Audience are invited to enter and browse round the shed which looks like a chaotic laboratory, stuffed with radios, scientific formaulas, bits of wires etc.

Uh hum (tap tap tap). The great symphonist Mahler, ladies and gents, he composed many of his finest works in his shed. And today we present to you an orchestra who live in this shed. The Midland Radio Orchestra. Principal Conductor, myself, Professor Derek Nisbet.

And may I introduce my assistant conductor Dr Nicholas Peters who will today be performing Radio Fantasy No 2, a piece created during the course of this week with the contributions of the good people of Cannon Hill Park. The piece features two of the finest players from the group, the Nomad and the Bush.

(applause, bows, recognition of the radios)

Why, I hear you ask, are two men living in a shed with an ensemble of radios?

It’s a sad fact that, in the year 2015 the radio waves are going to be switched off. The great digital switchover they call it, the day when radios like these and 50 million others like them become redundant, for there will be no more radio waves for them to catch. Myself and Dr Peters are a little concerned about this, we’re worried about what’s going to happen to all those radios, and that it why we intend to gather them, every one of those 50 million radios and put them safely in sheds, very much like this one.

For ladies and gents, let me let you into a little secret, these radios are not what they seem. No. These radios have stories to tell. These radios are where our histories are stored. Our moments of triumph, our moments of weakness. These radios need to be adopted. They need to be put in sheds, they need to be looked after and moreover – ladies and gents – they need to be listened to.

Let me tell you a story. Once there was a little boy who lived in a far away country, he was 5 or 6 years old, and in the summer he spent most of his time on his own, with his grandfather’s radio. It was a big, old radio made of wood with a glass cover on the front. When the little boy looked through the glass on the tuner, he thought he could see the cement wall of some sort of a building. He often wondered where the people whose voices he heard on the radio lived – the people who read the news, and sometimes sang – and he thought maybe this was the wall of their house he could see through the glass.

At the time there was a programme on TV about small people having adventures in the land of normal-sized people. For some reason, he didn’t know how, these people had been shrunk, and he believed this was surely the same way that they made people small enough to put one or two or three inside each radio.

So, to prove his theory that there were people living inside, he sat very close to his grandad’s  radio for minutes and sometimes hours at a time, waiting to see if he could catch a glimpse of the little people who he heard every day, when they came out for fresh air or to have a drink or something. For the little boy hoped he could catch one of these people and play with him. But he wondered, how would they ever get out through the glass? [pause]

(whisperered) Ladies and gentlemen, today we are going to conduct an experiment. An experiment to see if we can wake up the people inside these six radios, and let them out. But to let them out we need the help of someone who knows all about glass. It’s called the Randle-English experiiment, because those are the names of the people whose idea it was to build the mac, as a place for children to come and work and play. John English always used to wear a bow tie, and he knew all about glass because before he had the idea to build the mac, making glass was his job. So, if later on you see a man with a bow tie on, you know he’s come to help us get all the people out of the radios and tell their stories.

According to my book, the people in the radios will only wake up if they hear the sound of angels singing. So I need 6 volunteers to help me with my experiment, because by my calculations, 6 Whotums of musical power will be sufficient to create enough angel singing to wake up the people in these 6 radios. [Conductors give out Whotum tubes]

OK then? Let’s have a practice.

Right, we’re ready to begin. When you hear your radio start to speak, you can stop playing and sit down to listen to what they say.

Assistant offers protective glasses etc…
Ah yes, might be a little bit dangerous you see, not quite sure what’s going to happen… Ah, don’t seem to have enough glasses for everyone, ah well, should be Ok…

Conductor directs 6 volunteers to play

One by one each radio says: AN ANGEL SINGING and whotum sounds carry on on radios
We hear lots of voices talking and listing things in sheds etc
In my shed there are lots of Spiders spiders spiders (panning across the radios) etc
In my shed I have a RADIO RADIO RADIO
Builds up into a wall of sound, tuning noises etc. Voice of (real) John English “it’s an experiment social engineering” etc

John English (on radio)
I need to get out of here!

Ah, Dr Peters, we seem to have a slight malfunction here…

John English (on radio and live)
Let me out!!!

Sorry about this ladies and gents…


John English tears through the paper radio and addresses the audience, covered in wires, soot etc.

John English (live)
Ah, that’s better. Terribly stuffy in there, under all that glass. Rather a shame to have to break it, but there we are. I did so want to be here in person to meet you.

Gets out

Ah yes there you all are. Thank you so much for coming to help us. Let me show you round and where you’re going to be working. Got some lovely sheds for you to sleep in. Follow me!

The audience leave. The experimenters are left in their shed.