The Crystal Fountain

Episodes

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AR01Landlord Of The Crystal Fountain2011042620130616

Martin Jarvis directs Imelda Staunton in Malachi Whitaker's moving story, written in the 1930s.

Attractive red-headed teacher, Brenda Millgate, meets five jolly men on a train from King's Cross going north.

What happens to her on the journey is a life-changing experience.

They're very friendly and helpful.

All northerners.

Where have they been? Who are they? Eventually it's revealed that they're all landlords.

Brenda, unhappy in London away from her northern roots, is beguiled by their talk, their humour and their courtesy.

Then one of them says something which changes her whole life.

Malachi Whitaker was a prolific writer in the 1920s and '30s, writing with great perception and care about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire.

She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic and surprising) behaviour.

Imelda Staunton biography: Oscar nominated and Bafta award-winning for her title role performance in 'Vera Drake'.

She has had a long and distinguished career in the theatre, RNT and West End, performing A Man for all Seasons, Mack & Mabel, Side by Side, and Elektra.

Also BBC TV Series: Cranford.

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis & Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

Imelda Staunton reads Malachi Whitaker's story: a train journey changes a woman's life.

Martin Jarvis directs Imelda Staunton in Malachi Whitaker's moving story, written in the 1930s. Attractive red-headed teacher, Brenda Millgate, meets five jolly men on a train from King's Cross going north. What happens to her on the journey is a life-changing experience. They're very friendly and helpful. All northerners. Where have they been? Who are they? Eventually it's revealed that they're all landlords.

Brenda, unhappy in London away from her northern roots, is beguiled by their talk, their humour and their courtesy. Then one of them says something which changes her whole life.

Malachi Whitaker was a prolific writer in the 1920s and '30s, writing with great perception and care about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire. She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic and surprising) behaviour.

Imelda Staunton biography: Oscar nominated and Bafta award-winning for her title role performance in 'Vera Drake'. She has had a long and distinguished career in the theatre, RNT and West End, performing A Man for all Seasons, Mack & Mabel, Side by Side, and Elektra. Also BBC TV Series: Cranford.

AR02Strange Music2011042720130623

Martin Jarvis directs Moira Quirk in Malachi Whitaker's moving short story of a young girl's visit to a dance hall on a rainy night with her friend.

But why does Cora send Joyce though to the dance-floor alone.

Why does she remain outside? Is she waiting for someone? Then the young man she's come to see is standing in front of her.

It's Danny Dunne, the band leader.

He tells her she shouldn't have come.

She tells him urgently that she wants to see him again.

'I want us to be alone again together,' she says.

'You know what I want.' He nervous, telling her he's got to be careful.

But what is the real story between these two? Does Cora have a hidden agenda? And is there more to diffident Danny than there seems?

Malachi Whitaker was prolific in the 1920s and '30, writing with compassion and perception about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire.

She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic) behaviour.

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis & Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Malachi Whitaker's touching 1934 story of a young girl's strange visit to a dance-hall.

Martin Jarvis directs Moira Quirk in Malachi Whitaker's moving short story of a young girl's visit to a dance hall on a rainy night with her friend. But why does Cora send Joyce though to the dance-floor alone. Why does she remain outside? Is she waiting for someone? Then the young man she's come to see is standing in front of her.

It's Danny Dunne, the band leader. He tells her she shouldn't have come. She tells him urgently that she wants to see him again. 'I want us to be alone again together,' she says. 'You know what I want.' He nervous, telling her he's got to be careful. But what is the real story between these two? Does Cora have a hidden agenda? And is there more to diffident Danny than there seems?

Malachi Whitaker was prolific in the 1920s and '30, writing with compassion and perception about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire. She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic) behaviour.

AR03 LASTHome To Waggonhouses2011042820130630

Martin Jarvis directs Rosalind Ayres in Malachi Whitaker's moving story, written in the 1930s.

Sarah has been cycling for two hours.

Where's she going? And why? She's determined to see the husband who deserted her.

She has heard he is lying ill at Ebesham.

Three years ago he had come into some money and it had turned his head.

Then the farm seemed too small for him.

He went to look at bigger farms miles away.

On one of his journeys he met an attractive widow.

One day they left quietly together, and later Sarah heard that they had set up house at Ebesham.

And now Sarah is riding there, where David is lying ill.

But she arrives to find an unexpected situation.

What she does next could probably only have come from Malachi Whitaker compassionate pen.

Malachi Whitaker was prolific in the 1920s and '30s, writing with great perception and care about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire.

She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic) behaviour.

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis & Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Malachi Whitaker's atmospheric story about a loyal wife's gritty determination.

Martin Jarvis directs Rosalind Ayres in Malachi Whitaker's moving story, written in the 1930s. Sarah has been cycling for two hours. Where's she going? And why? She's determined to see the husband who deserted her. She has heard he is lying ill at Ebesham.

Three years ago he had come into some money and it had turned his head. Then the farm seemed too small for him. He went to look at bigger farms miles away. On one of his journeys he met an attractive widow. One day they left quietly together, and later Sarah heard that they had set up house at Ebesham. And now Sarah is riding there, where David is lying ill. But she arrives to find an unexpected situation. What she does next could probably only have come from Malachi Whitaker compassionate pen.

Malachi Whitaker was prolific in the 1920s and '30s, writing with great perception and care about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire. She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic) behaviour.