CBL is one of the main independent suppliers of drama and comedy for BBC Radio 4 and for drama on Radio 3 and has won five Sony Radio Academy Awards.
Marilyn loved words and I will struggle to find the right words that truly express my love for her. For Marilyn was not only my friend and colleague for 25 years she was my inspiration, my mentor. The wisest, kindest, most generous person I ever met. She also changed my life in the most profound and lasting way. She introduced me to my partner which brought me happiness but also had it not been for Marilyn’s introduction my two sons would not exist. The gift she gave me was a family. And she too was part of that family. Whenever I was in trouble or need of advice, an opinion, or someone to laugh with, I called on Marilyn. We even laughed when during a phone call we thought she had laryngitis, not knowing that she had in fact been struck by the most devastating diagnosis – a cruel and savage MND that took her from us far too soon.
I was lucky enough to visit her just before lockdown and promised to visit again on a regular basis. But that was made impossible by Covid 19 so we corresponded by text and emails instead. And all the while, the devoted James and her beloved Rosie and Charlotte did everything they could for her. Marilyn lives on in them and her grand-daughter, Bea – and in my boys and all of us who had the privilege of sharing a part of Marilyn’s world.
You only had to meet Marilyn once to be aware that you were in the company of someone very special. She breathed life into us and we woke up better human beings and we are better human beings because of Marilyn.
She discovered and nurtured new and untapped talent, inspiring confidence in writers, actors and directors and helping them reach their true potential. As well as audio, she won awards for her television and theatre work. Together we produced some great radio as the list below will testify.
She made our world a better place. I miss you every day Marilyn. I love, admire and cherish you. And I always will.
Absent in the Spring
Monday 31st August at 14:00 BBC Radio 4
Set in 1934, it is the story of a woman, Joan Scudamore, who unexpectedly becomes stranded in a Mesopotamian way station when returning from a visit to her daughter in Baghdad. The sudden solitude compels her to look back over her married life in rural England. The barren heat of the desert is contrasted against the lush greenery of her West Country home as she digs deeper into her emotional memories and uncovers incidents that have lain buried in her psyche for many years.
The Rose and the Yew Tree
Tuesday 1st September at 14:15 BBC Radio 4
The Rose and the Yew Tree is set in a Cornish seaside town, during the election of 1945 when it was assumed Churchill would be re-elected as Prime Minister. It’s the story of an enigmatic young woman, Isabella, who everyone expects will marry her cousin Rupert, the returning war hero. But she becomes seemingly intrigued by the working class opportunistic parliamentary candidate, John Gabriel.
The God of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza,
What happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behaviour of their children? A calm and rational debate between grown-ups about the need to teach children how to behave properly? Or does it turn into a night of name-calling, tantrums and tears?
Michael – Lenny Henry
Veronica – Rosie Cavaliero
Alan – Joseph Millson
Annette – Monica Dolan
Rumpole repeats – All Thursdays @ 2.15pm, BBC Radio 4
(All) by John Mortimer. Dramatized for radio by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie
21.05.20 Rumpole and the Family Pride
Rumpole mingles with Yorkshire aristocracy when he represents a Lord in a Coroner’s Court.
With Timothy West and Benedict Cumberbatch.
28.05.20 Rumpole and the Eternal Triangle
Rumpole is seduced into defending an attractive young woman violinist accused of murder.
With Timothy West and Benedict Cumberbatch.
04.06.20 Rumpole and the Old Boy Net
Rumpole’s new pupil creates trouble in a case of blackmail. With Benedict Cumberbatch
11.06.20 Rumpole and the Sleeping Partners
Rumpole leaves his wife Hilda, sleeps in chambers and defends a case of attempted murder
With Benedict Cumberbatch
18.06.20 Rumpole and the Portia of our Chambers
Rumpole comes close to giving up the law due to complications in both his personal and professional lives.
