Chris Emmett

Gilbert without Sullivan
  • Gilbert without Sullivan

    • Stephen Wyatt

    • William Schwenck Gilbert

    • Sarah Hadland (Read by)

    • Jonathan Coy (Read by)

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    • Bertie Carvel (Read by)

    • Alison Steadman (Read by)

    • Stephen Moore (Read by)

    • Chris Emmett (Read by)

    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

    Cast and credits
    Written by WS Gilbert
    Dramatised by Stephen Wyatt
    Directed by Sally Avens, Sue Wilson and Jenny Stephen


    Copyright © 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. ? 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Douglas Noel Adams was born on 11 March 1952 in Cambridge. His parents divorced when he was five, and Douglas and his younger sister Susan were brought up by their mother in Essex. From 1959 to 1970 Douglas attended Brentwood School, and he first thought seriously about writing when a teacher named Frank Halford gave him ten out of ten for a composition. He was the only boy ever to have been awarded full marks. Leaving school in December 1970, Douglas won a scholarship to study English at Cambridge. His main reason for going there was to join Footlights, although his first attempt to do so was a failure. He succeeded in joining in his second term, but found the group which ran the society a bit stand-offish. He also felt constrained by the limits of pantomimes and mid-term revues, so instead he set up his own revue group, Adams-Smith-Adams, with two friends. It was very successful. Douglas left Cambridge in the summer of 1974 and took occasional office jobs before joining forces with Monty Python team member Graham Chapman. They collaborated on a number of projects; unfortunately, very few of them were ever broadcast. A while later he was invited to Cambridge to direct the 1976 Footlights revue, but even this turned out to be a disappointment. At the end of the year, broke and feeling like a failure, Douglas moved back home with his mother. In 1977 his luck changed. Through his former flatmate John Lloyd, Douglas met BBC Radio 4 producer Simon Brett. He felt that Douglas' style of humour should have its own show, rather than being crammed into existing formats. Having been inspired by a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe, Douglas came up with a draft for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. After several delays the first six-episode series was broadcast, with a second rapidly following. The worldwide phenomenon they spawned includes five novels, a book of scripts, two LPs, a television series, a computer game and two stage plays. In addition to Hitchhiker, Douglas' work included two Dirk Gently detective novels and two humorous place-name 'dictionaries', The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff (both co-written with John Lloyd) as well as Last Chance to See, an account of a global search for rare and endangered species which he co-wrote with Mark Carwardine. In 1999 Douglas moved to Santa Barbara with his wife and daughter to work on a proposed Hitchhiker film. Always a keen advocate of new technology, his last series for Radio 4 was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Future, a look at the advances mankind was likely to make in future years.He died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 49, in May 2001. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy feature film was produced in 2005, whilst both Stephen Mangan and Samuel Barnett have portrayed Dirk Gently on television in recent years.

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