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A LIFE OF CHEKHOV by Irene Nemirovsky

adapted for radio by Michael Hastings

Broadcast in five short plays for BBC Radio 4
Woman’s Hour Drama, 3rd – 7th Nov 2008

Irene Nemirovsky’s biography of Anton Chekhov, adapted for radio by Michael Hastings, captures in brief scenes, reminiscent of his short stories, crucial points from his tough childhood in the remote port of Taganrog on the Sea of Azov to his marriage in his last years as the celebrated playwright.

Irene Nemirovsky’s biography appeared in 1950 but it was not until the publication of Suite Francaise in 2006 that her enormous talent as a writer reached a wider audience. In A Life of Chekhov she puts aside the conventional biographer’s position and writes the story as if she was in the presence of the Chekhov family.

CAST

Anton Chekhov – ANDREW SCOTT

Masha Chekhov & Natasha – ROMOLA GARAI

Yevgenia Chekhov & Olga Knipper – NIAMH CUSACK

Paul Chekhov & Suvorin – DAVE HILL

Uncle Mitrofan – ALAN WILLIAMS

Kolya Chekhov & Alex Smagin – BO PORAJ

Sasha Chekhov – KEITH DUNPHY

Vanya Chekhov – HUGH WYLD

Misha Chekhov – BILLY DUDLEY

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Production Assistant – James Thompson

Executive Producer – Ed Crozier

Director – Lucy Bailey

Producer – Nicholas Newton

 

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THE LEOPARD by Giuseppe di Lampedusa

dramatised by Michael Hastings

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 11th May 2008

In 1957, Giuseppe Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa, the last member of a great Sicilian family, died childless, impoverished and unknown, leaving behind him a recently completed manuscript of a novel. The following year the novel, The Leopard, was published to acclaim and is now recognised and one of the finest works of twentieth-century literature. Five years after its publication Luchino Visconti made his celebrated film starring Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival.

In the book Don Fabrizio’s, the Leopard, closest and most intimate relations, family and counsellor reveal the passing of his world – a symbol of the change that came about during the republican unification of Italy in 1860. His support for his romantically inclined nephew, Tancredi, allows his family to wed the beautiful daughter of the uncouth, newly moneyed Sicily in the figure of the mayor of the town where his country palace is situated. The old feudal system is dying. But Don Fabrizio clings on to an ancient rule – ‘we must change to remain the same’.

Playwright and screen writer, Michael Hasting’s new adaptation views the Prince from the prism of his family, servants and his confessor and takes the story to its conclusion twenty years after Don Fabrizio’s death.

CAST

Don Fabrizio – STANLEY TOWNSEND

Princess Stella – JULIE LEGRAND

Concetta – CLAIRE PRICE

Angelica – HAYLEY ATWELL

Ciccio/Pallavicino/Priest – JOSEPH ALESSI

Father Pirrone – JAMES HAYES

Francesco/Carlo – TOM VAUGHAN-LAWLOR

Tancredi – TOM HIDDLESTON

Calogero/Chevalley – ANTHONY O’DONNELL

Giovanni – HARRY MCENTIRE

Angelica at 70 – CLAIRE NIELSON

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Production Assistant – James Thompson

Executive Producer – Ed Crozier

Director – Lucy Bailey

Producer – Nicholas Newton

 

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FELIX HOLT, THE RADICAL by George Eliot

adapted for radio by Michael Eaton

Broadcast in three parts for The Classic Serial on BBC Radio 4

Two men from very different backgrounds return to the town of Treby Magna in the midlands in 1832 – just after the passing of the Reform Act, extending the franchise to property owners. HAROLD TRANSOME, on the death of his dissolute older brother, has become heir to an estate and returns from the orient determined to become an M.P., though his haughty mother is shocked to discover that he intends to stand as a Radical.

FELIX HOLT also reappears in his native town and proves an equal disappointment to his mother for he has abandoned his education to set up as a humble watch-mender with a determination to set up a school for miner’s children.

Though Felix may be the eponymous hero, the true protagonist of the story is ESTHER LYON – a young woman who must discover what she truly values in her choice between these two men. She believes herself to be the daughter of the town’s kindly Dissenting Minister, but the discovery of the truth of her background threatens to overturn the status quo of this provincial town. This is not the only secret known to the manipulative lawyer, MATTHEW JERMYN – the principal antagonist.

This relatively unknown work by one of the finest 19th century novelists, George Eliot, is set at a time of great political turmoil. In three one hour episodes this adaptation captures a world of political skulduggery and the virtues of genuine social change.

