Archive for March, 2013

New Drama on Radio 4

Watch out for two cracker shows to be broadcast soon on BBC Radio 4.
These are two must-hear programmes for radio scriptwriters.

The first, Neverwhere is radio drama at it’s best and the second, Rhymes of Passion is the fascinating story of the fierce love affair between poets Eizabeth Smart and George Barker. Don’t miss them.

Beneath the streets of London there is another London. A subterranean labyrinth of sewers and abandoned tube stations. A somewhere that is Neverwhere.

An act of kindness sees Richard Mayhew catapulted from his ordinary life into a subterranean world under the streets of London. Stopping to help an injured girl on a London street, Richard is thrust from his workaday existence into the strange world of London Below.

So begins a curious and mysterious adventure deep beneath the streets of London, a London of shadows where the tube cry of ‘Mind the Gap’ takes on new meaning; for the inhabitants of this murky domain are those who have fallen through the gaps in society, the dispossessed, the homeless. Here Richard meets the Earl of Earl’s Court, Old Bailey and Hammersmith, faces a life-threatening ordeal at the hands of the Black Friars, comes face to face with Great Beast of London, and encounters an Angel. Called Islington.

Joining the mysterious girl named Door and her companions, the Marquis de Carabas and the bodyguard, Hunter, Richard embarks on an extraordinary quest to escape from the clutches of the fiendish assassins Croup and Vandemar and to discover who ordered them to murder her family. All the while trying to work out how to get back to his old life in London Above.

A six part adaption of Neil Gaiman’s novel adapted by Dirk Maggs for Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra, sees James McAvoy as Richard lead a stellar cast which includes Natalie Dormer, David Harewood, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Lee, Anthony Head, David Schofield, Bernard Cribbens, Romola Garai, George Harris, Andrew Sachs, Lucy Cohu, Johnny Vegas, Paul Chequer, Don Gilet and Abdul Salis.

Beginning on March 16, 2013,[1] BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra will broadcast a new six-episode production of Neverwhere.[2] It will be available for worldwide replay on BBC iPlayer.
The one-hour pilot will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on March 16, 2013 with five half-hour episodes following on BBC Radio 4 Extra between March 18, 2013 and March 22, 2013.

The Show was produced in Belfast by Heather Larmour who had the brilliant idea of adapting the book for radio and was the brains behind getting the project produced.


About the Show
Laura Barton tells the story of the passionate, obsessive love affair that inspired the extraordinary poetic novel By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.

Elizabeth Smart chanced across a book of poems by George Barker in a Charing Cross Road bookshop in 1939. It intoxicated her so much that she decided to marry him there and then, whoever he was. She tracked him down in Japan and embarked on an affair that would last for two decades and which led to Smart bearing four of Barker’s 15 children.

She would also produce the passionate prose poem By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept detailing the affair. It was an underground success when it was published in the 1940s but became both celebrated and reviled by the generation of feminists in the late 1960s.

Some might say Smart is an appalling role model for women, as she seemed utterly submissive to Barker. She was a single working mother of four in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. She moved to Europe in wartime and went on to become the highest paid copywriter in London. In many ways she was ahead of her time.

In this programme, Laura Barton discovers the real story behind By Grand Central Station… — a story of deceit and disappointment, but also, overridingly, of intense and passionate love.

Featuring Christopher Barker, Elspeth Barker, Sebastian Barker, Robert Fraser, Rosemary Sullivan and Fay Weldon.

Producer: Martin Williams.

The play will be broadcast on Monday 11th March 2013 at 11.00pm on BBC Radio 4.


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