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A two-part radio dramatisation of Vasily Grossman's dark, honest account of the battle of Stalingrad; a prequel to Life and Fate – plus Stalingrad: Destiny of a Novel Epic BBC serial Life and Fate stunned radio audiences in 2011, garnering rave reviews for its powerful depiction of a family torn apart by war in Soviet Russia. Now, with this astonishing prequel published in its first ever English translation by Richard and Elizabeth Chandler, we are transported back to the very beginning of Vasily Grossman’s panoramic tale, as the ‘harsh whirlwind’ of war approaches the city of Stalingrad. As Stalingrad opens, we are introduced to the many lives of the Shaposhnikov family and their partners. Atomic scientist Viktor Shtrum struggles with his work for the State and with his own conscience, while his family live, love and work (despite swirling rumours) to run the city’s power stations, factories and hospitals. Meanwhile, at the Front, we meet old-school Bolshevik Commissar Nikolai Krymov in the thick of the Russian army’s pell-mell retreat before Operation Barbarossa, and follow the 'unknown' soldiers giving their lives to hold the line at the Volga. This vivid, gripping drama features many of the same acclaimed cast as Life and Fate, including Kenneth Branagh as Viktor Shtrum and Greta Scacchi as Lyuda Shaposhnikova. Accompanying this stellar dramatisation is Stalingrad: Destiny Of A Novel; featuring extracts from Grossman's private journal, translated here for the first time, and chronicling Stalingrad’s tortuous gestation and long, tormented passage to print. Written and presented by author and historian Catherine Merridale, with readings by Anton Lesser, this five-part series reveals the dramatic backstory behind the classic novel and explores the beginnings of Grossman’s own journey towards Soviet heresy. Written by Vasily Grossman Translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler Dramatised by Mike Walker (Part One) and Jonathan Myerson (Part Two) Part One produced and directed by Jonquil Panting Part Two produced by James Robinson and directed by Jonathan Myerson Series Producer: Alison Hindell Original music composed by John Hardy, with Rob Whitehead, and performed by Oliver Wilson-Dixon, Tom Jackson, Stacey Blythe and Max Pownall First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30 November-1 December 2019Show more
Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations of P.D. James' acclaimed mysteries, plus P.D. James In Her Own Words This collection includes: Cover Her Face P.D. James' debut novel, introducing her famous detective Adam Dalgliesh. Starring Robin Ellis as Dalgliesh. A Taste for Death Dalgliesh investigates when two bodies are found murdered a London church. Starring Richard Derrington as Dalgliesh. Devices and Desires Dalgliesh hunts a serial killer in desolate Norfolk. Starring Robin Ellis as Dalgliesh. A Certain Justice Dalgliesh probes the murder of a brilliant criminal lawyer. Starring Philip Franks as Dalgliesh. The Private Patient Dalgliesh investigates a high-profile murder at an exclusive cosmetic surgery clinic. Starring Richard Derrington as Dalgliesh. An Unsuitable Job For A Woman An eminent scientist hires the Detective Cordelia Gray to discover why his son committed suicide. Starring Judi Bowker as Cordelia Gray. The Skull Beneath the Skin With her life in danger, actress Clarissa Lisle turns to private detective Cordelia Gray. Starring Greta Scacchi as Cordelia Gray. Among the supporting cast in these classic dramas are Sin Phillips, Hugh Grant, Anna Massey and Geraldine James. Also included is a bonus audio documentary, P.D. James In Her Own Words, in which the author discusses her professional career and private life.Show more
Benedict Cumberbatch, Greta Scacchi and Simon Russell Beale star in Michael Frayn's award-winning play about the controversial 1941 meeting between physicists Bohr and Heisenberg. Copenhagen, Autumn 1941. The two presiding geniuses of quantum physics, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg meet for the first time since the breakout of war. Danish physicist Bohr and his wife, Margrethe, live in Nazi-occupied Denmark; their visitor, Heisenberg, is German, the two old friends, now on opposing sides have between them the ability to change the course of history. Frayn's Tony award-winning play imagines the three characters re-drafting the events of 1941 in an attempt to make sense of them. With Greta Scacchi as Margrethe Bohr, Simon Russell Beale as Niels Bohr and Benedict Cumberbatch as Werner Heisenberg. This new version of Copenhagen is adapted for radio and directed by Emma Harding.Show more
In Persuasion, Austen’s last novel, she reveals the tale of love and marriage told with irony, insight, and an evaluation of human conduct. The characters, Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot, have met and separated years before. A reunion forces the recognition of the false values that drove them apart. “Though dominated by the intelligent, sweet voice of Anne Elliot, the least favored but most worthy of three daughters in a family with an old name but declining fortunes…She reads Anne’s haughty father’s lines with a mixture of stuffiness and bluster, and Anne’s sisters are portrayed with a hilariously flighty, breathy register that makes Austen’s contempt for them palpable. Anne’s voice is mostly measured and reasonable—an expression of her strong mind and spirit—but Stevenson imbues her speech with wonderful shades of passion as Anne is reacquainted with Capt. Wentworth, whom she has continued to love despite being forced, years before, to reject him over status issues…a sudden encounter with Wentworth, one hardly needs Austen’s description of how Anne grows faint, [this] perfectly judged and deeply felt reading has already shown that she must have. Even those who have read Austen’s novels will find themselves loving this book all over again.”--Publishers WeeklyShow more