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Over The Gate

    by Danny Greenstone and Nino Cirone



Play Script: 'Over The Gate'The BBC Radio drama serial 'Over The Gate' has lost its way. And it's novelty. And its audience. This is a crying shame because it has been a stalwart of the BBC’s drama output for many years ... three times a week, with its heartwarming mixture of country life, country recipes, country folk and country intrigue. Now, however, even its well-loved characters and comforting old-world values may no longer be enough to assure its stay on the radio airwaves.

There’s something more in the wind than the scent of old fertiliser. Week by week, listeners seem to be discovering more exciting, more adventurous and - frankly - more entertaining things to go and do. With a cast and production team including an arrogant producer, a fantasist writer, a megalomaniac Head of Drama and the thespiest of thesps in the lead role it looks as if the days of 'Over The Gate' are numbered. But what will they do, individually and jointly, to prevent the imminent fall of the BBC axe?
With a cast of twelve, 'Over The Gate' is a comedy that plays on the notion that the 'magic of radio' means that - as far as the listeners are concerned - what they 'see' is only what they hear. We, however, can watch with glee as the action on stage has absolutely nothing to do with the action ‘on air’. As the actors and the production team try anything  and  everything they can in order to keep broadcasting, we get a heady recipe of cows, tractors, broken relationships, misread lines, mobile phones, answering machines, cheese rolls, crocheting, car crashes, vanilla Coke, explosions, mistaken identities, doors-a-plenty, sex and guns … and all of it on air … or is it?


120 mins approx (exc interval)


Principals (4m, 2f)

  •   Matthew Stone - 50(ish), has played ‘Jack’ for over 13 years, but would really prefer to be back in the theatre
  •   Helen Potter - 50(ish), straight as a die, highly principled actress, has played ‘Bessie’ for 15 years
  •   Jordan Hinchcliffe - the shows producer, considers himself undervalued, thinks he knows everything
  •   Martin Shaughnessey - good-looking young actor, often lost for words without his script, plays ‘Doctor Farmiloe’
  •   Jim Duckett - late 50's, an actor, has very bad vision, plays Farmer ‘ Frank Ballard’
  •   Robyn Williams - a bright, young, enthusiastic girl, plays the live sound effects

Support (3m, 2f, 1m/f)

  •   Alick Langdon-Smith - a technician, plays the recorded sound effects
  •   Janis Copping - a young woman, the show's production assistant, prefers filing her nails to working
  •   Ranjit Channa - currently the script writer for 'Over The Gate' (Playable as male, female, or not Asian)
  •   Trafford White - the Head of Radio Drama
  •   Pete Leonard - a real farmer, check shirt and corduroy trousers etc, dislikes inaccuracies in the show


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