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 our first joint piece The Menu New is now available for er… consumption?!

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.

A recent upgrade to our sound system presented me with an opportunity I couldn’t resist. Two years ago, when we recorded Dummy Cabs, our system was (shall we say) a little primitive. “DC” was our first proper drama, as opposed to comedy sketches, and we were keen to make an impact. Peter had written a script about a struggling small taxi company, centred around the lady taking the calls and dishing out the jobs. It had a slightly vintage feel, and was authentic in that it was based on Peter’s own experiences as a cab driver in the nineties. When he asked Jacqui and I to look at it, he had a stage presentation in mind, but to me, this cried out for converting to audio.

In the original version, a lot of the drama happens out of sight of the audience because they are listening to the drivers communicating with either base or each other. In fact, only one of four drivers ever appears in the taxi office. I could see the opportunities for three actors to play all seven featured characters, so long as we could use decent sound effects to create the atmosphere – and tweak the script a little! (It also meant finding suitable places to break down a ninety-minute play into five roughly equal parts.)

We were quite pleased with the result when the first episode was broadcast in June 2021. And it had been a joy to record. The radio FX between cabs and base involved using a pair of simple “walkie-talkie” handsets, with Jacqui at one end (with microphone), and either myself or Peter in an adjoining room (without microphone). Peter also played three different drivers, as well as a female plumber!

Now new technology has arrived, meaning I’ve been able to go back to our master recordings, and re-mix with a completely new set of FX tracks, dramatically improving the quality from 2021. We’ve also started to produce a sequel, this time in three parts, which we anticipate releasing in 2024. (Watch out for Rising Stars.) But you can listen to the newly improved Dummy Cabs HERE as part of The JAPE Collective.

Jacqui Padden
Peter Franksson

About Us

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 images 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?

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

Julie has had a gruelling day at the care home where she works. She just wants a glass of wine and a cuddle – not necessarily in that order. She has a colourful story to tell, but why won’t David come out of the kitchen and help Julie unwind?

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.

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