The late Dallas Cavell and Kay Clayton, IRDP radio actors in costume for the cover of the cassette pack ‘Judges and Witches’ published in 1990

The Witches of Pendle was written by Richard Shannon and co-produced with Tim Crook for the “Tales From The Courts of Law” series first broadcast between the winter of 1987 and spring of 1988 on LBC Radio in Greater London when it was situated at Gough Square behind Fleet Street. The first audio production was transmitted in 5 minute episodes with cueing by the LBC presenter Steve Jones during his lunch-time programme between 1.50 and 2 p.m. Read More

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Mike Shannon in the role of Jack Bellingham. Photograph by Marja Giejgo

The story of John ‘Jack’ Bellingham who murdered the British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in the Palace of Westminster in 1812 was one of the first ‘Tales From The Courts of Law’ stories and was inspired by Tim Crook’s crime reporter/legal affairs knowledge about the origin of the ‘insanity’ defence in criminal law. It featured a superb performance by Mike Shannon (Richard Shannon’s father) in the role of Bellingham. Mike drew out all of the sad and tragic dimensions of a character who had been provoked and made mentally unwell by the oblique, indifferent and unfair actions of the powerful and uninterested.  Read More

Mike McCormack in costume as Cesare Borgia. Photograph by Marja Giejgo

The Borgias dramatisation involved original research and writing by Richard Shannon and was initially produced for the ‘Tales From The Courts of Law’ strand on the Steve Jones lunch-time show of the London speech independent radio station LBC. ‘Tales From The Courts of Law’ was conceived in something of a panic by the station. They had not expected radio drama in the form of the dramatization of Samuel Pepys’s diary to be successful. Read More

David Peart in costume as Lieutenant William Bligh. Picture taken by James Horton at the Cutty Sark, Greenwich 1988.

Mutiny on the Bounty was one of the first follow-up productions by IRDP for LBC after Pepys and was written and produced in the spring of 1988. It was the first of IRDP’s productions bought by NPR (National Public Radio) USA for distribution by satellite to their affiliate stations on the NPR Playhouse genre and as result was heard throughout the union from New York City, Seattle, and Dallas to San Francisco. Read More

The actor Mike Shannon in costume as Samuel Pepys in 1987

Mike Shannon as Samuel Pepys. Photo: James Horton

Pepys was the first project undertaken by IRDP and began as a creative project in 1986 when Tim Crook and Richard Shannon joined together to develop audio/radio drama in the independent sector of the UK’s radio industry.

The production was first broadcast by LBC Radio on FM and Medium Wave in October 1987 in 5 minute episodes during a lunch-time live programming sequence presented by Steve Jones.

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This is a publicly accessible record of the recordings, broadcasts and documents currently being archived in the Department of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London of the output of Independent Radio Drama Productions, known as IRDP, which was an arts organisation, operating on a not for profit basis between 1987 and 2004, which was dedicated to developing and innovating radio/audio drama and its relationship with stage theatre. Read More