With Benedict Cumberbatch
25.06.20 Rumpole and the Bubble Reputation
Rumpole defends a tabloid editor accused of libelling an author. With Benedict Cumberbatch
02.07.20 Rumpole and the Age of Miracles
Rumpole defends Hilda’s relation in an Ecclesiastical court. With Benedict Cumberbatch
09.07.20 Rumpole and the Tap End
A man is charged with the attempted drowning of his wife. With Benedict Cumberbatch
For the Love of Leo – Series One repeats Thursdays @ 11.00pm for 4 weeks, starting 25th June, on BBC Radio 4
By Michael Chaplin.
This wry, narrative comedy begins with the funeral of Tamsin, killed in a traffic accident, mother of Laura and beloved wife of Edinburgh artist Leo. The funeral is barely over before Leo acquires a new status as an eligible bachelor. The women in his circle begin to seek his company and win his affection.; while his mother, his grown up arctic weather analyst daughter and newly acquired, sparky, opinionated cleaning lady offer unasked for advice. His life becomes ever more complicated and demanding. Each episode traces his growing relationship with a different woman, as the ghost of Tamsin, who knew all of these women well, turns up at bedtime to venture an opinion too. Leo becomes increasingly haunted by the mystery surrounding Tamsin’s accident, which occurred many miles from her home. What was she doing there? Leo becomes convinced Tamsin was having an affair, but in the end the truth turns out to be very different. The series is wry, funny, sometimes sad – but always warm hearted and tender.
Cast: Leo Fabiani … Mark Bonnar, Tamsin Fabiani … Beth Marshall, Rose Fabiani … Sandra Voe, Sadie … Tracy Wiles, Margot … Louise Ludgate, Laura … Samara MacLaren
Directed by Marilyn Imrie
Me and My Shadow
Jane … Jessica Gunning
Joy … Miranda Richardson
Ronnie/Ollie … Adrian Scarborough
Eric/M.C. … Sam Alexander
Pianist … Simon Tomlinson
Directed by Marilyn Imrie
Produced by Catherine Bailey
ME AND MY SHADOW
By GEORGIA PRITCHETT
The Titter sisters are a mid-20th century comic duo playing the clubs. They can’t stand one another. A dark comedy – tantalisingly acerbic, witty and macabre, exploring the curse of being the eternal stooge.
4th August at 19.15 on BBC Radio 4
“The dark side of showbiz comes under scrutiny in Me and My Shadow, a beautifully crafted black comedy by Georgia Pritchett [TV series Veep, Succession]. Miranda Richardson excels as ruthless joke machine and “national treasure” Joy, performing in a mid twentieth Century double act with humourless stooge Jane [Fortitude’s Jessica Gunning]. Convinced she can be funny too, Jane plots revenge on her co-star in a twisty tale reminiscent of some of BBC 2’s Inside No 9 offerings.”
Stephanie Billen, The Observer
“This comedy is as dark as night: Miranda Richardson and Jessica Gunning star as a comedy double act playing the Sixties club circuit. They can’t stand each other. Joy (Richardson) is a beloved comedy genius and Jane (Gunning) is her “straight man” stooge with a heartful of hate. Jane begins to plot Joy’s downfall in the most extreme of ways. The comedy chops here are excellent thanks to a script by Georgia Pritchett, one of the writers of Veep, Miranda and The Thick of It.”
A Far Away Back of Beyond Place
By MICHAEL CHAPLIN
A musical drama about a young musician’s quest to find the truth about her family. The drama stars much loved iconic Scots actor Bill Paterson and, in her first appearance in a radio drama, the award winning folk musician Karine Polwart.
The Government Inspector by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
Adapted by Adrian Mitchell and directed by Jeremy Herrin.
TX on BBC Radio 3, 5th February 2017
Starring Lenny Henry, Monica Dolan and Roger Allam (finalist in this year’s Audio Drama Awards for his role as The Governor). Our production is the poet and playwright Adrian Mitchell’s version of Nikolai Gogol’s classic satire on human vanity, with its story of a penniless nobody from Moscow who is mistaken for a government inspector by the corrupt and self-seeking officials of a small town in Tsarist Russia.
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
TX on BBC Radio 4 2nd Feb 2019.
Directed by Tristram Powell.