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CAST

Felix Holt – ELLIOT COWAN

Mrs Holt – SUSAN BROWN

Rufus Lyon – STEPHEN MOORE

Esther Lyon – HAYLEY ATWELL

Harold Transome – JASPER BRITTON

Arabella Transome – SUSAN WOOLDRIDGE

Matthew Jermyn – JACK SHEPHERD

Sir Maximus Debbary – JOHN CARLISLE

Philip Debarry & Mike – Brindle PAUL CHAHIDI

Christian – RON COOK

Denner – CAROL MACREADY

The Reverend Lingon – MICHAEL CULKIN

Chubb – JOHN TAMS

Johnson – KEN CAMPBELL

COMPANY

Studio Manager
Mark Smith

Production Associate
Lucy Mangan

Music
John Tams

Executive Producer
Ed Crozier

Director
Lucy Bailey

Producer
Nicholas Newton

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AFTERNOON ROMANCERS by Nick McCarty

Broadcast on 2nd June 2005
for The Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4.

A man and a younger woman embark on an affair which they promise each other will not end in love, until they discover that life cannot be so simply constructed.

Liz, who has had an unhappy affair with a married man, meets a solo classical musician, Paul, in the foyer of a concert hall after she has been performing. He invites her to audition for a new quartet. He finds her attractive but to prevent any commitment he invents a story that he is married. At the same time she also says she is married.


CAST

Liz – SALLY HAWKINS

Paul – EWAN STEWART

Alan – SEAN CHAPMAN

Mary – CLAIRE COX

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Director – John Burgess

Producer – Nicholas Newton

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THE PICKWICK PAPERS by Charles Dickens

adapted for radio by Michael Eaton

adapted in four parts for The Classic Serial on BBC Radio 4, December 2004.

Samuel Pickwick and his friends set out on a journey to discover their world in Dickens’ comically tragic and profoundly daft tale of Innocence abroad. Tricked by conmen and traduced and imprisoned by lawyers, guileless Samuel’s faith in human nature is in tatters until it is salvaged by the street-kid philosopher, Sam Weller. So our buffoon becomes a hero and comes through everything that a murky world can throw at him with his innocence intact.

“Timothy Spall and Sue Johnston head a sparky and talented cast in this rumbustious adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic tale on an innocent abroad.” Daily Mail

“Funny, brisk and entertaining.” Sunday Times

“Timothy Spall and Sue Johnston head a fine cast in Michael Eaton’s lively adaptation of Charles Dickens’s picaresque first novel.” The Observer

CAST

Pickwick – TIMOTHY SPALL

Snodgrass & Male Worshipper & Sportsman – ROBERT PORTAL

Tupman & Dodson – TOBY JONES

Winkle & Fogg & Solitary Tenant – JOHN MCANDREW

Sam Weller & Rochester Coachman – BURN GORMAN

Jingle & Cricket Commentator – JASPER BRITTON

Job Trotter & Slurk & Groffin & Stage Man & Hostler & RSM – JOHN TAMS

Wardle & Gummer & Namby – GAWN GRAINGER

Stiggins & Stareleigh & Mr Leo Hunter & Chancery Prisoner – JACK SHEPHERD

Tony Weller – MICHAEL JAYSTON

Perker Cabman – PHILIP VOSS

Joe Slumkey – AARON JOHNSON

Buzfuz – GERARD MURPHY

Mr Nupkins & Jackson & Potts & Snubbins & Smangle & Coachman – PHILIP FOX

Mr Winkle Snr – PATRICK GODFREY

Bob Sawyer & Wicks & Zephyr – GUY LANKESTER

Ben Allen & Tom Roker & Officer Of The Court – JONATHAN KEEBLE

Tommy Bardell – JOSEPH GRIT

Mrs Bardell – SUE JOHNSTON

Old Mrs Wardle & Haggard Woman & Miss Tompkins & Miss Nupkins & Mrs Raddle & Landlady – ANGELA PLEASENCE

Emily – KATIE FOSTER-BARNES

Arabella – LUCY DAVENPORT

Mary & Little Girl & Maid & Barmaid – RHIANNON OLIVER

Mrs Cluppins & Cook – LYNN MILLER

Rachael & Headmistress & Mrs Nupkins – JULIE LEGRAND

Susan Weller & Mrs Leo Hunter & Sarah – LYNN FARLEIGH

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Editor – David Thomas

Associate Producer – Lucy Mangan

Script Editor – Catherine Wearing

Music – John Tams

Director – Jane Morgan

Producer – Nicholas Newton

 

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A BRIEF INTERRUPTION by Ben Steiner

A rather neglected, weary and careworn God bemoans some of the day-to-day frustrations of being The Supreme Being.

