Ian Winterton

ALL THE BENS by Ian Townsend - an audio drama - LAUNCH!!!!

Fundraising for George House Trust
raised of £500 target
George House Trust

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We inspire people living with HIV to live healthy and confident lives.


In aid of GEORGE HOUSE TRUST, Bamalam Productions CIC present...


ALL THE BENS by Ian Townsend

Adapted as an audio drama by Ian Winterton
Directed by Joseph Lidster
Starring Nathaniel Hall, Jack Bence & Finn Walters

<br />        ALL THE BENS by Ian Townsend - audio drama - LAUNCH PARTY image<br />

Based on the cult stage play of the same name, the audio version of All The Bens is coming. Thanks to the backing of Arts Council England, it will be free to stream forever from wherever you get your podcasts from 9am (BST) on 1st September, 2021 (to get notified when it drops, follow Bamalam's Midweek Drama at Spotify here.

To mark the event, we're holding a launch event in Manchester at  newly reopened theatre 53Two on 1st September - with tickets available FREE from 9am on 6th August 2021 

In addition, we've got a Kickstarter here to raise funds for the launch event in order to get our non-Manchester based director and actors up to the event. This gives ALL THE BENS fans the chance to own the drama on CD (together with interviews and other extras) or attend an online Q&A with Nathaniel and the rest of the team. There are also some writing workshops coming up from the two Ians as well...

We're asking for anyone who attends the event in Manchester - and, indeed, anyone who listens to the drama for free online or attends any of the free online events - to donate  to the George House Trust via this page. In fact, if you're reading this: donate! GHT are amazing.

Jack, Nathaniel & Finn losing it during recording.


Gritty, sexy, exciting and shot through with mordant humour, All The Bens is the story of Ben, a young gay man who – unemployed, skint and lonely – is in danger of drifting into depression. But his life changes when he has a one-night stand with Al, a handsome charmer who – to say the least – is pretty mixed up about the whole ‘gay’ thing. Ben, of course, falls for him hook, line and sinker. It all seems hopeless except Ben has someone who’s very much on his side: his brother Henry who, through his autism, has a view of the world – numbers, Bingo and Carry On movies – that’s both unique and life-affirming.

A hit with audiences ever since its first performance at Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival in 2012, All The Bens has won numerous awards in its various stage incarnations, including a Manchester Theatre Award. It’s been adapted as an audio play for Bamalam by Ian Winterton, with input from Ian Townsend. Also credited as executive producer, Ian Townsend has this to say regarding the project:

“I'm so thrilled the journey of All The Bens is continuing, thanks to Ian Winterton and the wonderful people at Bamalam. I can't wait for everyone to listen to this fantastic new adaptation, and to hear the amazing new cast and director bring it to life. It's a play that seems to resonate and grow each time it's performed, and one which means just as much to me now as it's always done. Ben, Al and Henry live to tell their stories another day. That's got to be a 7!”

Directing this audio version of All The Bens is Joseph Lidster, who says:

“I first saw All the Bens a few years ago and I loved it. It was a truly brilliant piece of theatre with real heart to it. I was thrilled when Ian Townsend got in touch asking if I’d be interested in directing an audio adaptation of the play. The script is so lyrical, it’s just perfect for audio. I can’t wait for people to get to know and fall in love with Ben, Henry and Al.”

Writer and producer, Ian Winterton, describes what the play means to him, and why he had the idea to bring it to Bamalam:

“I’ve loved All The Bens ever since I first read a very early draft as a reader for Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival. That was back in 2012 and I can still remember the excitement of uncovering a script that was already in amazing shape. I emailed the festival director – the mighty David Slack whom both Ian and I owe a lot – and enthused that I’d just read the play that would win that year’s audience award. And I was right. The infectious energy of All The Bens was there from the outset, as was the sparkling dialogue and the three brilliantly realised central characters. Getting to work on an audio adaptation was a privilege and I’m confident – mainly because Ian would have told us if it was otherwise – that I’ve retained the DNA of the original play, although it is very much an audio drama in its own right. Bamalam are an amazing young company, as I know from their production of my audio play in pre-pandemic 2020, Cracking The Feathers, and knew that they would be perfect fit to make this new version of All The Bens a reality. And – thankfully – Arts Council England agreed. And then there’s the cast – we couldn’t have wished for better actors. Basically – I and the rest of the team are beside ourselves with excitement.” 

Starring as Ben is NATHANIEL HALL, actor, playwright and HIV activist from Manchester. His solo show First Time, about his life with HIV, received huge audience and critical acclaim on its recent UK tour. On TV, his most notable role was as Donald Bassett in Russell T Davies’ magnum opus It’s A Sin (Channel 4, 2021). Nathaniel’s website is here.

