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The collected BBC radio productions of the internationally renowned playwright Tom Stoppard One of the giants of British theatre, Sir Tom Stoppard has been writing for the stage and screen for over 50 years. Full of wit, verbal brilliance and big ideas, his plays appeal to critics and audiences alike and are among the most studied works of the last century. Our collection contains the masterpiece, Arcadia, which won him an Olivier Award for Best Play and transferred to radio with the cast of the award-winning National Theatre production. It is followed by two of his most famous and best-loved dramas: the hilarious spoof whodunnit The Real Inspector Hound and the play that made Stoppard's name, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Also included is the bittersweet drama Dalliance, based on Arthur Schnitzler's play Liebelei. The troubled history of Stoppard's home country, Czechoslovakia, is explored in two thought-provoking plays. Rock 'n' Roll, about love, loyalty, compromise and music, was specially adapted for radio by Stoppard himself, with a new final scene and a soundtrack featuring artists such as, U2, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys and The Velvet Underground. Its themes of resistance to totalitarianism are echoed in Professional Foul, dramatised by Stoppard from his award-winning BBC TV play and set in communist Prague. Stoppard also wrote numerous original radio plays, eight of which are featured here including; The Prix Italia-winning Albert's Bridge; In the Native State (later adapted as the stage play Indian Ink) and Darkside, based on the themes of Pink Floyd's classic album The Dark Side of the Moon. Among the multitude of stars in these dazzling dramas are Hugh Grant, Rufus Sewell, Bill Nighy, Felicity Kendal, Harriet Walter, Amaka Okafor, Emma Fielding, Bill Paterson, John Hurt, Bertie Carvel, Toby Jones, Penelope Keith, John Le Mesurier, Penny Downie, Anna Massey, Ron Cook, Ronny Jhutti, Mathew Baynton, Peggy Ashcroft and Timothy West. Production credits Written by Tom Stoppard Text copyright 1964 (The Dissolution of Dominic Boot; M is for Moon Among Other Things), 1966 (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; If You're Glad, I'll Be Frank), 1967 (Albert's Bridge), 1968 (The Real Inspector Hound), 1970 (Where Are They Now?), 1977 (Professional Foul), 1982 (The Dog It Was That Died), 1986 (Dalliance), 1991 (In the Native State), 1993 (Arcadia), 2006 (Rock 'n' Roll), 2013 (Darkside) All rights reserved Arcadia Directed by David Benedictus Original music composed by Jeremy Sands The Real Inspector Hound Directed by Gordon House Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Directed by Emma Harding Music arranged and performed by Clare Salaman, Philip Hopkins and Amelia Shakespeare from The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments Albert's Bridge Produced and directed by Charles Lefeaux Where Are They Now? Produced by John Tydeman If You're Glad, I'll Be Frank Produced by John Tydeman The Dissolution of Dominic Boot Directed by Glyn Dearman The Dog It Was That Died Produced by John Tydeman Rock 'n' Roll Directed by Alison Hindell Darkside Produced by James Robinson Professional Foul Directed by Gordon House Dalliance Directed by Jeremy Howe Based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler Piano played by Steve Edis M is for Moon Among Other Things Directed by Paul Schlesinger In the Native State Produced by John Tydeman Excerpt from Up the Country by Emily Eden read by Auriol SmithShow more
The final four series of this BBC Radio comedy drama about sisterhood and sibling rivalry In these final four series, Anna is trying to remain calm and centred in the midst of the familial chaos that surrounds her. Her sisters Victoria and Charlotte are more combative than ever, and when a row blows up between them, Anna is stuck in the middle. Having graduated from university, her niece Emily is preparing for marriage and motherhood. But her wedding plans cause ructions, as Victoria and Charlotte make her celebrations all about them. The baby's birth sends Victoria into competitive granny mode - while Anna receives a heart-warming surprise. Having dallied with a string of lovers, Charlotte finally gets engaged - but there are more twists to come in her complicated love life. Her professional life is in turmoil too: with daughter Gisele starring in a TV series, will Charlotte keep chasing her own big break as an actress, or try and make it as a