Andy Rashleigh, 'Smokers', 10-9-2001, pr. Clive Brill, Afternoon Play


Jack (newly arrived) - deputy packing and distribution - Benedict Sandiford
Dot (old) - Maria Charles
Billy - Carla Toynton
Arnold (to retire) - James Green
Fiona - Oppi Miller
Mickie - catering job in Belgian restaurant - Chris Pablo
(Damian) - boss of Fiona
(Terry Needham) - ex-boyfriend (?) of Billy
Young brother of Terry Needham
(Gordon) - Billy's boyfriend
(Patsy) - wife of Arnold
director - Clive Brill
Pacificus Production for B.B.C.

Plot Introduction:
Outside in the street in the centre of London, two groups of office workers have their smoking break. Old Dot looks after the newly arrived Jack. There are two girls - Billy (working with Jack), and Fiona, who works across the road, and whose boyfriend, Damien, is her boss. Each of the main characters have monologues, which we hear between the scenes.

Some Radio Drama Techniques to note in 'Smokers':
This is an opportunity to identify radio drama conventions.

See How to analyse the radio play - INTRODUCTION SUMMARY (1) - broadcasting & techniques - broadcasting play slots in BBC radio drama. The approach through FORMALISM.

See Taking a radio play scene apart

 'Smokers' is NOT protagonist-dominated and so unlike most other Afternoon Plays (BBC). For definition - see protagonist-dominated (play's main character most important for plot)
 QUESTION: What is the narrative structure of 'Smokers'? For narrative - see Narrative.
 REALISM OR NOT? 'Smokers' is not totally a realist play. (See Realism or naturalism - SLICE-OF-LIFE - VERISIMILITUDE - ('like-to-reality-truth') - 'window on the world'). This is mixed-realism. What is the contrast between the realist scenes (outside locations mostly) and the monologues (position one at the microphone)
 MONOLOGUES: Look at the discourse or style of speech and writing in these monologues. See Monologues
 CHARACTERS: Look at the contrast of the five main characters and how they are revealed. Five main characters are kept equally in the narrative. How is each character discovered in dialogue? What are their distinctive phrases? There should be more differences between Billy and Fiona - Billy needs clearer scripting and much more of a profile in directing and acting. There is a danger of clustering with Billy and Fiona. And the actress playing Billy is too lack-lustre - and she needs a dialect to set her off from Fiona. See CHARACTERISATION
 QUALITY: Look at the quality of comic writing.
 NARRATIVE: (further) Look at the details of the 'back story' (as Dot's previous husbands). Some key scenes - Dot and Fiona have a bowl of pasta - Fiona and Jack meet at the end of the play
 GENRE: A romantic comedy of the 'odd couple' - the main plot line as gradually revealed (Jack and Fiona). All wittily packaged in talk about smoking and its varieties (as social ritual, bonding, occasioning intimacy) and its location (exposed on the street).

 CONTEXT AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH: the socio-historical background to the radio play, economic and political factors that conditioned its making and explain its existence - this is a production from an independent production company commissioned by the B.B.C. - Pacificus Production for B.B.C.
 PRODUCTION AND POST-PRODUCTION: How distinctively are each of the locations revealed? See Perspective - construction, width and depth of the sound picture and SOUND CENTRE - FIXED SOUND CENTRE - the centre of the sound picture remains fixed in the same place + MOVING SOUND CENTRE - 'we go with' and 'mise en scène'.
 MICROPHONE USE: See Microphone positions


Narrative structure -




Benedict Sandiford

TV credits
Main role
Barbara (1999) - Neil Liversidge


Guest Starring Roles
Masterpiece Theatre - Mark Andrews - Foyles War (1) (2003)
Foyle's War - Mark Andrews - The German Woman (2002)
Doctors - Simon Harrison - Poison Climber (2002)
Cadfael - Tutilo - The Holy Thief (1998)
Masterpiece Theatre - Neil Whittle - Interview Day (1998)
This Life - Brian - Small Town Boys (1997)
Heartbeat - Tony Phillips - Thanks To Alfred (1996)
A Touch of Frost - Pte Richards - Unknown Soldiers (1996)




Maria Charles
Starring Roles
Agony Again (1995) - Bea Fisher
Agony (1979) - Bea Fisher

Guest Starring Roles
Bad Girls - Noreen Biggs - Series 5 - Episode 12 (2003)
Doctors - Edna - Ticking (2002)
Bad Girls - Noreen Biggs - Prison Issue (2002)
Bad Girls - Noreen Spriggs - Pillow Talk (2002)
Holby City - Celia Owen - Release (2001)
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - Lady #2 - Paris, October 1916 (1993)
Lovejoy - Alice Deerborn - The Galloping Major (1993)
Casualty - Miss Phelan - Deluge (1989)
Boon - Mrs Jowett - Charity Begins at Home (2) (1988)
Boon - Mrs Jowett - Charity Begins at Home (1) (1988)
Whoops Apocalypse - Jewish Woman - The Violet Hour (1982)
Play for Today - Rita Green - The Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976)
Doctor in the House - Mrs Button - A Heart in the Right Place (1975)

James Green
1989 The Hollywood Detective
1988 Split Decisions - Character played: Old Ex-Boxer
1982 Carl Sandburg: Echoes and Silences
1977 The Lincoln Conspiracy
1970 Pound - Character played: Honky Killer









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