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

    • Fiction
    • 4.2 • 367 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.

    Life Lines, Series 5 - Part One

    Life Lines, Series 5 - Part One

    By Al Smith

    Carrie ..... Sarah Ridgeway
    Will ..... Rick Warden
    Ian ..... Michael Jibson
    Abbas ..... Sharif Dorani
    Joyce ..... Helen Norton
    Angelica ..... Saffron Coomber
    Devin ..... Justice Ritchie
    Tom ..... Sam Dale
    Jo ..... Grace Cooper Milton
    Paul ..... Luke Nunn
    Andy ..... Shaun Mason
    Chris ..... Joseph Ayre
    Gwen ..... Christine Kavanagh

    Director ..... Sally Avens

    The award-winning drama series set in an ambulance control centre returns. Carrie faces a series of heart-stopping emergencies at work. But when her judgement is called into question over a patient who later died, she finds her work and personal life colliding dangerously.

    This was originally aired on BBC 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
    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

4.2 out of 5
367 Ratings

367 Ratings

Ukmichael ,

Murmuration

Superb Storyline
After a hectic few minutes as the introduction to the story unfolds you soon become entwined as the story unfolds
Excellent acting and very well written
Thank you.

Robin Ali ,

Appreciation

I can not put my excitement and longing for the episodes of this podcast into words.l appreciate the efforts BBC Drama staff puts in to keep this fantastic podcast going.

Mizerbrit ,

Politically correct sh_te

It’s rare there is an episode that doesn’t have sodomites, lesbians, racism, climate change or so called “refugees”. Used to be great with stories that reflected the vast amount of society. I’m done. Last weeks Hotel was excellent- but a rarity with BBC.

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