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What Was New

What Was New 2013

THE HUNTING | Allan Plenderleith

Scarifying for Hallowe'en - the world's first interactive zombie movie, Allan's latest app venture is THE HUNTING which he has written and directed. Part 1 is available for free.  Part 2 is available @ 99p and is whizzing up the i-Tunes charts


Robert Rigby's dramatisation of Alan Sillitoe's novel set in 1958 Nottingham joins a line up of iconic literature from the late 1950's and early 1960's in BBC Radio 4's New Wave season. SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING features Shirley Anne Field who played Doreen in Karel Reisz's seminal 1960 film.

MERIVEL | Rose Tremain

MERIVEL: A Man of His Time by Rose Tremain has just been published in paperback (July 2013):  "one of the great imaginative creations in English literature of the past 50 years" (Telegraph).   

Rose Tremain is participating at festivals and events throughout the summer and autumn 2013 including: Hay Festival, Winchester Festival, the UEA Autumn Literary Festival and events in Norwich, Southwold, Hampstead and Hampton Court.

TOMORROW MORNING London | Laurence Mark Wythe

The award-winning Chicago & off-Broadway musical TOMORROW MORNING returns to London with a new production at The Rosemary Branch Theatre, Islington by Theatre Coop from Tuesday 23 - Sunday 28 July 2013.

For performances & tickets:

ANGELA'S ASHES - A MUSICAL | Adam Howell & Paul Hurt

ANGELA'S ASHES - A Musical, based on the Pulitzer award winning book by Frank McCourt with Music and Lyrics by Adam Howell and Adaptation by Paul Hurt, the musical is being presented in Frank McCourt's hometown of Limerick at the Lime Tree Theatre following a successful run at Derby Theatre last year. 

17 - 20 July 2013

Lime Tree Theatre Limerick

More info

TOMORROW MORNING Seoul | Laurence Mark Wythe

Laurence Mark Wythe's award-winning musical TOMORROW MORNING about two couples separated by time but bound together by impending change, runs in at the KT&G Sangsang Art Hall, Seoul, Korea 1 June – 1 September 2013 following a successful run at the Toho Creation Theatre in Tokyo this April.    The show will now have been seen in: London, Chicago, New York, Melbourne, Tokyo & Seoul.

More international productions to be announced soon.

Korean production details here

HOLLYOAKS | Eddy Marshall

Eddy Marshall (director) - w/c 23 September 2013

                                      - w/c 22 July 2013

                                      - w/c 21 January 2013 - featuring Esther's suicide attempt after months of bullying, this week's episodes saw the programme achieve its highest viewing figures for two years: 1.5m on C4 and 1.2m on E4.

Weekdays at 6.30pm on C4 & 7pm on E4

Go to the official HOLLYOAKS website



What Was New 2012


Rose's 3-part dramatisation of Anthony Trollope's THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS starts transmission on BBC Radio 4's Classic Serial on Sunday 23 December 2012 and on the two Sundays following, repeated on the subsequent Saturday.  Gordon House has directed for Goldhawk Essential and Pippa Nixon plays Lizzie Eustace.

STOKER | Paul Walker

STOKER is an exciting and original new play by Paul Walker for Ouroboros Theatre Company about the life and times of one of Ireland's most famous authors, Bram Stoker, the writer of DRACULA. Using a thrilling combination of performance, lighting, live music and original text, STOKER portrays the fascinating world of Bram Stoker’s life and legacy.   It received 4-star reviews and a very successful run at The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin 24 October - 11 November 2012 ("gripping journey into the mind of a tortured soul" Mail on Sunday).  


Rose's new novel, the long-awaited sequel to her much-loved 1990 novel RESTORATION is Chatto's lead title for September 2012.  It was read on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime for three weeks to coincide with publication (from w/b 17 September 2012).

CRISIS | Tina Pepler

Tina's latest radio play is a drama about aid workers in South Sudan.  Produced by Sara Davies with whom Tina works regularly, the 5 x 15-minute drama goes out on BBC Radio 4 in the Woman's Hour drama slot Monday - Friday 10.45, repeated at 19.45, w/c 20 August 2012.

SICK PARTY | Eddy Marshall

Eddy wrote, directed and co-produced this educational story for Leeds-based charity Genesis, using a crew of largely students and recent graduates of the Northern Film School.  The drama outlines the phenomenon of the 'party' model of grooming and the film is now being used for outreach work in schools and with groups (summer 2012).  See the film on Vimeo

(p/w genesis) 

SCOTT & BAILEY | Diane Taylor

Diane Taylor is co-creator with Sally Wainwright of Red Productions' SCOTT & BAILEY starring Suranne Jones & Lesley Sharp.  Series 2 launched with nearly 7 million viewers for the first episode. 

Congratulations to Diane and all the team of SCOTT & BAILEY for their BAFTA nomination for Best Drama Series.

ITV1 Mondays 9pm, March - April 2012

What Was New 2011


tx Friday 19 August 2011, 2.15pm, BBC R4 Afternoon Theatre

Robert's latest radio thriller is about a confrontation between a teenage shoplifter and a store detective who has seen active service in the Gulf.  A play with songs and music composed and performed by Robert himself.  Produced by Nick Russell-Pavier for Goldhawk Essential.

