14 episodes

Every Friday we bring you a new drama from BBC Radio 4 or Radio 3. Exercise your imagination with some of the best writers and actors on radio. Storytelling at its very best.

Drama of the Wee‪k‬ BBC

    • Drama
    • 3.6 • 1.3K Ratings

Every Friday we bring you a new drama from BBC Radio 4 or Radio 3. Exercise your imagination with some of the best writers and actors on radio. Storytelling at its very best.

    Murmuration

    Murmuration

    Darkly comic, heart-warming drama starring Christopher Eccleston. By Christine Entwisle.

    • 45 min
    Life Class

    Life Class

    By Rachel Joyce
    A young man bumps into Stella on the street and knocks her off her feet. He then utters the words "I didn't even see you." For Stella those words are more of a wound than the bruises on her face and she begins to question everything about her life.

    Stella ..... Sophie Thompson
    Doug ..... Roger Ringrose
    Hendrix ..... Luke MacGregor
    Art Teacher ..... Stefan Adegbola
    Monica ..... Jane Whittenshaw
    Stu ..... Hasan Dixon
    Ian ..... Ian Dunnett Jnr

    Directed by Tracey Neale

    As the years have gone by, Stella has begun to feel invisible. She doesn’t like it one bit and now it’s time for her to step out from the cloud that’s casting a shadow over her. It is time for Stella to claim something back. But what? Uplifting, poignant and delightful light comic touches in this Rachel Joyce drama about growing older and learning the art of forgiveness.

    Stella is played by Sophie Thompson. She has worked in television, audio drama, film and theatre. Her credits include - Four Weddings and A Funeral, Emma and Harry Potter. EastEnders, Detectorists and Sandylands. Sophie won an Oliver Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Into the Woods and was nominated for her role as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls.

    Roger Ringrose has worked in television, audio drama, film and theatre. Recent credits include the film - Scandal in '97, the TV series Berlin Station and for the theatre, Witness for the Prosecution. He has a number of audio drama credits including playing Mr Tulliver in The Mill on the Floss.

    Rachel won the Peter Tinniswood Award for To Be A Pilgrim which went on to become her award winning novel – The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – now in the process of being made into a film for Netflix. Her most recent published novels include The Music Shop and Miss Benson's Beetle in 2019. Her most recent audio drama was Christmas by the Lake.

    • 56 min
    Episode 6 - Peking Noir

    Episode 6 - Peking Noir

    Presented by Paul French
    Drama written by Sarah Wooley

    Whatever anyone declared categorically about Shura Giraldi, someone else insisted on the exact opposite. Shura was handsome and beautiful; Shura was kind and good, Shura was exploitative and evil. Shura was just another struggling White Russian refugee trying to get by in 1930s China; Shura was the heart and brains of a gang that ran clubs, sex workers, illicit booze and drugs, when not robbing banks and stealing gems to fence in Shanghai. Shura loved ballet and cabaret, creating the Shura Giraldi Dance Troupe that topped the bill at all the best Peking nightclubs.

    Shura sometimes presented as male and sometimes as female. When passing as a man Shura bound his breasts tightly and wore a sharp tailored suit; when she was a woman she wore startlingly coloured robes, both Chinese-style cheongsam and Western dresses, letting her raven hair flow loose, said witnesses. Shura had added an incredibly massive layer of confusion and obfuscation to anyone looking by changing gender. Switching for anonymity, for commercial gain or criminal advantage, for love, for a whim.

    Paul French is a historian and writer who focuses on China in the first half of the 20th century. He's been on Shura’s trail for 15 years, digging through the paper records and archives in half a dozen countries in an attempt to get to grips with the enigma that was Shura. This story, a product of that tireless research, is full of truths, but like an old jigsaw brought down from the attic after decades, there are many pieces missing. So we're using drama, written by Sarah Wooley, to conjure and join the dots of Shura’s story, and go in search of a lost life and a forgotten world.

    The search will take us from a Russian far east in violent revolution, to the chaos of the mass emigration of the White Russians, to the crowded hutongs of Peking; from that city’s nightclubs and cabarets, to the casinos of Shanghai; from a China wracked by rampaging warlordism, invaded by Japan, and then fighting its own civil war that culminated in its own revolution.

    Shura saw it all; Shura lived through it all; Shura, in part, explains it all.

