“Vincent Price and The Horror of The English Blood Beast”

My play about the uneasy relationship between film director Michael Reeves and actor Vincent Price – on the set of seminal 60s English horror movie “The Witchfinder General” – was first broadcast on Radio 4 in the Saturday play slot in 2010.

It’s now been brought to my attention that the play can be listened to Here

There’s also a very good and insightful review / essay written about the play that is HERE – (Even if they do get the title of the play slightly wrong!)

I remember having a roaring time recording the play in Cardiff. The cast included: Kenneth Cranham as Tony Tenser, Nickolas Grace as Vincent Price, and Blake Ritson as Michael Reeves.

*UPDATE* – 1st March 2013-
“Vincent Price and the Horror of the English Blood Beast” will be repeated on Radio 4 next Friday (8th March) evening at 9pm.

*UPDATE* – 7th November 2015 – just seen that the play is up on Youtube.

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The Rain Maker

Radio 4 are repeating The Rain Maker on Wednesday 4th July at 2.15pm. (It was first broadcast 2 years ago.)

James Robinson, Caleb Knightley, Ken Cranham, Joe Dempsie. (From L to R)

The play tells the story of a father and son who take a trip to a cabin in some remote woods to repair their relationship. It is a kind of psychological thriller… There are references to a supernatural world – and I wrote the play after a re-reading of ‘The Golden Bough’ by Sir James Fraser.

We recorded the play in a real forest – and it was not without incident.

The Producer wrote a blog about it, at the time, that can be found HERE

Kenneth Cranham plays the Father. Joe Dempsie plays the son.

(I have previously blogged on this play HERE.)

**Update** – THE RAIN MAKER is being repeated on Radio 4 Extra next week – Wed/Thurs – 9/10th October 2013

White Noise

I have a new play on Radio 4 this coming Tuesday (10th April.)

It’s called WHITE NOISE and it is set in current day Dagenham, East London.

The details are here.

Here’s a photo from the studio during recording.

(Ricci Harnett, and Theo Barklum Biggs are the actors pictured playing ‘Danny’ and ‘Freddy’. The back of head belongs to Scott Handcock the production co-ordinator)

The play is part of the ‘Rapid Response’ series. This means that the turnaround time between commissioning and broadcast has been very short (by Radio Drama standards.) This is to ensure that the play is as contemporary as possible – which is what the strand is all about.

(This is Louise Jameson playing ‘Kath’)

Other members of the cast (not pictured) are Matthew Gravelle (Who I’ve worked with on ‘Burning Both Ends’, and ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’) And Ayesha Antoine.

The Director / Producer is James Robinson who I worked with on “The Rain Maker” a couple of years ago. (That was the radio horror play that we recorded on location in a forest in Kent.)

Burning Both Ends – When Oliver Reed met Keith Moon

I have a new play on Radio 4 this Thursday afternoon (8th December) at 2.15pm…

Set in the Summer of 1974 – “Burning Both Ends” explores the intense, hilarious and very special friendship between English actor Oliver Reed and ‘wild man’ drummer – Keith Moon. It is the story of a “bro-mance” that sprung up when Ken Russell (RIP), playing unwitting match-maker, cast the men opposite each other in his movie version of the rock opera, Tommy.

Keith Moon was the world famous drummer of THE WHO. He had a gargantuan appetite for partying, drugs, alcohol, and pranks – And was looking for a new playmate.

Oliver Reed was the biggest movie star in Britain. His credits included Women in Love, The Three Musketeers, and his iconic role as Bill Sykes in Oliver! He had a beautiful ballerina partner, a huge mansion in Surrey, and a French magazine had voted him ‘the sexiest man’ on earth… Reed had it all… But felt there was something missing from his life… Keith Moon, he decided – “was the path I was looking for”…

It’s a story that I found funny and touching. And the play is a fictionalised account of their time together – mainly set on the south coast while they were on the Tommy shoot.

Sean Pertwee plays Olly – in my opinion, a remarkable transformative performance. (Someone tweeted me that Sean has ‘the most masculine voice in British acting’ And that seems apt for this role!)

Arthur Darvill plays the Keith Moon with a mercurial energy – complex, fun, but with shades of darkness at heart.

Together the actors threw themselves at the roles – playful, funny, joyful, revelatory, naughty, and moving. But that’s just my opinion -and i’m biased.

For details of Burning Both Ends click HERE

[*UPDATE – A feature article I wrote about the play is in today’s Sunday Express. – 4th Dec 2011]

UPDATE – Burning Both Ends is available Here