BBC Radio 3
22nd January 2017
Jean Racine’s play, first performed in 1667, is set a year after the Fall of Troy in Epirus, where Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, is ostensibly betrothed to Helen’s daughter, Hermione. Pyrrhus however is pining after Hector’s widow, Andromache. The play opens as Orestes, son to Agamemnon, comes with a message from the Greeks demanding that Pyrrhus should hand over Andromache’s son, Astyanax. Orestes, it so happens, is in love with Hermione.
Edward Kemp’s version of the play is set against a present-day soundscape and asks ‘when a culture has endured a shattering event – the Trojan War or one of the world-changing events of the current century – how can we move on ? And if we can’t, are we destined to repeat the same cataclysmic mistakes over and over again?’
Directed and Produced by Jeremy Mortimer
Drama on 3
BBC Radio 3,
Sunday 5th July 2015
Dramatising the shadowy relationship between the state and the stage in the 1730s, Steve Waters’ ‘Scribblers’ focuses on the relationship between young playwright Henry Fielding and the First Minister Robert Walpole; tracking back and forth between high politics and the emergence of a fringe theatre of real dissent, it explores the premature birth of political theatre through the mad-cap work of Fielding before it was strangled at birth by the Stage Licensing Act of 1737.
Raft of the Medusa
BBC Radio 4
On the 20th anniversary of Derek Jarman’s death, Simon Armitage celebrates Jarman’s legacy by responding to one of his unfinished projects with a new radio play.
In his notebooks Jarman planned, but never made, a film about a famous painting by the French Romantic artist Theodore Géricault. Based on true events, ‘The Raft of the Medusa’ (1818) is a shocking depiction of isolation and hopelessness: on a makeshift raft, adrift on open seas and weighed down with corpses, a desperate group of survivors attempt (in vain) to gain the attention of a passing ship.
His Master’s Voice
BBC Radio 4
2nd August 2014
Written by James Maw and Tim Sullivan.
Rob Brydon is ventriloquist Peter Brough and his doll Archie Andrews in a new play that tells the true story behind one of the most successful radio shows of all time. The 1950s BBC Radio show ‘Educating Archie’ – with 16 million listeners- catapulted the ventriloquist Peter Brough from suburban obscurity to the heights of high society. After eight years on radio, ‘Educating Archie’ transferred to television. And yet one day in 1961 Peter Brough locked the dummy in a suitcase and left him, until, six years after the ventriloquist’s death, Archie Andrews was put up for auction. With Fenella Woolgar as Peggy Brough.
BBC Radio 3
15th June 2014
Seventy years ago, July 1944. The most disastrous war in history is in its death-throes. In a secret meeting in a hotel deep in the forests of New Hampshire, 700 bankers from 44 nations fight to draw up a settlement to save the world economy and secure the peace. Everything depends on two men – John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White. Written by Steve Waters and directed by Jeremy Mortimer. With Simon Callow and Henry Goodman.