    Shura . . . . . Maggie Bain
    Zaichek . . . . . Leo Wan
    Roy . . . . . Daniel York Loh
    Leopard . . . . . Chris Lew Kum Hoi
    Tatiana . . . . . Charlotte East
    Anton . . . . . Luke Nunn
    Marie . . . . . Cecilia Appiah
    Saxsen . . . . . Ian Dunnett Jnr
    The MC . . . . . Roger Ringrose
    Anna . . . . . Jane Whittenshaw

    Editing and sound design by Peter Ringrose.

    Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

    • 26 min
    Episode 5 - Peking Noir

    Episode 5 - Peking Noir

    Presented by Paul French
    Drama written by Sarah Wooley

    Whatever anyone declared categorically about Shura Giraldi, someone else insisted on the exact opposite. Shura was handsome and beautiful; Shura was kind and good, Shura was exploitative and evil. Shura was just another struggling White Russian refugee trying to get by in 1930s China; Shura was the heart and brains of a gang that ran clubs, sex workers, illicit booze and drugs, when not robbing banks and stealing gems to fence in Shanghai. Shura loved ballet and cabaret, creating the Shura Giraldi Dance Troupe that topped the bill at all the best Peking nightclubs.

    Shura sometimes presented as male and sometimes as female. When passing as a man Shura bound his breasts tightly and wore a sharp tailored suit; when she was a woman she wore startlingly coloured robes, both Chinese-style cheongsam and Western dresses, letting her raven hair flow loose, said witnesses. Shura had added an incredibly massive layer of confusion and obfuscation to anyone looking by changing gender. Switching for anonymity, for commercial gain or criminal advantage, for love, for a whim.

    Paul French is a historian and writer who focuses on China in the first half of the 20th century. He's been on Shura’s trail for 15 years, digging through the paper records and archives in half a dozen countries in an attempt to get to grips with the enigma that was Shura. This story, a product of that tireless research, is full of truths, but like an old jigsaw brought down from the attic after decades, there are many pieces missing. So we're using drama, written by Sarah Wooley, to conjure and join the dots of Shura’s story, and go in search of a lost life and a forgotten world.

    The search will take us from a Russian far east in violent revolution, to the chaos of the mass emigration of the White Russians, to the crowded hutongs of Peking; from that city’s nightclubs and cabarets, to the casinos of Shanghai; from a China wracked by rampaging warlordism, invaded by Japan, and then fighting its own civil war that culminated in its own revolution.

    Shura saw it all; Shura lived through it all; Shura, in part, explains it all.

    Shura . . . . . Maggie Bain
    Zaichek . . . . . Leo Wan
    Roy . . . . . Daniel York Loh
    Leopard . . . . . Chris Lew Kum Hoi
    Tatiana . . . . . Charlotte East
    Anton . . . . . Luke Nunn
    Marie . . . . . Cecilia Appiah
    Saxsen . . . . . Ian Dunnett Jnr
    The MC . . . . . Roger Ringrose
    Anna . . . . . Jane Whittenshaw

    Editing and sound design by Peter Ringrose.

    Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

    • 20 min
    Episode 4 - Peking Noir

    Episode 4 - Peking Noir

    Presented by Paul French
    Drama written by Sarah Wooley

    Whatever anyone declared categorically about Shura Giraldi, someone else insisted on the exact opposite. Shura was handsome and beautiful; Shura was kind and good, Shura was exploitative and evil. Shura was just another struggling White Russian refugee trying to get by in 1930s China; Shura was the heart and brains of a gang that ran clubs, sex workers, illicit booze and drugs, when not robbing banks and stealing gems to fence in Shanghai. Shura loved ballet and cabaret, creating the Shura Giraldi Dance Troupe that topped the bill at all the best Peking nightclubs.

    Shura sometimes presented as male and sometimes as female. When passing as a man Shura bound his breasts tightly and wore a sharp tailored suit; when she was a woman she wore startlingly coloured robes, both Chinese-style cheongsam and Western dresses, letting her raven hair flow loose, said witnesses. Shura had added an incredibly massive layer of confusion and obfuscation to anyone looking by changing gender. Switching for anonymity, for commercial gain or criminal advantage, for love, for a whim.

