General notes: As programming is generally scheduled around evening concerts, start times have been noted after the date; As opposed to 1997's list, the Sunday Feature was just composed of documentaries with no dramatic element.
(04-01-1998; 7:30pm) The Misanthrope (Moliere, trans/adap Tony Harrison)
(11-01-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) After Easter (Anne Devlin)
(18-01-1998; 9:30pm; Rpt) Insignificance (Terry Johnson)
(25-01-1998; 7:30pm) Hysteria (Terry Johnson)
(01-02-1998; 7:30pm) The Steward Of Christendom (Sebastian Barry)
(08-02-1998; 7:30pm) The Trojan Women (Euripides)
(15-02-1998; 7:30pm) Good Person Of Ajmer (Bertolt Brecht, trans Michael Hoffman)
(22-02-1998; 7:30pm) Flight (Mikhail Bulgakov, trans Michael Glenny, adap Don Taylor)
(01-03-1998; 7:30pm) More Sinned Against (Alexander Ostrovsky)
(08-03-1998; 7:30pm) The Weir (Conor McPherson)
(15-03-1998; 7:30pm) Divine Words (Ramon del Valle-Inclan, trans/adap David Johnston)
(22-03-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) An Informer's Duty (Greg Cullen)
(29-03-1998; 10:05pm; Rpt) The Life & Death Of Pier Paolo Pasolini (Michel Azama, trans Caroline Behr)
(05-04-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) Gristle (Lee Hall)
(12-04-1998; 7:30pm) The Mysteries (Edward Kemp)
(19-04-1998; 7:30pm) Skylight (Richard Eyre)
(26-04-1998; 7:30pm) Passing Places (Stephen Greenhorn)
(03-05-1998; 7:30pm) Cardiff East (Peter Gill)
(10-05-1998; 7:30pm) Heartbreak House (George Bernard Shaw)
(17-05-1998; 7:30pm) Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare)
(24-05-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) The Relapse (John Vanbrugh)
(31-05-1998; 7:30pm) Life Is A Dream (Pedro Calderon de la Barca, adap Adrian Mitchell & John Barton)
(07-06-1998; 7:30pm) The Ceremony Of Innocence (Martyn Wade)
(14-06-1998; 7:30pm) Inventing America - A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee William)
(21-06-1998; 7:30pm) Inventing America - Hughie / The Emporer (Eugene O'Neill)
(28-06-1998; 7:30pm) Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (James Agee & Walker Evans, dram Stanley Richardson)
(05-07-1998; 7:30pm) Loot (Joe Orton)
(12-07-1998; 7:30pm) Up Against It (Joe Orton, adap John Fletcher)
(19-07-1998; 9:15pm) The Art Of The Big Bass Drum (James Kelman)
(26-07-1998; 9:50pm) Cadenza (David Pownall)
(02-08-1998; 9:35pm; Rpt) Death In Venice (Thomas Mann, dram Peter Wolf)
(09-08-1998; 9:55pm; Rpt) Oedipus At Colonus (Sophocles, trans/adap Ranjit Bolt)
(16-08-1998; 9:50pm) Havisham (Ronald Frame)
(23-08-1998; 10:10pm) The Reith Affair (Michael Hastings)
(30-08-1998; 10:15pm; Rpt) The Voluptuous Tango (David Zane Mairowitz, music Dominic Muldowney)
(06-09-1998; 9:55pm; Rpt) East From The Gantry (Edward Thomas)
(13-09-1998; 9:45pm; Rpt) To The Wedding (John Berger, dram John Berger)
(20-09-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) Divine Words (Ramon del Valle-Inclan, trans/adap David Johnston)
(27-09-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) The Misanthrope (Moliere, trans/adap Tony Harrison)
(04-10-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) Via Dolorosa (David Hare)
(11-10-1998; 7:30pm) US (Peter Brook)
(18-10-1998; 7:30pm) Hedda Gabler (Ibsen, trans/adap Helen Cooper)
(25-10-1998; 7:30pm) Man & Boy (Terence Rattigan)
(01-11-1998; 7:30pm) Naked (Luigi Pirandello, adap Nicholas Wright)
(08-11-1998; 7:30pm) Cancer Ward (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)
(15-11-1998; 7:30pm) Major Barbara (George Bernard Shaw)
(22-11-1998; 7:30pm; Rpt) The Winter's Tale (William Shakespeare)
(28-11-1998; 8:30pm) Troy - 1: King Priam & His Sons (Andrew Rissik)
(29-11-1998; 7:30pm) Troy - 2: The Death Of Achilles (Andrew Rissik)
(19-11-1998; 9:30pm) Troy - 3: Helen At Ephesus (Andrew Rissik)
(06-12-1998; 7:30pm) A Flag Unfurled (Leigh Jackson)
(13-12-1998; 7:30pm) Adverse Possession (John Waters)
(20-12-1998; 10:00pm; Rpt) The Weir (Conor McPherson)
(27-12-1998; 10:00pm; Rpt) Cadenza (David Pownall)
(06-01-1998; 8:20pm; Rpt) The Last Picnic (James Hamilton Paterson, read by Nigel Anthony) A strange little man joins the family gathering. He sips some beer, eats some sausage rolls and, quite without ceremony, introduces himself as Robert Schumann.
