Known World Service plays and series from 2000-11, including those from Suttonelms' previous list plus various additions from all over. The list for 2007 is near complete, but those for 2008 onwards (which come from the BBC's own listings) appear to only include first-run plays, omitting all repeats (information for which is very scarce). Note that the BBC axed the World Service Drama in 2011. Running times are rarely listed, those that are known are noted - mostly 60mins.
This can definitely be regarded as a work in progress!
(23-01-2000) The Final Bubble (Tanika Gupta)
This play is set in India and envisages a world that has been split in two. At the end of the 21st Century, most people live in scientifically controlled environments called Bubbles where death has been 'eradicated'. Bodies are kept alive in special dormitories that keep hearts beating long after consciousness has gone. Some people choose to live in the 'Second World', the world outside the Bubbles, where there is real sea, sky and sun but also disease and death. Dr. Madhu Kapoor is an eminent Bubble scientist whose work is dedicated to prolonging life at any cost, including that of her son Kiren, kept alive in a dormitory after a childhood accident. When Dr. Kapoor's ex-husband, Professor Choudhury, lures her to the Second World hinting that he can prove that there is life after death, she embarks on a journey that will have profound implications for life in the 'Eternal Bubble'. (90m)
(00-00-2000) Arabian Nights (adap Dominic Cooke)
Adaptation from the Islamic One Thousand & One Nights compilation, with Sophie Okonedo as Scheherazade. (60m)
(00-00-2000) Bel-Ami (Guy de Maupassant, dram Neville Teller)
Adaptation of the 1885 novel chronicling journalist Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris, most of which he achieves by manipulating a series of powerful, intelligent, and wealthy mistresses.(60m)
(00-00-2000) The Diving Bell & The Butterfly (Jean Dominique Bauby, adap Michelene Wandor)
Abridged, with sound, for World Service Drama. Starring Tim Piggott-Smith. (60m)
None known as yet.
(24-08-2002) Neuromancer, Pt1 (William Gibson)
Two-part adaptation of Gibson's 1984 debut, telling the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to pull off the ultimate hack. (60m)
(31-08-2002) Neuromancer, Pt2 (William Gibson)
See above. (60m)
(12-10-2002) Mrs Warren's Profession (George Bernard Shaw)
In this classic drama, will the sins of a prostitute mother be foisted upon her daughter? With Maggie Steed and Ron Cook. (90m) (NB: Not to be confused with the Radio 3 version starring Diana Quick in the title role, this version was repeated on Radio 7 25-01-2009 and 27-03-2010, and on the renamed Radio 4 Extra 17-04-2011.)
One of the most beguiling tales and the only Arabic work to become truly popular in the West. Adapted by Dominic Cooke from his original adaptation for London's Young Vic Theatre. Repeated a day later.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, a new production of Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon's classic play. Repeated a day later.
(04-01-2003)Waiting For Godot (Samuel Beckett)
This month sees the 50th anniversary of the first production in English of Samuel Beckett's play. This production comes from the Gate Theatre in Dublin.
(04-01-2003)Someone, Somewhere (Pat Davis)
Docudrama following the story of a couple's quest for their missing daughter.
(11-01-2003)according to WS drama archive, Someone, Somewhere was broadcast on 11 Jan 03
(19-01-2003) Alfie Elkins & His Little Life (Bill Naughton)
With sublime amorality Alfie swaggers and philosophises his way through the play, chattily allowing the audience to eavesdrop as he goes from one 'bird' to another, trying hard to communicate his own brand of determined hedonism and carefully rejecting anyone or anything that might touch him too deeply. This new production of Alfie Elkins & His Little Life marks the 40th anniversary of Bill Naughton's play. It was originally broadcast on BBC Radio: Third Programme on 7th January 1962 starring Bill Owen ('Last of the Summer Wine') as Alfie. It was then turned into a stage play premiering at London's Duchess Theatre in 1963. The stage play was later successfully filmed in 1966 with Michael Caine in the role of the ebullient Cockney, Alfie. With Nick Moran (Alfie), Kevin Whately (the Narrator), Simon Treves (The Station Officer / The Loader), Chris Emmett (The Governor), Robert Oates (Alfie's Dad), Simon Belfour (Alfie's mate / Fred), Sarah Griffiths (Annie), Fiona Karew (The Girl), and Pippa Haywood (Ruby). Directed by Dirk Maggs.
(25-01-2003) The Ministry Of Performing Arts And Crafts (Mustapha Matura)
Political satire set in a government minister's office on a Caribbean island, by the Trinidadian playwright Mustapha Matura.
(01-02-2003)Drop Dead Gorgeous (Marcy Kahan)
A comedy about the global fashion industry, starrring Elaine Stritch. Bronze Medal for Best Play, 2003 New York Radio Festival.
(15-03-2003 and 16-03-2003) Durham Crescent (Jo Randerson / John Dryden)
A satirical drama using the grammar of news radio. A young man disappears from his home in Wellington, setting off a frenzy of media speculation. Heather - Gentiane Lupi, Alan - Adam Gardiner, Garry - Tim Gordon,
Mikey - Jason Whyte,
Jan - Jo Randerson,
Sergeant Jenkins - Michael Wilson,
Robin - Eva Radich,
Brian’s mother - Sue Wilson,
Brian’s father - Ross Jolly, The white witch - Tusiata Avia,
Helen’s boss - Jed Brophy, Craig, the psychic - Bevin Linkhorn, Raoul, the café owner - Ross Jolly,
Phone-in woman 1- Hinemoana Baker,
Phone-in woman 2 - Miranda Harcourt,
Phone-in boy - Peter Cox,
Student radio host - Barnaby Weir, Police woman - Dena Marie Kennedy,
Strange man 1 - Sean Allan,
Strange man 2 - Toby Leach. Engineered by Richard Hulse. Directed by John Dryden Directed/produced by Dryden for Radio New Zealand, later broadcast by BBC World Service, CBC, ABC and RTE. (NB: Presumably a part of a Worldplay season.) (60m)
(26-04-2003) Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
To mark the centenary of the renowned British writer, Evelyn Waugh, a new production of his epic novel, both tragic and funny, in four hour-long episodes continues.
(03-05-2003) Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
(10-05-2003) Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
(17-05-2003) Under Milkwood (Dylan Thomas)
Welsh poet and playwright Dylan Thomas' best known work. An evocative tale of a mythical Welsh seaside community, Llareggub, featuring the enigmatic voice of Richard Burton.
(24-05-2003) Aladdin & The Wonderful Lamp (adap Neville Teller)
Teller speaking elsewhere on this site: "Something of an original concept in radio drama. It's a specially written version of Aladdin to be married to a 'music soundscape' conceived and selected by the well-known DJ, Paul Oakenfold. I have written a 40-minute radio play, and the soundscape will fill the remaining 20 mins. If this is judged to be a success, other such dramatic pieces might follow. Saeed Jaffrey and Meera Syal are among the cast; I'll be as intrigued as everyone else about how it works out." (60m)
(31-05-2003) We Are Water (12 young writers)
In a collaboration between the Royal Court Young Writers' Programme and BBC World Service drama, 12 young writers have written a play on the theme of water.
(07-06-2003) Great White Hope (Howard Sackler)
Pulitzer Prize-winning play inspired by the true story of flamboyant boxing legend Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion.
(14-06-2003) City Of Spades (Colin Macinnes)
Published in 1957, this is the first of Colin Macinnes' celebrated trilogy of London novels. In vibrant and authentic style, he documents and celebrates life in the melting pot of the capital in the late 1950s as England assimilates the legacy of its Empire days.
(21-06-2003) Sundiata (Peter Fraenkel / D.T.Niane)
An epic tale of jealousy and treachery, but also of motherly love, shrewdness and adventure. An African classic, Sundiata has been adapted by Peter Fraenkel from the text by D T Niane.
(28-06-2003) Life Story. The Race For The Double Helix
To mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA, Life Story tells the true story of the race to unlock the mystery of the gene. James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, Linus Pauling.
(05-07-2003) The Goalkeeper's Boo Boo (Peter Tinniswood)
This play is by one of radio drama's best loved and most innovative practioners, Peter Tinniswood, who died earlier this year. It's a reflection on love and football.
(12-07-2003) The Police (Slavomir Mrozek)
The anarchic 1957 satire, which begins as the last convicted prisoner of an unnamed state decides to sign an oath of allegiance to the crown.
(19-07-2003) Romeo And Juliet (William Shakespeare)
Shakespeare's most romantic play in a new radio treatment by Paul Brennen in this two-part adaptation recorded on location with a young cast.
(26-07-2003) Romeo And Juliet, conclusion.
(02-08-2003) Two plays (originally part of the African Performance series)
The first is K-Street, by Andiah Kisia and set in Kenya. The second is 'The Engagement' by Sefi Atta, set in Nigeria.
(09-08-2003) The World Is Smaller (70-year Drama highlights)
2002 marked the 70th anniversary of BBC World Service. To mark this occasion this special play was recorded live at the Cafe Royale in London's West End. A number of acclaimed actors gathered to revisit some of the drama highlights of the
past 70 years.
(16-08-2003) Walk Right By Me (Christopher Harris)
Gary Oldman stars as Warren in this one-man play by first time writer Christopher C Harris. Living alone in the big city, Warren one day sees petite ex-dancer Carol, and quickly becomes obsessed with her every intimate detail.
(23-08-2003) The Darker Face Of The Earth (Rita Dove)
A new production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Rita Dove, to mark the International Day For The Remembrance Of Slave Abolition.
(30-08-2003) No play.
(06-09-2003) No play.
(13-09-2003) An American Werewolf In London (Dirk Maggs, ad)
A radio dramatisation of the Oscar-winning 1981 movie in which two American college boys, David and Jack, encounter a terrible fate on a dark night on the Yorkshire Moors. Adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs with music by Wilfredo Acosta.
(20-09-2003) Hannah and Hana (John Retellack)
Racial violence throws together a troubled 16-year-old and a Kosovan refugee, and their friendship proves able to override national and cultural boundaries.
(27-09-2003) Changes (Ama Ata Aidoo)
Set in Accra, Ghana, Changes is based on the book of the same name by the Ghanaian novelist, Ama Ata Aidoo. The novel was the 1992 winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Africa.
(04-10-2003) Runt (Michael Phillip Edwards)
A look into the soul of a Jamaican-American who feels he's the runt of a litter.
(11-10-2003) Neuromancer (William Gibson)
A 2-part adaptation of William Gibson's science fiction novel, the story of a computer cowboy called Case, who inhabits the world of cyberspace until his nervous system is maimed.
(18-10-2003) Neuromancer, conclusion.
(25-10-2003) M Ibrahim Et Les Fleurs De Coran
Henry Goodman stars in the story of a poor Parisian Jewish boy and his unlikely friendship with the Arab shopkeeper from whom he had been stealing.
(01-11-2003) Arabian Nights
Classic tale of infidelity and murder in Arabia. The beautiful Shahrazade marries vengeful King Shahrayar and proceeds to use her wiles and her incredible story of Ali Baba to save the daughters of the city. Starring Sophie Okonedo and Paul Bhattacharjee.
(08-11-2003) Loyalty (Anuradah Swaminathan)
The story of two soldiers in the Phillipines during World War II and their evolving friendship in hiding from Allied troops.
(15-11-2003) Binti's Party (Eddi Ogembo)
Winning play in the English as a First Language category, Binti's Party by Eddi Ogembo is a satire about a government minister in an unnamed African country.
(22-11-2003) No information.
(29-11-2003) Ah Wilderness! (Eugene O'Neill)
Launching a season of plays by Nobel Prize winners, Eugene O'Neill's funny and moving 4th of July story of Richard Miller, an idealistic young poet and thinker.
(06-12-2003) After The Divorce (G. Deledda)
Continuing a season of plays by Nobel Prize winners, an adaptation of Grazia Deledda's passionate novel in which an innocent man is imprisoned for the murder of his cruel uncle.
