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Dramatisations of Carr's novels and broadcasts

Two novels have been filmed, one for television (A Day in Summer) and one for cinema (A Month in the Country). Two novels have been produced as stage plays (Steeple Sinderby and A Month in the Country). Five novels have been read on BBC Radio 4 (Steeple Sinderby, The Harpole Report, A Month in the Country, Pollocks Crossing, What Hetty Did), and three have been dramatised for radio (A Month in the Country, The Harpole Report, and What Hetty Did). I cannot find any reading or dramatisation of A Season in Sinji or Harpole and Foxberrow. Are cricket and love, or publishing and love, not of interest?




A Day in Summer

●  TV film, Yorkshire Television, Wednesday 12st February, 1989

The novel was dramatised by Alan Plater and filmed by Devonshire Productions for Yorkshire Television. It was directed by Bob Mahoney and starred Peter Egan (Jack Ruskin), Jack Shepherd (Peplow), John Sessions (Croser), Jill Bennett (Miss Prosser), Ian Carmichael (Ted Bellenger) and Anne Croppe (Lydia Prosser). The production is discussed by John Wheatcroft on the website British Television Drama.




The Harpole Report

●  BBC Radio 4, September 1983

The novel was read by Martin Jarvis in 10 parts. It was abridged by Neville Teller and produced by Gerry Jones.


●  BBC Radio 4, Book at Bedtime in September 1996

The novel was read by Alistair McGowan in 10 parts. It was abridged by Neville Teller.


●  BBC Radio 4, 15 Minute Drama in March, 2012

This was dramatised in 5, 15-minute episodes from Monday 12th to Friday 16th March 2012 in BBC Radio 4's 15 Minute Drama. The cast was: Shaun Dingwall (Harpole), Hattie Morahan (Emma), Christian Rodska (Mr Tusker), Sam Dale (Mr Theaker), Lesley Nicol (Mrs Blossom), Jane Whittenshaw (Mrs Grindle-Jones), David Holt (Mr Pintle) and Susie Riddell (Mrs Sue Byrd). The production was repeated on Radio 4 Extra starting on 15th August 2016.




How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers won the F.A. Cup

●  BBC Radio 4, Book at Bedtime, October and November 1981

The novel was read by Terry Molloy in eight parts. It was abridged by Neville Teller.


●  Dramatisations for the theatre, 1990: How Steeple Sinderby Won the F.A. Cup

It was adapted in 1989 by Christopher Lillicrap and Mike Fields and performed at the Swan Theatre in Worcester, the Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead (6-24 February, 1990) and at the Mermaid Theatre in London. The play was directed by Mike Fields and the cast were: Simon Coates (Joe Gidner), Phil Croft (Fangfoss), Karen Davis (Biddy Montague), Roger Martin (Alex Slingsby), Justine Midda (Ginchy Trigger), Simon Needs (Giles Montague) and Nick Spurr (Dr Kossuth).

The two programmes shown below contain a short biography of Carr which most likely he wrote, as it makes some personal comments and gives unusual factual detail. This is it:

James Lloyd Carr was born and brought up in the North Riding of Yorkshire at Carlton Miniott and completed his education at Castleford Secondary School, a refreshingly anarchic institution whose headmaster, a Welshman, T.R. Dawes, was more remarkable that his better-known pupil, Henry Moore.

During the war he was commissioned in Africa and served as an Intelligence Office with several Coastal Command Squadrons. His wartime marriage to Sally, a Red Cross nurse, ended with her death in 1981. They have one son.

In 1967, after working in twenty-five schools of all sorts and sizes in Hampshire, Birmingham, South Dakota and Northamptonshire, he used his savings and a spare back-bedroom to set up as a publisher, drawing and selling directly to householders a series of architectural/historical/literary curiosity maps of the English counties. He also edited, designed and published a list of one hundred envelope-sized books including Jane Austen's History of England, A Dictionary of Extraordinary English Cricketers and numerous standard poets.

