The play is set in a small radio studio in the bowels of Broadcasting House, at a not very secret location somewhere in London, England. It is Christmas 1942. The DG has decided that the long-suffering British public need their spirits lifted by a festive pantomime. Unfortunately, the local amateur dramatics group that was meant to deliver this treat fails to materialise and the hard-pressed producer and floor manager are forced to press some of the audience into an impromptu performance. With the added complication of an under-cover operation to prevent secret war plans falling into the wrong hands, mayhem ensues!



Alvar Lidell                         The voice of the BBC.

Dotti Darling                      (30-50) A BBC producer. She is quite happy doing ‘Listen with Mother’ but can’t cope with the stress of grown-up people. She tends to drift through life in a rather lovely haze.

Molly Proppemup           (Age indeterminable)      A BBC char lady. Easily confused with her mop, her rough and ready exterior covers hidden depths of stupidity. There may be more to her than meets the eye, but, if so, she hides it well. She wears a long housecoat and a scarf wrapped around her hair.

Simone deWitt                 (40-55) A BBC floor manager. A volunteer, this is her way of “doing her bit for the war”. She would have been better employed packing parachutes (for the enemy). She is the antithesis of Dotti Darling – dashing from one crisis to another at a rate of knots. Her hair is held back in a tight bun. Simone is very close to the edge; unfortunately, she is on the wrong side of it.

Clive Prendaghast           (45-55) An actor of some little repute. Some very little repute as it happens. His repertoire includes some of the greatest plays of all time – Hamlet (second gravedigger), Julius Caesar (spear-holder) and Macbeth (a dead body). In farce, he is always the little Yorkshireman who gets locked in a trunk and loses his trousers. His idea of hell is to be forced to perform with amateurs he has never met before in a poorly rehearsed radio play with a rotten script.

Dame Hari-Kiri te Kanawerms                    (50-60) A diva. Once Britain’s leading opera singer, she has appeared at every great venue in the Western world. The war has now reduced her to entertaining the ‘boys’ from the back of troop carriers. She would give her life for music and a little gin and lime.

Celia Stringbag                  (60-ish) Dresser and permanent companion to the diva.  She has never been known to open her mouth in public but her looks speak volumes (usually daggers).

Rev. Reginald Cadwallader-Trump           (70-ish) The shambling vicar of All-Hallows. He should have been retired years ago but all the young men are at ‘the front’. He has turned up to do ‘The Epilogue’. Not at home with new-fangled things like wireless sets. In fact, barely at home at all about anything. Tall, thin and slightly stooped.

Willie Nobbs                     (11-14) An East-End urchin evacuated to live with Dame Hari-Kiri. He will grow up to take part in the Great Train Robbery but, for now, must content himself with petty pilfering and passing secrets to the Germans. He only ever gets one thing wrong. He gets caught. He wears a drab, grey school uniform with short trousers and a cap. Both of his socks are rolled own.

Dickie ‘the Dip’ Nobbs   (13-16) Willie’s elder, and much wiser brother. Looks like a choir boy and could charm the birds from the trees. Old ladies love him. Runs a black market in watches, nylons and sausages. Will grow up to head a multi-billion pound pubs and gambling consortium and advise the government on foreign investment. Wears the same grey school uniform as Willie but his is cleaner and tidier and his sock are neatly held up with school-issue garters.

Verity Pureheart              (18-20) A young, sweet-natured Wren, on leave from her posting in Portsmouth and hoping to meet her heart-throb, Ronald Coleman. Wears a Wren’s uniform with beret-style cap with an ‘HMS’ cap-band. She has a ‘modern’ hairstyle, similar to Mary Martin’s at the time.

F X Mann                             (Age immaterial) A sound technician of unsound mind

Miss/Mr Phillimore        (Any age or gender)        A passing pianist



Approx 45 minutes



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