(13-12-2003) The Cocktail Party (T.S.Eliot)
The Nobel season continues with a new production of TS Eliot's comedy of errors.
(20-12-2003) Miguel Street (VS Naipaul)
Classic tale of a derelict street in Trinidad's capital during the Second World War which is a magnet to the poets, philosophers, teachers and misfits of the region.
(27-12-2003) Workshop Negative (Cont Mhlanga)
The play uses the relationships between workers and their boss in a Zimbabwean tool-making workshop to explore wider issues of racial conflict.
(03-01-2004) A Man Called Rejoice (James Whyle)
True story of a man living in a South African township whose small wage supports a large rural family. Author James Whyle gives an insight into the enormity of AIDS in Africa.
(10-01-2004) Loyal Women (Gary Mitchell)
A vivid portrait of entrenched attitudes in north Belfast's Protestant community.
(17-01-2004) Man Of All Work (Richard Wright)
African-American writer Richard Wright's play is a dark comedy which comments on white middle-class attitudes in 1940s America.
(24-01-2004) The Joy Luck Club (Susan Kim)
Based on Amy Tan's novel about a club formed by four Chinese women in the US, who are suspended between two cultures and alienated from their all-American daughters.
(31-01-2004) The Lost Continent (Bill Bryson)
Writer and journalist Bill Bryson's comic, observant and unsparing account of one man's rediscovery of America, the country of his birth.
(07-02-2004) Made In China (drama-doc)
Part of the Culture of the East season, this drama/documentary recorded in Canada and the UK gives voice to the stories of the Chinese diaspora.
(14-02-2004) The Mob (John Galsworthy)
Nobel Prize winning author John Galsworthy charts the consequences of one man's decision to remain true to his conscience in defiance of the rule of the 'mob'.
(21-02-2004) Worldplay (Pater Wolf)
Annual season of plays showcasing some of the best new radio drama from around the world. This year's theme is 'Shadowlines'. The first is written by Peter Wolf.
(28-02-2004) Worldplay (Douglas Bolger)
The Woman's Daughter: By Dermot Bolger. The annual season of plays show-casing some of the best new radio drama from around the world. This week's play comes from RTE-Ireland.
(06-03-2004) Worldplay (Maurice Gee)
The Fat Man. This play comes from Radio New Zealand. It's written by Maurice Gee and adapted for radio by Emma Willis and Ed McWilliams.
(13-03-2004) Worldplay (Haya Husseini)
Fistful of Sand. Four media workers travel into the heart of a battlefield. They experience a journey that blurs the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East and the political mapping of the contemporary world. Written by Haya Husseini, directed by Anna Messariti for the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
(20-03-2004) Worldplay (four traditional stories)
An Inuit Journey. Legends From The Eastern Arctic: Plays showcasing the best new radio drama from around the world. This week a collection of four traditional stories about life in Canada's north.
(27-03-2004) Two Viewings (Los Angeles Theatre Workshop)
Set in a small, midwestern funeral parlour, this play from the Los Angeles Theatre Workshop takes us into the interweaving worlds of a respectable mortician and a sexy widow.
(03-04-2004) Crises (author nk)
Follow the spectacular beginning and neurotic unraveling of a couple thrown together by chance.
(10-04-2004) Loaded (Danny Brocklehurst)
When Ben visits his dying father in Australia, his brother makes him an offer he can't refuse. Daniel Brocklehurst's play is a comedy about what's of real value in the world.
(17-04-2004) Dolphin Therapy (Nat Segnit)
Chris Langham stars as a man who hates his job, his home and himself. He loses his job, then tries swimming with dolphins to snap him out of his malaise. This has been broadcast on Radio 4.
(24-04-2004) Lying Undiscovered (Richard Monks)
Drama about a mother who is reunited with her son 20 years after his disappearance as a toddler. Julia Ford , Andrew Harrison , Nicholas Greaves , Jemma Churchill , Joe Duttine , Ben Crowe , Denise Black , Stephen Critchlow. Also broadcast on radio 4.
.......When a young man is mugged outside a pub, police find in his jacket pocket a christening bracelet, with the same initials as those belonging to a baby who disappeared from a local beauty spot twenty years earlier. Suffering from amnesia and having had his wallet stolen, the young victim has no idea as to his own identity as he lies in a hospital bed. The baby’s mother, however, is convinced the young man is her son, as police reopen the notorious abduction case.
(Favourably reviewed by the Sunday Telegraph, and reached the lists for the 2004 Sony Awards.)
(01-05-2004) Knight in Shining Armour/Tatum's Tale (authors nk)
Two winning plays from the 2003 African Performance Playwriting Competition; heart-warming tales of couples who find love in the most unexpected places.
(08-05-2004) We Are Water (twelve youn writers)
A collaboration between the Royal Court Young Writers' Programme and BBC World Service Drama. Twelve young writers from ten countries around the world have written together on the internet to produce a play on the theme of water.
(15-05-2004) Gogo and Big Sister (Thembi Mtshali)
To mark the tenth anniversary of the ending of apartheid in South Africa, award-winning writer Thembi Mtshali's play focuses on the clash of cultures old and new.
(22-05-2004) Dramascape and the Wonderful Lamp (Neville Teller)
Paul Oakenfold provides the backing music in this updating of the Aladdin story. This was broadcast on radio 4.
(29-05-2004) Amen Corner (James Baldwin)
Novelist James Baldwin's immensely powerful and best known play. In 1950s Harlem, Sister Margaret Alexander's estranged jazz musician husband comes home to die.
(05-06-2004) The Entertainer (John Osborne)
No other details.
(12-06-2004) The Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan)
Part 1 of 3. Adaptation of John Bunyan's masterpiece about a man's eventful journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Also broadcast in the Classic Serial slot on radio 4.
(19-06-2004) The Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan)
Part 2. One man's journey from the City of Destruction, through the Slough Of Despond, to his ultimate destination, the Celestial City.
(26-06-2004) The Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan)
Part 3, conclusion.
(03-07-2004) Drop Dead Gorgeous (Marcy Kahan)
A comedy with a conscience, starring Rolf Saxon as Richard Veeblen, Lia Williams as Lala Throckmorton, and Elaine Stritch as Tamara.
(10-07-2004) Generations (Ben Wright)
To mark the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, another chance to hear an archive classic. Brian Wright's play stars Trevor Peacock and Pat Coombs.
(17-07-2004) The Duel (Anton Chekhov)
A new adaptation of a little-known Chekhov novel, which looks at the mores of life in the Russian Caucasus and a morally bankrupt art student in particular.
(24-07-2004) Loyalty (Anuradha Swaminathan)
Tale about the friendship between two soldiers involved in a nameless war, who have opted to hide in the jungle rather than surrender to the enemy.
(31-07-2004) Changes (Ama Ata Aidoo)
Dramatisation of a novel by one of Africa's most popular writers, Ama Ata Aidoo. This love story tells the tale of a married woman who combines a new independent lifestyle with a new man.
(07-08-2004; 18:30) The Birth Of Olympia (Steve Walker)
Steve Walker gives Homeric myth a modern twist, as he tells the story of the first Olympic Games in a play which features a soundtrack by Cold Cut. When the demi-god, Heracles, founds the Olympics in 776BC, he sows seeds of strife by forbidding women from the Games. His half-sister, Aphrodite, goddess of love, is furious and decides to compete herself. Needing a disguise, she takes possession of the champion most likely to make the great Heracles look foolish: Hipponax, the unfittest man in Greece. Producer Frank Stirling.
(14-08-2004) No drama (proms)
(21-08-2004) The Goalkeeper's Boo Boo (Peter Tinniswood)
A reflection on love, football and endangered species. This play was also broadcast on radio 4.
(28-08-2004) Out of Bounds (Rajesh Gopie)
Lal and his family are Indians growing up in a township on the outskirts of Durban, both during and after apartheid.
(04-09-2004) Shakara (Tess Onwueme)
Recorded on location in Nigeria, this gripping drama by Nigerian writer Tess Onwueme reflects the struggles one woman has in a modern city split between rich and poor.
(11-09-2004) Speaking Well of the Dead
Specially commissioned to mark the third anniversary of the September 11th attacks, a story of bereavement and grief, exploring the need for the living to worship the dead.
(18-09-2004) Misery (Stephen King)
Adapdation of the novel. After a car accident a novelist meets his biggest fan. She becomes his nurse and captor and wants him to write his greatest work just for her.
(25-09-2004) Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran (E.E.Schmidt)
Actor Henry Goodman stars in this one-man show by Eric Emmanuel Schmidt.
(02-10-2004)The Tenth Man (Graham Greene)
French-set thriller dramatised by Neville Teller.
(09-10-2004) Ebola Attack (John Fletcher)
An account of a story which actually happened. Ebola broke out in the Lacor region of Uganda a little over three years ago. The fact that it didn't reach the wider world is due to the heroic behaviour of the people in this drama, led by Matthew Lukwiya, the senior doctor at Lacor hospital . Not a barrel of laughs - though there are quite a few - but ultimately an uplifting story. (60m)
(16-10-2004) Othello. (Shakespeare) 1/2:
Shakespeare's tragic romance: Othello and Desdemona. With Hugh Quarshie, Juliet Aubrey and Art Malik.
(23-10-2004) Othello. (Shakespeare) 2/2
(30-10-2004) Binti's Party (Eddie Ogembo)
Play set in an unnamed African country. The Minister for Oil and Minerals is doing his best to avoid investigation for corruption and double-dealing.
(06-11-2004) The Trials of Brother Jero (Wole Soyinka)
Marking the 70th birthday of Nigerian writer and Nobel Laureate, Wole Soykina, we hear two of his early comedy The first play features the charlatan Brother Jero who poses as a prophet. In the second play Jero's actions take on a more political significance and he finds himself in the position of leader in a protest against the local authorities.
(13-11-2004) Roman Fever The first of two plays featuring two of Britain's most prestigious actresses, Sheila Gish and Anna Massey, here with one of America's favourite authors Edith Wharton.
(20-11-2004) The Darker Face of the Earth (Rita Dove)
Play set during the American Civil War, performed to mark the International Day of Remembrance of Slave Abolition.
(27-11-2004) The Lifeblood (Glyn Maxwell)
Play recently performed at Wilton's Music Hall in London; a sharp and beguiling spin on the final days of Mary, Queen of Scots.
(04-12-2004) The Lair of the White Worm (Bram Stoker)
From Stoker's novel about a man who travels to the High Peak district of Derbyshire and quickly realises that the disappearance of several local men isn't accidental.
(11-12-2004) Miss Morrison's Ghosts (Ian Curteis)
Play based on the paranormal events experienced by two academic English ladies in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, France, one August afternoon in 1901. This play was also broadcast on radio 4.
(18-12-2004) Blithe Spirit (Noel Coward, adap Nick Pitt)
Broadcast as part of the BBC World Service's Supernatural Season. To get background for a new book, author Charles Condomine light-heartedly arranges for local mystic Madame Arcati to give a séance. The unfortunate (amusing) result is that Charles's first wife, Elvira, returns from beyond the grave to make mischief for Charles and his new wife, Ruth, who becomes increasingly irritated by her supernatural rival. Mme. Arcati, who is not quite the expert psychic she’s represented herself to be, is at her wit's end as to how to sort things out. Madam Arcati - Marcia Warren, Charles Condomine - James Fleet, Ruth Condomine - Shaun Thomas, Elvira - Amanda Redman, Edith - Elaine Claxton, Dr Bradman - Neville Jason, Mrs Bradman - Francis Jeater. Directed by Hillary Norrish. note... my original source said 18 Nov 2004 but later notes suggest it was a month later...ND
(25-12-2004) The Virtuous Burglar (Dario Fo)
No other details.
(01-01-2005) Thinking Earth - A Little Piece of Earth (Glyn Maxwell)
Poet Glyn Maxwell goes on a journey across the globe to find out what our own little piece of earth means to us.
(08-01-2005) Shadow of the Gunman (Sean O'Casey)
Set in a large rotting house in 1920's Dublin during the last phase of the Anglo-Irish war which led to the 1921 peace settlement between Britain and Ireland.