Based on the book by Elizabeth Smart. Adapted for radio by Honor Borwick from the screenplay by Laura Lamson with Nancy Carroll as Elizabeth Smart and Mark Bazeley as George Barker. The story of Elizabeth Smart’s fated and intense love-affair with the poet George Barker. This adaptation for radio of the story behind Elizabeth Smart’s classic work of poetic prose combines both excerpts from her original work and biographical detail set against the background of the Second World War.
The other members of a strong cast are Claudie Blakeley, Barbara Barnes, Garrick Hagon and Jamie Thomas King.
My little eye
By richard stoneman
The new UK prime minister appoints a former spook to control her untrustworthy spy network and protect a Russian dissident under threat. Starring Pip Torrens.
The Ferryhill Philosophers
By Michael Chaplin
Michael Chaplin’s radio series about an ex-miner and a Durham University philosophy don.
House of Ghosts: A Case for Inspector Morse
Oxford 1987. An old love and real blood and death on stage during Hamlet bring Morse dark memories and a murder to solve. By Alma Cullen and directed by Marilyn Imrie. Starring Neil Pearson as Morse.
COLIN DEXTER’S MORSE: IN THE SHALLOWS
An Oxford student out of his depth, a don dead in the river, a philosopher who says she needs his help. Morse is on the case. Story devised by former Morse TV writer Alma Cullen. Dramatised by Richard Stoneman and directed by Marilyn Imrie. Starring Neil Pearson as Morse.
Stanley Baxter Playhouse
Series of comic plays starring Stanley Baxter.
FOR THE LOVE OF LEO
BY MICHAEL CHAPLIN
When Edinburgh artist Leo is suddenly widowed, all the women in his life seem to need him more than ever.
The long-running radio programme based on John Mortimer’s much-loved Rumpole of the Bailey. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and, later, Julian Rhind-Tutt as Rumpole. Directed by Marilyn Imrie. Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman.
The Lady From The Sea by Henrik Ibsen on BBC Radio 3 on 3rd May 2015 With Lia Williams as Ellida and Hugh Bonneville as Dr Wangel.
Macedonia A new play by David Rudkin. Directed by Jeremy Mortimer. The story of how the playwright Euripides came to write his masterpiece, The Bacchae, in the wilds of Macedonia. Starring Michael Pennington. 15th February, 2015.
The Ferryhill Philosophers by Michael Chaplin. An ex-miner and a senior philosophy lecturer form an unlikely but intriguing partnership.
Episode One: A Good Thing for a Good Reason (TX 6th Jan 2015) Episode Two: Wants and Desires (TX 7th Jan 2015)
Starring Alun Armstrong and Deborah Findlay.
Denmark Hill by Alan Bennett (TX: 27th Sept 2014 – BBC Radio 4 Saturday Play). Directed by Tristram Powell. Starring Alan Bennett, Penny Downie, Geoffrey Palmer, Robert Glenister, Samuel Barnett, Cathy Sara, Stephen Critchlow, Bryony Hannah and Malcolm Sinclair.
The Stanley Baxter Playhouse: Meg’s Tale ( TX: 18th July 2014) by Rona Munro. Starring Stanley Baxter, Geoffrey Palmer, Maureen Beattie, Stuart McQuarrie and Tracy Wiles.
The Stanley Baxter Playhouse: The Showman ( TX: 11th July 2014) by Rona Munro. Starring Stanley Baxter, Geoffrey Palmer, Hugh Ross, Stuart McQuarrie and Tracy Wiles.
The Stanley Baxter Playhouse: A Dish of Neapolitan ( TX: 4th July 2014)by Michael Chaplin. Starring Stanley Baxter and Geoffrey Palmer, with Alex Madia and Lara Parmiani.
Roots by Arnold Wesker. Directed by James Macdonald. Starring Linda Bassett and Jessica Raine. (Sun, 23rd March 2014) for BBC Radio 3.
Rumpole and the Sleeping Partners ( TX: 21 March 2014) Starring Benedict Cumberbatch,Nigel Anthony, Jasmine Hyde, Cathy Sara and Stephen Critchlow.