As Al we have JACK BENCE, whose numerous credits for stage, radio, TV and film include Small Axe (Steve McQueen, BBC), EastEnders (BBC), Hollyoaks (Channel 4), Bad Education (Tiger Aspect for BBC) and Sherlock (Euros Lyn, BBC). Jack plays Al, the troubled charmer with whom Ben falls in love.

Playing Henry is actor, singer and musician FINN WALTERS. Performing since the age of 4, his many and varied theatre roles include major parts in David Walliams' Mr Stink UK tour, Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol and the 'on stage' narrator in Rapunzel. All The Bens will be his first audio drama. He’s represented by Louise Dyson’s VisABLE People, the world’s first agency to supply disabled actors, presenters and models to the advertising industry, television and film companies, radio
and theatre. For more information visit 

IAN TOWNSEND (writer) is an award-winning North West playwright, whose award-winning plays have been performed across the UK. All The Bens (published by Playdead Press) has won both a Manchester Theatre Award and a Greater Manchester Fringe Award; The House in Sofia with a Map of its Surroundings won the Kings Cross New Writing Award; The Lonely Walk Home won a special prize at the BBC’s Alfred Bradley Bursary Award; Being Amazing won the Bolton Octagon Theatre’s National Prize. His most-performed play, Granny Must Die, has so far failed to win anything. Follow Ian on Twitter here.

JOSEPH LIDSTER (director) is best known for his work at Big Finish Productions for whom he has written, produced and directed countless audio dramas for their various ranges including Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sapphire & Steel, Bernice Summerfield and Dark Shadows. As a screenwriter he has written episodes for TV shows including Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Wizards vs Aliens, Hetty Featherand The Demon Headmaster. In addition he has written a short film, Wasted, which was selected to be screened as part of the London Short Film Festival. He is represented here by The Agency. 

IAN WINTERTON (writer/producer) worked as a film journalist, interviewing many big Hollywood names, before starting to write for theatre in 2009. His play, Sherica won a Manchester Theatre Award and was nominated for the BBC’s Alfred Bradley Bursary Award. For the screen, Ian has written a trio of short films – Balance, One of the Crowd and The Ghosts of Abercwmboi. In audio drama Ian is adapting Ramsey Campbell’s novel The Hungry Moon for Room 5064 productions and is currently writing dozens of issues of Doctor Who spin-off comicbooks for Cutaway Comics. He is represented by Madeleine Cotter at WGM Atlantic and currently has TV drama in development with several production companies. Visit Ian's website here.

All The Bens will feature incidental music and especially written tracks by MINUTE TAKER. AKA Ben McGarvey, he makes what Notion describes as “beautiful electronic-orientated pop songs” with “haunting melodies, electronic beats and soulful singing” (Time Out). Inspired by artists like Kate Bush, Tori Amos, David Bowie and long walks with his dogs in the otherworldly Pennine hills where he lives, Minute Taker uses his small home studio and a whole lot of imagination to craft his nostalgia-fuelled, alternative synth-pop songs that are perfect for disappearing into. Besides releasing two critically acclaimed albums and several EPs, he has recently turned his hand to remixing songs for some of his favourite artists such as Yazoo & Erasure (released on Mute/BMG UK) and has created imaginative cover versions of classic songs by Kate Bush, Eurythmics, Madonna, Bjork, The Smiths and Pet Shop Boys, released via a subscription service he runs for fans called 'Secret Songs'. For more information visit his website here.


BAMALAM PRODUCTIONS is an audio production team based in Wigan and founded in 2017 by James Steventon and Lauren Sturgess, recent graduates from ALRA (The Academy of Live and Performing Arts). As of January 2019 Bamalam was officially registered as a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) which means it is dedicated to creating new work that reflects the North West of England. With dozens of short audio dramas under their belts, the award from Arts Council England represents a huge opportunity for James and Lauren to work with the industry’s top professionals as well as reaching an even wider audience. Their previous Arts Council England-funded full-length drama was Cracking The Feathers (pictured above), written by Ian Winterton and starring Julie Hesmondhalgh and Robert Glenister. It is free to listen to here.

For more information please contact Bamalam Productions CIC via their website here.


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About the charity

George House Trust

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1143138
We have a vision - a world where HIV holds no one back. Last year in Greater Manchester, we inspired over 2000 people to live healthily and confidently with HIV through support and advice services. We promote a better understanding of HIV, and challenge stigma and discrimination.

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