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Browse audiobooks narrated by Frances Barber, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
A sparkling collection of comic monologues by Jenny Eclair, about women facing pivotal moments in their lives 'Exquisitely crafted' Radio Times In these funny, poignant short stories, voiced by some of Britain's finest actresses, we are introduced to 29 very different women as they open their hearts and share their secrets. Here are tales of love, grief, revenge and adventure, told by a wealth of fascinating characters. There's Bea, a top cook who's about to prepare a very special birthday cake for her husband; Christine, who takes up watercolours and discovers inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places; Patsy, a rock star's wife with a past and Penny, who takes looking after her boss a bit too far. From a grandmother visiting a posh supermarket to buy her grandchildren a meal they won't forget, to a cleaner who discovers some secrets behind the Farrow and Ball doors of the middle-class homes she visits, every one of the women we meet has a memorable, moving and surprising tale to tell... Among the star narrators are Lesley Sharp, Anita Dobson, Imelda Staunton, Josie Lawrence, Frances Barber, Samantha Bond, Doon Mackichan and Anne Reid. Produced by Sally Avens Series 1 Fifteen Minutes to Landing Woman - Lesley Manville Captain James Barrington - Clive Hayward Air Hostess - Jane Slavin Carol Goes Swimming Carol - Lorraine Ashbourne Manager - Jane Slavin A Trolley for a Change Pat - Ruth Sheen Checkout woman - Elaine Claxton Security guard - Clive Hayward Lauren - Jane Slavin George's Cake Bea - Susie Blake The Viewing Reader - Annette Badland Doing the Best for Daniel Reader - Jenny Eclair Series 2 Lorna's Holiday Lorna - Lesley Sharp Christine Paints Christine - Rosie Cavaliero Beverley in Shoes Beverley - Samantha Spiro Points Gail - Sarah Hadland A Slight Alteration Reader - Tessa Peake-Jones Waiting for Billy Patsy - Anita Dobson Series 3 Leo's Passport Penny - Imelda Staunton Caroline - Karen Bartke Hannah's Gone Hannah's Mum - Josie Lawrence Mothers and Daughters Coral - Frances Barber Girl - Karen Bartke Boy - Luke MacGregor Anthea's Round Robin Anthea - Samantha Bond Series 4 The Last Day Miss Cavendish - Vicki Pepperdine The Visit Reader - Doon Mackichan The Nannas Dawn - Tilly Vosburgh A Nice Time with All the Family Julie - Beverley Callard Series 5 A Long Weekend Cathy - Anne Reid The Kitchen Table Reader - Monica Dolan The Book Club Belle - Lucy Robinson Greta Doesn't Want to Wait for Godot Greta - Amelia BullmoreShow more
Three full-cast BBC Radio productions of Shakespeare's most famous Roman plays Featuring all-star casts and introduced by Sir Richard Eyre, these three iconic productions of Shakespeare's dynamic Roman histories are full of political intrigue, passion and tragedy. Julius Caesar This updated version of Shakespeare's classic play is set in Italy in 1925. Julius Caesar, a new Roman dictator, has swept to power, and his way is clear to assume total control - unless a coup by Cassius and Brutus can alter the tide of history. Nicholas Farrell stars as Brutus and Gerard Murphy as Julius Caesar. Coriolanus When Rome's greatest hero, the warrior Coriolanus, divides the people and the patricians through his arrogance, he is driven into exile. Samuel West stars as Coriolanus, with Susannah York as Volumnia. Antony and Cleopatra Shakespeare's last great tragedy is an action epic set against the political backdrop of the Roman Empire and the centre of Egyptian culture, Alexandria. But at the heart of the play is the story of what happens when two people fall in love. Starring Frances Barber as Cleopatra and David Harewood as Mark Antony.Show more
All four series of the jaunty crime drama featuring two ex-spies who set up a private detective agency London,1953. Josephine Daunt and Susan Dervish both worked for the Ministry of Defence during the Second World War, doing top-secret, highly dangerous espionage work. But in peacetime, they find themselves without a job and feeling useless. Determined to put their talents to good use, they decide to set up a detective agency, with the help of former private eye Bill Mackie. From their Covent Garden office, they handle a steady flow of business. But the ladies’ lives really become exciting when they rescue a woman from drowning – only to discover that she’s not what she seems. Soon, the daring duo are caught up in all manner of