Take Me to Redcar. By Sarah McDonald Hughes. The first of three stories that each take us to a different part of the UK. Student Fiona can’t wait to show her Mancunian boyfriend around her hometown of Redcar, although as soon as she arrives home she realises something isn’t right. Her parents have vanished and the whole town seems to have closed up for the day. A surprising and unexpected answer to the mystery awaits her on the beach.
Take Me to Hafod Owen. By Meic Povey. It’s many years since Ellis Roberts has been back to Hafod Owen, his childhood home, in the shadow of the mountains of Snowdonia. Now he’s returned to confront the reasons his family were driven out of the area nearly 50 years ago, and to reclaim what’s rightly his. But as Ellis begins to unpick the past, he discovers that not everything is as he remembers it.
Take Me to the North Laine. By Ed Harris. The last in a short series of stories that each take us to a different part of the UK.He hasn’t told anyone, but today is Charles’ last early shift, sweeping the streets of the North Laine in Brighton. This afternoon he’s leaving. Forever. All he wants to do is get to the Pavilion Gardens for dawn, to say goodbye properly. But it’s not going to be that simple.
The Nuremberg Trials. Producer/Directors Martin Jenkins and John Theocharis. A dramatization of the most famous trials of modern history. The Nuremberg Trials were a series of trials most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Germany, from 1945 to 1949, at the Palace of Justice. The first and best known of these trials was the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT), which tried 24 of the most important captured leaders of Nazi Germany.
Guards! Guards! By Terry Pratchet. Guards! Guards! follows a plot by a secret brotherhood, the Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night, to overthrow the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork and install a puppet king, under the control of the Supreme Grand Master. Using a stolen magic book, they summon a dragon to strike fear into the people of Ankh-Morpork. Can the incompetent Night Watch and new recruit save the day?
Only You Can Save Mankind. By Terry Pratchett. Twelve-year-old Johnny receives a pirate edition of the new video game Only You Can Save Mankind from his friend Wobbler. However, he hasn’t been playing for long when the ScreeWee Empire surrenders to him. After accepting the surrender he finds himself inside the game in his dreams, where he must deal with the suspicious Gunnery Officer as well as the understanding Captain, and work out exactly what they’re all supposed to do now. This might all be the result of an over-active imagination except that the ScreeWee have disappeared altogether from everyone else’s copy of the game. With the help of another player, Kirsty, who calls herself “Sigourney” (as in Weaver), Johnny must try to get the ScreeWee home.
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. By Terry Pratchett. When Maurice the cat meets the stupid-looking kid with the pipe, the possibilities of his relationship with the educated rats suddenly makes up for the fact that he can no longer think of them as lunch, after all, everyone knows the stories of rats and pipers… but when they reach the town of Bad Blintz, the scam falls apart as they confront something seriously evil.
Night Watch. By Terrry Pratchett. Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he’s back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck…
Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion. There’s a problem: if he wins, he’s got no wife, no child, no future…
A Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution. Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a Hard-boiled Egg!
Nation. By Terry Pratchett. (R) When a giant wave destroys his village, Mau is the only one left. Daphne—a traveler from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Separated by language and customs, the two are united by catastrophe. Slowly, they are joined by other refugees. And as they struggle to protect the small band, Mau and Daphne defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down.
Truckers. By Terry Pratchett. To the thousands of tiny nomes who live under the floorboards of a large department store, there is no Outside. Then they hear that the Store – their whole world – is to be demolished. And it’s up to one nome, Masklin, to mastermind an unbelievable escape plan that will take all the nomes into the dangers of the great Outside. The first title in a magnificent trilogy about the nomes, a race of little people struggling to survive in a world of humans.
The Wee Free Men. By Terry Pratchett. Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching – a wise shepherd – might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead and it’s up to Tiffany to work it all out when strange things begin happening: a fairy-tale monster in the stream, a headless horseman and, strangest of all, the tiny blue men in kilts, the Wee Free Men, who have come looking for the new ‘hag’. These are the Nac Mac Feegles, the pictsies, who like nothing better than thievin’, fightin’ and drinkin’. Then Tiffany’s young brother goes missing and Tiffany and the Wee Free Men must join forces to save him from the Queen of the Fairies-
Wyrd Sisters. Terry Pratchett takes Shakespeare’s Macbeth and then turns it up ’till the knob comes off. It’s all there – a wicked duke and duchess, the ghost of the murdered king, dim soldiers, strolling players, a land in peril. And who stands between the Kingdom and destruction? Three witches. Granny Weatherwax (intolerant, self-opinionated, powerful), Nanny Ogg (down-to-earth, vulgar) and Magrat Garlick (naïve, fond of occult jewellery and bunnies).