(13-01-1998; 8:10pm; Rpt) The Dell (James Hamilton-Paterson, read by Roger May) A young flautist discovers the relationship between water and music.
(27-01-1998; 8:10pm; Rpt) Knight (James Hamilton-Paterson, read by Ron Berglas) An extract from `The Music'. An American pilot is captured in Vietnam and is determined not to reveal any military secrets. Then he hears someone playing Bach on the piano.
(29-01-1998; 7:55pm) Fantasia On A Favourite Waltz (William Boyd, read by Hadyn Gwynne) Hamburg in the 1940s. She walks in the streets and he plays the piano. One day he gives her a musical score - a sign of greatness to come? (NB: Repeated 03-07-1998.)
(30-01-1998; 8:00pm) To The Gate Of Ice & Snow (Sean O'Brien) When the Newcastle-based poet Sean O'Brien was invited to visit a remote Japanese island, he jumped at the chance, particularly when he heard about its near-legendary inhabitants. But what was life really like for a hairy Geordie amoung the hairy Ainu?
(03-02-1998; 8:25pm; Rpt) Anxieties Of Desire (James Hamilton-Paterson, read by Kim Wall) A composer flees to Algiers after his controversial work fails to receive a major prize. Then he discovers that another musician of the same name has received critical acclaim in Europe.
(10-02-1998; 8:20pm; Rpt) Sidonie Kleist (James Hamilton-Paterson, read by Lorelei King) An American concert pianist has a breakdown during a performance of Beethoven's fourth piano concerto.
(17-03-1998; 8:15pm; Rpt) The Last Of The Habsburgs (James Hamilton-Paterson, read by Christopher Scott) A Balkan kingdom stages a lavish opera to celebrate the bicentenary of the death of its national composer.
(24-03-1998; 8:15pm) The Cemetery By The Sea - Ranjit Bolt introduces his new translations of poems by the French Symbolists Verlaine, Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Mallarme.
(21-04-1998; 8:10pm) Longer Contemporary Poems - Samuel West reads `Spring Offensive', `Exposure', `Insensibility' and `Strange Meeting' by Wilfred Owen.
(28-04-1998; 8:10pm) Longer Contemporary Poems - Denys Hawthorne reads `Easter 1916' and `The Tower' by WB Yeats. (30m)
(07-05-1998; 8:35pm) Amnesia In Litteris (Patrick Suskind, read by Mark Straker) All those magnificent books we have read, all those stories and characters. But we rarely remember them, do we?
(30-06-1998; 8:15pm) Like A Circle In A Spiral (Russell Hoban, read by David Horovitch) He meets her on a foggy London morning as she finishes the line of a song he is humming. What next? A specially commisioned story with BBC Music Magazine.
(03-07-1998; 7:50pm; Rpt) Fantasia On A Favourite Waltz (William Boyd, read by Hadyn Gwynne) Hamburg in the 1940s. She walks in the streets and he plays the piano. One day he gives her a musical score - a sign of greatness to come? (NB: Repeat of 29-01-1998.)
(15-07-1998; 8:10pm) Ivor Gurney - Poet PJ Kavanagh explores Gloucestershire poet Ivor Gurney's powerful and neglected work written during the First World War, and his subsequent years in an asylum. Gurney's poetry is read by David Goodland.