challenging cases, including a sporting assignment involving a priest and an Olympic boxing hopeful; a request to bid on a Monet that takes them on a trail across the Channel; a commission to investigate film actress Belinda Lane; and a theft at a fashion designer’s workshop that leads them into a world of Teddy boys, political machinations and murder… Guy Meredith's light-hearted crime series stars Anna Massey as Josephine Daunt, while Imelda Staunton, Frances Barber and Sylvestra Le Touzel play Susan Dervish. Bill Paterson and Sean Scanlan co-star as Bill Mackie. Written by Guy Meredith Format by Imelda Staunton and Anna Massey Series 1 produced by Cherry Cookson and directed by Janet Whitaker Series 2-4 produced and directed by Colin Guthrie Clarinet played by Julian Stringle (Series 3, Episode 1)Show more
Three BBC radio productions of major works by James Joyce - plus Gordon Bowker's fascinating biographical account of his life Ulysses In this full-cast dramatisation of Joyce's epic modernist novel, the stories of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom combine as they meander through Dublin in the course of one day, 16 June 1904. Andrew Scott stars as Stephen, with Henry Goodman as Bloom, Niamh Cusack as Molly Bloom and Stephen Rea as the Narrator. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man An abridged reading of James Joyce's autobiographical masterpiece portraying the adolescence of Stephen Dedalus, who must question the culture and religion of his native land before he can break free to become an artist. Read by Andrew Scott. Dubliners This abridged collection of fifteen naturalistic tales depicts an array of characters from childhood, through adolescence, to maturity. Stories of love, loss, friendship, marriage, politics and family combine to create a unified world and a celebration of a city. Read by Stephen Rea. James Joyce - A Biography Gordon Bowker's comprehensive study explores Joyce's years spent in exile in Europe, and examines how his life shaped his genius. Read by Jim Norton, with Andrew Scott as the voice of Joyce.Show more
Sir Ian McKellen stars as Milton in this dramatised retelling of John Milton’s epic poem about the fall of Man "devilishly good... I urge you to give it a listen" The Telegraph Milton’s biblical masterpiece, first published in 1667, is one of English literature’s most seminal works. Straddling three worlds – Heaven, Hell and Earth – it tells the gripping story of fallen angel Satan’s rebellion against God, his temptation of Adam and Eve and their subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Written to ‘justify the ways of God to men’, it aimed to show what caused Mankind's fall and the consequences for the world, both bad and good. By reaching back to the beginning of time, Milton hoped to discover the events that had led to the political and societal upheaval of his own era – as well as using allegory to ask powerful questions about authority, government, tyranny and disobedience. In this brand new dramatisation, Milton himself (Sir Ian McKellen) is the blind narrator grieving the loss of his wife, played by Frances Barber. Also starring Simon Russell Beale as Satan, and adapted by award-winning poet and broadcaster Michael Symmons Roberts, this enthralling drama is a vital piece of storytelling with striking parallels to contemporary events.Show more
Fanny Hill by John Cleland. In the world of erotica the story of Fanny Hill is well known and much admired. It was written whilst Cleland was in debtor's prison and was to become one of the most prosecuted and banned books in history. Our audio version is read for you by the acclaimed actress Frances Barber.Show more
Matthew Beard and Sophie Rundle star in a brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the bestselling novel by Neil Gaiman, narrated by Eleanor Bron. Challenged to retrieve a fallen star, Tristran Thorn leaves the sleepy English village of Wall and crosses into the land of Faerie and the realm of Stormhold. Locating the star, he discovers it is no meteorite, but a young woman, Yvaine. When Yvaine evades him and escapes, Tristran discovers he is not the only one in pursuit of the star: there are dark forces in this magical land, and he must find Yvaine before she falls into their clutches. As he does so, Tristran will uncover the secret to his own identity and a fate beyond his wildest dreams. Directed by Dirk Maggs and Heather Larmour, and featuring over 20 minutes of unbroadcast material, this stunning new dramatisation boasts an extensive cast including Frances Barber, Maggie Steed, Nicholas Boulton, Blake Ritson, Bryan Dick, Charlotte Riley, Aisling Loftus, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Alex Macqueen. There are also cameo appearances by Tori Amos and Neil Gaiman. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.Show more