(15-01-2005) Exclude Me (Judith Johnson)
Play about a teacher who keeps two pupils hostage after being sacked. The story follows both kids as they try find a way out of their hostage situation.
(22-01-2005) Hitler in Therapy (Carey Harrison)
Annual season of plays showcasing some of the best new radio drama from around the world. This week's Worldplay is written by Carey Harrison. This play was also broadcast on radio 4.
(29-01-2005) Jumping for Joy (Bernard Farrell)
Worldplay series, no. 2: written by Bernard Farrell. Play about a man who has a relationship with a younger woman.
(05-02-2005) Hearts of the World (author nk)
Worldplay - A tale of rivalry and collaboration at the time of the birth of cinema.
(12-02-2005) The Butcher's Wife (Noelle Janaczewska)
Worldplay, 4: When a local butcher goes missing in a small Australian town, his wife, a Cambodian immigrant, is subject to a police investigation.
(19-02-2005) Jumping for Joy (Bernard Farrell)
Worldplay series (?) When Martin Ryan, a widower in his 50's, falls in love with Joy McFadden, who at 20 is young enough to be his daughter, his son, Cormac, and daughter, Fiona, become quite concerned. ...not sure this entry is correct, though it came from BBC schedules.... was broadcast only 3 weeks ago, it seems...
(26-02-2005) The War of the Worlds (H.G.Wells)
Based on HG Wells' apocalyptic novel, this revival of Orson Welles' play stars Leonard Nimoy.
(05-03-2005) Tide Race (Mike Walker)
Thriller set in Indonesia. A relief captain, a mate and first officer arrive on board an ancient cargo vessel.
(12-03-2005) Ipi Zombie (author nk)
Re-working of a South African stage play about a fatal bus crash and the reported sighting of a trainee witch at the scene.
(19-03-2005) Thinking Earth (Glyn Maxwell)
A Little Piece of Earth: British poet Glyn Maxwell takes us on a journey across the earth, looking at what it means to different people all over the world. Repeated from a short while back.
(26-03-2005) Crises (Mihai Ignat)
The spectacular beginning and consequent neurotic unravelling of an un-named couple.
(02-04-2005) Drop Dead Gorgeous (Marcy Kahan)
Elaine Stritch, Lia Williams and Rolf Saxon star in a comedy from writer Marcy Kahan. Repeat.
(09-04-2005) One (Richard Monks)
The play deals with an Anglican priest's personal struggle when he is exposed as a homosexual in his parish.
(16-04-2005) Church (Richard Monks)
Richard Monks's play examines an establishment in crisis, as the Anglican Church attempts to reconcile the word of God with the realities of the 21st century.
(23-04-2005)The Gentle Art of Dying (drama-feature?)
Based on workshops with doctors and medical students from King's College, the programme examines what death means depending on where you live in the world.
(30-04-2005) Shakara, Dancehall Queen (Tess Onwueme)
Recorded on location in Nigeria, Tess Onwueme's play reflects the struggles a woman has in a modern city which is sharply split between the rich and poor.
(07-05-2005)Two short plays (Edith Wharton & Tennessee Williams)
American authors with very different takes on female friendship. Roman Fever by Edith Warton and Something Unspoken by Tennessee Williams.
(14-05-2005) Lifeblood (Glyn Maxwell)
The story of the exiled Mary, Queen of Scots' last few days, after 19 years under house arrest in the English Midlands. I think this is a repeat.
(21-05-2005) Six Degrees of Separation (John Guare)
Play based on the true story of a wealthy Manhattan couple who are fooled into allowing a con-man into their home.
(28-05-2005) The Odyssey. (Homer)
1/4: Four-part adaptation of Homer's epic story of Odysseus and his struggle to get back to the island of Ithaca to reclaim his kingdom and wife Penelope.
(04-06-2005) The Odyssey, part 2.
(11-06-2005) The Odyssey, part 3.
(18-06-2005) The Odyssey, part 4.
(25-06-2005) Mia and Maia (Charlotte Jones)
The play tells the story of Siamese twins who want to be separated as they approach their 21st birthday.
(02-07-2005) The Virtuous Burglar (Dario Fo)
A comedy about cheating lovers and a 'virtuous' burglar who becomes caught up in the middle. Repeat from Xmas Day.
(09-07-2005) The Madness Of George III (Alan Bennett)
Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent stars in the title role of the award-winning play which co-stars Cheryl Campbell, Nicholas Farrell and Alun Armstrong. The King is losing his mind. Doctors are brought in as his eccentric behaviour becomes more bizarre and erratic, while his son, the Prince Regent, waits - and plots. Combining Jim Broadbent's 'heartbreaking portrayal of the batty old monarch' ("Observer") with Alan Bennett's trademark dark humour this full-cast drama was first heard on the BBC's World Service. "The Madness of George III" was filmed as the Oscar-winning "The Madness of King George", starring Nigel Hawthorne and Helen Mirren. King George III - Jim Broadbent, Queen Charlotte - Cheryl Campbell, The Prince of Wales - Adam Godley, William Pitt - Nicholas Farrell, Doctor Willis - Alun Armstrong, Lord Furlowe - Geoffrey Whitehead. Directed by David Hitchinson.
(03-09-2005; 17:30) Jump, Mr Malinoff, Jump (Toby Whitehouse)
This is the story of two Essex boys, their Russian mother and uncle, and corruption and arson. Starring Martin Freeman.
(16-07-2005) Death at the Desert Inn (Marcy Kahan)
Marcy Kahan's comedy with Noel Coward as the hero. The scene is set at one of his greatest and most unexpected triumphs - his season at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. Also broadcast on radio 4.
(23-07-2005) Ebola Attack (John Fletcher)
The true story of Dr. Matthew Lukwiya's fight against the Ebola virus, which took place in the summer of 2000. Repeat. See above (or John Fletcher's page) for more information.
(30-07-2005) The Lair of the White Worm (Bram Stoker)
Adaptation of the novel about a man who travels to a village in the Peak district of Derbyshire and realises that the disappearance of several local men isn't accidental. Repeat.
(06-08-2005) The Breaking Jewel (Tina Pepler)
Adaptation of Makoto Oda's novel, combined with dramatised interviews from the Imperial War Museum archive.
(13-08-2005) No information.
(20-08-2005) Bombay Talkie (Mahesh Dattani)
Set amongst the glitz and glamour of the Mumbai movie industry. This is a musical comedy which celebrates the power and universal reach of Bollywood movies.
(27-08-2005) Jam Yesterday (Peter Nichols)
The play centres around a Berlin propaganda jazz band set up by Joseph Goebbles during the Second World War.
The central character, Ernie, is a musician whose life has been devoted to the swing and jazz of the nineteen thirties. With the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, he finds himself much in demand for his memories of the band he led during the War -- a propaganda jazz band set up by Joseph Goebbels and featured in daily broadcasts to the UK alongside Lord Haw Haw. The play itself is fiction, but it's based on a band ("Charlie & His Orchestra", see below) which really played and broadcast in these extraordinary circumstances. "Jam Yesterday" stars Warren Mitchell, best known for his TV role as the bigoted Alf Garnett in Til Death Us Do Part. Through specially recorded music it tells a unique, intriguing, and even chilling story of music and survival.
Cast: OLD ERNIE..........Warren Mitchell,
YOUNG ERNIE.........John Telfer,
GOEBBELS.......Nicholas le Prevost,
MAGDA GOEBBELS.......Lynsey Baxter,
Music by Philip Pope & Roger Moon.
Director: Pete Atkin.
Producer: Jo Wheeler.
Executive Producer: Bruce Hyman...... (notes by GL.)
(03-09-2005) Jump, Mr Malinoff, Jump (Toby Whitehouse)
The story of two Essex boys, their Russian mother and uncle, and corruption and arson. Starring Martin Freeman.
(10-09-2005) Out of Bounds: Rajesh Gopie's play is about an Indian family living on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa, during and after apartheid.
(17-09-2005; 17:30) Tide Race (Mike Walker)
This thriller from the award-winning playwright takes us to Indonesia. A relief captain, a mate and first officer arrive on board an ancient cargo vessel.
(24-09-2005) Lysistrata (Aristophanes, adap Ranjit Bolt)
A group of Greek women decides to withhold sex from their husbands in a bid to end the Sparta-Athens war. Music by Felix Cross. Technical presentation by Graham Harper. Directed by Kristine Landon-Smith. (NB: Repeated 07-07-2007.)
(01-10-2005) Hitler in Therapy (Carey Harrison)
Moving between 1982 and the present, Carey Harrison's play is narrated by successful psychoanalyst Geoffrey. But behind the success is the bizarre story of how he came to therapy. Repeat.
(08-10-2005) Ipi Zombie (Brett Bailey)
Re-working of a South African stage play about a fatal bus crash, and the reported sighting of a trainee witch at the scene. Repeat.
(13-10-2005??) The Story Of The Stone (Cao Xueqin, adap Katie Hims)
Bao-Yu, born with a piece of jade in his mouth, grows up in a luxurious mansion with his extended family dominated by his grandmother Jia. When Dai-Yu and Bao-Ch'ai, two beautiful cousins, come to stay, Bao-Yu falls in love with the passionate and emotional Dai-Yu. His grandmother tricks him into marrying the socially adept Bao-Ch'ai, however, and Dai-Yu dies of a broken heart. Bao-Yu then leaves behind his luxurious and privileged life to become a Buddhist monk. Narrator - Siân Phillips,
Bao-Yu - Paul Courtenay Hyu,
Dai-Yu - Wendy Kweh,
Grandmother Jia - Pik-Sen Lim,
Jia Zheng - David Yip,
Bao-Ch'ai - Liz Sutherland,
Aroma - Sarah Lam,
The Monk - Jason Chan,
Nightingale - Jennifer Lim,
The Fairy of Disenchantment - Choy-Ling Man. Original music by Nicolai Abrahamson. Produced by Anne Edyvean
. Directed by Jessica Dromgoole. ... possibly a mistake with the date here... not in BBC schedules.
(15-10-2005) Our Country's Good (author nk)
Set in the early of days of penal settlement, the play tells of the brutality, deprivation and conflict between people transported to Australia and their gaolers.
(22-10-2005) The Recruiting Officer (George Farquhar)
Play set in 1704 just after the Battle of Blenheim, following the adventures of two grenadiers who arrive in a small county town and embark on a recruiting drive.
(29-10-2005) Information missing.
(05-11-2005) Information missing.
(12-11-2005) Four, Four - Town (D. Ntshalintshali)
The second winner in this year's International Playwriting Competition. By Desmond Ntshalintshali.
(19-11-2005) Nuremberg (Richard Norton Taylor)
A take on the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial with a dramatised reconstruction of key statements, cross examinations and judgements. Concludes with a discussion about the court we now have to try cases of Crimes Against Humanity. Originally performed on stage at the Tricycle Theatre, London, directed by Nicholas Kent. With Michael Cochrane, William Hoyland, Jeremy Clyde, Michael Culver, Thomas Wheatley, Colin Bruce and Richard Heffer. Directed by David Hitchenson. (90m)
(26-11-2005) Exclude Me (Judith Johnson)
Judith Johnson's play about a teacher who keeps two pupils, a wayward Black youth and an over-achieving white girl, hostage after being sacked.
(03-12-2005) Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare) pt. 1
Comedy of two very different sets of lovers - Beatrice and Benedick, and Claudio and Hero.
(10-12-2005) Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare) pt. 2
(17-12-2005) Information missing.
(24-12-2005) The Arabian Nights (Dominic Cooke, ad)
The beguiling collection of Arabic, Persian and Indian folk tales which make up the Arabian Nights.
(31-12-2005) Nothing Sacred (George Walker)
Dramatisation of Ivan Turgenev's novel Fathers and Sons, adapted by Brian Wright.