(21-07-1998; 7:45pm; Rpt) Beehernz (Penelope Fitzgerald, read by David Troughton) A story commissioned by Radio 3 and BBC Music Magazine. Once upon a time, there was an old, reclusive composer who just had to be lured out of retirement.
(25-08-1998; 8:40pm) Poets On Painting - An anthology of poems about painting read by Andrew Hilton and Sally Cookson.
(10-10-1998; 7:10pm; Rpt) Why Do We All Hate Philip So? - Was Philip II of Spain too conscientious to appeal to the likes of Schiller and Verdi? Novelist Adrian Mourby asks why some monarchs are loved by history and others loathed. The words of the real and operatic Philip are read by Peter Jeffrey, and the testimony of those who knew the king is spoken by Cyril Shaps and Alice Arnold.
(15-10-1998; 8:10pm) Intimate Letters (read by Timothy West) In 1917, Janacek met Kamila Stosslova and fell madly in love with her. He was 63, she was 26, and they were both married. But Kamila was to inspire many of the great works of Janacek's old age, and his letters reveal the intensity of his love for her.
(22-10-1998; 8:10pm) Rachmaninov's Recollections - Derek Jacobi reads from Rachmaninov's recollections, exploring the melancholy in his nature and in his music.
(05-11-1998; 8:25pm) Fire Power - Fire has fascinated people since mankind began. Against a backdrop of the sounds of Bonfire Night, this programme celebrates the many aspects of this awesome element through real-life stories, readings, poetry and music.
(26-11-1998; 8:10pm) New Music (Carol Shields, read by David Threlfall) She studies Tallis, he deals in reinforced concrete. So what is the attraction? A new story specially commissioned with BBC Music Magazine.
(01-12-1998; 8:25pm) The House Of Fear (Leonora Carrington) Four interval programmes of readings from the surrealist works of Carrington. In these small and concentrated portions, the oddest elements from metaphysics, fantasy, daily routine and material life are simmered together and mischievously served up. The House Of Fear (read by Eleanor Bron) and The Oval Lady (read by Kate Beckinsale).
(03-12-1998; 8:40pm) The House Of Fear (Leonora Carrington) Waiting (read by Eleanor Bron) and Cast Down By Sadness (read by Kate Beckinsale).
(04-12-1998; 8:15pm) The House Of Fear (Leonora Carrington) Royal Summons (read by Kate Beckinsale) and The Seventh Horse (read by Eleanor Bron).
(08-12-1998; 8:20pm) The House Of Fear (Leonora Carrington) White Rabbits (read by Eleanor Bron) and The Seventh Horse (read by Kate Beckinsale).
(19 to 23-01-1998) Word Pictures - Five writers each choose a picture in the National Gallery and use it as a basis to develop a short imaginative narrative. (15m)
1: Marina Warner on Correggio's `The School Of Love'. (9:45pm)
2: David Dabydeen on Pieter Bruegel the Elder's `Adoration Of The Magi'. (9:35pm)
3: Peter Porter on Sassetta's `Aspects Of The Life Of St Francis'. (9:05pm)
4: Peter Levi on Claude's `Landscape With Aeneas At Delos'. (9:20pm)
5: A S Byatt on Velasquez's `Kitchen Scene With Christ In The House Of Martha & Mary'. (8:45pm)
(02 to 06-03-1998) Choice Grenfell - A five-part entertainment compiled by and starring Maureen Lipman, recreating monologues, sketches and songs originally written and performed by comedian Joyce Grenfell. (20m) (NB: This series was repeated 20 to 24-07-1998.)