Rumpole and the Old Boy Net ( TX: 20 March 2014) Starring Benedict Cumberbatch,Nigel Anthony, Jasmine Hyde, Cathy Sara, Ewan Bailey and Stephen Critchlow.
Gestapo Minutes by Adam Ganz. Directed by Catherine Bailey. Afternoon play on Wednesday 31st July 2013. Starring Ed Stoppard, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Tamzin Griffin and Robin Lustig. (Finalist Best New Play Award – Audio Drama Awards)
Mrs Updike by Margaret Heffernan. Directed by John Dove. Starring Eileen Atkins and Charles Edwards in a new play about the tempestuous relationship between the writer John Updike and his mother. February 2013 Radio 3.
Two Pipe Problems: A Rose By Any Other Name by Michael Chaplin. Starring Stanley Baxter and Richard Briers and Anne Reid. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Two Pipe Problems: I Love a Lassie by Michael Chaplin. Starring Stanley Baxter and Richard Briers. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Rumpole and the Gentle Art of Blackmail by John Mortimer, adapted by Richard Stoneman,. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Timothy West. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Rumpole and the Expert Witness, Tues 25th Dec 2012 at 14.15. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Timothy West. Cast includes Jasmine Hyde, Claire Skinner, Daniel Weyman, Ewan Bailey, Adrian Scarborough and Nigel Anthony. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Loveness and Me by Gillian Plowman. Directed by Catherine Bailey, cast includes Harriet Walter, Chipo Chung, Gracy Goldman, Jenny Jules, Denton Chikura and Ayo-Dele Edwards for Radio Four.
South Downs – a new play by David Hare. Directed by Jeremy Herrin and starring Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell for BBC Radio Four.
Chicken Soup With Barley by Arnold Wesker. Directed by Simon Godwin from the Royal Court Production starring Samantha Spiro and Danny Webb for BBC Radio Three.
Flare Path by Terence Rattigan. Written in 1941 and first staged in 1942. Our production stars Rupert Penry Jones (Finalist BBC Audio Drama Award) as Peter Kyle, Ruth Wilson as Patricia Graham and Rory Kinnear (Finalist for a BBC Audio Drama Award) as Teddy Graham. With Monica Dolan, Una Stubbs, Tom Goodman-Hill, Justin Salinger, Julian Wadham, David Haartley and Kelly Shirley. Directed by Jeremy Herrin (Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Court) for BBC Radio Three.
Rumpole and the Man of God and Rumpole and the Explosive Evidence. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, directed by Marilyn Imrie. Pick of The Week on Sunday 4th March.
The Heat of the Day Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime novel adapted from the Harold Pinter screenplay by Tristram Powell and Honor Borwick. This two-part Classic Serial for Radio 4 was directed by Tristram Powell and produced by Marilyn Imrie.
Duplicitous relationships and divided allegiances lie at the heart of this dramatisation. Stella is played by Anna Chancellor, is an intelligent widowed woman, living in London during the Second World War and working for a government agency.
A Two Pipe Problem – Episode One
Drama by Michael Chaplin. Two inmates in a retirement home for members of the entertainment industry tackle a mystery involving a lost ventriloquist’s dummy. With Stanley Baxter and Richard Briers. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
A Two Pipe Problem – Episode Two
Drama by Michael Chaplin. Featuring William and Sandy, residents of The Old Beeches retirement home for elderly thespians and former co-stars of a 1960s TV series. With Stanley Baxter and Richard Briers. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Sybil Law by Charlie Dore Radio Scotland.
Octogenarian Sybil Law’s comedy radio show celebrates all canny, feisty, funny older people. Starring Scotland’s leading comedy actress Una Maclean, each episode features Sybil’s comically unpredictable weekly exploits and confrontations with neighbourhood friends and foes.
Cameo appearances include Sir Stirling Moss and Stanley Baxter. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Macmillan’s Marvellous Motion Machine by Jules Horne
BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play May 2011
The true story of Scots blacksmith Macmillan, who invented the pedal bicycle in 1840.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson adapted for radio by Mike Kenny. Starring Roger Allam and directed by Annie Castledine. 12th December 2010 at 20.00 on BBC Radio 3
Boniface and Me / Gracey and Me – November 2010
Gracey and Me is the sequel to the very popular ‘Boniface and Me’ both written by Gillian Plowman. Starring Harriet Walter, Jenny Jules, Henry Goodman, Lauren Mote, Lakechia Jeanne, Hannah Boyde and Denton Chikura. Directed by Annie Castledine.