Fifteen years old…brutalised… dumped in a park… throat slashed…. Schoolgirl prostitute Michelle Lucas died in agony and terror, utterly alone. The sight breaks the heart of Sergeant Bev Morriss of West Midlands Police. She thought she was hardened, but gazing at Michelle’s pale, broken body she is consumed by a cold fury. She knows this case is different – this is the one that will push her to the edge. Plunging herself into the seedy heart of Birmingham’s vice-land she struggles to infiltrate the deadly jungle of hookers, evil pimps and violent johns. But no one will co-operate, no one will break the wall of silence. Is it fear or guilt? When a second victim dies, Bev knows time is running out. If she is to win the trust of the working girls - she has to take the biggest, most dangerous, gamble of her life … out on the streets.Show more
Doug Lucie's satirical sequel to 'Hitched' revisits the bride and groom, Emma and Richard, two years after their big day. The honeymoon is well and truly over and wedded bliss hasn't turned out to be, well, blissful. With their relationship at crisis point, Emma returns from America with her young daughter to discover her life isn't the only one that has changed. But just what has happened between Emma and Richard, and why has she returned home without him? When Richard in turn flies back to the UK, the stage is set for another unforgettable family encounter. With sparks sure to fly at a family reunion no one wants to attend, Emma and Richard must finally decide what the future holds for their marriage. Will it be Hitched or Ditched? Starring Harry Lloyd and Lydia Leonard as Richard and Emma, with Stephen Moore, Frances Barber, David Schofield, Cheryl Campbell, Adrian Lukis, Brendan Patricks, Alison Pettit and Lynn Farleigh.Show more
'Tim and I both understood we had done something really stupid. We had underestimated the danger involved in going out to sea. We had no radio, compass, life raft or flares. In other words, we were a couple of idiots.' This is the story of Shane and Timothy Spall and their Dutch barge The Princess Matilda. After a summer on the Thames they head out to sea with only a road atlas and a vast amount of ignorance - and it is absolutely terrifying! On their travels, memories are triggered of childhood trips to the seaside, but also of more recent times. A decade before, Tim had been diagnosed with acute leukaemia and was given only days to live. Shocked at how life can pass you by they decided that when, and if, Tim got better, they would buy a boat. As Tim and Shane explore the coast from the Medway to Cornwall, eventually they start to wonder, could they make it out of England altogether? Could Matilda make it to ... Wales?! Taking over five years, The Voyages of The Princess Matilda is a minor epic,charting a very personal, moving and uplifting story of an everyday couple's adventure around their much loved homeland.Show more
A BBC Radio 3 production from the 'Drama on 3' series exploring the idea of a fascism of the mind.Nigel is bored. But then he meets the glamorous Liv and Tony and becomes part of their beautiful world; a beauty that hides a disturbing secretDavid Eldridge's 'The Secret Grief' stars Paul Chequer as Nigel, Frances Barber as Liv, and David Schofield as Tony. Also featured amongst the cast are Struan Rodger, Alex Tregear, Stuart McLoughlin and Nyasha Hatendi.Show more
Christmas is the season of good cheer and harmony among men, but things are not working out quite that way in the Bunker household. As a motley collection of friends and relatives fill the house with their own wishes, dreams and attitudes, the stage is set for seasonal disharmony and romantic intrigue. It's Christmas Eve and while Belinda is rushing around decorating the tree and seeing to all the guests and their needs, Eddie and Pattie are having a serious bust-up. Added to all of this, Bernard is conducting a chaotic rehearsal of his annual gift for the children - a puppet show of The Three Little Pigs - as his wife, Phyllis gets quietly sloshed in the kitchen on the cooking wine. Then something disastrous occurs...Show more
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