobson is on a train journey back to Liverpool for the funeral of Jim Sweeney, an ex-work colleague. He is accompanied by memories of teaching at Quarry Bank - the teenage John Lennon's alma mater - cheeky "doppelganger" school photography, and paradoxical visions of atheist Jim Sweeney in heaven. Teachers' nicknames, tragically unfortunate pupils, and "why me?" thoughts also flood Hobson's mind - underpinned by the optimistic words of Lennon's famous song "Imagine".
A woman relives memories of her father: planting potatoes on Good Friday, pipe smoke in his shed, and telling stories of old world magical woods, witches, hares and death. Touching recollections mix with more kindly, paternal hokum of supernatural romance and fatal birth, ending in the final words of worldly advice from a dying man to a loving daughter and her unborn child.
In this final episode, in limbo with Molly, Keith survives his heart attack and begins to see the light of past misdemeanours and the fragility of the life he has left to live. Meanwhile, philosophical disagreements about healthcare continue to occupy the doctor and nurse caring for him. His conscience rises in time for Molly's fate to be played out. But the consequences of past sins cannot be entirely erased.
Seriously-ill Keith is still alive in the hospital - sort of. In a kind of limbo, he meets Molly, the unconscious and badly-injured patient in the bed opposite. She has his scrolls: a record of the many downs of his dubious life as a licentious driving test examiner and tax dodger (amongst other things). Can he, will he repent before it is too late?
Keith, the driving test examiner, wakes up in hospital next to a critically injured woman, having had a "cardiac event" in his car. He is tended to by a doctor and nurse with markedly different views on the philosophy and practice of health care. In his still-confused state, our hero cannot understand why his wife is not there. He hears an ominous tune and enters a strange white room...is this "the end"? Part 1 in a series of three episodes.
Based on true accounts, the tragic story of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is told from a new perspective - that of a young, female Pomeranian dog called Lady. Accompanying her mistress Margaret Hays, she hobnobs with the pets of the rich and famous - including other dogs, a canary, and a pet pig. Excitement at the prospect of an onboard dog show is interrupted by the unfolding disaster of the famous ship. From Lifeboat 7, she is rescued with her mistress, who becomes involved in the famous kidnapping of two boys: the "Titanic orphans".
In this final part of his life and times, the focus is on Geoffrey's father - a taciturn, diffident Northerner with distinct and sometimes quirkily "interesting" views, likes, and dislikes. We learn about life on match day at Bolton Wanderers football club in the 1940s and 50s - brass bands, cough lozenge sellers, and the different stance of some players who had been miners during the Second World War. As his life and the death of his wife proceed, Geoff's dad moves from domestic dependence towards comparative self-sufficiency, coping with car accidents, visits to hospital, and the other perils of old age. All met with bracing degrees of stubbornness, idiosyncracy and eccentricity, until his sad, elegiac end.
As Geoff enters Cambridge University, two major themes are pursued in this penultimate episode of his memoirs. First, the life of his mother as a working class woman of the mid-20th century – her ailments (bunions to be precise), work ethic (“work must not only be done, but be back-breakingly done”), quaint views of his passion for acting, and ultimately her sad death from Alzheimer’s. The world of acting also hoves into detailed view as our hero begins slowly at university, dealing with the prejudices of ‘normal’ people, and the stories generated from his efforts in the quirky and sometimes perilous world of amateur dramatics: short-sighted sword fighters, a beautiful but hopeless female Shakespearian actor, high camp Roman centurions, and theatrical sets and props that have a life of their own!
In this episode of Geoffrey’s memoirs, he joins “the snob factory” (i.e. Bolton Grammar School) on his way to Cambridge University and a degree in French. Crucial to this progress is the guiding influence of Irish teacher Emma Saxelby. En route, we hear of the Reverend Hough (limp handshake, boring sermons), the four modes of Lancastrian language, scouting, a new baby sister, fashion as applied to shirt tales and long trousers, and the sad wartime fate of fellow pupil Arnold, the conscientious objector.
Part 3 ranges far and wide in the life of Geoff as he grows up to secondary school age at Bolton Grammar School, and with a nod to his future in both the teaching and acting professions. The Raymond Street gang, playground fights, the vagaries of corporal punishment, and his interview for 'big' school are some of the boyhood delights, along with the scarily bewhiskered, one-armed caretaker Mr Hammond. He attends the 'soap church' (in honour of its benefactor, the future Lord Leverhulme), learns the facts of life, and proceeds to pass them on to a decidedly unappreciative spinster, his Auntie Nora. Meeting A.D. Walsh at Bolton Grammar introduces him to an influential teacher, future colleague, and fellow theatrical thespian, famed for his unwitting star turn as a loudly vociferous, deaf mute.
Geoffrey’s memoir continues a journey through boyhood, dominated by the figure of Grandpa Tomlins - a stylish ladies' man fallen on hard times - who arrives, unbeknown to young Geoff, to stay with the Banks family. We learn also of the strange rituals of Empire Day, the wonders of cricket and Bolton Wanderers football club, the fate of Norman Isherwood, and at his demise, the resolved mystery of Grandpa Tomlins’ strange protuberance.
The life and times of Geoffrey Banks: teacher, broadcaster, thespian and TV actor in Coronation Street, Poirot, and a host of other shows and films. As told in his memoirs of growing up and living in 20th century Northern England and read by his son Nigel. In this first episode, we learn about Geoffrey, the background to the origination of Cottoning On, and begin the exploration of his early life in Bolton, Lancashire: multiple house moves, coal men, mud pies, Norma Nuttall, and much more.
An empty city centre and railway station. No people and no activity. Suddenly, a camera drone appears. A story of surveillance, suspicion, social contact and surprise. This is the third and final in a series of short story “Lockdown Squibs” that dramatise different aspects and impacts of the pandemic virus.
All is not well at all for a USS submarine crew as they hear of a virus affecting the world above. Long term confined isolation leads to strife and conflict. Will they survive and make it to dry land? If they do, what will they find? This is the second in a series of three short story “Lockdown Squibs” that dramatise different aspects and impacts of the pandemic.
The social and economic impact of lockdown hits a man hard. He has lost his job. Coping with the fall-out of this and trying to just survive has taken him to the edge. But a blackbird offers a glimmer of hope. This is the first in a series of three short story “Lockdown Squibs” that dramatise different aspects and impacts of the pandemic virus. This squib draws on material contained in the BBC programme “Your call is important to us - new claimants tell us about their lives on hold”, Monday June 29 2020.