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The Story of Captain Peter Pendleton Eckersley
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The Power  behind the Microphone

One hundred years ago history was made in Chelmsford. On 15 June, the world's most famous opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, was brought to the Marconi New Street Works to perform a radio concert. It was the first live entertainment broadcast by an artist of international standing and it revolutionised the world of entertainment. But Dame Melba wasn't the first woman to sing live on British radio. That honour went to Winifred Sayer, a young soprano from Chelmsford who sang in a series of experimental broadcasts run by The Marconi Company earlier that year.

At 7:10 pm, international opera star Anna Steiger will step up to the microphone to recreate the concert given by Madame Melba as part of a radio play based on the story of that fateful night and the breakthroughs that made it possible.

The play, which was co-written by Felicity Fair Thompson and Tim Wander, was originally intended for the stage of the Civic Theatre in a week-long production as part of Essex 2020 but director David Streames has now adapted the script for radio so that the cast can perform their lines without having to get too close to each other.

Monday 15th June 2020.

The Cast and Crew

 • DAME NELLIE MELBA - Anna Steiger

 • CAPTAIN PETER ECKERSLEY - Robert Daws

 • CAPTAIN HENRY ROUND - David Warwick

 • BILL DITCHAN - Martin Carroll

 • ARTHUR BURROWS - Jeffrey Harmer

 • WINIFRED SAYER/COLLINS - Lily Streames

 • MUSEUM CURATOR - Wendy Morgan

 • FREDDY MUNION - David Millagan

 • PIANIST - David Stanley

 • Directed by David Streames

 • Written by Felicity Fair Thompson & Tim Wander

 • Produced for Chelmsford City Theatres by Ian Knowles

 • Original Music and Direction by David Stanley

 • Production Design by David Digby

 • Lighting Design by Jenny Vrquhart

 • Sound and Recording Design by Mark Wilson

Production Team for Broadcast

 • Film Services by V-Seats

 • Directed for the screen - Peter Horrell

 • Post Production - Mark Wilson

 • Sound Supervisor - Stuart Brindle

 • Radio Mic Supervisor - Eileen Aldous

 • Lightning Operator - Jeremy Naunton

Production Team

 • Set Design - David Digby

 • Consultant Set Design - Alicia Fowles

• Set Construction - Alana Holland - Peter parry - Jenny Urquhard

 • Additional Set Pieces - Becky Andrewartha

 • Costume for Ms Steiger - Lorena Saiano

 • Costume Courtesy of - Caods

 • Additional Props - Chelmsford City Museums - Tim Wander

 • Production Support - Paul Turner

 

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