John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme: Series 9

    • 3.3 • 11 Ratings
    • £6.99

    • £6.99

Publisher Description

The complete ninth series of BBC Radio 4's award-winning sketch show

'One of our best sketch writers' Observer

John Finnemore returns with his multi-award-winning sketch show, but this series is very different to the previous eight. There are still sketches and songs, and it's still written and performed by him and his usual fantastic ensemble cast - but with no live studio audience, John has taken the opportunity to try something new.

Each episode in this series of Souvenir Programme consists of scenes from one person's life, played in reverse order. There's no narrative as such - it's still a sketch show - but as we follow the characters back in time, from lockdown Zoom calls to childhood birthdays and funerals, the individual sketches link up to form an overall picture, portraying the sprawling history of an entire multi-generational family.

And, as if that wasn't enough, there are also some terrific tall tales, a paean of praise, and a truly unforgettable earworm...

Clever, complex, hilarious and poignant, these Souvenir Programmes with a twist star Lawry Lewin as Russ, Margaret Cabourn-Smith as Deborah, Simon Kane as Jerry, Carrie Quinlan as Vanessa and John Finnemore as Newt.

Cast and credits
Written and performed by John Finnemore
Ensemble cast: Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Simon Kane, Lawry Lewin, Carrie Quinlan
Original music composed by Susannah Pearse and Sally Stares, and arranged by Susannah Pearse and Tim Sutton
Recorded and edited by Rich Evans at Syncbox Post
Production coordinator: Beverly Tagg
Producer: Ed Morrish
A BBC Studios production

© 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
(p) 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

John Finnemore
hr min
19 August
BBC Audio

Customer Reviews

SageAlan ,

Huge fan, very disappointed

I have every Souvenir Programme Series and every year I buy hard copies for my friends and family whom I have introduced to the show. I only managed to listen to two episodes of this one and it’s just not funny. So sad as I loved this, Cabin Pressure and all of his other work


As you asked me for a story…

And here Finnemore finally does EXACTLY that. This is a truly epic undertaking and what happens to a man with that kind of mad genius when you put him in lockdown. This isn’t your standard sketch show (not that Souvenir has ever been that), this is a novel told in sketch form, flitting (sometimes maddeningly) backwards and forwards in time gently illuminating the life of our erstwhile storyteller. I cried with laughter, I cried with genuine emotion, and more than once had a lump in my throat with a lip tremble. This is a radio masterpiece, utter perfection of its medium and using every facet of the unseen, but spoken, words to envelop and entrap the listener.

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