(00-00-2005) To Throw Down God (Mike Walker)
Walker takes us to 18th century Edinburgh in Scotland and is inspired by real events in the life of lawyer and author, James Boswell. A player in the complicated game of law and obsessed with his place in the world, Boswell is willing to bend every rule to achieve fame, or even notoriety. But can he achieve success by breaking the greatest law of all – that of death itself? Directed by Anne Edyvean (NB: Repeated in the Sunday Playhouse slot on Ireland's RTÉ Radio 1, 07-05-2006.) WS date not known but we think 2005 ... probably in one of the 'information missing' slots...
(07-01-2006; 18:30; Rpt) The Award Winners - Omega (Mike Walker)
The story of a civil engineer building what's going to be the world's tallest tower. (60m) (NB: A series of Award-winning Play Of The Week dramas previously broadcast on BBC World Service - original broadcast dates generally unknown.)
(14-01-2006; 18:30; Rpt) The Award Winners: Heart Of A Dog
(Mikhail Bulgakov, trans Michael Glenny, adap Brian Wright) Frankenstein type fantasy in which a prole's heart is grafted into a mongrel dog which then attacks its masters ... loosely hidden attack on the way the Russian Revolution was turning out. Fortunately for Bulgakov, Stalin could stand a certain amount of criticism from artists. It's no 'The Master and Margarita', but good fun all the same. Music by Colin Sell. Technical Presentation by Graham Hartnel. Directed by David Hitchinson. With Charles Kay, Andrew Sachs, Steve Hodson, Peter Krays, Joanna Mackie, Norman Bird, Joe Fenner, Ian Tarmig. (60m)
(21-01-2006; 18:30; Rpt) Truckin' (Unknown)
Bill Bailey and Anton Lesser play two men who have been hired to drive around America exhibiting a copy of The Magna Carta. (60m) (NB: This play is not subtitled Award Winner, though it appears to be from the late 80s, according to a Lesser fansite, though they called it 'Truckin' Maggie'.)
(28-01-2006; 18:30; Rpt) The Award Winners - Knocking (David Eliet)
This drama portrays the chilling world of a repressive society, which singles out those whose freedom it wishes to curb. (60m)
(04-02-2006; 18:30; Rpt) The Award Winners - The Empress Wu, The Concubine Wang (Carey Harrison)
Daniel Massey and Geraldine McEwan star in this fairytale about a grizzled old soldier, the loyal General Gao. (60m)
(11-02-2006; 18:30; Rpt) The Award Winners: Mr McNamara (William Trevor)
In 1940s Ireland, after 16-year-old Michael's father dies, he visits Dublin to see his father's old friend Mr McNamara. (60m)
(18-02-2006; 18:30) No Background Music (Unknown)
A former Vietnam field nurse finally confronts the demons that haunt her. Normi Noel's play is based on interviews with nurses who served in Vietnam. Stars Sigourney Weaver. (60m)
(25-02-2006; 18:30) The Big Life (Paul Sirett & Paul Joseph)
A feel-good ska musical which transports the plot of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost to 1950s London. (60m)
(04-03-2006; 18:30) Objects Of Insane Desire (Marcy Kahan)
This play tells a simple tale in verse dramatising the comedy, pathos, boredom, excitement and peculiar sadness involved in buying shiny, expensive things. (60m)
(11-03-2006; 18:30) Sagila - The Knobstick (Sibusiso Mamba)
Inspired by Eric Sibanda's short story, a dark, contemporary murder mystery set in Swaziland. (60m)
(18-03-2006; 18:30) The Seagull (Anton Chekhov, trans Yerlev Bettefen, adap Chris Fallon)
In part a tragic play about eternally unhappy people, Chekhov has always surprised his audiences by viewing it as a comedy, poking fun at human folly. All the characters are dissatisfied with their lives. Some desire love. Some yearn for success. Some crave artistic genius. But no one ever seems to attain happiness. When famous actress Irina Arkadina arrives to spend the summer on her brother Sorin's country estate, tempers inevitably get frayed. Irina Arkadina - Liza Sadovy
, Boris Trigorin - Nicholas Farrel, Konstantin Treplyov - Ben Silverstone
, Peter Sorin - Geoffrey Beevors
, Nina Zarechnaya - Lydia Leonard
, Ilya Shamrayev - Steven Critchlow, Masha - Helen Longworth
, Dr. Yevgeny Dorn - Kim Wall
, Semyon Medvedenko - Paul Baisely. Music by Simon Russell and Lisa Sadovy Technical Presentation by Keith Graham Directed by Gordon House, assisted by Tabitha Duncan. (60m)
(22-04-2006; 19:05) Wordplay - Fired (Annabelle Gurwitch)
A comedy about losing your job. It's the brainchild of actress and writer Gurwitch, who was devastated when her role in a Woody Allen play was recast. (NB: Seems to have been repeated 22-01-2007, 11-04-2007 and 06-04-2009, and was listed as Wordplay and not Worldplay.)
(06-05-2006; 19:05) Worldplay - Saint Artaud (Unknown)
A drama depicting Antonin Artaud's journey to Ireland in 1937 in search of a sacred phallus - St Patrick's Staff - to liberate himself from the travail of his own sexuality. (NB: Repeated 24-07-2008.)
(16-09-2006) Confetti For My Grandmother (John Hegley)
The well-known poet and songwriter met his French grandmother only once, due to a family rift which he has never understood. Inspired by a Maori notion of ancestors, and by seeing his own daughter with her grandmother, he travels to Nice, in the South of France, to throw confetti at the Carnival in her memory. While there, he meets local people, has his hair cut by a 94-year-old barber and he imagines what would have happened between him and his grandmother, had he taken this journey while she was still alive. An unusual drama-documentary, featuring an hour of John's special mix of poetry, song, interviews and humour as he explores memories both real and invented. With John Hegley as himself and Zouina Benhalla as his Grandmother. Produced by Anne Edyvean. (NB: Repeated 01-09-2007.)
(18-11-2006) Dracula, Pt1 (Bram Stoker, play Liz Lochhead, adap John Foley)
Two-part 2006 BBC World Drama radio adaptation of Lochhead's stage play, first performed at the Edinburgh Lyceum in 1985. Liz Lochhead's dramatisation of Bram Stoker's novel remains generally faithful to the original, but combines some of the characters and condenses events to fit into the requirements of a play. Acclaimed Scottish poet and playwright, Liz Lochhead, has adapted Bram Stoker's famous horror story, Dracula. Starring David Suchet as Dracula, the story tells of hapless solicitor Jonathan Harker, about to be married, who goes to Transylvania to sell the mysterious Count Dracula a Gothic house in London. Will his fiancée ever see him again? Dracula - David Suchet, Nurse Grice - Ann Mitchell, Mina Westerman - Ellie Beaven, Lucy Westerman - Rebecca Callard, Jonathan Harker - Tom Hiddleston, Dr Arthur Seward - Daniel Weyman, Renfield - Jon Glover, Florrie - Helen Longworth, Drinkwater - Saikat Ahamed. Music composed by David Chilton. Directed by Marion Nancarrow. (NB: Serial repeated 29-12-2007 to 05-01-2008.)
(25-11-2006) Dracula, Pt1 (Bram Stoker, play Liz Lochhead, adap John Foley)
Scottish poet and playwright Liz Lochhead's adaptation of Dracula, starring David Suchet in the title role, concludes tonight. Jonathan has escaped from Count Dracula’s castle and his fiancée, Mina, is rushing to Budapest to be by his side. But neither of them has any idea that Dracula is rushing in the opposite direction, towards Mina’s sister Lucy. Who can save them now?
(00-00-2006) Baghdad Burning (Riverbend, dram John Fletcher)
A dramatised first-hand account of life in occupied Baghdad following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and drawn from the real life internet blog of a young Iraqi woman, known only for security reasons as Riverbend. Her stories, which have been read by thousands of people worldwide, are told with humour and honesty – revealing an intelligent, resilient but vulnerable young woman in an impossible situation. Starring Jasmine Callan as Riverbend. Director: Claudine Toutoungi. (60m) (NB: Originally written as five 15min episodes for The Woman's Hour serial (from 18-12-2006) and edited to 60mins for World Service.)
(06-01-2007) To Make The People Smile Again (Unknown)
Drama documentary about George Wheeler who in 1938 travelled from London to Spain to join the Republican Army and fight Fascism. (NB: Repeated 01-03-2008.)
(13-01-2007) A Land To Die For (Unknown)
The story of Josimo, a campaigning Brazilian Priest, who in April 1986, survived a murder attempt, only to be shot and killed in May by a hired gunman.
(20-01-2007) The Concert (Unknown)
Castro has just unveiled a statue of John Lennon in Havana, but Johnny can recall when The Beatles were not so celebrated in Cuba.
(27-01-2007) Sagila (Unknown)
As the Incwala ceremony takes place, the murder of a powerful man shocks the Swazi kingdom. The victim's son helps hunt for the killer and surprising suspects are produced.
(03-02-2007) Beautiful Only A Night (Unknown)
A group of eleven young adults from Uganda created the play 'The Other Me' through a series of workshops, which was recorded on location in Nkokonjeru.
(10-02-2007) Feluda - The Golden Fortress (Satyajit Ray & Ray Grewal)
Bollywood stars Rahul Bose and Anupam Kher bring Satyajit Ray's detective play to the air. Recorded in Mumbai, it is part of the India Rising season. (NB: Repeated 19-01-2008.)
(17-02-2007) My MS & Me (Jim Sweeney)
The actor, writer and regular improviser with The Comedy Store Players, delivers a candid, lively account of his experiences of living with Multiple Sclerosis. (NB: Repeat of Radio 4's Friday Play, 22-04-2005.)
(24-02-2007) 1/2. Dead Souls (N. Gogol)
Dramatisation of Russian playwright Nikolai Gogal's comedy. Starring Michael Palin and Mark Heap.
(03-03-2007) Dead Souls, part 2.
(10-03-2007) Free Juice For All (Unknown)
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Ghana's independence, seven African writers each produced a seven-minute play set in their own country.
(17-03-2007) No title - "Drama about Iraq."
(24-03-2007) A Gathering Of Old Men (Ernest J Gaines, dram Richard Cameron)
Set in 1972 , in Louisiana. A sheriff is summoned to a sugarcane plantation, where he finds one white woman, one dead Cajun farmer and a gathering of old black men, each one toting a shotgun. He is sure he knows who killed the Cajun, but all the men claim guilt and threaten to provoke a riot at the courthouse should the sheriff try to make an arrest. In the meantime, they wait for the lynch mob that the dead man's father is sure to launch. Charlie/Gable - Paterson Joseph, Rooster - Don Warrington, Clatoo - Jeffery Kissoon, Mathu/Rev Jameson - Oscar James, Mapes - Stuart Milligan, Gil/Griffin - Ryan Mccluskey, Sully/Fix - Kerry Shale, Candy - Tracy Wiles, Luke Will - Kim Wall. Original music written and arranged by Tyndale Thomas. Producer/Director Pauline Harris. (NB: Presumably a repeat of Radio 4's Saturday Play, 27-05-2006.)
(31-03-2007) The Pledge (Friedrich Dürrenmatt, dram Steve Chambers)
Inspector Matthai discovers the horrific murder of an eight-year-old girl. When he tells the girl's mother, she makes him swear on his soul to find the killer - and so, Matthai's obsession with the case and the dark world beneath the polite veneer of 1950s Swiss society begins... Chief of Police - Roy Marsden, Inspector Matthai - Kenneth Cranham, Sergeant Henzi - Nicholas Boulton, Von Gunten - Gerard McDermott, Lotte - Teresa Gallagher, Dr Locher - Clive Swift, Landlord - David Timson, Frau Moser - Colleen Prendergast, Herr Moser - Harry Myers, Fraülein K - Sophie Roberts, Ursula/Annemarie - Jessica Crossley, Farmer - John Cummins. Directed by David Hitchinson. (NB: Presumably a repeat of Radio 4's Saturday Play, 24-09-2005.)
(07-04-2007; Rpt) The Entertainer (John Osbourne)
The classic play, with Bill Nighy as fading entertainer Archie Rice, whose life is falling apart. (NB: Repeated from 2005 on BBC7/R7, so this is presumably a repeat.)