At the age of fifty he wrote his first novel which, after seven re-writings and twenty years, appeared as The Battle of Pollocks Crossing and was short-listed for the 1985 Booker Prize. During the intervening years five more novels had appeared, among them A Month in the Country, also shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of the 1980 Guardian Fiction Prize.

Now, faltering somewhat (but calm of mind, all passion spent) he spends his days housekeeping, carving at no charge medieval effigies in limestone to replace those knocked from niches during the Reformation, and raising funds for the Northamptonshire Historic Churches Trust Fund, of which he is the reluctant secretary. He still toils on in the spare back-bedroom.



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        Cover of the Mermaid Theatre Programme.                Cover of the Thorndike Theatre Programme




A Month in the Country

●  Film, 1987

The novel was dramatised by Simon Gray and Directed by Pat O'Conner. It starred Colin Firth (Birkin), Kenneth Brannagh (Moon), Natasha Richardson (Alice) and Patrick Malahide (Keach). This was Firth's first starring role and Brannagh's first film. Penguin reprinted the novel to coincide with the film's release.

The film was shot at St. Mary's Church, in Radnage in Buckinghamshire. There's a lovely 17 km circular walk from Saunderton station that goes past the church (and a pub, for lunch). You can download detailed directions for the walk from the Saturday Walker's Club, here

The film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987 in the section Un Certain Regard.


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Cinema poster (157 x 106 cm) to advertise the film in France.


●  Commercial videos, 1991 to 2016

The trailer for the film can be seen on Youtube.

An interview with Colin Firth was posted on Youtube about the making of the film, his meeting with Carr, the title of the film (the working title was The Falling Man), and its restoration for the BFI re-release. The interview is also on the DVD and Blu-ray discs with the film.


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 Cover, Warner Brothers video, 1991.                        Cover, Film Four DVD video.                                     Cover, Film Four/BFI DVD and Blu-ray, 2016


●  BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour, August 1981

The novel was read by Nigel Hawthorne in six parts. It was abridged by Madge Hart.


●  BBC Radio 4, Book at Bedtime, July 1994

The novel was read by Samuel West in eight parts. It was abridged by Elizabeth Bradbury and produced by Tracey Neale. It was repeated in May and June 1997.


●  Cornerstone, Random House Audio Books, October 1996, ISBN 1860218903

Read by Michael Williams.


●  North Country Theatre, 2002

An adaptation for the stage, directed by Nobby Dimon, at Church Fenton Village Hall on 7th December 2002. This is known from a flier reproduced in Visions Afar, the journals of Raymond Carr.


●  Isis Audio Books, January 2003, ISBN 0753116847

Read by Nick Rawlinson. Unabridged.


●  BBC Radio 4, Radio play, 2010

This was produced as a Saturday Drama by BBC Radio 4 on Saturday 20th November 2010 and repeated on Saturday 5th May, 2012. The cast was: Rupert Evans (Birkin), Hattie Morahan (Alice), Stephen Critchlow (Keach), Blake Ritson (Moon), Leah Brotherhead (Kathy), and Tony Bell (Stationmaster). It was abridged by Dave Sheasby and produced by David Hunter.




The Battle of Pollocks Crossing

●  BBC Radio 4, Book at Bedtime, April 1986

The novel was read by Keith Drinkel in 10 parts. It was abridged by Donald Bancroft.




What Hetty Did

●  BBC Radio 4, Book at Bedtime, January 1989

The novel was read by Hetty Baynes in 10 parts. It was abridged by Neville Teller and produced by Marilyn Imrie. It was repeated in December 1991.


●  BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour drama, October 2004

The novel was dramatised in five parts of 15 minutes each. It was adapted for radio and directed by Helen Dryden. The cast incuded: Anna Hope (Hetty), Richard Hope (Mr Birtwistle), Kate Eaton (Mother), Alison Skillbeck (Miss Braceburn), Caitlin Mottram (Polly) and Clive Swift (Major Horbling).