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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
Eck Adamson, an alcoholic vagrant, summons Jack Laidlaw to his deathbed. Probably the only policeman in Glasgow who would bother to respond, Laidlaw sees in Eck's cryptic last message a clue to the murder of a gangland thug and the disappearance of a student. With stubborn integrity, Laidlaw tracks a seam of corruption that runs from the top to the bottom of society.Show more
When his brother dies stepping out in front of a car, Detective Jack Laidlaw is determined to find out what really happened. With corrosive wit, Laidlaw relates an emotional quest through Glasgow's underworld, and into the past. He discovers as much about himself as the loved brother he has lost in a search that leads to a shattering climax.Show more
Shardlake returns in this atmospheric BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of the fourth novel in C. J. Sansom’s bestselling Tudor crime series. Spring, 1543. London’s streets are filled with preachers; strange signs and portents are seen everywhere; and young men, maddened by differing interpretations of the Bible, are drawn into dangerous fundamentalism. The family of one such man, Adam Kite, has sought help from lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Adam is suffering from religious mania, and is being held in Bedlam for his own safety. But Shardlake is distracted from the case when his friend Roger Elliard is found brutally murdered – the victim of a serial killer inspired by the Book of Revelation. Archbishop Cranmer asks Shardlake to conduct a secret investigation: no word of the bloodshed must reach the King as one of the dead men was close to Catherine Parr, Henry’s latest romantic obsession and (like Cranmer) a supporter of religious reform. With the help of trusty sidekick Barack, Shardlake embarks on his most dangerous investigation yet, as he tries to protect Adam and prevent the killer from fulfilling his unholy mission... This thrilling fourth instalment of the 'Shardlake' series stars Justin Salinger as Shardlake, with Bryan Dick as Barak. Duration: 2 hours 10 mins approx.Show more
A thrilling BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation based on CJ Sansom's bestselling Tudor crime novel. Winter, 1537. Henry VIII has declared himself Supreme Head of the Church, and instructed his chief minister Thomas Cromwell to dissolve England's religious houses and seize their wealth. But Cromwell's plot to bring down the abbeys has hit a snag – one of the King's Commissioners has been found brutally murdered in Scarnsea monastery, on the south coast of Kent. If news of the killing were to get out, the consequences could be disastrous. Desiring a quick, discreet result, he sends his trusted lawyer-detective, Matthew Shardlake, to investigate. However, as Shardlake interviews the prime suspects and delves deeper into the mysteries of Scarnsea, it soon becomes clear that the case will not be as simple to solve as he had hoped. Which of the terrified monks is the murderer? And can Shardlake catch him before he strikes again? CJ Sansom's 'Shardlake' series has sold over two million copies, and this atmospheric dramatisation starring BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries) brings his début novel to electrifying life. Fast-paced and suspenseful, it is both an engrossing murder mystery and a brilliantly realised portrayal of Tudor England. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.Show more