Classic plays from the BBC

A COUPLE of top quality comic plays have been released by the BBC audiobooks as part of their Classic Radio Theatre collection.

Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 4:04 pm

The cast list includes a host of British favourite actors and the plays live up to expectations.

First broadcast in 1994, J.B. Priestley’s When We Are Married is a keenly observed look at how the English middle class react under pressure.

Three respectable Yorkshire couples are celebrating their joint silver wedding when a bombshell is dropped into their laps.

It appears they aren’t actually married.

The shame and fear of scandal creates numerous comic moments and adding to the chaos is a newspaper photographer looking for a story and a housekeeper who sees a chance of turning the situation to her advantage.

Gwen Taylor, Alan Bennett, Brenda Blethyn, Michael Jayston and Nicola Pagett make up the main cast, with Alun Armstrong adding his comic skills to proceedings.

Season’s Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn was first aired in 1999, with just a few days to the new century.

Any play with Ayckbourn’s name is guaranteed to be true entertainment and this version doesn’t disappoint.

The scene is the Bunker household where everyone is getting ready for Christmas.

However, there is one couple having a ‘domestic’ in one room, while Bernard is trying to organise his annual puppet show and his wife is quietly getting pickled in the kitchen.

The stars are Frances Barber, Phil Daniels, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Palmer and John Sessions, with Sophie Thompson added to the mix.

These two plays are an absolute treat and a joy for anyone who enjoys the best of British comedy.

To buy or download these and other BBC audiobooks and plays go to

Steve Payne