1: Featuring `Counterwise', in which an enthusiastic store assistant encounters the pitfalls of applying sales psychology; and `Opera Interval', during which an opera lover attempts to follow the plot of `Mildura' as it progresses from the sleepy village of Pola, with its royalist fisherfolk, to the cloisters of St Geminiano. (9:15pm)
2: Featuring two songs with music composed by Richard Addinsell - `All my tomorrows' and `Picture Postcard' - and `Lally Tullet', a steamy tale of close relationships from a Virginian veranda. (9:30pm)
3: Featuring `Thursdays', a commonplace story in which a wrong number nearly turns into a blind date; and a poignant song, `Dear Francois', with music composed by Richard Addinsell. Plus Grenfell's letters to Virginia Graham. (9:30pm)
4: Featuring `In the Train', in which a chatty American chorus girl remembers the kindness of an English actor whose funeral she has just attended; and `Tristram', who finds God, to the despair and embarrassment of his liberal parents. `Two Christian Scientists', written by Joyce Grenfell and Virginia Graham, is set to music by Denis King. (9:20pm)
5: Featuring `Telephone Call from Down Under', a touching scene of divided loyalties; `Mrs Mendlicote', a musical account of life and times in Pont Street; and, to end, `When You Go'. The songs were composed by Richard Addinsell. (9:15pm)
(16 to 20-03-1998) A Poem For Ireland - In the week in which St Patrick's Day falls, five Irish poets read a selection of works. (10m)
1: Today Paula Meehan presents some of her own new work. (10:10pm)
2: On St Patrick's Day, Brendan Kennelly reads new poems in which he remembers two saints, two teachers and his 90-year-old grandmother. (9:15pm)
3: Michael Longley reads new works: love poems, elegies remembering a small child and an Irish poet, memories of County Mayo, and a sequence of poems linked by two world wars. (9:30pm)
4: Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill reads new works in English and Irish, including `Dubh', a poem inspired by the fall of Shrebrenice. (9:35pm)
5: In the last of this week's readings by Irish poets, Tom Paulin presents a selection of new works. (9:50pm)
(27-04 to 01-05-1998 Postscript First & Last Words (20m)
1: The Muse's Babes - Michael Schmidt introduces a selection of poems by well known poets taking their first faltering steps, including Edgar Allan Poe, George Herbert, Milton, Pope and Burns. Readers Melissa Sinden and Russell Dixon. (9:15pm)
2: Goodbye Cruel World - Michael Schmidt introduces poems of farewell, including Raleigh, Nashe, Donne and Herbert. Readers Melissa Sinden and Russell Dixon. (9:45pm; 15m)
3: Taking Shape, Where Poetry Began - Michael Schmidt introduces poems which were the first of their kind, from Caedmon to Ezra Pound. Readers Melissa Sinden and Russell Dixon. (9:00pm)
4: Reshaping, New Poetries - Michael Schmidt introduces the work of poets who have taken the English language into their own cultures. Featured poets include Gertrude Stein, John Ashbery, Edward Kamau Brathwaite and Hugh MacDiarmid. Readers Melissa Sinden and Russell Dixon. (10:10pm)
5: Elegy - Michael Schmidt introduces poems that say goodbye - to a murdered king, an only son, a sister, a parent and a friend - and one facing up to the poet's own death. With poems by Stephen Crane, Frank O'Hara, Philip Larkin and Emily Dickinson. Readers Melissa Sinden and Russell Dixon. (9:00pm)
(01 to 05-06-1998) Inventing America - Sam Shepard: Live at BAC - The first of five programmes recorded at the Battersea Arts Centre in which actor and dramatist Sam Shepard reads from his work, drawing on twenty-five years as a writer. (10m)
1: Tonight's readings chronicle epic truck drives across America and sad encounters in motel rooms and bars, with selections from `Cruising Paradise' and `Motel Chronicles'. (9:30pm)
2: he celebrated actor and dramatist explores America's gun culture, spiritual dereliction, and the immensity of the country, with selections from `Motel Chronicles' and `Cruising Paradise'. (9:00pm)
3: Sam Shepard draws on his career as a film actor for material that is both farcical and tragic. In selections from `Cruising Paradise' and `Motel Chronicles', he reflects on whether the movies are more meaningful than life - or devoid of meaning altogether. (9:50pm)
4: Sam Shepard reads from work that reflects his preoccupation with the sound of language, including selections from `Motel Chronicles' and a scene from his play `The Tooth of Crime'. invented. (9:15pm)
5: Sam Shepard reads from his work, including a scene from his play `State of Shock' that offers a jaundiced salute to America's heroes. (9:10pm)
(22 to 26-06-1998) Inventing America - The Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway (abr John Hartley) (20m)
1: The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber (read by Ed Bishop) Determined to show that he's not a coward, Francis Macomber goes on a big game hunt. (9:10pm)
2: The Capital Of The World (read by Kerry Shale) Paco is a waiter who longs to be a bullfighter, so he builds a practice bull with two carving knives and a chair... (9:00pm)
3: The Snows Of Kilimanjaro Harry, a writer, has gone to Africa to seek inspiration. But his truck has broken down in the middle of nowhere and his gangrene is spreading... (10:15pm)
4: My Old Man (read by Stuart Milligan) Joe's father is an American jockey working the European circuit. He has made it to Paris, owns a good horse and rides in his own colours. (9:40pm)
5: The Killers (read by Kerry Shale) Al and Max are on a job. They hold up a diner and await their victim. Reader Kerry Shale. (9:00pm)
(13 to 16-07-1998; Rpt) Radio Poems - Four specially commissioned poems blending words and sound. (20m) (NB: Repeat of 27 to 30-10-1997; The fifth part of the original series, Hopewell Haiku by Paul Muldoon, was omitted.)