Johnny and the Dead. By Terry Pratchett. Sell the cemetery? Over their dead bodies . . Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell can. And he’s got bad news for them: the council want to sell the cemetery as a building site. But the dead aren’t going to take it lying down . . . especially since it’s Halloween tomorrow. Besides, they’re beginning to find that life is a lot more fun than it was when they were . . . well . . . alive. Particularly if they break a few rules . . .
More factual files in the …of interest pages.
The Voice of God. By Simon Bovey. In a remote region of Australia, Seismologist, Sam Rideout and her outback guide Joshua Patamerri are tracking the epicentre of an abnormal amount of Earthquakes and find themselves being taken into a top secret facility researching the use of infrasound as a weapon run by the Bristish Army.
The Dave Sheasby version of Slaughter House 5 can be found on the Dave Sheasby Page.
War of the Worlds. By HG Wells, 2017 version, dramatised by Melissa Murray and directed by Marc Beeby. Following sightings of strange explosions on the surface of Mars, Martian ships begin to arrive on Earth. But scientific excitement quickly turns to horror – and a merciless invasion begins.
At the time of the novel’s writing (first published in 1898), Britain had never been stronger, but a sense of moral queasiness at the methods used in Empire building was growing. This dramatisation highlights the questions Wells poses: What if we were the colonised? How would we fare if a vastly superior technological invader attacked us? How would we behave? This dramatisation also reflects Wells’ depiction of late Victorian suburban life and culture, making its domestic heart a poignant and terrifying starting point for an invasion by Martians with their own imperialist agenda, and reflecting the common fear which had emerged in the years approaching the turn of the century – that the apocalypse would come on the last day of 1899.
War Of The Worlds. By H.G Wells. The Orson Welles version. Less than seventy years ago, television was barely at an experimental stage and in the United States, radio was the undisputed king of the airwaves. Three out of four families already owned a set (eight million alone were sold in 1936), but as many were to rudely discover, they were not yet fully attuned to the power of this exciting new medium. The wake up call came on the Halloween night of October 1938 when a brilliant young auteur by the name of Orson Welles tapped into the subconscious fears of a nation and convinced thousands of people (perhaps many more) that Martians were invading the United States.
The Girl Who Touched the Stars. By Mahesh Dattani. While growing up, Bhavna has a dream: she wants to fly to the moon and touch the stars. Her dreams do come true: it is 2025, she is an astronaut and soon to be the first Indian woman to fly to Mars. But her childhood is about to come back and haunt her in the most unexpected way.
Hard Frosts in Florence. David Pownall’s monologue, specially written for the late Paul Scofield. A deeply troubled Michelangelo returns to Florence to view his statue of the boy David for the last time.
More Inspector Alleyn in the Detective Pages.
More dramatic documentary in the …Of Interest Pages.
Expand This. By Mark Lawson. An unsettling play about the power of the internet. A father is giving a lecture about what happened to his son and daughter, after his daughter was unknowingly photographed in an intimate position at a party and the photo ends up on a website.
Betrayal: An Englishman Abroad. By Alan Bennett. It is 1958, and in a squalid flat in Moscow, double-agent Guy Burgess is hiding from the world. When he is visited by actress Coral Browne, he is overjoyed to see someone from his former life in England. Starved for information, Burgess interrogates her about English society gossip, and cajoles her into taking home measurements for a new pinstripe suit from his London tailor.
Betrayal: A Question of Attribution. By Alan Bennett. In 1956, Sir Anthony Blunt – pillar of the Establishment and respected Knight of the Realm – is working as Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures. Perfectly at home in the corridors of Buckingham Palace, he frequently encounters Her Majesty as he works on her paintings, and has a special fondness for one particular Titian. However, there is one small problem: the painting, like Blunt himself, is a fake. Is the Queen aware that her enigmatic servant might also be other than he seems?
More Alan Bennett on the Alan Bennett Page.