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18 biographical dramas based on the lives and loves of celebrated writers These surprising, revealing dramas take a behind-the-scenes look at some of our best-loved authors, mingling fact and fantasy to explore their extraordinary hidden lives. From love affairs, friendships and family relationships to traumas, tragedies and journeys of self-discovery, we glimpse the unwritten worlds that shaped their unforgettable fiction. Among the star casts are Andrew Scott, Toby Jones, Richard Dormer, Glenda Jackson, Bella Ramsey, Julia Davis, Ian McDiarmid, Haydn Gwynne, David Threlfall, Alistair McGowan, Tom Goodman-Hill, Hattie Morahan, Rosie Cavaliero, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Paul Ritter and Lia Williams Jane and Tom - Writing to her sister, Jane Austen describes her love for Tom Lefroy - a love that would lead to Pride and Prejudice. When Fanny Met Germaine - A delightful romp through the passionate, scandalous friendship between two 18th Century writers: Fanny Burney and Mme de Stael. Comrade Ackland - Dorset, 1936. Newly returned from an illicit trip to Civil War Spain, Sylvia Townsend Warner and her lover Valentine Ackland have an unexpected visitor.... Tongues of Fire - 1913. When a Nobel laureate visits Dublin's Abbey Theatre, fireworks erupt between WB Yeats and Sean O'Casey. A Year at the Races - Approaching the end of his career, Groucho Marx meets a wisecracking fan determined to teach him new comedy tricks. Spike and the Elfin Oak - A comic fantasy inspired by Spike Milligan's madcap attempts in the mid-1960s to preserve a curious sculpture in Kensington Gardens. Everybody's Got Conditions - Casting Bette Davis in his play The Night of the Iguana proves the biggest mistake in Tennessee Williams' career... I Believe I Have Genius- Humble and obscure, young Charlotte Brontë travels to Brussels to study at a girls' school. Marian and George - Marian Evans (aka George Eliot) must choose between her adored brother and the love of her life... Lying Low - An intriguing drama imagining what happened to Samuel Beckett during his mysterious three weeks in Folkestone in 1961. A Terrible Beauty - WB Yeats travels to France to propose to beautiful Maud Gonne, soon after her husband's execution in the 1916 Easter Rising. The Watcher on the Wall - Dramatised from his letters, this is the story of Louis MacNeice's transatlantic love affair and the poetry it inspired. Edith Sitwell in Scarborough - Returning to her birthplace, Edith Sitwell sets out to wreak revenge. Mrs Tolstoy - A five-part drama charting the tempestuous marriage between Leo and Sofya Tolstoy. The 'B' Word - The opening night of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion causes a scandal and sparks a passionate love/hate triangle... The Rules of Palship - The young Noël Coward demanded fierce loyalty from his friends - but did he live up to his own high standards? The Lost Road - A playful tribute to the long friendship between CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien and how it influenced their respective masterpieces. Luxembourg Gardens - Re-imagined from Katherine Mansfield's stories, letters and journals, this Mansfieldesque play explores her last day in Paris, where she is dying of consumption aged 34. Copyright © 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution LtdShow more
Ronald Pickup, Paul Ritter and Kate Duchêne star in Nick Warburton’s comedy about one community’s attempts to resist change When Richard and Clare Wells inherit a clifftop house in Yorkshire, they also inherit a sitting tenant, John Hector, who treats their home as his own and the local town as his own personal fiefdom. But the sea is eroding the land, and John is intent on stopping them all from being evicted, so the Wells’ reluctantly embrace him as an ally. As he entangles them in his conservation battles, Clare and Richard find themselves drawn into the Breck Howe Preservation Society, an unlikely group attempting to defend their town against the worst ills of modernity. Their lives will never be the same again... North meets South in this comedic clash of cultures, written by award-winning dramatist Nick Warburton. Ronald Pickup stars as John Hector, with Paul Ritter as Richard and Kate Duchêne as Clare. Written by Nick Warburton Directed by Sally Avens First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 28 January 2016 (The Vauxgarth Pig), 11-25 August 2017 (Series 1), 16 November-14 December 2018 (Series 2) Cast Richard Wells – Paul Ritter Clare Wells – Kate Duchêne John Hector – Ronald Pickup Lux – Michelle Asante Penrith – Chris Pavlo Trafford/Hugh – Gerard McDermott Mrs Cardabbon – Susan James Estate Agent – Caolan McCarthy Ticket Lady – Kerry Gooderson Guard – Bob Blythe Tiffany – Louise Brealey Librarian – Chetna Pandya/Liam Lau Fernandez Mrs Briggs of Events – Sanchia McCormack/Elizabeth Counsell Headley – Philip Fox Norwegian Herring Enthusiast – Simon Ludders Ralph Bell – Sean Murray MC/Trevor Butt – Tony Turner Robust Betty – Emma Handy Rude Girl/Brandi – Saffron Coomber Barb/WPC – Jeannette Percival Mikey/Surly Reader/Tourist – Cameron Percival Chucker/A Heavy – Don Gilet Anthony/Wayne/Seasider – Lewis Bray Himself – Jonathan AgnewShow more
