Noel Coward

The Archers: The Ambridge Players

The Archers: The Ambridge Players

Six BBC full-cast drama productions including Blithe Spirit, Calendar Girls & More
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Summary

Classic plays and ghost stories, as performed by the residents of Ambridge and friends - plus bonus drama Dead Girls Tell No Tales

Borsetshire's queen of amateur theatricals, Lynda Snell, never misses the chance to put on a Christmas show. Her productions are always a big hit with Ambridge audiences - and now, Archers fans can enjoy these top-notch performances alongside them (as well as eavesdropping on the shenanigans backstage).

In Blithe Spirit, the Ambridge Am-Dram Society and guest star Julian Rhind-Tutt recreate Noël Coward's ghostly masterpiece, and Lynda finds herself in sympathy with eccentric medium Madame Arcati as she attempts to conjure some festive high spirits. Calendar Girls sees the group taking on Tim Firth's comedy of jam and Jerusalem, along with honorary resident Siân Phillips (who starred in the original West End show). Will the intrepid cast really bare all? And in the 2-parter The Canterbury Tales, the company present barnstorming adaptations of Chaucer's classic stories of courtly love, deadly rivalry and boisterous sex - with a little bit of magic thrown in.

In Ambridge Ghost Stories, it's a cold December night, in the darkened attic of Lower Loxley. Then Jim Llloyd (John Rowe) takes to the stage to recount three spine-chilling supernatural tales from the turn of the last century - 'The Room in the Tower' by E. F. Benson, 'Lost Hearts' by M. R. James and 'The Monkey's Paw' by W. W. Jacobs. Prepare to be enthralled - and terrified...

Also included are two special seasonal pageants, The Ambridge Mystery Plays- The Nativity and The Passion and a stunning original drama by Joanna Toye. Starring Eleanor Tomlinson and Ysette Churchman and Miles Jupp Dead Girls Tell No Tales explores the real story behind the death of Grace Archer: a watershed moment in the history of broadcasting and one of the defining cultural events of the 1950s.

Production credits
Blithe Spirit
Written by Noël Coward
Adapted and directed by Sean O'Connor
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 26 December 2014

Calendar Girls
The accompanying pianist was Simon Taranczuk
Written by Tim Firth and based on the motion picture Calendar Girls written by Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi. Adapted and directed by Sean O'Connor
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 27 December 2015

The Canterbury Tales, Parts 1 & 2
Tellers of the Tales
The Knight's Tale
The Miller's Tale
The Wife of Bath's Tale
The Sailor's Tale
The Pardoner's Tale
The Friar's Tale
The Franklin's Tale
The Bailiff's Tale
Written by Geoffrey Chaucer
Dramatised by Nick Warburton. Directed by Kim Greengrass. Produced by Alison Hindell
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 29 December 2018-5 January 2019

The Ambridge Mystery Plays
The Nativity
The Passion
First Broadcast BBC Radio 4, 26th December 2021 & 2nd January 2022

Ambridge Ghost Stories
Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

'The Room in the Tower' written by E F Benson
Produced and directed by Charlotte Davey

'Lost Hearts' written by M. R. James
Produced and directed by Mel Ward

'The Monkey's Paw' written by W. W. Jacobs
Produced and directed by Charlotte Davey
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30 December 2019-1 January 2020

Dead Girls Tell No Tales
Cast: Jon Culshaw, Pam Ferris, Lex Shrapnel, Eleanor Tomlinson, Georgie Fuller, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Sally Bretton, Simon Russell Beale, John Hopkins, Claudie Blakley, David Reed, Miles Jupp, Zeb Soanes, Paddy O'Connell, Ysanne Churchman, David Hounslow, Sam Dale, Chris Pavlo, Jessica Turner and Alex Tregear
Written by Joanna Toye. Directed by Sean O'Connor

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 19 September 2015
©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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