model instead? As the sisters look forward to new beginnings, one thing is certain - they'll always have each other... Scripted by Simon Brett, this hugely popular comedy stars Rosemary Leach as Anna, with Angela Thorne as Victoria, Celia Imrie and Felicity Montagu as Charlotte and Lisa Coleman as Emily. Written and produced by Simon Brett Music composed by Elizabeth Parker, BBC Radiophonic Workshop Cast Anna - Rosemary Leach Victoria - Angela Thorne Charlotte - Celia Imrie/Felicity Montagu Roger - Bill Nighy/Jonathan Coy Eddie - James Greene Emily - Lisa Coleman Nick - Kieran Hill George - Bruce Alexander With Sheila Mitchell, Richard Syms, James Vaughan, Bridget McConnell, Rowland Davies, Richenda Carey, Bruce Alexander, Judy Flynn, Marianne Borgo, Stephen Thorne, Bill Wallis, Colin Starkey, Susan Jameson, Jon Glover, Chris Emmett, Joanna Monro, Michael Simkins First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 28 January-3 March 2004 (Series 10), 19 January-23 February 2005 (Series 11), 26 April-31 May 2006 (Series 12), 11 April-16 May 2007 (Series 13)Show more
Series 6-9 of the BBC Radio comedy drama following the fortunes of three forty-something sisters Sisters Anna, Victoria and Charlotte are back for four more series, in which relationships are forged, hearts are broken and family ties are strained - but not severed. Older sister Anna continues to live her life on her own terms, despite her sisters' insistence on being there for her. But when she suffers a couple of knocks to her confidence and needs a shoulder to cry on, they are too self-absorbed to be any use. Fortunately, niece Emily provides moral support, and Anna reciprocates with some down-to-earth advice about Emily's love life. With their daughter away at university, Emily's parents find themselves reassessing their marriage. Roger is tempted to stray, while Victoria become even more insecure - and a death in the family sends shock waves rippling in unexpected directions. Meanwhile, Charlotte's star rises and falls, as she makes her soap opera debut and finally acquires celebrity status, only to have her bubble cruelly burst. With her acting career seemingly on the decline, she embarks on a quest to find herself - and makes some surprising discoveries... Written by Simon Brett, this much-loved sitcom stars Rosemary Leach as Anna, with Angela Thorne as Victoria, Celia Imrie and Felicity Montagu as Charlotte, Lisa Coleman as Emily and Bill Nighy as Roger. Produced by Maria Esposito (Series 6-8) and Simon Brett (Series 9) Music composed by Elizabeth Parker, BBC Radiophonic Workshop Cast Anna - Rosemary Leach Victoria - Angela Thorne Charlotte - Celia Imrie/Felicity Montagu Roger - Bill Nighy Eddie - James Greene Emily - Lisa Coleman With Edward de Souza, Christian Rodska, Joanna Monro, Will Ing, Jane Gibson, Alan Cowan, Alison Skilbeck, Simon Brett, Tracy-Ann Obermann, Bruce Alexander, James Vaughan, Colin Starkey, Kenny Blythe, Natalie Casey, Jason Done, Michael Jayston First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 14 July-18 August 1999 (Series 6), 31 January-7 March 2001 (Series 7), 2 January-6 February 2002 (Series 8), 1 January-5 February 2003 (Series 9)Show more
The first five series of the BBC Radio comedy drama about the lives and squabbles of three very different sisters After years of looking her after elderly parents, Anna finds herself able, for the first time, to live her own life. She's enjoying simply being herself, with no responsibilities and no obligations. But her two younger sisters, Victoria and Charlotte, are concerned about her. Surely poor, unfulfilled Anna can't be happy without a partner or a family around? Determined to make an effort, they decide to draw her into their lives - and Anna's peaceful, commitment-free lifestyle soon disappears. Throughout these five series, she becomes embroiled in their various dramas and crises, as actress Charlotte suffers a series of career and romantic disappointments and housewife Victoria grows increasingly discontented with her husband Roger. And as Victoria's daughter Emily grows from sulky teen to young woman, she, too, starts to confide in her aunt Anna. With all her relatives involving her in their affairs, will Anna still be able to forge her own path - and maybe even find romance? Created by award-winning author Simon Brett, whose radio sitcom credits include After Henry and Smelling of Roses, this classic comedy about sisterly dissension stars Rosemary Leach as Anna, with Nicola Pagett as Victoria and Celia Imrie and Josie