TRESPASS | Rose Tremain

Trespass by Rose TremainRose's most recent novel TRESPASS (March 2010) is a contemporary psychological thriller set in the Cevennes.  It interweaves the stories of two sets of brothers and sisters, one French, one English, in an intense and powerful unravelling.  The strong interest always generated by a 'new Tremain' was heightened further following the very popular Orange Prize-winning THE ROAD HOME.  TRESPASS was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 and is a Richard and Judy Book Club Spring Choice for 2011.

TOMORROW MORNING | Laurence Mark Wythe

TOMORROW MORNING, the hit award-winning musical by Laurence Mark Wythe has recently completed a run at the York Theatre in New York where it was been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and Best New Musical in the Off Broadway Alliance Awards and the Tina Awards . The London production starring Jon Lee & Julie Atherton opened in London in October at The Landor Theatre to excellent reviews.  The clock ticks down as one couple prepares for marriage and another for divorce in this witty, moving musical.


Rose Tremain’s vivid imagining of the end of Wallis Simpson’s life is now in 45-minute radio play form.  Starring Elizabeth McGovern as the Duchess of Windsor and Miriam Margolyes as French lawyer Maitre Blum and with a wonderful cameo from Nigel Anthony as Cecil Beaton, THE DARKNESS OF WALLIS SIMPSON went out on 29 December 2010 on BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Theatre directed by Gordon House for Goldhawk Essential.  Rose wrote an accompanying piece for the Daily Telegraph (published on Wednesday 15 December) and Elizabeth McGovern was interviewed in the Independent Magazine (Saturday 18 December).

What Was New 2010


Tina's episode of DOWNTON ABBEY co-written with series creator Julian Fellowes (Carnival for ITV1) went out in October 2010.   Tina and Julian took us to an election rally which nearly had disastrous consequences for politically conscious Lady Sybil. This perfect Sunday night series ended on a high of around 11 million viewers and plugged into our enduring fascination for social history and nostalgia.


BBC Radio 4 broadcast a two-part adaptation by Tina Pepler of Christopher Isherwood’s semi-autobiographical short novel GOODBYE TO BERLIN (the basis for the iconic 1966 film CABARET).  Tina Pepler and director Polly Thomas created a poignant tableau of cash-strapped, hedonistic, increaingly bigoted Berlin as the growing influence of the Nazi party cast an ever greater shadow. 

'this is a fine adaptation...vividly drawn characters and a real sense of menace as anti-semitism grew louder within (Germany).' (Guardian)

BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial, October 2010.

F**KING MEN | Laurence Mark Wythe

Joe DiPietro's F**KING MEN @ Bailiwick Chicago, Directed by Tom Mullen. Original Music by Laurence Mark Wythe, June - August 2010

2.36PM | Paul Walker

27 June 2010 / Sunday Playhouse on RTE Radio 1

A radio play: 2.36PM - a tale of love, cancer and Thierry Henri.   With a superb cast led by Liam Carney and Hilda Fay and guest appearances by Ryan Tubridy and George Hamilton.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME  (BBC R4) | Robert Rigby

tx March 2010, BBC R4 Afternoon Play

A 45' drama about two men caught up in the randomness of fate.  A bizarre and revealing relationship develops between them when one man confronts the other, an intruder, with a legally owned shotgun.  Starring Alex Jennings and Toby Stephens and co-written and directed by Nick Russell-Pavier.


Driver Dan's Story Train on CBeebies3 Line Media and twofour54, Abu Dhabi's new HD series for CBeebies DRIVER DAN'S STORY TRAIN (tx from January 2010).  Allan Plenderleith and George Tarry are both on the writing team.  Check it out for superb storytelling and production values.

Cbeebies Winter-Spring 2010

6.00pm daily from 6 April 2010

What Was New 2009


The Imaginarium of Dr ParnassusCharles co-wrote Terry Gilliam's extraordinary new film THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS. Starring the late Heath Ledger in his last role - a role taken over mid-way through production by Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law - and with other lead cast including Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Andrew Garfield and Lily Cole, the film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2009. It went on general release in the UK and elsewhere in autumn 2009, performing particularly strongly in Italy, and it opened in the US in December 2009.

RICKY | Rose Tremain

François Ozon’s new film Ricky was shown at the Berlin Film Festival (February 2009). Adapted from Rose Tremain's short story MOTH from her collection The Darkness of Wallis Simpson (Chatto & Windus, 2005), RICKY went on general release in various territories including France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Spain.


In this drama/documentary (tx August 2009) commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Istanbul earthquake, we follow the story of a young British woman who experienced the earthquake during her childhood in Turkey and who returns to Istanbul to re-connect with friends and to discover what lessons have been learned in the intervening decade.  This is a very human story underpinned by cutting edge science.  It provoked a heartfelt response in the general audience and is also already being used by engineers in the UK and abroad as a powerful educational and training tool.

