IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – “LIVE” adapted by Christine Foster


A group of actors is trying to perform a live radio broadcast on the BBC Home Service of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE in a small studio on Christmas Eve 1948, but the Sound Effects person doesn’t show up.

So in addition to acting in real time at the microphones the performers have to rush to the SFX table and figure out how to do all the sounds themselves! A wonderfully quirky and fun-packed adaptation by Christine Foster, from a screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Jo Swerling and Frank Capra, in turn based on the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern.



Clarissa Mumford – well into her 60’s, a cheerful outspoken diva. PLAYS: Superintendent of Angels, Nosy Neighbour, Mrs. Hatch, Lady Pratchett, Mrs. Thompson, Janey Bailey, Zuzu Bailey, Katie O’Hara

Anthony Vickers –60’s, a bit defeated by his life in the theatre, drinks a bit, had a few good Shakespeare roles in his day.
PLAYS: Clarence, Mr. Gower, Uncle Billy, Mr. Phelps, Mr. Bernini, Train Guard, Peter Bailey, Mr. Walsh, PC Bert, Harry Bailey

Pamela Brook – pushing 30, her career is not going anywhere now the director she was dating has moved on. She’s cynical, considering quitting. PLAYS: Mary, young Harry, Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Charlton, Nora, Beryl

Timothy Chistleworth – public school, fresh and enthusiastic, has a few credits in weekly rep. An old school friend’s father is an agent so he’s just been signed up and is ready to conquer London.
PLAYS: George, young George

Director: paces about with a headset and clipboard and does the announcing. Male or female. Firm though frazzled.

Technician/ Tom – has one line from the booth



The Heartwarming Classic ‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’ re-imagined as a live 1940’s Radio Play was presented by the Cliffhanger Company in December 2017 at The Coach House, Rottingdean and Saltdean Community Hall starring Isabella McCarthy Sommerville, Margot Jobbins, John Black and Richard Evans-Thomas





“Bravo! It’s a Wonderful Play!”  Amanda Davidson
“So clever, witty, and the acting and directing were fabulous!”  Kim Ryan
“Delightful and perfectly cast, I want to see it again!”  Neil Jordan
“A cracking show!”  Emma Howarth
“Such a funny idea and so beautifully acted. A brilliant Christmas story!” Philip Sugg


Preview available here

Additional information

Cast Size

Cast Breakdown

, ,



Script Author

Script Type