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My Turn To Make The Tea
The radio 4 play My Turn To Make The Tea is based on the novel of the same name by Monica Dickens. She wrote this semi autobiographical book based on her experience working as a junior reporter and obituary writer for a local newspaper, The Downingham Post, in the 1950s.
The five part serial was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2006. Each episode was 30 minutes in length. It was adapted for radio by Sheila Goff and directed by David Hunter.
My Turn To Make The Tea Radio Play Episode Guide
1. The Stain on the Carpet: Poppy is the junior reporter on the Downingham Post, where it is always her turn to make the tea. She has accommodation in a nearby lodging house run by the scary Mrs Goff. She meets fellow lodger, Maimie, who is an acrobat. They rearrange her furniture and find a red stain on the carpet under the bed - is this from the bread knife murderer?
Broadcast on Friday 30 June 2006 at 11:30am
2. Look Out Behind You: Poppy promises her acrobat friend Maimie that she will write a supportive review of the local Christmas pantomime. But all does not go according to plan. Then there are the problems with their landlady Mrs Gough and leaving the gas fire on all night. At work she struggles to convince the Editor that a woman's page is needed for the newspaper to increase circulation and invents a few letters from real women.
Broadcast on Friday 7 July 2006 at 11:30am
3. The Anarchist in the Basement: Neil Casubon, the anarchist in the basement of Poppy's boarding house, throws a wild party. Landlady Mrs Goff is not amused at her respectible establishment being turned into a knocking shop. Novice reporter Poppy's trip to a civic banquet with Downingham Post Editor Mr Pellet finds them letting their hair down and winning some butter dishes and a rabbit for the baby.
Broadcast on Friday 14 July 2006 at 11:30am
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4. The Soldier and the Dancer: Mrs Goff has a new lodger who is a ballet dancer and harbours a secret - she is married to a soldier. His leave is cancelled when he hits an officer. Poppy finds herself in an awkward position when a news story breaks about her new fellow lodgers. But this ultimately propels her into her true vocation.
Broadcast on Friday 21 July 2006 at 11:30am
Poppy - Alice Hart
Mr Pellet - Keith Barron
Mamie - Annabelle Dowler
Victor - Stephen Critchlow
Mike - Peter Darney
Joe - Martin Hyder
Marjorie - Jemima Elder
Mrs Goff - Marlene Sidaway
Information About The Writer Monica Dickens
Monica Dickens chose the life of a servant, though she was the daughter of a barrister. She was expelled from private school. She worked as a cook, in an aircraft factory and as a nurse, amongst other jobs. She shared these experiences through her books such as One Pair Of Hands and One Pair Of Feet.
Most of her books were written about Britain, though she lived in America with her husband (Roy Stratton a United States Marine Officer) and their two adopted children (Prudence and Pamilla).
Monica Dickens helped many charities throughout her life, such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and The Samaritans. These formed the subjects for more of her books such as Kate and Emma and Cobbler's Dreams.
Some of her children's books became television programmes including the series Follyfoot.
Monica Dickens returned to the UK after her husband died. She wrote her autobiography An Open Book. She died on Christmas Day 1992.
The book and talking CD are available to buy from Amazon at discounted prices with free delivery available. Other books by Monica Dickens include Chronicle of a Working Life, Mariana, New Arrival at Follyfoot, Flowers on the Grass, Enchantment and Closed At Dusk.
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