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Publisher's Summary

It's the late 1930s and, even on the remote island of St Martin's in the Isles of Scilly, war seems inevitable. But the islanders have their own battles to contend with, stuck on a rock flung 27 miles out into the Atlantic with only their natural grit and gallows humour to see them through. 

When a stranger in a suit arrives on the island, the locals decide he must be the undertaker come to deal with the body of the late postmaster. Then they discover he is not an undertaker after all - so they naturally conclude that he's a spy. But the truth is worse than that - his name is Frank Gunwallow and he's been sent over from Penzance to modernise the Post Office, around which their world revolves. 

The islanders are determined to resist this unwelcome change and are deeply suspicious of the young man from the mainland. Frank realises he's got a fight on his hands - and it'll take more than a shiny new telegraph machine to win them over.... 

Created by award-winning novelist and scriptwriter Christopher William Hill, this gentle comedy stars Joseph Kloska as Frank, with Christine Absalom, Peter Marinker and Alex Tregear. 

Produced and directed by Mary Peate.

Sound by Jenni Burnett, Anne Bunting, Graham Harper and Caleb Knightley.

Production Co-ordinator: Jessica Brown.

First broadcast BBC Radio 4: 29th November - 20th December 2013 (Series 1), 11th May - 1st June 2015 (Series 2).


Frank Gunwallow - Joseph Kloska

Mary - Bec Applebee

Grace - Christine Absalom

Tommy - Stuart Fox

Ben - Alex Palmer

Len - Ed Gaughan

Reverend Tregarthan - Peter Marinker

Morwenna-May - Alex Tregear

Pender - Christopher William Hill

Anthony - David Seddon

Signor Di Bicci - Sam Dale

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A radio play by Christopher William Hill is something to look forward to with pleasure." (Radio Times)

What listeners say about On the Rocks: The Complete Series 1 and 2

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