A father and son energy company are struggling with the new economics of the oil market. With their wells running dry in Turkmenistan, and having to fight Chinese companies for the right to frack under Lytham St Annes .... is Ralph wrong about getting out of oil for good? Or is his dad Charlie more of an addict than a businessman? Will we ever be able to give up oil? Alun Armstrong and Paul Ritter star in Tamsin Oglesby's future oil comedy - set in 2045. One of a season of dramas exploring the history of oil - and the price we've paid for it.Show more
A full-cast dramatisation of this comic tale about an eighteenth-century gentleman who tries to tell his life story, but continually finds that he must digress... Featuring some of the best-known and well-loved characters in English literature, including Uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, Dr Slop and the Widow Wadman. Beginning (or attempting to begin) at the moment of his own conception, Tristram Shandy recounts his progress through the world and utterly fails to stick to the point. Sterne's comic masterpiece is an extravagantly inventive work which was hugely popular when first published in 1759, and is now considered a landmark in the history of the novel. Its often bawdy humour and numerous digressions are combined with bold literary experiments, and 260 years after its publication it remains one of the most influential and widely-admired books of the 18th century. A joyful celebration of the endless possibilities of the art of fiction, Tristram Shandy is also a wry demonstration of its limitations. Also included in this release is a bonus programme - In Our Time: Tristram Shandy - in which Melvyn Bragg discusses the comic masterpiece with Professor Judith Hawley (University of London), Professor John Mullan (UCL) and Dr Mary Newbould (University of Cambridge). Cast: Tristram...Neil Dudgeon Mother...Julia Ford Father...David Troughton Uncle Toby...Adrian Scarborough Corporal Trim...Paul Ritter Dr Slop...Tony Rohr Obadiah...Stephen Hogan Susannah...Helen Longworth Great-Grandmother/Bridget...Ndidi Del Fatti Great-Grandfather/Pontificating Man/Death...Stuart Mcloughlin Bishop Hall/Le Fever...Hugh Dickson Widow Wadman...Deborah Findlay Dramatised by Graham White Directed by Mary PeateShow more
Eleven compelling BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramas telling the stories of the Russian tsars Broadcast to mark the centenary of the Russian revolution, this extraordinary drama cycle by Mike Walker comprises eleven ambitious plays spanning over 400 years, exploring the lives of Russia's key rulers from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin. Ivan the Terrible: Absolute Power - The rise and fearsome reign of the first Tsar of All Russia. Starring David Threlfall as Ivan IV. Boris Godunov: Ghosts - Did Boris Godunov have Ivan the Terrible's son killed? And what happened when the murdered boy came back from the dead - leading an army? Starring Shaun Dooley as Boris Godunov. Peter the Great: The Gamblers - Moscow, 1682 and two joint tsars rule: one, Ivan, is feeble-minded and the other is Peter, a child of ten years old. Starring Will Howard as Peter. Peter the Great: Queen of Spades - Distracted by his new capital, St Petersburg, and wife Catherine, Peter ignores his opponents: until his own son Alexei declares his colours. Starring Elliot Cowan as Peter. Catherine the Great: Husbands, Lovers and Sons - Did Catherine foresee the consequences of staging a coup d'état against her husband the Tsar? Or did she want him dead from the start? Starring Samantha Spiro as Catherine II. Alexander I: Into the Woods - The story of the reluctant Tsar who took on the greatest threat Russia had ever faced - Napoleon Bonaparte - and won. Starring Joel MacCormack as Alexander I. Alexander II: The People's Will - Revolutionary terrorist cell The People's Will is determined to assassinate the Tsar. But in the struggle between autocracy and socialism, there can be only one winner. Starring Joseph Millson as Alexander. Nikolai II: Three Hundred Years - In 1913, the Romanov dynasty celebrated three hundred years on the Russian throne. But a mere four years later, Tsar Nikolai II was forced to abdicate. Starring Raymond Coulthard as Nikolai II. Lenin: Tears - As the Soviet era begins, Lenin joins the provisional government, but soon becomes set on seizing complete power for his Bolsheviks. Starring Paul Ritter as Lenin. Joseph Stalin: The Last Bolshevik - In 1941, the Soviet Union was invaded by the Nazis - and Joseph Stalin retired to his dacha, seemingly defeated... Starring Brian McCardie as Stalin. The Shield and the Sword - Thirteen interconnected stories about the enigmatic Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Starring Nicholas Murchie as VV. Written by Mike Walker Produced and directed by Sasha Yevtushenko and Alison HindellShow more
When Ed finds himself sleeping in the spare room he realises he might have to rediscover exactly what love is. But coming up with the correct definition proves harder than he first imagines. Starring Paul Ritter, Tessa Peake-Jones, Aurelie Ambland, Jonathan Forbes, Peter Polycarpou, and Jane Whittenshaw. Directed by Sally Avens.Show more
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