Lawrence as Charlotte. Produced by Paul Schlesinger (Series 1 & 2), Ann Jobson (Series 3 & 4) and Maria Esposito (Series 5) Music composed by Elizabeth Parker, BBC Radiophonic Workshop Cast Anna - Rosemary Leach Victoria - Nicola Pagett Charlotte - Celia Imrie/Josie Lawrence Delia - Maxine Audley Roger - Stephen Moore/Roger Llloyd Pack/Jonathan Coy/Bill Nighy Eddie - James Greene Emily - Lisa Coleman/Natalie Walter With Andrew Wincott, Benjamin Whitrow, Ronald Herdman, Mark Straker, Theresa Streatfeild, Robert Bathurst, Peter Penry-Jones, Nicholas Murchie, David Swift, Neil Roberts, Teresa Gallagher, Dominic Letts, Jillie Meers, William Osborne, Philip Anthony, Simon Treves, David Thorpe, John Baddeley, David Antrobus, Michael Tudor-Barnes, Rachel Atkins, Jonathan Keeble, Derek Waring, Ian Masters, Kim Wall, Kelda Holmes, Geoffrey Whitehead, Joshua Towb, Jon Glover, Edward de Souza First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 9 January-13 February 1992 (Series 1), 29 July-2 September 1993 (Series 2), 24 November-29 December 1994 (Series 3), 24 July-28 August 1996 (Series 4), 9 July-13 August 1998 (Series 5)Show more
BBC radio productions of H. G. Wells' finest fiction - plus hear H G Wells in his own words in a selection of original radio broadcasts from the 1930s and 40s H. G. Wells is one of the founding fathers of science fiction, renowned for his futuristic tales in which he predicted space travel, lasers, the atomic bomb and wireless communication. But in addition to his 'scientific romances', he also wrote numerous ghost stories, domestic comedies and Utopian novels espousing his ideals of socialism and feminism. This collection features a selection of his best works from across these genres. Here are dramatisations of his sci-fi and fantasy classics, The Time Machine, The Wonderful Visit, The Island of Dr Moreau, The War of the Worlds and The First Men in the Moon, with stellar casts including Robert Glenister, Bernard Cribbins, Garard Green, Blake Ritson and Hywel Bennett, as well as a reading by Stephen Murray of The Invisible Man. Wells' comic novels of lower middle-class life are represented by Love and Mr Lewisham (read by Paul Daneman), and adaptations of Kipps, Tono-Bungay and The History of Mr Polly, starring Mark Straker, Neil Dudgeon and Christopher Guinee. Also included is a dramatisation of his 'New Woman' novel Ann Veronica, with Amy Hoggartas the eponymous heroine and Bill Nighy as the Narrator. One of Wells' most famous supernatural short stories, The Inexperienced Ghost, is dramatised with a full cast including Donald Houston and Christopher Guard, and four further short tales - In the Abyss, The Sea Raiders, A Dream of Armageddon and The New Accelerator - are read by Timothy Keightley and Robert Bathurst. In the fascinating documentary H G Wells: The Invisible Author, Brian Morton asks whether the focus on Wells' science fiction has overshadowed his other authorial achievements. And we hear Wells in his own words as he discusses topics as diverse as world politics, the history of the printing press, the possibilities of technology and the shape of things to come... Lastly, Martyn Wade's original drama The Wells Way brings H. G. Wells and George Gissing together at crisis points in their lives, as each tries to be more like the other. Julian Rhind-Tutt stars as Wells, with Joseph Millson as Gissing. Contents: The Time Machine The Wonderful Visit The Island of Dr Moreau The Invisible Man The War of the Worlds Love and Mr Lewisham The First Men in the Moon Kipps Tono-Bungay Ann Veronica The History of Mr Polly In the Abyss The Sea Raiders A Dream of Armageddon The New Accelerator The Inexperienced Ghost H G Wells: The Invisible Author Radio speeches by H G Wells The Wells Way by Martin Wade With thanks to Keith WickhamShow more
Bill Nighy returns as the loveably louche actor-cum-amateur detective Charles Paris Charles Paris is in Oxford, appearing in a re-imagining of Hamlet by a high-concept drama company. No fan of immersive theatre, he’s unimpressed with the director’s vision and less than thrilled to be rehearsing alongside puppeteers and mime artists. But he soon finds himself back on familiar territory when the actress playing Ophelia goes missing, only to turn up dead. Did she take her own life, or was there foul play? As he amasses a list of suspects who might have wished her harm, Charles takes on the mantle of detective once more to decide if this is to be or not to be a murder case… Scripted for radio by Jeremy Front from a story by Simon