Mart’s Audio Drama Digest, 28 October 2015

Recent BBC radio output that’s really caught my attention, and which is available on iPlayer at the time of writing. Remember, this is just a small sample of the huge variety on offer.

Cuttin’ It
by Charlene James, directed by Jessica Brown
A beautifully written and performed play set in contemporary London, about a longstanding tradition among Somali women and its impact on two teenagers, Muna and Iqra: “They are from the same place but they are strangers; strangers who share a secret embedded in their culture.” Gripping throughout.

Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
This BBC Radio 3 production of this superb Miller play stars David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker in the leading roles. Having seen the RSC’s production earlier this year, starring Anthony Sher and Dame Harriet Walter, I was interested to see how the two compared. In the event I simply became wrapped up in the story once more. Brilliant.

“You work your whole life to pay off a house, you finally own it, there’s nobody to live in it.”

The Dhammazedi Bell
A wonderfully dreamy, atmospheric production related to the legend that the largest bell in the world lies on the bed of a Myanmar river. I really enjoy these Between the Ears programmes and their unique feel. In this episode the stories, sounds and narration slide across each other like the shifting waters and bed of the river itself.

Dr Who – Doing Time
by William Gallagher, a Big Finish production
This Dr Who story stars Peter Davison as the Doctor, and was one of four to result from Big Finish Productions’ Opportunity for New Writers contest in 2010 – a competition that attracted around 1,200 entries. The broadcast of Doing Time on Radio 4 Extra is ”a lifetime ambition fulfilled” for its writer. Read William’s blog post on the subject here.

Home Front – 22 October 1915: Adam Wilson
written by Richard Monks, directed by Allegra McIlroy
Another fine episode that sees the Wilsons’ household turned upside-down once more. Wonderful performances from everyone as always, but particularly the two young actors in the roles of Adam and Sam – Billy Kennedy and Alexander Aze. There’s also an interesting blog post on the BBC Writers’ Room website by Monks regarding his Radio 3 production The Wire – Early Warning. Early Warning isn’t currently available to listen to but you can download the script.

Tommies – 21 October 1915
by Nick Warburton, directed by Jonquil Panting
This episode marks the return of the BBC’s World War One drama series from the front line, revolving around the fortunes of signaller Mickey Bliss and his colleagues from the Lahore Division of the British Indian Army. Compelling, almost poetic writing from Warburton, undoubtedly with more to come.

“A bored German rifleman squints across the gloom…”

See my previous radio drama posts here.
Sign up to the BBC radio drama newsletter here.
Download the BBCiPlayerRadio app here, or go to the website here.

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