I take responsibility for the formation of JAPE Productions in 2018.
It began as a collaboration with my long-time friend and theatre colleague, Peter Franksson. The idea was to pool our experience into writing and performing our own comedy sketch show, based on the vintage BBC Radio series “Round the Horne”. We would perform live on stage, scripts in hand, being two thirds of a threesome that included actress Jacqui Padden.
Several performances were recorded, resulting in sufficient material to broadcast as podcasts under the title The Red Rose Tattoo (now part of The JAPE Collective below).
Once Covid put a halt to live theatre in 2020, we switched entirely to producing “audio dramas”, which allowed me to adapt two of my own short stories, The Quiet One and Seller Vee, for broadcast. A catalogue of our work, including adaptations of Peter’s stage scripts Dummy Cabs and Teething Problems, is now available through platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Search for The JAPE Collective.
Five years after launching our team, Peter and I have finally started to work together on scripts and, at the time of writing, our first joint piece The Menu New is currently in production.
Question: What does JAPE mean?
Answer: Jacqui : Alan : Peter = Entertainment!
OUR FEATURED PRODUCTION:
We love what we do. Our mission is to produce our own quality material, and to enjoy ourselves in the process. Our latest audio drama is a case in point, and this feature is intended to give an insight in to how it was produced.
Peter’s script is a tribute to social workers, highlighting a day in the life of a woman (Julie) working at a care home. The descriptions are truthful and heartfelt – often humorous; sometimes distasteful – but always honest. Anyone working in social care in the UK will be able to identify with her revelations. But the way Julie’s story is presented is also intriguing. “What a day!” is the opening line, as she slams her front door behind her and flings down her keys. She knows she needs to prepare a meal for herself and David, but first she just needs to relax with a glass of wine, and sound off about all the stresses of her day’s events: “It was up to me, Gareth and Barry to feed, clothe, medicate and toilet the fourteen patients”. She’s in dire need of a cuddle, but David seems reluctant to oblige. As the wine takes effect, and Julie’s narrative comes to an end, we finally understand their special (caring) relationship.
There have been several occasions when I had to find an innovative way to adapt Peter’s stage scripts (and my own short stories) to audio format, but this time I had little to do. The original text was shelved under the title “Julie the Carer”, which I felt was descriptive but not very imaginative – unlike the content. I also cut almost a page of text and tweaked some of the lines – leaving Jacqui to add her own style to the delivery. Unlike some of our earlier work, this one needed very little in the way of sound effects, and was completed in three “takes”.
“Who Cares?” has been added to The JAPE Collective, and you can listen to it HERE.
JAPE Productions is a professional theatre company operating in the North West of England.
Get in touch for a no-obligation discussion.
I first met PETER in 1991, when we acted together in several projects. Curiously, as children we once lived within 500 metres of each other in Lytham, but only discovered the fact in 2020!
JACQUI has now grown accustomed to acting as our referee, as well as taking on multiple female roles in our scripts. A professional actress with more experience on her CV than she’s prepared to admit, she readily admits keeping a straight face while working with Peter and I is her most challenging role.
Our Audio Dramas
Below are some recent examples from The JAPE Collective:
(Clicking on the text OR the sub-heading will take you directly to a host page where you can listen to what we do!)
Drama, adapted from a short story
An elderly woman wants to get rid of her husband. Why won’t the man at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau help her out? And why on earth won’t Bernie eat his bacon butty? 86-year-old Dot is frustrated by life as dementia takes control.
Drama, adapted from a short story
When your luck finally runs IN, what do you do? Barmaid Shani hates being short of money, so when a thousand pounds turns up in her shopping bag, she has some tough decisions to make. As her colleague Miserable Martin puts it: Seller Vee!
Drama Series in five Episodes
Based on Peter’s experience as a taxi driver in the 1990’s, we follow the misadventures of Beryl's boys as their struggling firm tries to fight off business from a rival company.
Dark Comedy in Three Episodes
A dentist and his assistant are faced with an unusual extraction when an unorthodox patient dies, leaving them with a stolen bag of cash.