1: Spirit Machines (Robert Crawford; 9:10pm)
2: Wire Through The Heart (Ken Smith; 9:00pm)
3: Once Upon A Zoo (Lavinia Greenlaw; 9:40pm)
4: The Man Made Of Rain (Brendan Kennelly; 9:15pm)
(17 to 21-08-1998; Rpt) Fan Mail - Following the example of W H Auden's `Letter To Lord Byron', five poets read a newly commissioned verse letter to a poet from the past whom they admire. (15m) (NB: Repeat of 13 to 17-10-1997.)
1: Tom Paulin reads his letter to John Clare called `The Writing Lark'. (10:00pm)
2: Kathleen Jamie writes to Robert Burns about growing up in modern Scotland and about devolution. (9:45pm)
3: Glyn Maxwell writes to Edward Thomas. (9:55pm)
4: The Caribbean writer Olive Senior reads her letter to the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. (9:10pm)
5: In the last of the series, American poet Mark Doty reads his `Letter to Walt Whitman'. (9:45pm)
(28-09 to 02-10-1997) Rereading Auden - Twenty-five years after W H Auden's death, five poets and critics reassess his poetry and make a personal selection of readings.(20m)
(05 to 09-10-1998) Life After Death - Five dramatised documentaries drawn from the KGB's literary archive by Vitaly Shentalinsky and presented by Professor James Riordan. (20m)
1: I Beg You To Hear Me: The File On Isaac Babel - The legacy of writer Isaac Babel is recalled by his grandson. Babel rode with the Cossacks in Russia's bloody civil war, gave the world his short story collection `Red Cavalry', and was arrested and executed in 1939. With Stephen Grief as Babel and Jon Strickland as the interrogator. (9:40pm)
2: Isolate But Preserve: The Files On Osip Mandelstam - The story of the Russian poet who came under attack in the 1920s for being out of step with the Soviet regime and was first arrested in 1934 for a poem denouncing Stalin. He died in 1938 en route to a labour camp. With Alex Jennings as Osip Mandelstam, Eleanor Bron and Jon Strickland. (9:30pm)
3: Any Satirist In The USSR Must Question The Soviet System. Am I Conceivable In The USSR? - The story of Russian prose writer and dramatist Mikhail Bulgakov, author of `The Master and Margarita', who waged an astonishing and daring war of words against the secret police that yielded surprising results. With John Sessions as Bulgakov. (9:20pm)
4: Seventh Heaven: The File On Nina Hagen-Torn - Until recently unknown and unpublished, ethnographer and daring free thinker Nina Hagen-Torn wrote vividly about her suffering in the vast gulag of Kolyma. With Amanda Root as Hagen-Torn, and Eleanor Bron. (9:20pm)
5: The Arrested Word: The File On Nikola Klyuev - The story of poet Nikola Klyuev, who wrote during the terrible campaign for total collectivisation. His views led to his denunciation and arrest, but he refused to recant and was executed in 1937. With Simon Russell Beale as Klyuev and Jon Strickland as Shivarov. (9:40pm)
(02 to 06-11-1998) Fictuality - Five specially commissioned dramatic monologues that combine fiction and a news story. (20m)
1: One Giant Leap (Sue Teddern; 9:40pm)
2: Come The Day (Fraser Harrison; 9:40pm)
3: Thank You For My Baby (Alison Joseph; 9:20pm)
4: Abide With Me (John Fletcher; 9:40pm)
5: All At Sea (Pippa Gladhill; 9:40pm)
(30-11 to 04-12-1998) Happy Talk - Five monologues about women. (20m)
1: Mrs Birtwhistle - Played by Geraldine McEwan. The new-found independence of her handicapped daughter threatens Mrs Birtwhistle's very raison d'etre. (9:15pm)
2: Avril - Played by Frances Barber. An overweight librarian hopes her life will be transformed by a kickboxer from Dudley. (9:40pm)
