So, after not doing a great deal of public work over the last few years (although, I didn’t know she was in Doctors and Casualty!) Chloë Annett is to star in a new radio show called Henry’s Girls. It’s on Tuesday May 15th at 14.15 on Radio 4, if you must know.
It’s written by the excellent Alan Stafford so I’m going to let him do the writing, for fuck’s sake.
The play is basically a comedy about the staging of the first English opera at a girls’ school. Robert Glenister (Hustle) plays composer Henry Purcell – and Chloe plays his wife. When I was asked for casting suggestions for this part, Chloe was the first name I came up with. I’m surprised she hasn’t done more radio – because her scenes with Robert were excellent – quite a contrast to the broader comedy of the rest of the play. Just to up the sci-fi quota – the cast also includes Torchwood’s Naoko Mori, who not only acts but sings beautifully. And the director is Dirk Maggs, who directed Hitchhikers Guide series 3 – 5 along with many other radio sci-fi epics.
But, I know what you’re saying, what of Chloë? Was she good? Yes:
Chloe was great to work with. She was full of praise for the script so, whenever we chatted, it quickly turned into a mutual admiration society. There are two husband & wife pairings in the play – the other pair consisting of a weak, blustering Robert Duncan and a stronger, down-to-earth Nichola McAuliffe. Chloe is a calm, more gentle character than her husband, but there needs to be plenty of inner strength. That’s what I hoped she’d bring to the part – and she captured it perfectly.
There’s one brief conversation Chloe and Robert Glenister have in bed. (Not that exciting on radio – they just sit on chairs and rustle a sheet.) During the recording their voices were incredibly quiet – virtually whispering – but it comes over brilliantly in performance.
Most of the actors had to double up, taking on other minor roles in the play. Apart from the odd crowd scene, Chloe also doubles as announcer, reading out the opening and closing credits.
It all sounds very good, really. And, lest we forget, Alan Stafford is the throughly nice man who wrote and informed me of the Radio 4 show Absent Friends, which was my first source of Wrinkles clips! So, for that, do him a favour and give this a listen for Christ’s sake you selfish, ignorant BASTARDS.