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John Boynton Priestley was an English novelist, playwright, screenwriter, broadcaster and social commentator.
His Yorkshire background is reflected in much of his fiction, notably in The Good Companions (1929), which first brought him to wide public notice. A number of his plays are structured around a time slip, and he went on to develop a new theory of time, with different dimensions that link past, present and future.
Presented here are BBC Radio full-cast dramatisations of some of Priestley’s best known works:
Dangerous Corner – A happy gathering of friends begin to probe events which happened in the past and discover that the relationships they have with each other aren’t what they seem: “truth is like skidding round a corner at sixty”.
I Have Been Here Before – A group of people thrown together by chance when they decide to stay at a remote Yorkshire inn, discover that they’re so inter-dependent that a decision taken by any one of them is likely to have a profound effect on the lives of the others. Have they lived through the experience before? Is there a chance to make different decisions this time?
Time and The Conways – A World War has just ended. The Conway family gather to celebrate daughter Kay’s 21st birthday party. But 19 years later we see that the future is far from the one they imagined.
An Inspector Calls – The Birlings are celebrating the engagement of their daughter Sheila when a Police Inspector calls. Each member of the family is questioned about their relationship with a young woman, Eva Smith. And each has to face up to their role in her tragic story.
The Grey Ones – A patient fears evil is at work in the shape of a sinister conspiracy. Will his psychiatrist be able to help?
The Good Companions – A 1929 concert party tour charts new adventures for factory worker Jess Oakroyd and newly independent Miss Trant.
The Thirty-First of June – When that elusive day, 31 June, comes round it is not surprising that extraordinary and magical things happen. The centuries part and Romance is in the air.
When We Are Married – In the heart of Northern England, three respectable couples, married on the same day, at the same church, and by the same vicar, join to celebrate 25 years of blissful matrimony. Or so they think. The three Yorkshire couples discover that they were never legally married …
Laburnum Grove – ‘The first thing I see in the cards Elsie, is a great surprise. It’s coming very soon and I don’t think you’ll like it. I think it’s something to do with a medium-coloured man. I think it must be your father.’
Lost Empires – It’s 1913 and Richard Herncastle leaves his dead-end job to join his Uncle Nick’s act in the vulgar world of music halls to experience the glamour, jealousies and romances backstage. But the glamour soon begins to fade as Richard embarks on a dangerous affair – and tragedy strikes the company. Meanwhile, war is on the horizon….
- 01 – Dangerous Corner
- 02 – I Have Been Here Before
- 03 – Time and the Conways
- 04 – An Inspector Calls
- 05 – The Grey Ones
- 06 – The Good Companions
- 07 – The Thirty First of June
- 08 – Eden End
- 09 – Laburnum Grove
- 10 – Lost Empires
- 11 – Lost Empires
- 12 – Lost Empires
- 13 – The Linden Tree
- 14 – When We Are Married