Rumpole Starring Timothy West and Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the new TV series Sherlock as the young Rumpole.
Rumpole and the FamilyPride. Rumpole mingles with a branch of Yorkshire aristocracy remotely connected to Hilda when he represents a Lord in the Coroner’s court. 9th August 2010 (2 parts) – Radio 4.
Rumpole and the Eternal Triangle. We rejoin Rumpole and Hilda in the late 1950s. Rumpole is seduced into defending an attractive woman violinist accused of murder. 10th August 2010 at 2.15pm – Radio 4.
Stanley Baxter Playhouse
17th September 2010 and 24th October at 11.30am – Radio 4.
CLARISSA by Samuel Richardson
Adapted in four parts for the Radio 4 Classic Serial by Hattie Naylor.
14th, 21st, 28th March and 4th April 2010 at 3pm – Radio 4.
Clarissa is a heartbreaking, compulsive piece of epistolary storytelling in a new dramatisation of one of the world’s greatest novels. Published in 1747, it was the precursor to and inspiration of many of the great European novels which followed in its wake. Cast:
* Robert Lovelace played by Richard Armitage
* Clarissa Harlowe played by Zoe Waites
* The company: Alison Steadman, Deborah Findlay, Miriam Margolyes, Oliver Milburn, John Rowe, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Adrian Scarborough, Stephen Critchlow, Cathy Sara, Sophie Thompson, Ellie Beaven, Lisa Hammond and Linda Broughton.
The Song Thief by Michael Chaplin.
Trumbo by Christopher Trumbo played by Corin Redgrave, directed by Roger Michell.
A Two Pipe Problem by Michael Chaplin. Directed by Marilyn Imrie with Stanley Baxter and Richard Briers.
Life After Scandal by Robin Soans. Directed by Hilary Norrish with Helen McCrory, Ron Cook and Corin Redgrave.
Classic Serial: The Card by Arnold Bennett, dramatised by Jennifer Howarth with Ron Cook, Elizabeth Spriggs and William Ash. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Rumpole and the Reign of Terror by John Mortimer with Timothy West and Prunella Scales. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
The Stanley Baxter Playhouse. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Cold Call by David Holt.
First Impressions by Rona Munro.
Mortal Memories by Liz Lochhead.
Wheeling Them In by Rona Munro.
Boniface and Me by Gillian Plowman. Directed by Annie Castledine with Harriet Walter and Jude Akuwudike.
STANLEY BAXTER PLAYHOUSES
The King’s Kilt by Rona Munro.
Pasta Alfredo at Café Alessandro by Rona Munro.
Flying Down to Greenock by Michael Chaplin.
Life: An Audio Tour by Jules Horne. Directed by Philip Howard.
The Vertical Hour by David Hare. Directed by Jeremy Herrin with Anton Lesser and Indira Varma.
The Antisocial Behaviour of Horace Rumpole by John Mortimer. Directed by Marilyn Imrie with Timothy West and Prunella Scales.
A Streetcar Named Revenge & The Trusty Valet and the Crusty Butler with Stanley Baxter and Richard Briers.
A DISAPPEARING NUMBER
Winner for Best New Play of the 2007 Critics Circle Award, The Evening Standard Award and Olivier Award Disappearing Number was conceived and Directed by Simon McBurney with Original Music by Nitin Sawhney. A Disappearing Number is a provocative meditation on the beauty of mathematics and the nature of creativity, inspired by the true story of the collaboration between two of the 20th century’s most remarkable pure mathematicians, Srinivasa Ramanujan, a poor Brahmin from South India and Cambridge Professor GH Hardy. Sound Design is by Christopher Shutt. A Disappearing Number was a co-production with Complicite. Directed by Simon McBurney with Saskia Reeves.