(14-04-2007) Zazie Dans Le Metro (Raymond Queneau, dram Steve Walker)
The 1959 novel. Zazie is an innocent abroad. Left with her uncle for a weekend, she takes in the sights of Paris. With original music by Guy Barker. (NB: Repeated 29-03-2008.)
21-04-2007) Worldplay - Obsession (Georgia Fitch)
Six dramas from broadcasters around the world. (NB: Only 3 of the 6 are subtitled as such, and this may not be the first.)
(28-04-2007) Straight Man (Ken Duncum)
A comedy about family in the age of divorce. Tom's life is unsettled when his wife's ex-husband comes to stay. 'World Drama'.
(05-05-2007) Worldplay - Fragments Of Hong Kong (Katherine Thomson)
(12-05-2007) The Woman In The Window (John MacKenna)
This new play looks at the theme of obsession.
(19-05-2007) The Watts Towers Project (wri/perf Roger Guenveur Smith)
The Watts Towers Project is Smith's edgy and funny take on Simon Rodia, the Italian immigrant who spent 33 years building his towers ? only to walk away from them and never return. From this story, Smith builds a multi-faceted portrait of Los Angeles. (NB: Repeat of 'TPTT', 21-04-2007.)
(26-05-2007) Worldplay - Early Newfoundland Errors (Edward Riche)
(02-06-2007) The Arab-Israeli Cookbook (Robin Soans)
The play uses verbatim accounts of Arab and Israeli lives to tell the story of daily Middle East life through cooking. (NB: Repeated 15-03-2008.)
(09-06-2007) Twenty Cigarettes (Marcy Kahan)
As smoking is increasingly banned, our hero Oscar looks back at the 20 most significant cigarettes of his life.
(16-06-2007) The Wind In The Willows, Pt1 (Kenneth Grahame, adap Alan Bennett)
Bennett stars in his adaptation of Grahame's classic, with Leslie Phillips, Richard Briers and Jeffrey Holland. (NB: Repeated in 2008 on R7.)
(23-06-2007) The Wind In The Willows, Pt2 (Kenneth Grahame, adap Alan Bennett)
(30-06-2007; Rpt) Albert's Bridge (Tom Stoppard)
David Hitchinson directs Tom Stoppard's play to coincide with the writer's 70th birthday. A comedy about a man whose chosen profession is painting a huge bridge. The task is perpetual, since one end of the bridge is already in need of a fresh coat before he reaches the other. With John Hurt, Nigel Anthony, Alexander John and Victor Lucas. (NB: There are three versions of this play listed, so the quoted details could be about the 1968 Afternoon Theatre, or a 1988 version with Paul Copley and Diane Bull, also seemingly directed by David Hitchinson; It may have been transmitted on 29-06-2007.)
(07-07-2007; Rpt) Lysistrata (Aristophanes, adap Ranjit Bolt)
A group of Greek women decides to withhold sex from their husbands in a bid to end the Sparta-Athens war. Music by Felix Cross. Technical presentation by Graham Harper. Directed by Kristine Landon-Smith. (NB: Repeat from 24-09-2005.)
(14-07-2007) Talking to Strangers (Charlotte Jones)
A lonely man decides to spend a week talking to strangers on the beach.
(21-07-2007) John Walker's Blues (Unknown)
In embracing Islam, Belfast lad Sean finds a refuge but also antagonises his contemporaries and pushes his parents into revealing a well-kept family secret.
(28-07-2007) Zero (Susan Schwartz Senstad, adap Olivia Hetreed)
Zero is a little boy who likes playing with his toy gun and loves his mummy. Julia is a young Croatian music student trying to rebuild her shattered life after being held in one of the rape camps. She struggles to live with both the horror of his conception and the love she feels for the boy. When her husband Mesud finally returns from the fighting, he is confronted with a five-year old boy that is not just a victim of war, but an act of war. Is there any future for the couple with Zero in their home? Julia - Indira Varma, Mesud - Tom Goodman-Hill, Anna - Linda Bassett, Zero - Jago Edyvean. (NB: Repeat of Radio 4's Friday Play, 24-02-2006.)
(04-08-2007) Just Like Ronaldinho (Unknown)
Lucy is training to make the team for the Homeless Street Soccer World Cup, but meets and falls in love with another player.
(11-08-2007) Midnight's Children, Pt1 (Salman Rushdie)
An adaptation of Rushdie's classic novel, which won the Booker of Bookers award in 1993. (NB: Not to be confused with the 1997 Book At Bedtime.)
(18-08-2007) Midnight's Children, Pt2 (Salman Rushdie)
(25-08-2007) Sad Girl (Sue Teddern)
'Sad Girl' refers to what Rachel's mother Lisel once called the painting taken by Nazis from her Berlin home, along with her father and her young twin brother. After her mother dies, Rachel sets out to find the painting, helped and hindered by her family. But what did it look like? What was it really called and who took it? Rachel - Samantha Spiro, Michael Wernitz/Geoff - Henry Goodman, Lisel - Miriam Karlin, Uncle Harry - Lee Montague, Asif/Refugee - Ameet Chana, Lesley - Christine Kavanagh, Ben/Liam - Sam Dale, Sheila Wernitz/Gallery Assistant - Carolyn Pickles, Dan - Mark Straker. (NB: Repeat of Radio 4's Saturday Play, 18-11-2006.)
(01-09-2007; Rpt) Confetti For My Grandmother (John Hegley)
The well-known poet and songwriter met his French grandmother only once, due to a family rift which he has never understood. Inspired by a Maori notion of ancestors, and by seeing his own daughter with her grandmother, he travels to Nice, in the South of France, to throw confetti at the Carnival in her memory. While there, he meets local people, has his hair cut by a 94-year-old barber and he imagines what would have happened between him and his grandmother, had he taken this journey while she was still alive. An unusual drama-documentary, featuring an hour of John's special mix of poetry, song, interviews and humour as he explores memories both real and invented. With John Hegley as himself and Zouina Benhalla as his Grandmother. Produced by Anne Edyvean. (NB: Repeat of 19-06-2006.)
(08-09-2007) A Little Something Wrong About The Mouth (David Edgar)
A love story told at the border between memory and fiction, trust and betrayal, East and West.
(15-09-2007) Solaris, Pt1 (Stansilaw Lem, dram Hattie Naylor)
Dramatisation of the modern sci-fi classic. Psychologist Kris has been sent on a mission to find out what has gone wrong on a distant space exploration station. On arrival, he finds the ship deserted apart from two scientists, both seemingly deranged. He wakes next day to find his long dead young wife Rheya, sitting at the end of his bed. Kris - Ron Cook, Rheya - Joanne Froggatt, Sartorius - Stuart Richman, Snow - Tim McMullan, Woman - Maxine Burth. (NB: Repeat of the 29-07 to 05-08-2007 Classic Serial from Radio 4.)
(22-09-2007) Solaris, Pt2 (Stansilaw Lem, dram Hattie Naylor)
(29-09-2007) The Birds (Daphne Du Maurier, dram Melissa Murray)
The classic horror story about the natural world turning on mankind. Nat battles to protect his family as birds begin to ruthlessly attack humans. Nat - Neil Dudgeon, Sue - Nicola Walker, Maggie....Jade Williams, Mr Trigg - Gerard Horan, Jonathan - Carl Grose, Newsreader - John Dougall, Mary - Rachel Bavidge. Music/sound design David Pickvance. Director Sally Avens. (NB: Repeat of Radio 4's Saturday Play, 26-05-2007.)
(06-10-2007) Aliens From Cyberspace (Gary Ogin)
A delightfully absurd comedy of intergalactic proportions in which a captivating alien shows Hollywood what quite matters. A comedy inspired by incredible - and totally untrue - events. Set in the glamorous world of Hollywood, it deals with the possibilities that the internet now offers in helping people find true love. But have you ever wondered who you were chatting to? Or which planet they might be from? With Alun Armstrong, Lorelei King and Joanna Riding. Director Marion Nancarrow.
(13-10-2007) The Story Of The Stone (Cao Xueqin & Katie Hims)
A Chinese saga charting the changing fortunes of the Jia family in eighteenth century China.
(20-10-2007) SOS (Katie Hims)
The award winning radio writer brings her dry wit to this watery story of four generations of a seafaring family.
(27-10-2007) Generation Next - Scene & Heard (Unknown)
In November 2006, BBC World Drama worked with children's theatre company Scene and Heard to create five short plays - all written by children.
(03-11-2007) Seeing In The Dark (Gordon Pengilly)
The award-winning playwright's work tells the story of a man returning to his family after being released from prison.
(10-11-2007) Nature Calls (Bolaji Odofin)
Ngozi and Ibrahim meet and fall in love. When their affair becomes public, their parents predictably say Nay.
(17-11-2007) Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman, adap Mike Walker)
Life starts to get interesting for Fat Charlie, with the arrival of a brother he never knew and the knowledge his dad was Anansi... The original novel is a companion to Gaiman's earlier American Gods. In Anansi Boys we discover that Mr Nancy (Anansi) has two sons, and the two sons in turn discover each other. The novel follows their adventures as they explore their common heritage. It stars Lenny Henry as Spider and Fat Charlie, Matt Lucas as Graham Coats and Tiger, Rudolph Walker as Anansi, Dona Croll as Mrs Noah and the Bird Woman, Tameka Empson as Mrs Higgler, Petra Letang as Rosie, Jocelyn Jee Esien as Daisy, and Ben Crowe as Cabbies and other voices. Director Anne Edyvean
(24-11-2007) The Internet Wants A Chat (Thomas Crowe)
Strange goings on in the world wide web in a tragic-comic play about what would happen if the internet became conscious. When the virtual world gets a mind of its own, there are those in the real world who are not happy. Control of the internet is at stake and IT experts are forced to contain - and eradicate - a bloke called Binge, who wakes up in the virtual world, and just wants to get a life. Starring Anne-Marie Duff, David Harewood, Paul Bazely and Toby Jones as Binge. Directed by Anne Edyvean. (NB: Repeated from 2008 on BBC7/R7.)
(01-12-2007) The Rocking Horse (Arnold Wesker)
A story of lost hope and rekindled joy, based around a wooden rocking horse that sits in a window for years.
(08-12-2007) Picture A Play (Marcy Kahan, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Nick Warburton & Efo Kodjo Mawugbe)
A unique drama, based on photographs sent in by BBC World Service listeners. Listeners around the world were invited to submit photographs from their mobile phones, with the chance for the best photos to be the inspiration for a short radio play. The photos had to include the colour blue, a pair of eyes and something from the place where the listeners live. A shortlist of 20 photos was sent to international photographer Greg Williams, who has now chosen his favourite four images. Click here to see the shortlist and click here to see his favourite four images. Writers Marcy Kahan, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Nick Warburton and Efo Kodjo Mawugbe have each chosen a photo as the starting point for their short dramas. Lia Williams, Colin Stinton, Shiv Grewal, Adjoa Andoh and Larissa Kouznetsova star in these four surprising short plays, which include a love story, a chilling mystery, a comedy and a very surreal cruise. Marcy Kahan's section was Marvellous!, starring Colin Stinson, Lia Williams and Anton Lesser. Producer Marion Nancarrow. (60m)
(15-12-2007) A Bull Man's Story (Abubakar Adam Ibrahim)
and The Game Plan (Crystal Ading) The first and second prize winners in the 2007 African Performance Playwriting competition.
(22-12-2007) An Oak Tree (Unknown)
Tim Crouch plays a stage hypnotist who has lost his powers since he knocked down and killed a small girl in his car.
(29-12-2007; Rpt) Dracula, Pt1 (Bram Stoker)
David Suchet stars as the legendary vampire in a new version of Stoker's chilling novel, adapted by Liz Lochhead. (NB: Repeat from 18 to 25-11-2006.)
