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Ten comic dramatisations based on the stories and plays of WS Gilbert
Sir William Schwenck Gilbert is best known for his operatic collaborations with Sir Arthur Sullivan, which captivated 19th-century audiences and continue to delight today. But he also created numerous solo works, among them these ten pieces, dramatised for radio by Stephen Wyatt and featuring Jonathan Coy as WS Gilbert.
The Finger of Fate – Confirmed bachelor Foggerty yearns for peace – but Fate has other plans, in the form of large, lively Dolly Fortescue.
Starring Stephen Moore, Alison Steadman, Martin Hyder, Ian Masters.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 25 December 2002
An Elixir of Love – The inspiration for the Gilbert & Sullivan opera The Sorcerer, this humorous tale finds the Rev Stanley Gay secretly administering a love potion to his parishioners – with unexpected results.
Starring Paul Downing, Cathy Sara, Gillian Goodman, Christopher Scott, John Fleming.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 14 May 2003
The Burglar’s Story– Housebreaker’s son Theodore Belvawney learns the hard way that there is no honour amongst thieves.
Starring Michael Onslow, John Webb, Anny Tobin, Stephen Boswell, Kim Durham, Alexandra Lilley
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 21 May 2003
Wide Awake – Rich, unworldly Harold Symperson learns that he must stay alert when looking for his soulmate.
Starring Richard Derrington, Chris Emmett, Julia Hills, Joanna Wake, Jamie Chapman, Tom George.
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 28 May 2003
Mr Foster’s Good Fairy – Confectioner Cyril Foster fears his chequered past will be exposed, until he’s offered an unlikely escape.
Starring Ian Brooker, Sara Coward, Lennox Greaves and David Bannerman
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 4 June 2003
The Wedding March – Woodpecker Tapping’s wedding day goes from bad to worse in this farcical drama.
Starring Jason Chan, Paul Clarkson, Amy Shindler, John Rowe, Alex Tregear, Sion Probert, Charlotte West-Oram
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 15 December 2004
A Sensation Novel – Author Ebenezer Fudge is most perturbed when his characters come to life and criticise his melodramatic plots.
Starring John Rowe, Nicholas Boulton, Hugh Dickson, Julia Hills, Jason Chan and Wendy Baxter
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 22 December 2004
A Colossal Idea – Holidaying with his wife in Margate, grocer Mr Yellowboy claims to be writing an encyclopaedia – but his real activities are less innocent.
Starring Tim Hudson, Sarah Hadland, Tina Gray, Bella Merlin, James Howard.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 29 December 2004
Tom Cobb or Fortune’s Toy – In need of money to marry his fiancee, Matilda O’Fipp, Tom Cobb decides to ‘die’.
Starring Bertie Carvel, Sarah Corbet, Stephen Hogan, James Howard, Bella Merlin, Jason Chan.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 5 January 2005
The Realm of Joy – A West End play proves so scandalous that Victorian society can’t stay away. Starring Alexander Delamere, Jeffrey Harmer, Tim Hudson, Jilly Bond, Stephen Hogan, Bella Merlin, Charlotte West-Oram.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 12 January 2005
- S01E01 – The Finger of Fate
- S01E02 – An Elixir of Love
- S01E03 – The Burglar’s Story
- S01E04 – Wide Awake
- S01E05 – Mr Foster’s Good Fairy
- S02E01 – The Wedding March
- S02E02 – A Sensation Novel
- S02E03 – A Colossal Idea
- S02E04 – Tom Cobb or Fortune’s Toy
- S02E05 – The Realm of Joy