Woman’s Hour Serial: To The North by Elizabeth Bowen. Dramatised and directed by Deborah Paige with Margaret Tyzack and Catherine McCormack.
Radio 4 – The Stanley Baxter Playhouse: The Man in the Garden by Rona Munro. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Astonishing Archie by Bill Paterson.
Fife Circle by Michael Chaplin.
Have You Come Far? And The Man in the Garden by Rona Munro.
RUMPOLE AND THE PENGE BUNGALOW MURDERS
2 x 45 minute episodes – DRAMATISED BY RICHARD STONEMAN and Starring Timothy West and Benedict Cumberbatch as the young Rumpole.Cumberbatch.
QUARTERMAINE’S TERMS by the late great British playwright Simon Gray. Directed by Maria Aitken
Michael Palin stars as St John Quartermaine, a teacher whose life lived vicariously in the confines of a staffroom is dwindling away.
‘Quartermaine’s Terms’ is a funny and moving play set in a school for teaching English to foreigners in the 1960s. It deals with the concerns of seven teachers over several years and in particular the progress of Quartermaine, a lonely man and ineffective teacher.
‘Plenty’ by David Hare directed by John Dove. Starring Miranda Richardson, Ben Miles and Geoffrey Palmer.
Man and Superman by Bernard Shaw directed by Peter Hall; with Ralph Fiennes, Juliet Stevenson, Paul Merton and Judi Dench.
Villette by Charlotte Bronte directed by Catherine Bailey with Catherine McCormack and Joseph Fiennes and Keira Knightly.
The Airman Who Would Not Die by Michael Crompton directed by John Dove with David Tennant and Miranda Richardson.
Sea Urchins by Sharman Macdonald, a new play commissioned by CBL (Sony Radio Award, Best Drama) directed by Richard Wilson.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde directed by Howard Davies with Simon Russell Beale, Celia Imrie, Geraldine McEwan and Geoffrey Palmer.
Mortimer at the Millennium directed by Marilyn Imrie with John Mortimer, Richard Briers, Sinead Cusack, Joanna David. (Sony Award).
The Story of Tracey Beaker and The Dare Game by Jacqueline Wilson dramatised by Amanda Swift and Georgia Pritchett. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome dramatised by David Wood. Directed by Catherine Bailey.
Scenes from Shakespeare directed by Phillyda Lloyd; with Simon Callow, Lindsay Duncan, Paul Rhys and Harriet Walter.
Maria Aitken’s The Best of Noel Coward with Jane Horrocks and Belinda Lang.
Maria Aitken’s The Best of Oscar Wilde’s Prose and Poetry.
Geraldine McEwan’s Jane Austen
Alec McCowen’s Kipling
Terre Haute by Edmund White. Directed by Maria Aitken with Ian McKellen.
Wild Things (2 Series) by Georgia Pritchett, directed by Beeban Kidron with Miranda Richardson, Doon Mackichan, Ronni Ancona, Celia Imrie, Stephen Mangan, Imelda Staunton, Robert Webb and David Morrissey.
Rumpole and the Primrose Path, Rumpole and the Scales of Justice (Silver Broadcast Award) Rumpole and the Vanishing Juror, Rumpole Redeemed by John Mortimer. Directed by Marilyn Imrie
Laughter in the Dark by Vladamir Nabakov. Dramatised by Craig Higginson. Directed by Maria Aitken (Sony Radio Academy Award – Gold)
The Permanent Way by David Hare. Directed by Max Stafford-Clark (Sony Radio Academy Award – Silver)
Breakfast with Mugabe by Fraser Grace. Directed by Anthony Sher. (Sony Radio Academy Award – Silver)
Insignificance by Terry Johnson. With Damien Lewis and Megan Dodds. Directed by Roxana Silbert.
The Vertical Hour by David Hare, directed by Jeremy Herrin.
A Two Pipe Problem stars Stanley Baxter and Richard Briers.
Machinal is a 1928 play by American playwright and journalist Sophie Treadwell, inspired by the real-life case of convicted and executed murderer Ruth Snyder. Starring Fiona Shaw.