16 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

    • Fiction
    • 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.

    The Half Widow - Part 1

    The Half Widow - Part 1

    It's August 2019. The Indian government has revoked Kashmir's special status and the region is now under curfew and communications blackout. Zameera (Mita Rahman) is a half-widow, the Kashmiri term for a woman whose husband is one of 'the disappeared'. She just wants a normal life, but she and her son are soon pulled in different directions. By Avin Shah.

    Zameera....Mita Rahman
    Yusuf.....Narinder Samra
    Javed.....Gavi Singh Chera
    Aaliyah.....Aysha Kala
    Sergeant Patel.....Emilio Doorgasingh
    Gashe.....Avin Shah
    Journalist.....Ronny Jhutti

    Directed by Emma Harding
    Sound design by Alison Craig
    Production co-ordination by Maggie Olgiati

    This was originally aired on Radio 4.

    • 44 min
    The Queen of the Isle of Wight

    The Queen of the Isle of Wight

    by Barney Norris.

    Lin and Cath never wanted to leave the island, but now Cath's gone and Lin must find a different way of living. Lin has never spoken up before but now she must find her voice and face up to her troubled past even if it means putting herself in danger.

    Lin ..... Caroline Catz
    Anna ..... Claudie Blakley
    Becky ..... Charlotte Beaumont
    Matt ..... Finlay Robertson

    Directed by Sally Avens

    Barney Norris is an award-winning novelist and playwright. He won the Critics Circle Award for most promising playwright for 'Visitors' and his debut novel 'Five Rivers Met in A Wooded Plain' was published to great acclaim. This is his third play for BBC Radio 4.

    Caroline Catz is best known for her role as Louisa in 'Doc Martin'. She also writes and directs. Recently her drama doc Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And The Legendary Tapes was broadcast on BBC4.

    Claudie Blakley is an award-winning theatre actress. She has appeared in countless television productions including 'Lark Rise to Candleford' as Emma Timmins

    Charlotte Beaumont is best known for her role as Chloe Latimer in Broadchurch. She recently appeared as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theatre.

    Finlay Robertson has been a regular cast member in series including Channel 4 drama NY-LON, ITV drama Life Begins, and the BBC Three sitcom How Not to Live Your Life.

    This was originally aired on Radio 4.

    • 45 min
    House Rules

    House Rules

    Exercise your imagination with some of the best writers and actors on radio.

    • 14 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

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.

sonic spangle ,

Woke lecturing

Stop listening to bbc drama because of its constant inclusion of woke lecturing shoehorned into every story!

headofaorange ,

Enjoy

Could do with episodes more often

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