THE SMELLY SPROUT | Allan Plenderleith

Allan's first children's book (first published Christmas 2007 by Ravette) tells the story of a tiny sprout thrown out into the cold on Christmas Day.  Christmas 2009 saw the publication of a special gift edition of this delightful, best-selling picture book.

BLUE MURDER Series 5 | Steve Griffiths

Steve's episode HAVING IT ALL featuring dark deeds in the cheerleader community kicked off the new series on ITV (September 2009).


A co-production between Lime Pictures and Liverpool's Everyman Playhouse for Channel 4, four short films including SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN written by Robert Farquhar and directed by Eddy Marshall (tx September 2009). 

GIGGLEBIZ (CBeebies) | Mike Chappell

CBeebies first live action sketch show for the under sixes, featuring award- winning presenter Justin Fletcher.  Mike has contributed his comic expertise to twenty five episodes of short, funny sketches featuring hilarious and eccentric characters (tx September 2009).

What Was New 2008


The play is set on board a B-17 fighter bomber en route from Florida to join battle in Europe in 1943; joining the US crew are two British hitchhikers who need a lift home (tx August 2008).

THE ROAD HOME | Rose Tremain

THE ROAD HOME was awarded the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2008. It is in development as a 90-minute television film for BBC TV, adapted by Andrea Gibb for producer Lynn Horsford and executive producer Hilary Salmon.




A dramatisation of Nigel Balchin's novel, with Damian Lewis playing back-room boy Sammy Rice in this wartime thriller (tx April 2008).

RIVER CITY (BBC Scotland) | Transmission Dates

Mike Chappell - 4 November 2008

What Was New 2007

HORRID HENRY | Clive Endersby and Allan Plenderleith

The hugely popular characters from Francesca Simon's children's books have been brought to life by Novel Entertainment in a new animated series for CITV aimed at children aged between 6 and 9 years. Clive Endersby script edited Series 1 and is writing Series 2 as is Allan Plenderleith. Everyone loves Henry, because inside us all is a horrid Henry (or Henrietta) waiting to get out. 

MELTDOWN | Robert Rigby

In the final instalment of the BOY SOLDIER series, Robert Rigby continues the story of Danny Watts who is now 18, and his ex SAS Grandfather, Fergus Watts. MELTDOWN finds Danny and Fergus recruited by the head of Security Services of MI5 in a bid to discover the mastermind behind a major drugs plot. Bringing them up against an old adversary, this time it is a battle to the end. Published by Doubleday Children's Books in May 2007, the BOY SOLDIER series continues to sell strongly. 

BABY BOOM | Ray Brooking

BBC Daytime's Director's Debut returns with Ray Brooking's BABY BOOM - the story of two very different couples starting a family. CUTTING IT star Sarah Parish directs and starring Susie Blake and Annette Badland, BABY BOOM is followed by a documentary charting the production process from Maverick Productions. BBC1, March 2007.


After the success of the first film, GOAL II: LIVING THE DREAM follows through with the continuing story of Santiago Munez played by Kuno Becker. After finding his feet at Newcastle United Santiago gets a huge break when he is transferred to Real Madrid. Also starring Anna Friel as Roz and featuring David Beckham, GOAL II was on general release accompanied by this tie-in novelisation written by Robert Rigby.


STRICTLY LADY SUMO a 60 min documentary narrated by Dawn French (RDF Media for Channel 4, January 2007)) follows the journey of a group of larger than life women as they undertake the extraordinary challenge of learning the ancient art of sumo in time to compete at the World Championships in Japan. Tina Pepler was script consultant on this project. 

What Was New 2006


A radio drama feature exploring the experiences of poet Sally Festing and the death of her anorexic daughter (BBC Radio 4 Friday Play, September 2005, repeated September 2006) . This was produced by Sara Davies.

STARDUST | Paul Walker

Paul's two-part drama about the STARDUST disco fire (Merlin Films for RTE) won 4 awards including Best TV Drama at the Irish Film and Television Awards (February 2007). Originally transmitted in February 2006 for the 25th anniversary of the disaster, the drama had an overwhelming impact in Ireland where memories of the national disaster are still raw. The producer was Norman Siderow and the drama was directed by Ciarán Donnelly.

Gordon The Garden Gnome | Allan Plenderleith

Allan Plenderleith worked his magic in this original series for the BBC aimed at pre-schoolers aged 2 - 6.  GORDON GNOME, created by Allan Plenderleith and animated by Collingwood O'Hare Entertainment Ltd., stars the voice of gardening expert and guru Alan Titchmarsh as the ever cheerful green-fingered Gnome. 


The series delights and educates girls and boys alike to the fun and adventure to be found in the garden and the great outdoors.  So "Let's get mucky!" and join Gordon and his animal friends and gnome neighbours as he sets out to solve the problems in his garden. 

The 52 x 11 minute series launched on CBeebies/CBBC in June 2005 and rolled out overseas including the USA, Australia and Germany. Merchandising inclues garden gnomes and DVDs are available.

Go the official Gordon website at Collingwood O'Hare Entertainment Ltd

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