Brett, A Doubtful Death stars Bill Nighy (Emma, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) as Charles Paris, with Suzanne Burden as Frances and Jon Glover as Maurice. Also included is an exclusive 18-minute afterword in which Jeremy Front discusses his experience of adapting an unproduced screenplay, reveals what it’s like to work with recurring characters and actors, and explains the mechanics of recording for radio. Simon Brett OBE has written 19 Charles Paris novels as well as many other detective novels. Jeremy Front is a dramatist and comedic writer; he has won awards for his adaptation of Sword of Honour and co-writes and stars in the series Incredible Women with his sister, Rebecca. Credits Written by Jeremy Front From a story by Simon Brett Produced and directed by Sally Avens Production Coordinator: Cynthia Fagan Studio Managers: Anne Bunting, Keith Graham and Jenni Burnett Interview produced by Ania Duggan and Roshni Radia First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 22 May-12 June 2020Show more
Brought to you by Penguin. Consisting of four novels - Some Do Not..., No More Parades, A Man Could Stand Up and The Last Post - Parade's End is the story of Christopher Tietjens and his progress from the secure world of Edwardian England into the First World War and beyond. Both a portrait of a love triangle - between Tietjens, his beautiful and reckless wife Sylvia, and the suffragette Valentine - and a depiction of life on the Western Front, Parade's End is one of the greatest fictional works of the twentieth century. Ranging from the drawing rooms of England to the trenches of France, and moving between past and present, it is a haunting exploration of identity, loss and memory.Show more
The complete series 1-5 of the thrilling mystery series. On sabbatical from the Franciscan order, Father Paolo Baldi is working as a philosophy lecturer in Dublin when his life takes an unexpected turn and he finds himself helping the police to solve crimes. Along with Tina, Paolo uncovers the truth behind the killings of several rockabilly band members, a high-profile case of a police officer’s murder, as well as delving into the highly competitive world of celebrity chefs. He also exposing a rift in a community of environmental activists, enters the world of romantic poetry to solve a suspected suicide, investigates the killing of a politically-incorrect figurehead, and finds that the death of a homeless man is not as simple as it appears. Follow the priest-cum-sleuth’s thrilling adventures as he solves mysteries throughout Ireland. David Threlfall, Tina Kellegher and T.P. McKenna star in this exciting series written by Simon Brett, Bill Murphy, Andrew Martin, Martin Meenan, John Murphy and Francis Turnly in the series created by Barry Devlin.Show more
Brought to you by Penguin. Kafka meets The Thick Of It in a bitingly funny new political satire from Ian McEwan That morning, Jim Sams, clever but by no means profound, woke from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic creature. Jim Sams has undergone a metamorphosis. In his previous life he was ignored or loathed, but in his new incarnation he is the most powerful man in Britain - and it is his mission to carry out the will of the people. Nothing must get in his way: not the opposition, nor the dissenters within his own party. Not even the rules of parliamentary democracy. With trademark intelligence, insight and scabrous humour, Ian McEwan pays tribute to Franz Kafka's most famous work to engage with a world turned on its head.Show more
Bill Nighy returns as the loveably louche Charles Paris in this BBC radio dramatisation of Simon Brett's novel When Charles Paris' agent rings with the news that he has a part for him in a new musical, Charles is delighted - and somewhat amazed, as he can neither sing nor dance. But Maurice has an ulterior motive: as one of the show's backers, he wants Charles to play detective and investigate a series of accidents that have dogged the production. The pianist has been shot in the hand and another cast member fell downstairs - or was he pushed? Anxious about their investment and their star, Chris Watt, the 'angels' are keen to ensure that nothing else goes wrong. Joining the company, Charles discovers that Chris, although amazingly talented, is a prima donna who has made enemies of almost everyone. When the accidents resume, it begins to look as if anyone who disagrees with him is being targeted. But would the star really sabotage his own show? Charles must find out - before things turn murderous... This thrilling adaptation by Jeremy Front stars Bill Nighy (Love Actually, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) as Charles Paris, with Suzanne Burden as Frances.Show more