(05-01-2008) Dracula, Pt2 (Bram Stoker, play Liz Lochhead, adap John Foley)
(12-01-2008) Bare Branches (Simon Wu & Dino Mahoney)
A comedy about the crisis in gender balance in China, where 40 million men may not be able to find wives.
(19-01-2008; Rpt) Feluda - The Golden Fortress (Satyajit Ray & Ray Grewal)
Bollywood stars Rahul Bose and Anupam Kher bring Satyajit Ray's detective play to the air. Recorded in Mumbai, it is part of the India Rising season. (NB: Repeat from 10-02-2007.)
(26-01-2008) Feluda - The Elephant God (Satyajit Ray)
The acclaimed film-maker's famous Bengali sleuth, Feluda, returns in this drama recorded in Mumbai, India.
(02-02-2008) The Estate (Oladipo Agboluaje)
Inspired by Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, but given a contemporary Nigerian treatment, The Estate has been specially adapted for World Service radio, following a successful run in London's West End. The patriarch of a clothing business is dead. His family gather for the funeral at their estate in Lagos. Directed by Anne Edyvean
(16-02-2008) Kim's Game (Jonathan Myerson)
Interactive collaboration with magazine programme Outlook, which asks listeners to create a play.
(23-02-2008) Birthing Stories (Unknown)
Prose, poetry, drama and documentary combine to form a soundscape that reflects just what coming into the world can mean.
(01-03-2008; Rpt) To Make The People Smile Again (Unknown)
Drama documentary about George Wheeler who in 1938 travelled from London to Spain to join the Republican Army and fight Fascism. (NB: Repeat from 06-01-2007.)
(08-03-2008) My Front Line (Sasha Hails)
A female war correspondent at the top of her game both suppresses and exploits her femininity to succeed and have a baby.
(15-03-2008; Rpt) The Arab-Israeli Cookbook (Robin Soans
) The play uses verbatim accounts of Arab and Israeli lives to tell the story of daily Middle East life through cooking. (NB: Repeated of 02-06-2007.)
(22-03-2008) Beautiful (Unknown)
Three writers from across the world offer snapshots of beauty through their characters' lives, plus interviews with people who tell us what beauty means to them.
(29-03-2008; Rpt) Zazie Dans Le Metro (Raymond Queneau, dram Steve Walker)
The 1959 novel. Zazie is an innocent abroad. Left with her uncle for a weekend, she takes in the sights of Paris. With original music by Guy Barker. (NB: Repeat of 14-04-2007.)
(05-04-2008) Jon Sen's play recalls the events of the last days of Martin Luther King's life before the civil rights leader was assassinated.
(12-04-2008) No play
(19-04-2008) No play
(26-04-2008) No play
(03-05-2008; 20:00) Worldplay E1 - The Black Cat Murder Mystery: Nostrovia Fitzrovia (Marcy Kahan)
The 2008 Worldplay season on the theme of mystery featured work from broadcasters in America, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK. BBC World Service's contribution to the season, The Black Cat Murder Mystery, was a comic murder mystery set in an a partment block in Fitzrovia: a cosmopolitan London neighbourhood a step away from the BBC's Broadcasting House. There's a corpse in flat six; a mysterious hermit in flat 12; a cognitive neuroscientist looking for love in flat three; a Russian businessman in flat 11; a Japanese bassoonist in flat eight; a seductive blonde in flat five; and an extremely unusual detective. With Stephen Mangan, Jason Chan,
Ian Masters. Directed by Marion Nancarrow. (60m) (NB: Odd that this listing is all in the past tense...)
(10-05-2008; 20:00) Worldplay E2 - The Shawl (David Mamet)
A series of six plays on the theme of mystery from around the world.
(17-05-2008; 20:00) Worldplay E3 - The Moehau (Gary Henderson)
(24-05-2008; 20:00) Worldplay E4 - The World Accoring To Charlie D (Gail Bowen)
(31-05-2008; 20:00) Worldplay E5 - (NB: I can so far find no information on Episodes 5 or 6.)
(07-06-2008; 20:00) Worldplay E6 - See above.
(14-06-2008) No play
(21-06-2008) No play
(28-06-2008) No play
(05-07-2008) No play
(12-07-2008) No play
(19-07-2008) No play
(26-07-2008) No play
(12-07-2008) No play
(02-08-2008) No play
(09-08-2008; 19:00) The Tiger's Tail (Unknown Burmese writers)
To mark the 20th anniversary of the democratic uprising in Burma on 8/8/88. This drama-documentary marks the twentieth anniversary of the first democratic uprisings, but it does it by looking behind the headlines, at how writers, comedians, poets and ordinary people deal with censorship and suppression, with their words and stories being heard for the first time on air. Cast includes Juliet Stevenson, Keeley Hawes, Sophie Okonedo, Kristopher Milne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Helen Longworth, Joan Walker and Nicholas Khan. Directed by Marion Nancarrow
(16-08-2008) No play
(23-08-2008) No play
(30-08-2008) No play
(07-09-2008) No play
(13-08-2008) No play
(20-09-2008; 20:00) The Good Doctor (Mike Walker)
A drama-documentary about the notorious General Practitioner who murdered 200 of his patients. (NB: This same listing was billed for 20-09 and 27-09; There was also a play of the same name broadcast 27-11-2010 on WS, with a differing writer and listing.)
(26-09-2008?) Madame Bitterfly & The Stockwell Diva (Unknown)
A comical take, in verse, on the hierarchy of colour. Evaristo's verse follows the story of one black London family and their daughter Charmayne.
(27-09-2008) A Little Something Wrong About The Mouth (David Edgar)
A love story told at the border between memory and fiction, trust and betrayal, East and West.
(04-10-2008) No play
(11-10-2008) No play
(18-10-2008) Cigarettes and Chocolate (Anthony Minghella):
Another chance to hear the late Anthony Minghella's Giles Cooper Award-winning radio play Cigarettes and Chocolate, first broadcast 20 years ago.
(25-10-2008) No play
(01-11-2008) No play
(08-11-2008) No play
(11-11-2008 17:00?) The London Poor (Unknown)
Timothy West narrates a play which contrasts the responses of a selection of poor Londoners today with journalist Henry Mayhew's document of 1860s working class London life.
(15-11-2008) No play
(22-11-2008; 20:00) A Cook's Tour Of Communism (Carey Harrison)
In this fantasia on the demise of Soviet Communism, we meet two old communists trying to adjust to their loss. Rory O’Rourke is a warrior and true believer, who suffered on the front lines; Jean-Claude Poirier was the chief cook in the Kremlin, who knew the Soviet leaders intimately: Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and their successors. Our two storytellers are old friends as well as heroes of the Soviet Union. History has moved on, their memory is far from perfect, they have kept secrets from each other; but for them the issues remain the same: food or freedom? Revolution or the perfect omelette? A dark comedy about cooking and the Kremlin, by award-winning writer Carey Harrison. With Tom Conti as Jean-Claude; Richard Johnson as Rory O’Rourke and Nicholas Woodeson as Lavrenti Beria. Other cast includes Martin Marquez, Sean Baker, Joanna Tincey, Stephen Critchlow, Jonathan Tafler and Boris Isarov. Directed by Marion Nancarrow. (50m)
(29-11-2008) No play
(06-12-2008) No play
(13-12-2008) No play
(14-12-2008 12:00?) Family Cover (Unknown)
Drama from around the world.
(03-01-2009;) No play
(10-01-2009; 12:05) The Concert (Unknown)
Castro has just unveiled a statue of John Lennon in Havana, but Johnny can recall when The Beatles were not so celebrated in Cuba.
(17-01-2009; 14:05) Sagila (Unknown)
As the Incwala ceremony takes place, the murder of a powerful man shocks the Swazi kingdom. The victim's son helps hunt for the killer and surprising suspects are produced.
(24-01-2009; 20:00) My Dark Places (James Ellroy, dram Steve Chambers)
In the week of the inauguration of a new President of the United States of America comes a new production of America’s most famous contemporary crime-writer, James Ellroy’s, autobiography: My Dark Places. Renowned author of The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential, My Dark Places is perhaps his most surprising work. In 1958 in the City of Angels, Ellroy’s own mother, Jean, was found brutally murdered outside a local High School. Ellroy was 10 at the time. And glad she was dead. The killer was never found. Then, in 1994, aged 46 and a successful crime writer, Ellroy decided to reinvestigate the murder and try and find the killer himself, thus beginning a journey of discovery which was to have implications he could never have imagined. “A tour de force of confessional writing” Times Literary Supplement. “Stunning….extraordinary” Observer. Starring Toby Stephens as Ellroy. With Matthew Marsh, Corey Johnson, Barbara Barnes, Lorelei King, Kerry Shale, William Hope, Laurel Lefkow, Peter Marinker and introducing Ethan Brook as the 10-year old Ellroy. Directed by Marion Nancarrow.
(28-01-2009; 08:05) Attitude (Stuart Hoar)
A play inspired by a newspaper article. It is, in part, a love story with a difference.
(07-02-2009;) No play
(13-02-2009; 07:05) Small Talk. Big Picture (Unknown)
Five international writers explore personal experience in their society in relation to global events.
(14-02-2009; 20:00) Like Confessing A Murder (Charles & Emma Darwin)
To mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years since the publication of the still controversial “Origin of the Species”, this specially commissioned drama is based entirely on Charles and Emma Darwin’s own words and correspondence. Behind the controversial public persona, Darwin was an affectionate family man, fully engaged – sometimes heartbreakingly so – in the lives of his wife, Emma and their children. Emma was not without her own concerns about the spiritual implications of some of her husband’s ideas, fearing they would undermine his Christian faith. How could he reconcile these apparent contradictions – which, years before the publication of the book, when outlining the theory to a friend, Darwin had said felt “like confessing a murder”. The letters recreate the domestic context from which one of the world’s most influential ideas arose. Staring Alex Jennings as Charles Darwin and Oona Beeson as Emma. Directed and produced by Penny Boreham and Ruth Evans. A Ruth Evans Production. (60m)
(21-02-2009;) No play
(28-02-2009; 20:00) The View From Here (Unknown)
Four writers in China, Uganda, Israel and Australia wrote radio dramas inspired by their location, titled The View From Here.
(13-03-2009; 15:05) Breakfast With Mugabe (Fraser Grace)
President Mugabe is holed up in the State House in Harare in paranoid terror. He is being stalked by the ghost of a long-dead comrade.
(02-03-2009; 00:05) Eternal Forever / Slayed Dog (John Rugoiyo Gichuki / Chika Maureen Ukaigwe)
Plays by the first and second prizewinners of the 2006 African Performance Playwriting Competition.
(21-03-2009; 20:00) Al Amwaj / The Waves
(Abdulla Ahmed Bukamal, May Touma, Ali Al-Majnooni, Fatima Elias Al Gassim,Hissa Faraj Al-Marri, Masoud Abdul Hadi and Tahani Al-Ghureiby) In conjunction with the British Council a 3-day “Writing for Radio” workshop in Doha, Qatar, open to all writers in the Arab world, was run. Attendees of that workshop were then invited to submit scenes, reflecting the things they care about. 7 writers were then chosen to write a play specifically for BBC World Drama, with dramaturgy by award-winning writer, Nick Warburton. And the result... On one hot day, taxi driver Noor Alam finds himself with so many people wanting to be taken to the sea. Whether they talk to him or avoid his questions, it begins to become clear to him that their lives are inextricably linked. With each wave that breaks, there’s another story to tell. Starring: Sagar Arya, Nadim Sawalha, Sirine Saba, Paul Chahidi, William El –Gardi, Zolfa Zahedi and Nathalie Armin. Directed by Marion Nancarrow.
(10-04-2009; 04:05) To Make The People Smile Again (Unknown)
Drama documentary about George Wheeler who in 1938 travelled from London to Spain to join the Republican Army and fight Fascism.