    Paul French is a historian and writer who focuses on China in the first half of the 20th century. He's been on Shura’s trail for 15 years, digging through the paper records and archives in half a dozen countries in an attempt to get to grips with the enigma that was Shura. This story, a product of that tireless research, is full of truths, but like an old jigsaw brought down from the attic after decades, there are many pieces missing. So we're using drama, written by Sarah Wooley, to conjure and join the dots of Shura’s story, and go in search of a lost life and a forgotten world.

    The search will take us from a Russian far east in violent revolution, to the chaos of the mass emigration of the White Russians, to the crowded hutongs of Peking; from that city’s nightclubs and cabarets, to the casinos of Shanghai; from a China wracked by rampaging warlordism, invaded by Japan, and then fighting its own civil war that culminated in its own revolution.

    Shura saw it all; Shura lived through it all; Shura, in part, explains it all.

    Shura . . . . . Maggie Bain
    Zaichek . . . . . Leo Wan
    Roy . . . . . Daniel York Loh
    Leopard . . . . . Chris Lew Kum Hoi
    Tatiana . . . . . Charlotte East
    Anton . . . . . Luke Nunn
    Marie . . . . . Cecilia Appiah
    Saxsen . . . . . Ian Dunnett Jnr
    The MC . . . . . Roger Ringrose
    Anna . . . . . Jane Whittenshaw

    Editing and sound design by Peter Ringrose.

    Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

    • 25 min
    Episode 3 - Peking Noir

    Episode 3 - Peking Noir

    Presented by Paul French
    Drama written by Sarah Wooley

    Whatever anyone declared categorically about Shura Giraldi, someone else insisted on the exact opposite. Shura was handsome and beautiful; Shura was kind and good, Shura was exploitative and evil. Shura was just another struggling White Russian refugee trying to get by in 1930s China; Shura was the heart and brains of a gang that ran clubs, sex workers, illicit booze and drugs, when not robbing banks and stealing gems to fence in Shanghai. Shura loved ballet and cabaret, creating the Shura Giraldi Dance Troupe that topped the bill at all the best Peking nightclubs.

    Shura sometimes presented as male and sometimes as female. When passing as a man Shura bound his breasts tightly and wore a sharp tailored suit; when she was a woman she wore startlingly coloured robes, both Chinese-style cheongsam and Western dresses, letting her raven hair flow loose, said witnesses. Shura had added an incredibly massive layer of confusion and obfuscation to anyone looking by changing gender. Switching for anonymity, for commercial gain or criminal advantage, for love, for a whim.

    Paul French is a historian and writer who focuses on China in the first half of the 20th century. He's been on Shura’s trail for 15 years, digging through the paper records and archives in half a dozen countries in an attempt to get to grips with the enigma that was Shura. This story, a product of that tireless research, is full of truths, but like an old jigsaw brought down from the attic after decades, there are many pieces missing. So we're using drama, written by Sarah Wooley, to conjure and join the dots of Shura’s story, and go in search of a lost life and a forgotten world.

    The search will take us from a Russian far east in violent revolution, to the chaos of the mass emigration of the White Russians, to the crowded hutongs of Peking; from that city’s nightclubs and cabarets, to the casinos of Shanghai; from a China wracked by rampaging warlordism, invaded by Japan, and then fighting its own civil war that culminated in its own revolution.

    Shura saw it all; Shura lived through it all; Shura, in part, explains it all.

    Shura . . . . . Maggie Bain
    Zaichek . . . . . Leo Wan
    Roy . . . . . Daniel York Loh
    Leopard . . . . . Chris Lew Kum Hoi
    Tatiana . . . . . Charlotte East
    Anton . . . . . Luke Nunn
    Marie . . . . . Cecilia Appiah
    Saxsen . . . . . Ian Dunnett Jnr
    The MC . . . . . Roger Ringrose
    Anna . . . . . Jane Whittenshaw

    Editing and sound design by Peter Ringrose.

    Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5
1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

Brother Johnno ,

A run in the park

Really enjoyed episode one of this but am a bit confused that the other episodes do not seem to be available to download. Any help appreciated.

Addiction to word games ,

Christmas by the lake

A real joy thank you

Nina&nastasia ,

Confused

Why is this podcast still in existence? The stories aren’t frequent enough and are not a full story in each episode. I think this needs to be either deleted or revamped.

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