For some time God has been meaning to speak directly to people and after some trial and error with various knobs he manages to break into the BBC Afternoon Play where he settles down with a cup of tea to try and resolve a few things.

His train of thought is interrupted by faxes (which he must not answer, he must not get directly involved), but one of them catches his eye and before he knows it he is telling us about what happened to a little girl and her cat that she never let out of her sight.

Ben Steiner’s first play for radio stars Tom Courtenay as God.
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CAST

Rupert – Sebastian Graham-Jones

God – Tom Courtenay

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Director – Sebastian Graham Jones

Producer – Nicholas Newton

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THE BRIDE’S CHAMBER by Charles Dickens

adapted by Michael Eaton

from The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices

When Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins find themselves staying in an old Inn in Lancaster, while on a walking tour in the north country, the famous author encounters a man dressed in black who has a story to tell which alarms him more than he could wish.

Broadcast on 25th June 2004 for The Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4.

CAST

Wilkie Collins/Young Man – ALAN COX

Charles Dickens – GAWN GRAINGER

Landlord – JOHN TAMS

Hardman & Men in Black – JACK SHEPHERD

Mrs Pinchbeck – LYNN FARLEIGH

The Bride (Ellen) – LUCY DAVENPORT

Scientific Gentleman 1 – ANDREW NEIL

Scientific Gentleman 2 – SEAN SCANLON

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Script Editor – Lucy Mangan

Music – John Tams

Director – Sebastian Graham Jones

Producer – Nicholas Newton

 

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TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F Scott Fitzgerald

adapted for radio by Michael Hastings

“A brilliant rendition… it’s the small things and the small moments that make for such a great drama.”
The Radio Times

Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver.

Fitzgerald created characters in this celebrated novel, which were so complex you feel as though you already know them. Tender Is the Night is sexy, heartbreaking, adventurous and thought provoking. The story of the love, and loss, between the wealthy Dick and Nicole Diver, and how their lives together is forever changed by the young film actress, Rosemary Hoyt is a classic of 20th century.

F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel has been adapted for radio by awarding winning screenwriter and playwright Michael Hastings, author of Tom and Viv.

Broadcast in two parts for The Classic Serial on BBC Radio 4, May 2003.

CAST

Rosemary Hoyt – REBECCA HALL

Mrs Speers – LORELEI KING

Dick Diver – MICHAEL MALONEY

Nicole Diver – JENNIFER LEE JELLICORSE

Tommy Barban – ANDREW SCOTT

Mr McKisco – TREVOR RAY

Mrs McKisko – LYNNE MILLER

Abe North – COLIN STINTON

Collis – DAN FREDENBURGH

Jules Petersen – JOSEPH MYDELL

Beth – KYRA WILLIAMS

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Music – Graeme Taylor

Director – Sebastian Graham Jones

Producer – Nicholas Newton

 

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GEORGE SILVERMAN’S EXPLANATION by Charles Dickens

adapted for radio by Michael Eaton

“This production was distinguished by a great performance from Paul Scofield, as Silverman. His grave, rich voice, slow but rhythmic, so interior and reflective on its own progress, so self-haunted, made the whole thing memorably touching.”
The Sunday Telegraph

This late short story by Charles Dickens is a tale of a man writing about his unfulfilled life; and getting it all wrong in the telling; of a boy who tries to become an irreproachable young man but who somehow fails to escape his past. Broadcast 1st May 2003.

CAST

George Silverman – PAUL SCOFIELD

Silverman as a student – ALAN COX

Silverman as a boy – AARON JOHNSON

Mother/Lady Fareway – GEMMA JONES

Father/The Dean – JOHN NORMINGTON

Brother Hawkyard – DAVID WARNER

Brother Gimblet – JOHN TAMS

Silvia/Adelane – KATHERINE HEATH

Granville & crowd – GUY LANKESTER

COMPANY

Studio Manager – Mark Smith

Music – John Tams

Director – Sebastian Graham Jones

Producer – Nicholas Newton

 

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VOYAGES by Michael Hastings

Broadcast in 2002 on BBC Radio 4

An original play by award winning playwright Michael Hastings. Set in post war London, a boy’s fascination with collecting used bus tickets leads him to discover, over fifty years later, that life is full of unfulfilled dreams.

CAST

Elspeth – TAMARA HINCHCO

Young George – AARON JOHNSON

Jacks/Doctor – TOM MARSHALL

Marie – LYNNE MILLER

George Unsworth – STEPHEN MOORE

Freddie – PETER SPROULE

COMPANY

Director – Sebastian Graham-Jones

Producer – Nicholas Newton

 

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