(23-05-2009; 20:00) Worldplay E1: Honk If You Are Jesus (Peter Goldsworthy, adap Mike Ladd)
The first in BBC World Drama’s new “Worldplay” season – an annual season of plays from broadcasters around the world on a shared theme. This year’s theme is Science and the plays come from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, America and the UK. This play is based on the novel by Australian author. It’s a mix of satire, medical fantasy and science fiction which may not be so very far from becoming science fact. Set at a private university on Australia’s Gold Coast somewhere in the near future, the play tells the story of Mara, a brilliant gynaecologist drawn into the murky waters of cloning and genetic reconstruction. With Celine O’Leary as Mara; Patrick Frost as Pfitzner; Peter Douglas as Tad; Terry Crawford as Scanlon; Roger Newcombe as Schultz; Edwin Hodgeman as Grossman and Melinda Gray as Mary. Directed/produced by Mike Ladd and is an ABC – Radio National Production from Australia. (NB: I could find no listing for Episode 2. If it was broadcast, date probably 30-05-2009 or 06-06-2009)
(13-06-2009; 19:00) Worldplay E3: England (Tim Crouch)
The story of two art exhibition guides, one of whom needs a new heart. Can science prevail?
(20-06-2009; 20:00) Worldplay E4: Pontypool (Tony Burgess)
Radio host Grant Mazzy is at the centre of a new strain of virus, activated by the English language itself.
(05-09-2009; 19:00) The Day That Lehman Died (Matthew Solon)
Recorded for World Drama in New York. A drama charting the collapse of one of the oldest and largest investment banks in the world, which sparked the beginnings of the global recession. On 15 September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in US history. It sent the already unstable markets into an uncontrollable tailspin. How did the 'big beasts' of Wall Street make this critical decision? They held in their hands the future, not just of a bank, but the stability of the global financial system. Starring: John Shea, John Rothman, Rob Campbell and Mark La Mara. Directed by John Dryden, Goldhawk Productions. (60m)
(19-09-2009; 20:00) Worldplay E5 - Everyone's Got A Mountain To Climb (Unknown)
Three generations of an Irish family have beliefs ranging from new age spritualism to atheism and their thoughts on how to behave as a family differ too. Janice is dying and Petey wants to drop out of college. Will a climb to Croagh Patrick, a holy mountain, help them to deal with their troubles? Starring Barbara Brennan, Jane Brennan and Jack Olohan. Directed by Aidan Mathews.
(26-09-2009; 20:00) Worldplay E6 - Moving Bodies (Arthur Giron)
Starring Alfred Molina. The last in the Worldplay Season on the theme of Science. This time the drama comes from LA Theatreworks, USA with an engaging biography of the Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. It explores the colourful scientist's life in relation to his involvement with some of this century's major scientific endeavours, from work on the atomic bomb with the Manhattan Project, to his key testimony at the Congressional Hearings into the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. Cast includes Emily Bergle, Jessica Chastain and Jill Gascoine. Directed by Rosalind Ayres.
(14-11-2009; 20:00) Leaving (Vaclav Havel, trans Paul Wilson, adap Jemery Front)
As part of a season of programmes celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, World Drama presents Vaclav Havel's Leaving. The chancellor of an unnamed state is leaving office. But does he have to leave the state villa as well? Starring David Haig, Hugh Bonneville and Simon Russell Beale. Directed by Marion Nancarrow.
(21-11-2009; 20:00) Trying (Erin Browne)
This is the winning play from the BBC World Service and British Council International Radio Playwriting Competition 2009 for English as a first language. Erin Browne’s play was described by the judges as “exquisite”, “human” and “spare”, and is a tender three-hander about co-dependency and moving on. Sisters Lena & Chels are getting by just fine, awaiting the arrival of Chels' baby. Then Lena has to go and fall in love with the girl in the bookshop. Directed by Marion Nancarrow, an all-American cast stars Melanie Bond, Sarah Goldberg and Sasha Pick. Twelve-thousand scripts were received in the 2009 competition, which awards two first prizes: for the best play with English as a first language and English as a second language.
(28-11-2009; 20:00) The Prison Graduates (Efo Kodjo Mawugbe)
This is the second of our two prize-winning plays from the BBC World Service and British Council International Radio Playwriting Competition 2009. The Prison Graduates won the English as a second language category. Efo Kodjo Mawugbe’s play was described by the judges as “imaginative”, “muscular” and “hysterically funny”. The play sees four men try to make their way in the world after being released from prison in Ghana. They explore their many options, only to choose the one that might have surprised them all. Directed by Marion Nancarrow and starring Daniel Francis, Richard Pepple, David Gyasi, Mo Sesay and Wale Ojo, this is where Woza Albert meets Samuel Beckett - a surreal, post-colonial fable.
(12-12-2009; 20:00) The Inheritance Of Loss, Part 1 (Kiran Desai, dram Rukhsana Ahmad)
In World Drama this week, you can hear the first ever dramatisation of the Man Booker prize-winning novel, “The Inheritance of Loss”. Its author, Kiran Desai, was the youngest ever winner of the prize. Starring Ayesha Dharker (The Terrorist; Bombay Talkie), Vincent Ebrahim (The Kumars at No 42) and Paul Bhattacharjee (Dirty Pretty Things), it is the story of a young orphaned girl, Sai, who is sent to live with her fierce grandfather when her astronaut parents are killed in a car crash in Russia. A retired Judge, he is living with his dog and cook in splendid isolation in Kalimpong, near the Himalayas, and has no need of the uncomfortable memories she stirs up. As Sai grows up – and falls in love – so the wider backdrop of political unrest begins to encroach on her future and her happiness. Directed by Marion Nancarrow, the cast also includes Harvey Virdi; Pooja Ghai, Inam Mirza, Ronny Jhutti, Melissa Advani, Stephen Hogan, Kate Layden, Zubin Varla, Nickul Hathi, Ravi Aujla, Nicholas Khan, Antony Bunsee, Stephen Hogan, Rehan Sheikh and Badi Uzzaman.
(19-12-2009; 20:00) The Inheritance Of Loss, Part 2
(Kiran Desai, dram Rukhsana Ahmad) See above.
(13-02-2010; 20:00) Being Brave (Tina Pepler)
This unusual and inspiring drama-documentary by the award-winning writer looks at the way in which horses are being used to help change lives – from corporate clients to troubled teenagers. Based around an interview with renowned horse whisperer, Andrew Froggatt - who works on New Zealand’s beautiful Kapiti Coast - the drama focuses on Greg and Alice. Greg is struggling in the current recession to keep his business afloat and alienating his work colleagues and his family in the process. Alice can’t relate to her step-parents after her mother’s death. Neither believes horse-whispering has anything to offer them. But they’ve yet to meet Rob and each other. The cast includes Barnaby Kay, Nicola Miles-Wildin, Ivan Kaye, Nigel Hastings, Farzana Dua Elahe, Sally Orrock and Lisa Stevenson. Director: Marion Nancarrow. (60m)
(20-03-2010; 20:00) How To Make Your First Billion (Matthew Solon)
Jake, a serial entrepreneur who has yet to succeed with a start-up company and Subash a technical whiz from India - who Jake studied with at college - decide to combine Subash’s ideas and technical know-how with Jake's entrepreneurial flair, and go into business together. They have a vision for an internet venture which they believe will change the world. Fuelled by the track record of other small home-grown businesses that have made their mark in Silicon Valley and become billon dollar businesses, they believe they can do the same. As part of the BBC's SuperPower season, we are broadcasting the drama How To Make Your Make Your First Billion - a fictional account of an online start-up firm and their efforts to make money in Silicon Valley. But how did real companies go about making a profit from the online world? The BBC spoke to the founders and CEOs of internet giants such as Yahoo, Twitter and Techcrunch to get their insight into making a success of business on the web - and the hard lessons that have to be learned. (60m) (NB: The BBC list this as an Omnibus Edition, so presumably it was originally a two-parter as Suttonelms suggests.)
(27-03-2010; 20:00) An Enemy Of The People (Henrik Ibsen, adap Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti & John Foley)
In a small impoverished Punjabi town, the arrival of a new public baths means prosperity for all - but the baths are polluted and Dr Ajit Kohli is determined to expose the risk and protect the community. So how does he move from being a friend of the people to an enemy of the people? Ibsen's classic play is given a completely new interpretation, moving to contemporary India with an Indian cast, including Bollywood star Dalip Tahil playing Dr Ajit Kohli. Other cast members include Shaheen Khan, Balvinder Sopal, Madhav Sharma, Badi Uzzaman, Email Marwa, Munir Khairdin, Antony Zaki and Bhasker Patel. (60m)
(15-05-2010; 20:00) Worldplay E1 - The Big Melt (Unknown)
The 2010 Worldplay season begins this week. It is an annual collection of plays from broadcasters around the world, all based on one theme. This year’s theme is money and the plays have been made by BBC World Service and broadcasters in Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada and Ireland. A comic play from Radio New Zealand about the times in which we live - it looks at how we might try to deal with big narratives such as global warming and financial meltdowns on a day-to-day level. With Jeffrey Thomas, Carol Smith, Simon Ferry, Gavin Rutherford, Ete Etuati and Kate Prior. Director Duncan Smith, Radio New Zealand.
(29-05-2010; 20:00) Worldplay E2 - Roaring Trade (Unknown)
Roaring Trade has been described by The Times newspaper in the UK as "the liveliest satire on the city since Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money 20 years ago." This witty and candid play looks at the personal and professional relationships between traders - and how rivalry in the city can spiral out of hand. Starring Rhys Thomas, Claudie Blakley, Danny Webb, Joseph Kloska and Annabelle Apsion. Director Marion Nancarrow, BBC World Service. (60m)
(16-06-2010; 20:00) Worldplay E3 - Red Pole Rising (Ian Weir)
Set in the multicultural world of urban gangsters, this fast-paced, dark comedy starts with the words, "It's not about the money." But, of course, it is. Weir is a writer of stage, television - and radio and is currently launching his first novel in London. Director: Kathleen Flaherty, CBC, Canada.
(26-06-2010; 20:00) Worldplay E4 - Watermark (Alana Valentine)
Watermark is a chronicle of the physical, psychological and financial devastation of a flood in Australia in January 1998.
(18-09-2010; 20:00) Worldplay E5 - Mizlansky/Zilinsky (Jon Robin Baitz)
The 2010 Worldplay season - an annual collection of plays from broadcasters around the world all based on the theme of money - continues with this LA Theatre Works’ production recorded in front of a live audience. Hollywood star Nathan Lane plays a cunning movie producer with a slippery conscience who faces a classic Hollywood dilemma - what happens when the art of the deal turns into a battle for the ultimate double-cross? Playwright Jon Robin Baitz drew upon years spent in the seedy underbelly of Hollywood to create the hilarious and unsavoury characters in his play, Mizlansky/Zilinsky. Starring Nathan Lane and Paul Sand, with Harry Shearer, Richard Masur, Rob Morrow, Grant Shaud, Robert Walden, and Kurtwood Smith. Baitz is an American playwright, television producer and screenwriter, author of nearly a dozen acclaimed plays, including The Substance of Fire and The Paris Letter. He is the creator of the American television series Brothers & Sisters and has written for The West Wing and Alias. Directed by Ron West. Producing Director of L.A. Theatre Works - Susan Albert Loewenberg.
(25-09-2010; 20:00) Worldplay E6 - Love & Animals (Philip Davison)
The 2010 Worldplay season - an annual collection of plays from broadcasters around the world all based on the theme of money - continues with this LA Theatre Works’ production recorded in front of a live audience. Love & Animals charts a mid-wife/mid-life crisis in the affairs of a very poorly-parented individual. Failed entrepreneur Sonny Mullens finds his relationships and his revenues are in freefall. He's chasing the wife he loved who's left him, the creep she left him for and a win on the horses. All of which brings him to successive police interviews with a detective who becomes almost a spiritual director. Sonny's absent father is hugely present throughout, if only as a kind of admonitory hologram, while his institutionalised mother is either mad, bad, sad or all three at once. Directed by Aidan Mathews.
