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Poet's Corner is a six-part sitcom for radio, aimed at slots such as weekdays at 6.30 p.m. on BBC Radio 4. 

This web site features click-to-play audio clips (below) from a demo recording of the pilot episode, Hard Times, by Actors & Writers London in November 2006.  The episode was professionally acted and directed by Martin Cort.  The recording includes a full radio soundtrack and live audience response. 

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for full details.

Click on any photograph for a detailed resumé.

PETER is an impecunious poet who lives with his daughter HELEN, 24, and son TOM, 17.  His two ex-wives, ANN (Helen's mother) and JANE (Tom's mother), though absent from the scene, continue to speak to Peter inside his head, taunting him about his lack of success:  He never seems to stick at any project for long enough to bring it to fruition.

Peter is determined to find a new girlfriend.  His main source of opportunity is the writing class that he attends each week: there are no male participants other than the teacher, DAVID, and Peter himself.  The writing group has a constantly changing population of seemingly eligible women.  The only other regular participant is FRANCES, definitely not on Peter's target list, who can always be relied upon to deliver the latest instalment of her novel based on the Industrial Revolution.

The recurrent themes of the series are Peter's domestic situation, his financial problems and his visits to the writing group. Each week, he is at work on a new project and chasing a new woman.  Each week, we here some of the voices inside Peter's head, including those of his two ex-wives. Each episode also includes a poetic dream sequence in which Peter recalls the jumbled events of the story.


Hard Times

In the pilot episode, Peter begins work on a verse "translation" of Dickens' Hard Times.  The day's distractions include a cash crisis, a technical computer error, and the nagging voices of his ex-wives. An imaginary plumber (inside Peter's head) offers advice on the computer failure. 

Peter visits the supermarket, where he sees HELENA, his latest writing group idol. He loads his shopping basket with cuts of meat, hoping to impress her but, when he looks up, she is gone. 

Returning from school, Tom fixes the computer in a matter of seconds, unfortunately too late for Peter to make any significant progress with his writing. 

Helena attends the writing group.  Peter persuades her to join him for a drink in the pub, where the insurmountable obstacle to their relationship is revealed.  He withdraws, defeated, into the land of dreams.  Next morning, Dickens gets the sack.  


Sound effects created by Paddy Gormley
Recording by Julie Hill
Sound technician: Tony Murphy
Studio engineering: Paddy Gormley & Martin Cort


Click here to email Paddy Gormley.

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