By Francis Turnly
Daniel Brennan and his family downsize to a small farm holding in the country. Struggling to fit in, their hopes of a new start are dashed when a campaign of intimidation is directed at them. Who can they trust?
Daniel … Stuart Graham
Cassie…Hannah R. Gordon
Auctioneer / PSNI officer….Patrick Fitzsymons
Producer/Director – Heather Larmour
When Daniel Brennan’s business collapses owing to the current economic climate he realises he will no longer be able to afford his house in Belfast and that he and his family will have to downsize to a more modest property. Attending a property-auction in the hope of finding a suitable house in the city; Daniel recklessly bids for a small farm holding in the country. Maybe this will be the change his family needs: a chance for a new start.
His wife Kate and daughter Cassie are less than enthusiastic, especially when they discover their new home is in the middle of nowhere and in need of substantial repair. But that soon becomes the least of their worries, as their reception in the local village is, at best, frosty.
Then unsettling things begin to happen around the farm: graffiti appears on the walls in the dead of night; supplies are stolen; a dead fox is left on the porch. Who is doing this and why? Despite their best efforts to fit in, the campaign of intimidation continues. Is there anyone in the village they can trust, and can they stop it before things really get out of hand?
A chilling story of how one family’s rural dream becomes a living nightmare.
Francis Turnly’s work for R4 includes the Saturday Play ‘Pressing the Flesh’ (shortlisted for the Richard Imison Award) and an episode of the acclaimed detective series ‘Baldi’. He has written ‘Lullaby,’ a 30 minute supernatural drama for BBC7 and most recently for R4 the Saturday Play ‘Point of Departure’. Francis’s theatre plays include ‘Breathing’, ‘Descent’, ‘Hiding’ and ‘Bogpeople’.
Paul Watson’s play “Last Family Standing” is set in 1946 though many listeners might think it today.
Britain, newly emerged from the shadow of war is in a time of austerity. Five million victorious men and women have returned from the war effort to a peacetime of few jobs. Money, food and decent housing are also scarce. The Government has failed to stem accumulating social problems. The jubilation of VE day has evaporated. Life is difficult. The party is over.
Today, 2010, we are told our economic output is falling. The nation is suffering the worst contraction of GDP since 1946.
Politicians wave their hands and offer excuses. Bankers sit in isolated splendour seemingly impervious to social need. And the people wait!
Like our grandparents who waited for the tank and munitions factories to re-adjust to the needs of peace, to the building of cars, kettles and cookers, we all again wait, as unemployment and its consequence affect the finance of home life.
Paul Watson’s play is the account of one waiting family in 1946, the Truscott family. Charles, Marjorie and their grown-up children’s struggle to survive “at any cost” brings tragic consequence as remembered by the only surviving family member, Dorothy. It is her anger and contempt for the Establishment of “then and now” that fuels ‘Last Family Standing’.
Narrator ….. Paul Watson
Old Dorothy Truscott ….. Janet Amsden
Young Dorothy ….. Flora Newbigin
Dad”Charlie” ….. Jonathan Tafler
Mum “Marjorie” ….. Jacqui Sharpe
Frank ….. Tony Longhurst
Arthur ….. Michael James Ackerman
Estelle/Woman ….. Sara Stephens
Prostitueclient/Official ….. Peter Benedict
Mr Fentamann/Chemist ….. Russell Floyd
Nurse ….. Lucie Fitchett
The programme is produced by Paul Watson and is a Pier Productions Limited production for BBC Radio 4.
In 1943, the secret recording of captive German officers, provided invaluable information to the allied war effort, but placed an intolerable burden on the mostly Jewish ‘listeners’ who transcribed details they often couldn’t bear to hear.
Between 1942 and 1945 captured high-ranking German officers were imprisoned in Trent Park, a large mansion with extensive grounds in North London. This was no Colditz. The captives were treated well, given access to films and newspapers, and taken for walks in the capacious grounds. Churchill was horrified to discover that they were even being taken on daytrips to Windsor and Eton. But the aim was to get them to relax – and talk. The newspapers and films were carefully chosen to provoke conversation and they made use of stoolpigeons to get the officers talking. And then through bugs placed in every room and even in the garden, the British Intelligence Service listened as they talked amongst themselves. Everything was recorded and transcribed – for use as evidence at what was to become the trials at Nuremburg.
One of the Jewish ‘listeners’ tasked with the, at times, infuriating job of recording and transcribing, was Peter Ganz – the author’s father.
During World War Two, German generals were imprisoned in Trent Park in North London. Unbeknownst to them their conversations were being recorded and transcribed by German Jews, forced to flee the Nazis.
HELEN: REBECCA SAIRE
PURFLEET: MALCOLM TIERNEY
ANTON: MATT ADDIS
CHARLES: BENJAMIN ASKEW
VON THOMAS: NICK DUNNING
CRUWELL (CREWVELL): SAM DALE
BOES (BURRS): PAUL RIDER
MAYER (MAIER): JONATHAN TAFLER
HARDT: PHILIP FOX
THE SINGER: DAVID REVELS
LISTENING TO THE GENERALS was directed in Belfast by Eoin O’Callaghan.
By Richard Monks. A chance sighting on a news report leads to an extraordinary reunion between two siblings and the father they cremated four years previously. A play exploring the emotional hinterland of reconciliation.
Stephen …… Robert Glenister
Clare …… Suranne Jones
Sophie …… Joanne Mitchell
Alan …… David Hargreaves
Nurse/Reporter/TV Reporter/Custody Sergeant/Mechanic …… Terence Mann
Directed by Nadia Molinari.
By Richard Hurford. In the early days of Queen Victoria’s reign, a boy and a teenage girl – who he assumes to be a new maidservant but is in fact the young Victoria – go on an adventure through the chimneys of Buckingham Palace.
Queen Victoria …… Daisy Marsden
Boy Cotton …… Aidan Parsons
Duchess Of Kent …… Olwen May
Sir John Conroy …… Jonathan Keeble
Mr Diggle …… Malcolm Raeburn
Directed by Nadia Molinari.
A dramatisation of the political crisis of June 1953 when Winston Churchill suffered a stroke at 10 Downing Street during his last period in office as prime minister.
Written by Jonathan Smith.
Winston Churchill …. Benjamin Whitrow
Clementine Churchill …. Sian Phillips
Lord Moran .. Christian Rodska
Anthony Eden …. Michael Cochrane
Jock Colville…. Robert Portal
Nurse…. Emma Callander
Director: Bruce Young
Producer: GLYN DEARMAN
John Mills (Actor)
Peggy Ashcroft (Actor)
Brian Clark (playwright (auth)) (Author)
At breakfast in their Belgravia apartment General Sir Edmund Milne sees 50 years of marriage in a new life when Lady Elizabeth reveals her true hatred of war. Written by Brian CLARK, with Peggy ASHCROFT & John MILLS.