(01-10-2010; 20:00) The Ballad Of Africa (Unknown)
A compelling and thought-provoking examination of the highs and lows of the continent's post-independence history through the eyes of Africans. In a specially commissioned programme marking the 50th anniversary of the independence of many African countries, this self-narrating Ballad explores through words and music issues that have dominated African mindsets for the past half-century. These include post-colonial development and self-rule, building an African future based on economic growth and political stability; overcoming apartheid, rebuilding after genocide and aiming for self-sufficiency. But one theme running throughout the programme is of independence and freedom, with some contributors wondering whether Africa really IS free, despite half a century of independence. Music is the irrepressible common bond, the heartbeat that unites all African nations, and The Ballad of Africa offers real insight into their thinking, and their hopes and aspirations for the future. The music comes from outspoken Malian singers Ali Farka Toure and Oumou Sangare and Benin's Angelique Kidjo with specially commissioned performances by Cameroonian singer and guitarist Muntu Valdo and Rwandan inanga player Sophie Nzayisanga. Throughout the Ballad, Africans discuss their lives, history and thoughts on the future despite the negative chapters in the continent's recent history. The Ballad considers Africa's progress since independence from European powers, and what resources the continent needs to flourish for the next fifty years. In a continent rich with minerals and astonishing human resources, one speaker sums up Africa's post-colonial history of coups, natural disasters and bad leaders as "a struggle in paradise" but stresses that Africa needs to become stable to be a driving force for the world. (60m)
(16-10-2010; 20:00) Stages Of Independence - A Celebration Of 50 Years Of African Drama (Various)
In 1960, 17 African countries became Independent. To mark the 50th anniversary of this important year, BBC World Drama - in collaboration with the British African Theatre Company Tiata Fahodzi - presents an evening of African plays from across the continent from the last five decades. From comedy to tragedy, the hour includes the Oedipus myth from an African perspective in Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not to Blame; an ebullient comedy about a young woman's family trying to get the highest bride-price for her in Guillaume Oyônô-Mbia’s Three Suitors: One Husband from Cameroon; a seminal lesson on the art of war in The Death of Chaka by Seydou Badian from Mali; sexual politics in Burkina Faso in Ousmane Sembenè’s Moolaadé and two plays from Nigeria's Nobel prize-winning playwright, Wole Soyinka, satirising African Heads of State in A Play of Giants and looking at life in Lagos under military rule in The Beatification of Area Boy. The programme ends with a scene from the 2007 Olivier Award winning Gone Too Far! by Bola Agbaje, a British playwright of Nigerian origin. The host for the evening is the actor Hugh Quarshie. Other cast includes Danny Sapani and Chuk Iwuji. (60m)
(27-11-2010; 20:00) The Good Doctor (Damon Galgut)
The internationally acclaimed novel, is the story of an idealistic medical graduate who arrives at an isolated South African hospital to take up a year's community service. With Graham Weir, Andrew Laubscher, Faniswa Yisa, Chi Mhende, Cindy Mkaza, Mdu Kweyama, Erica Wessels, Wiseman Sithole, Deon Lotz. Recorded on location in Cape Town and directed by Marion Nancarrow. (60m) (NB: The 20-09-2008 docu-drama of the same name may or may not be the same play - there is no link made in the BBC's listings.)
(19-02-2011; 20:00) Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston, dram Patricia Cumper)
This ground-breaking novel of 1937 was the first publication of an African-American female author. When Nanny catches her 16-year-old granddaughter Janie, kissing Johnny Taylor, she wastes no time in speedily marrying her off to an old, wealthy landowner. It will take Janie three marriages and many years to find the love and freedom she craves. In their radio debut, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Nathaniel Martello White play Janie & Teacake. Adjoa Andoh plays Zora Neale Hurston. Also starring Dona Croll, Petra Letang, Clint Dyer, Anthony Ofoegbu, Adeel Akhtar, Jude Akuwudike and Christine Kavanagh.
(13-03-2011; 02:00) Why Is The Sky So Blue? (Katie Hims)
The award-winning playwright draws together the personal testimonies of seemingly ordinary people in Africa coming to terms with their own and their community's problems. It centres around the story of Dorothy, a widow, who begins to realise how her district is being devastated by the very things no one is prepared to talk about. As she comes to terms with her own story, she uncovers the answer to the many questions which have troubled her and her family - not least why the sky is blue. Starring Tanya Moodie, Ellen Thomas, Demi Oyediran and Isaac Ajala. (60m) (NB: Repeated 26-11-2011)
(19-03-2011; 20:00) On The Edge Of The Earth (Mikhail Durnenkov)
In September 2010 a 100-year old sailing boat, the Noorderlicht, set sail for the Arctic as part of the Cape Farewell project. On board was the award-winning Russian playwright Durnenkov. He was one of a number of artists and scientists who, for three weeks, lived and worked on the ship, exploring and debating climate change. BBC World Service linked to Mikhail throughout the voyage and, on his return, he wrote On the Edge of the Earth, a play inspired by his experiences there. This is the first World Drama to be written in the Arctic (in 2005, Ian McEwan was one of the artists who took part in the Cape Farewell project, it inspired him to write the novel Solar). Starring, Tom Goodman-Hill, Indira Varma, Luke Treadaway, Nicholas Farrell, Ewan Bailey, Carl Prekopp, Helen Longworth, Gerard McDermott, Rachel Davies and Joanna Monro. Director: Rosalynd Ward. (60m)
(13-08-2011; 11:00) The Porlock Poisoner (Marcy Kahan)
Miriam Margolyes, Fenella Woolgar and Kevin Eldon star the comedy whodunit in which five global do-gooders - a genetic engineer, a feminist activist, an environmental analyst, an economics guru and a world poverty campaigner - descend upon the tranquil harbour village of Porlock Weir in Somerset to compete for a £25m grant. But during a visit to the smallest parish church in England, one of the group suffers a gruesome fate - and a weekend dedicated to world affairs turns into a murder mystery. Fortunately there is a gifted amateur detective present - Tina Paganini, a statuesque blonde with a photographic memory, a misleadingly air-headed manner and the wrong shoes for an English country walk. Directed by Dirk Maggs. Tina Paganini - Fenella Woolgar, Ben Huxley - Kevin Eldon, Evelyn Carleton Shellminsky - Miriam Margolyes, Kasha McLennan - Mel Giedroyc, Vikram Alexander - Paul Bhattacharjee, Samuel Gondo - Nyasha Hatendi, Otto Hans Magnus Hauptman - Stephen Hogan, Detective Inspector Holroyd - Brian Bowles. (60m)
(27-08-2011; 11:05) Life After Life (Frank Cottrell Boyce)
Miranda was undergoing what should have been a routine operation. Now she finds herself 'on the other side', but whatever notions of what the future might hold beyond her life on Earth Miranda may have had, they were certainly not like this. It's not even her afterlife, it's Toby's and he's in control. Inspired by the ways that internet users are increasingly responding to death online, Frank Cottrell Boyce's comic drama follows Miranda as she tries to make sense of the strange cyberworld she has been sucked into. Intercut with the drama are extracts from interviews in which a number of thinkers - both religious and secular - share their beliefs on the nature and existence of the whole concept of a life after death. Director by Toby Swift. Produced by Mohini Patel. With Gbemi Ikumelo as Miranda, Don Gilèt as Toby, Damian Lynchm Elaine Claxton, Susie Riddell, Alex Tregear, Carl Prekopp and Gerard McDermott.
(10-09-2011; 23:00) Washington 9/11 (Michael Eaton)
September 11, 2001 dawned bright and clear on the East coast of the United States. At 8:46 am President George W Bush was in Florida promoting his education policy and Vice President Dick Cheney was in Washington when a Boeing 767 - American Airlines flight 11 - crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower. It was the first of four commercial planes used as weapons that day in attacks on New York and the capital that led to the loss of thousands of lives and changed the world. This is the dramatised story - reconstructed from multiple documents and memoires - of how Bush, from his plane Air Force One circling high above the United States, and Cheney, in the White House bunker, responded in the first few hours after the 9/11 attacks and how the decisions they took that day set the course of the Bush presidency and triggered the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Eaton's drama reconstructs a chaotic day, when communications failed, protocols were abandoned; radar signals were misinterpreted and rescue aircraft came close to being shot down. It was a day that united America and saw tremendous acts of personal sacrifice and courage, but alongside the immediate response to the crisis there was also a hidden tussle for power and control, with some of Bush's key lieutenants moving swiftly to press an agenda that would determine US foreign policy for the remainder of the Bush presidency and put in place - The War on Terror. President George W Bush - William Hope, Vice President Dick Cheney - Stuart Milligan, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - Garrick Hagon, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice - Tanya Moodie, Chief of Staff Andrew Card - Richard Laing, Major Robert Darling - Philip Rosch, Laura Bush - Lorelei King, CIA Director George Tenet - Bill Roberts, Secretary of State Colin Powell - Nathan Osgood. Produced by Richard Clemmow. Directed by Dirk Maggs. A Perfectly Normal Production for BBC World Service.
(10-12-2011; 20:05) The Bid (Matthew Solon)
After five years of planning and an 18 month campaign to win votes costing more than £15m, England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup ended in humiliation in front of millions of TV viewers around the world. Exactly a year after Fifa President Sepp Blatter walked onto the stage at the Messe Centre in Zurich and revealed that Russia would be hosting the 2018 World Cup, this drama tells the behind-the-scenes story of what happened in Zurich in the days leading up to the announcement on 2 December 2010. Focusing on the England bid team - which included David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham - the drama is based on interviews with many of those who were there, and on published material, and uses actors to play all the key characters. The England bid team arrived in Zurich with high hopes. They were well organised, had a strong technical bid and their formal presentation to the Fifa voting executives went without a hitch - it was heartfelt, passionate and had the biggest A-list celebrities. But behind England's super-confident presentation, a desperate struggle was taking place in hotel rooms and the corridors of Fifa's HQ in Zurich as England jostled with other countries, courting Fifa executive members, lobbying for votes and making deals. This is a gripping story of hope, broken promises and disappointment - a compelling and entertaining insight into the business behind the game. Andy Anson - Adrian Rawlins, Geoff Thompson - Richard Ridings, David Dein/Sepp Blatter - John Sessions, David Beckham/Prince William - James Hurn, David Cameron - Christopher Villiers, Jack Warner - Larrington Walker, Eddie Afekafe - Jermaine Liburd, Chuck Blazer - Glenn Wrage, Mohamed Bin Hamman - Nadim Sawalha, Voiceover - Justine Greene, Other parts - Dolya Gavanski and Tracy Ifeachor.
(17-12-2011; 20:00) The Wild Neighbour & The Willing Coward (Fernanda Jaber)
Being a good man and a good neighbour is not always the same thing, as Avi is about to find out. Fernanda Jaber from China won the English as a second language category in this year's international playwriting competition for her moral fable about community, fear and the love of a big cat. The judges described her play as "full of wonderful surprise," "poignant" and a "deep play done with a beautiful light touch." Avi - Paul Bazely, Ashima - Meera Syal, Opash - Vincent Ebrahim, Maya - Balvinder Sopal, Chief of Police - Zubin Varla, Babu - Sagar Arya, Zookeeper - Ronny Jhutti. Director - Marion Nancarrow. (60m)
(31-12-2011; 20:00) The Navigator (Lasha Bugadze, trans Maya Kiasashvili)
Rostom is content with his regular office routine, safe on the fifteenth floor. But when he's made to drive to inspect construction sites - and with a sat nav - his life begins to take a entirely unexpected course. A comedy about love, redemption and the surprising effects of in-car technology. Lasha Bugadze from Georgia won the English as a first language category in this year's international playwriting competition, for this dark comedy. The judges thought this play was "enchanting," "authentic" and that it cleverly turns the subject of loneliness into "joyous listening." With Toby Jones, Indira Varma, James Lailey, Gerard McDermott, Tracy Wiles, Paul Moriarty, Simon Bubb. Director - Marion Nancarrow (60m) (NB: Since the axing of the World Service's drama output, this appears to be their final play; Repeated 28-04-2012.)
Radio Drama ceased on BBC World Service at the end of 2011.
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