Double Acts by John Finnemore , writer of Cabin Pressure and star of Miranda, was a series of radio comedies produced for BBC Radio 4. It is an anthology series of unconnected, and some connected, two-handers. The first series of six episodes was broadcast in 2015. A second series was broadcast in 2017.
Each episode features only two main speaking parts and is a self-contained play, although some of them are loosely connected.
The story so far
In 2015, whilst on tour, a chance conversation in a car about a little radio play involving an unusual burglar was the beginning of a project that would span a further three years. But we couldn’t remember the name of the play, and so had no way to find out anything more about it.
Then in 2016 I made further investigations through direct contact with the BBC, and discovered its name Red Handed, chapter 3 of a radio series called Double Acts. In 2017, we were finally able to present Red Handed as a live-action studio production for the first time ever, a world premiere. It was a sell-out hit, John himself came to see it and gave it his approval. A year later it was revived for the Welwyn Drama Festival and won three awards.
Following its success and with John’s blessing I proposed a new idea; to stage a bigger, bolder, brighter production, a double-header featuring Wysinnwyg & Hot Desk (chapters 2- 6 of the series), both of which having direct connections to Red Handed. Double the plays, double the characters, double the fun, in 2018 Double Acts was born and enjoyed another sell-out run.
So that brings us to now, and what all of this has been building to…putting on all three plays in a row – Wysinnwyg, Red Handed and Hot Desk, in one big production. Six characters, three stories, all connected and very, very funny.
About the plays
In Wysinnwyg, Kerry’s first day in the Sales Support Department of Willard & Son Bath Suppliers – where she meets her new colleague Joel, and her horrific new boss Adele for the very first time. Adele is bossy/patronising/ruthless, she thinks she is the boss of everybody who works with her, and she thinks she is clever and manipulative, when really, she is all talk. At first, Kerry allows Adele to push her around and make ridiculous demands of her, but is there more to Kerry than meets the eye?
In Red Handed, Joel comes home unexpectedly early from work one day to find an unusual visitor in the shape of Henry, an older gentleman dressed in a suit…who just happens to be burgling Joel’s house. Henry is charming/suave/well-spoken, on the surface he seems perfectly pleasance and reasonable, but he has always got something up his sleeve, and he’s always one step ahead of the hapless and naïve Joel…
In Hot Desk, at Willard & Son Bath Suppliers, for a few minutes, twice a day, at precisely seven in the morning and seven in the evening, receptionist Sarah and security guard Barnaby meet to swap ownership of a desk…which blossoms into an unusual relationship. Awkward romance at its funniest! Barnaby is unsure of himself and a hopeless romantic, he jumps to conclusions quickly and is not very good at talking to women, however he is adorably sweet and kind. Sarah is very similar to Barnaby in her ways but with slightly more confidence, she is very much the driving force in their relationship developing. If only she could get Barnaby to pluck up the courage to ask her out!


John David Finnemore was born on 28 September 1977, and is a British comedy writer and actor. He wrote and performs in the radio series Cabin Pressure and John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme,and frequently features in other BBC Radio 4 comedy shows such as The Now Show. He has won more Awards than any other writer.
He wrote the BBC Radio 4 sitcom Cabin Pressure and played the part of the idiotic but endearingly cheerful Arthur. The sitcom first aired in 2008. A fourth and final series was broadcast in January 2013 and the show concluded with a two-part finale at Christmas 2014.
He has also written extensively for other comedy shows, both on radio and TV, including That Mitchell and Webb Sound (2003–2009), That Mitchell and Webb Look(2006–2010), Dead Ringers (2003–2007), Safety Catch, John Finnemore, Apparently, The Now Show and The Unbelievable Truth (2011). Since 2009, he has co-written the podcast David Mitchell Soap Box with Mitchell, which ended in 2012. He is also a programme associate for 10;Clock Live. Finnemore has appeared on various BBC Radio 4 shows, including The Now Show, The Unbelievable Truth, Sorry I Have A Clue, Just a Minute, and The News Quiz. He also appeared as a Chris, in Miranda Hart's television sitcom Miranda, in the episodes Teacher (2009),;Before I Die; (2010), 'The Dinner Party; (2013) and I Do, But to Who (2014).
Cabin Pressure won the Writers Guild of Great Britain 2011 award for Best Radio Comedy, and in 2014, it was awarded Silver for Best Comedy at the Radio Academy Awards. Double Acts won the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain 2017 award for Best Radio Comedy.
Finnemore has also won more Awards than any other writer. When adding together shows for which Finnemore is the main writer and an additional writer, Finnemore's work has resulted in him winning 13 awards. Cabin Pressure was voted "Best British Radio Sitcom" in 2011, 2013, and 2014. Cabin Pressure was also voted "Comedy of the Year" in 2014 across TV and radio, making it the first radio show to be given the honour.
John Finnemore with the cast & crew of the original 2017 production of Red Handed