3: Philomena - Played by Val Lilley. Away from her homeland, Philomena realises that life has passed her by. (9:05pm)
4: Ivy - Played by Alison Steadman. Ivy sits on a train on her way back from a disastrous weekend with a couple she and her husband met on holiday. (9:50pm)
5: Granny Grimshaw - Played by Angela Curran. Granny Grimshaw is no longer the strong woman she used to be and has had to move in with her middle-aged daughter - and her `friend'. (9:30pm)
BETWEEN THE EARS
ADDENDA: The first in the list is something I missed from 1997 (it seeming to be 'just another concert'), and I add it here as there were no Between The Ears series in the latter half of that year; as noted, it was repeated in the Sunday Feature slot.
(20-07-1997; 5:10pm; Rpt) Beethoven's Fifth (Unknown) Mark Russell presents another chance to hear a specially mixed performance of the symphony first heard last autumn in the series `Between the Ears'. The performance includes a virtually complete rendering of Beethoven's evergreen symphony through a cocktail of curious, controversial and conventional recordings and commentaries. With contributions from Dai-Chi and Valentin (pianos), the training orchestra of the Central Music School, Oxford, Professor Peter Schickele, the Vienna Philharmonia conducted by Carlos Kleiber, Walter Murphy's `A Fifth of Beethoven', the Orchestra of the 18th Century conducted by Frans Bruggen and many, many more. Technical presentation Marvin Ware. Devised and produced by Alan Hall. (NB: Repeated in the Sunday Feature slot; The programme would again be repeated on 25-12-1999 and 09-06-2005.)
(10-01-1998; 10:00pm) Heartsong (Sarah Woods) In this drama documentary three men tell their real-life stories of love. When they meet three fictional women, obsession, betrayal and true love follow. With Victoria Worsley, Haydn Gwynne and Adjoa Andoh. Music by Anders Sodergren. Director Claire Grove.
(17-01-1998; 9:40pm) Gilde (Meredith Oakes, music Gerald Barry) In a major new work, Janet Suzman and Sally Dexter struggle with identity and opposition in a bold exposition of a body under pressure. Clarinettists Anthony Lamb, Victoria Medcalf, Robert Ault and Andrew Webster.
(24-01-1998; 9:40pm) Gould, Tobacco, Bach (Unknown) To boldly go where no pianist has gone before was the lifelong mission of the eccentric Canadian, Glenn Gould. Since his death 15 years ago, his recording of a Bach Prelude and Fugue continues its mission aboard the Voyager spacecraft. This programme recreates a 17th-century experiment for calculating the weight of tobacco smoke in an attempt to calibrate Gould's genius. Meanwhile, old Bach weighs up the statistical risk of his own pipe-smoking.
(31-01-1998; 9:25pm) Out Of The Blue (Unknown) The scene is an office. Two people are sitting facing each other. An event is about to happen which will propel one of them into a drama which is unexpected, short and shocking. It is the moment when a relationship ends. People remember the dramatic turn of events which signifies redundancy.
(07-02-1998; 10:20pm) Anniversary (music Laurence Crane, Errollyn Wallen & Andrew Toovey) A song cycle conceived as a celebration of the unremarkable events of a perfectly imperfect day and compiled with recordings made on Friday, 7 February 1997, and today, a year on. The performers are Melanie Pappenheim, Margaret Cameron, Daniel Hale, Robert Chevara, Jacqueline Parker and Errollyn Wallen. With contributions from the people of London going about their business on 7 February, and reference to the day's news.
