Alan Ayckbourn: BBC Radio Plays

Between 1965 and 1970, Alan Ayckbourn was employed as a Radio Drama Producer by the BBC. He was responsible for directing dozens of works for the radio, sadly details of the majority of which have been lost. These pages contain details for specific productions where known.

The Western Reserve (1966)

Production Details


Sheila Cregeen

21 February 1966 @ 8.30pm
BBC Home Service
Alan Ayckbourn
Old Chalse
Christian Quirk
Nele Faragher
Lawyer Kinly
Henry Cashen
Mistress Faragher
Other roles
Other roles
Other roles
Other roles
Tony Quinn
Peggy Marshall
P.G. Stephens
Stephen Thorne
Brian Phelan
Sara Aimson
Barry Keegan
Rio Fanning
Harry Towb
John Bott
Jim Wiggins
Ruth Holden
Jack Cunningham
Robert Wallace
George Canavan
Stuart Deans
Philip Oakley


The Isle of Man: 1825.

It is strange that the Isle of Man is still relatively unexplored territory so far as the playwright is concerned. For though tiny it is filled with its own highly individual folklore and legend. Sheila Cregeen has drawn on some of this rich material for her play tonight.
It is 1825. The Manxman of this period was generally either a herring fisherman or a farmer - a tough man who knew that work meant food and food meant survival. At this period conditions on the island were far from idyllic. The Manx Government was powerful and unpopular. The fisherman paid dearly for his catch through the tithes he was forced to pay. The farmer, too, found his precious potato crop decimated by the Government collectors. Many were reduced to such poverty by exorbitant taxes that they were reluctantly forced to look for escape.
From the New World reports were filtering back of a land of rich harvests, a stretch near Lake Erie known as the Western Reserve. Emigrants began to depart but others determined to fight for a better life on the island that each regarded as his own.
Sheila Cregeen describes one such man's battle. She tells how Daniel Redmond, a simple farmer, fought a government. But perhaps more important, she gives us a glimpse of a stranger, proud, individual people and their way of life.
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.