Love doesn't get easier when you're older but no wiser. Maggie and John had a passionate but disastrous affair in their younger days, but it didn't last. Now in their late sixties, a surprise encounter gives them another chance to take up where they left off. Will they manage to find the best in each other and finally get together? Or will old wounds and an awareness of their ageing bodies deter them? Will the treadmill created by the high-cost, high-pressure 21st century, and their endless other commitments and interruptions large and small, overwhelm them? Or will they take the final risk? This delightful comic drama stars Bill Nighy as John and Anna Calder-Marshall as Maggie. A.L. Kennedy is an award-winning writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction, an academic and a stand-up comedian. Directed by Sally Avens.Show more
Seven BBC radio full-cast productions of Noël Coward's classic plays - plus bonus material including a profile of Coward and extracts from his diaries Renowned for his wit, style and sophistication, Noël Coward was one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century. His plays, set in the glittering world of high society in which he lived, are much admired and have remained in the popular theatre repertoire to this day. This collection brings together the very best radio adaptations of Coward's works, encompassing sparkling comedies of manners Private Livesand Hay Fever, farcical ghost story Blithe Spirit, and daring ménage à trois drama Design for Living. Here, too, is his controversial first hit The Vortex; the poignant Still Life (the inspiration for the film Brief Encounter); and the semi-autobiographical Present Laughter. Among the star-studded cast are Helena Bonham-Carter, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Roger Allam, Harriet Walter, Paul Rhys, Stephanie Cole and Paul Scofield. Also included is a BBC World Service profile of Noël Coward, comprising interviews, musical extracts and archive clips; and the BBC Radio 4 programme 'From His Diaries', featuring a selection of passages from Coward's journal read by Simon Cadell. Track listing: 1-2: Private Lives 3-4: Hay Fever 5-6: Blithe Spirit 7-10: Design for Living 11-12: The Vortex 13: Still Life 14-16: Present Laughter 17: Meridian: Noël Coward profile 18-20: Noël Coward - From His Diaries Private Lives Amanda...Helena Bonham-Carter Elyot...Bill Nighy Sibyl...Andrea Riseborough Victor...Paul Ritter Louise...AnnaRose Cattanach Directed by Sally Avens Hay Fever Judith Bliss...Judi Dench David Bliss...Michael Williams Richard Greatham...Geoffrey Palmer Marya Arundel...Celia Imrie Jackie Coryton...Patricia Brake Sandy Tyrell...Christopher Blake Simon Bliss...Patrick Pearson Sorel Bliss...Alison Reid Qara...Patricia Hayes Directed by Leslie Lawton Blithe Spirit Charles...Roger Allam Madame Arcati...Maggie Steed Elvira...Zoe Waites Ruth...Hermione Gulliford Dr Bradman...David Killick Mrs Bradman...Tilly Tremayne Edith...Natalie Cassidy Directed by Philip Franks Design for Living Gilda...Cheryl Campbell Otto...Alex Jennings Leo...Michael Kitchen Ernest Friedman...James Laurenson Mr Birbeck...Alan Barker Henry Carver...Bradley Lavell Miss Hodge/Helen...Joanna Myers Grace Torrence...Linda Marlowe Directed by Ned Chaillet The Vortex Florence Lancaster...Harriet Walter Nicky...Paul Rhys Helen...Frances Jeater Pawnie...John Rye Clara Hibbert...Jenny Funnell Tom Veryan...Robert Portal David Lancaster...Peter Blythe Bunty Mainwaring...Federay Holmes Bruce Fairlight...Keith Drinkel Preston...Pamela Grace Directed by John Tydeman Still Life Laura Lesson...Amanda Root Dr Alec Harvey...John Duttine Myrtle Bagott...Stephanie Cole Albert Godby...Trevor Peacock Beryl Waters/Lady on Train...Sunny Ormonde Stanley...Brian Parr Dolly Messiter...Josephine Tewson Bill...Richard Curnow Johnny/Guard...Malcolm McKee Directed by Sue Wilson Present Laughter Gary Essendine...Paul Scofield Liz Essendine...Joy Parker Monica Reed...Patricia Routledge Joanna Lyppiatt...Fenella Fielding Henry Lyppiatt...Alan Rowe Morris Dixon...Bernard Joyner Daphne Stillington...Miriam Margolyes Lady Saltburn...Betty Huntley-Wright Fred...Timothy Bateson Miss Erikson...Diana Olsson Roland Maule...David Timson Produced by Ian CotterellShow more
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