(14-02-1998; 9:20pm) The Human Voice (Jean Cocteau, trans Anthony Wood) As an antidote to Valentine's Day, an updated version of Cocteau's classic monologue. Harriet Walter stars as the abandoned woman speaking to her ex-lover on the phone, with electronic sound composition by Robin Rimbaud (scanner).
(09-05-1998; 10:45pm) The Devil Writes To Hildegard Of Bingen / Hildegard 2000 (Richard Gaskell) The first of six newly commissioned experiments in creative radio marks the nine hundredth anniversary of the birth of composer and mystic Hildegard of Bingen. The Devil - fabricated by writer Gaskell and impersonated by Bob Peck - fires off seven deadly letters to distract the visionary abbess from her mission of harmony and heavenly revelation. Meanwhile, another anniversary celebration heads calmly toward an iceberg of unfathomable proportions, as Robin Guenier, executive director of Taskforce 2000, and David Atkinson MP explain. (NB: The title was mentioned in the listings and these are two variations found on the internet; This 'newly commissioned' series included two repeats.)
(16-05-1998; 9:10pm; Rpt) Please Believe Me (Unknown) A voyage through the history of the BBC voice and its close cousin, received pronunciation; a pilgrimage back to the days when announcers had to pass a stringent audition, including ten verses of the Bible and reading in Italian and German. Discover which chancellor of the Exchequer declared that that mispronouncing `Thetis' deserved a whipping, why fears that Cockney was the future of English surfaced in 1949, and how redbrick voices infiltrated the airwaves.
(23-05-1998; 9:00pm; Rpt) The Night Stairs (Unknown) So many feet have passed up and down the flight of stairs that runs from the monks' dormitory to the transept of Bristol Cathedral that the stone looks like the waves of the sea. Joining the monks on parallel night journeys on all kinds of staircases are an astronomer, a stairmaker, a political prisoner, a nightwatchman, an old soldier, a police night squad, a tower block chorus, a historian, and the Cistercian monks of Caldey Abbey.
(30-05-1998; 10:00pm) A S D F G (Unknown) When novelist Charlotte Cory's grandmother died, she inherited a typing course on scratched 78rpm records and a set of chipped willow pattern china which inspire this exploration of the connections between how we think and how we write. With Kathryn Stott and Vincent Duggleby.
(06-06-1998 10:25pm) I'll Be Watching You (Iain Sinclair) The unblinking eye of the surveillance camera now keeps a perpetual watch over high streets, shopping centres and road junctions. This is an an audio journey through the world of hidden cameras, webcams, surveillance shops and beyond, with guidance from novelist Sinclair. (NB: This was billed as the 'third of six' - actually the third new play, but the fourth overall - and the next was billed as 'the last'.)
(13-06-1998 8:45pm) Procession To The Private Sector (David Gascoyne, adap Sean Street) The first production of a surrealist film scenario written in 1936 by the poet David Gascoyne, the most prominent English writer of that movement, and rewritten by him in the 1980s after the manuscript was found in the British Library. Adapted as a `film for radio' by Sean Street, with new music by John Surman, it features Simon Callow as the Camera. The story - of the vicissitudes of a pair of lovers - springs from a dream of Gascoyne's and is dramatised through symbol, myth and startling imagery.
(30-08-1998; 10:15pm; Rpt) The Voluptuous Tango (David Zane Mairowitz, music Dominic Muldowney) An operatic radio drama which throws together dancer Isadora Duncan and founder of Italian futurism F T Marinetti. With Maria Friedman as Isadora Duncan, and Alan Belk as Marinetti. (60m) (NB: Repeated in the Sunday Play slot and billed as a repeat from an earlier Between The Ears series; Note the extended running time.)
(21-07 to 07-08-1998) Quartet (Steve May) Fresh out of college, hungry for recognition or even just a gig, four musicians forge a radical and somewhat unlikely quartet. But it is only then they find out just how hard it is to cut it in the world of professional music. Amanda Gordon (Moodi), Ian Jeffs (Dave), Alex Lowe (Stu). The music was composed by Steve May, and performed by Adam Walters (horn), Paul Sharman (trumpet), Marie Lloyd (clarinet), Jadie Carey (cello). Director Eoin O'Callaghan. (Weekdays, bar Wednesdays, 4:45pm; 12 x 15m) (NB: A series that took Music Matters' slot during its summer break.)
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