The Cat’s Table. By Michael Ondaatje. The Cat’s Table follows the course of a 21 day voyage from Colombo to Tilbury on a luxury passenger ship called the Oronsay. It is the early nineteen-fifties and the eleven year old Michael whose parents’ turbulent marriage has resulted in his mother living in England for the past three or four years, is being sent to join her in London. He becomes friends with two other young boys – Cassius and Ramadhin who are also seated at the table, dubbed the Cat’s Table by one of their fellow diners, which is the lowliest of the low, the other end of the scale from The Captain’s Table. For the next three weeks these children have the run of the boat, they are invisible to authority, literally and emotionally feral. They feel their way amongst the adult world, observing and being baffled by the overheard conversations and secret glances. It is a journey towards an understanding of maturity, a journey which forges friendships and lays the foundations of love as well as of betrayal. Among their fellow passengers are the exuberant travelling pianist Mr Mazappa; a botanist transporting a miraculously exotic garden of powerful and dangerous plants all growing in the hold of the ship; the enigmatic Ms Lasqueti and her prize pigeons; a troupe of acrobatic performers with remarkable powers of discernment and the mysterious and terrifying prisoner whose nightly exercise is observed by the breathless boys. The lives of all those on board become entwined in a compelling narrative whose events have an impact which ripples out into the future and the world of adulthood.
Catch Me If You Can. (R) Notorious conman Frank Abagnale Jr’s autobiography. This intriguing account of his unconventional life, begins with his childhood and his first scam. Co-written with Stan Redding, it was abridged by Mark Mason, read by William Hope.
The Tower. Mark Gatiss introduces the story of Ro and Zee, who stumble into a world where time has stopped.
Project Purple. A chilling tale as a neuroscientist tries to revive the victim of a dubious experiment.
The White Hare. When Izzie and Casper move to the country, they imagine a rural idyll – however the reality is very different.
Hide And Seek. A medical trial for hypnosis unlocks unexpectedly terrifying forces.
Bombers’ Moon. A horrifying tale of something evil stalking four stranded soldiers in Afghanistan.
Phish Phood. A nasty little drama with bite by horror maestro Kim Newman.
Death Us Do Part. Mike Bartlett’s chilling tale of a man getting ready to pop the question.
Flesh. Tom Morton-Smith’s chilling tale of a virus-swept town, with a rising death toll.
Angels in Disguise. Nicola Jones’ strange tale of an imaginary friend.
The Old Road. Penelope Skinner’s chilling tale of a young woman’s terror on an ancient road.
Connect. Lucy Moore’s chilling tale of helpline volunteer Rosie and a very sinister caller.
The Printed Name. Nicholas Pierpan’s chilling tale of a writer’s devilish pact with a mysterious man.
Lights Out. Christopher Golden and Amber Benson’s chilling tale of terror in a women’s prison.
Uncle William’s House. Alison Falconer’s chilling tale of a young mum inheriting a haunted cottage.
Perfect Home. Nick Warburton’s chilling tale of a couple’s late night meeting on a dark city street.
Containment. David Lemon’s tale of a lost soul offered hope, but with a sinister price attached.
The Punt. Christina Balit’s tale of an ex-alcoholic on the run from more than just his AA buddy.
The Beaten Track. Dawn King’s tale of a young couple ignoring warnings on a New Zealand getaway.
Reunion. Janice Okoh’s cautionary tale. A desperate love quest sparks a chilling reunion.
The New Boy. Craig has a new job, but how far will he go to impress his boss?
Some Secluded Glade. Psychological thriller by Hugh Costello. A fall from a tree results in severe concussion precipitating a gradual unravelling of an otherwise fine mind. One moment Tom is playing with his son in a wood and the next he is catapulted into a nightmare world in which his wife and son are living with another man; a taller, younger, better looking man. Tom gradually recovers and this nightmare appears to recede, but when a newly-arrived neighbour comes to dinner and it turns out to be the same man, Tom begins a gradual descent. His worst fears are realised and his own destruction and that of his family become hideously inevitable.
The Ditch. Recorded on location, this chilling tale is written and narrated by Paul Evans. Tom Saunders, a wildlife sound recordist, goes missing, leaving only a collection of recordings and a notebook. These fall into the hands of his radio producer, who tries to piece together what has happened. His quest leads him back to the disturbing aural landscape of Slaughton Ditch, where an obsession with hidden sounds has terrifying and fatal consequences.
The Killing of the Tsr2. By Robin Brooks. The true story of the struggle to build TSR2, the British-built world-beating fighter jet that never was. Years ahead of its time technologically, it was scrapped by the Labour government in 1965, after just one supersonic test flight.
The Lonely. Dramatisation by Rebecca Hughes of Paul Gallico’s romantic novella set during WWII. An American airforce lieutenant suffering from battle fatigue and a young English WAAF officer become lovers. But when he returns to America to break off his engagement, things get complicated.
Bad Faith. Series of plays by Peter Jukes about Jake Thorne, a Methodist minister and police chaplain who is battling with his own demons at the same time as trying to resolve the problems of his parishioners.
Bad Faith. Police chaplain Jake Thorne has lost his faith and behaves appropriately. But Jake has lost his faith and has decided, as a test for God, to behave appallingly towards those he is supposed to help. Yet despite his unworthy behaviour, he unwittingly demonstrates that he has another, less sinful side.
Vengeance is Mine. Jake gets involved in a restorative justice programme which tries to reconcile a bereaved mother and the woman responsible for killing her daughter.
The Fire this Time. Jake takes on his arch rival and nemesis Bishop Elias Wright in a battle over the soul of a mentally unstable parishioner, fighting the good fight against homophobia and Islamophobia along the way.
Nothing Sacred. Jake counsels a policeman who has lost his memory of a fatal blaze, while Jake’s father, Isaac, slipping into dementia, seems intent on wreaking revenge on the whole world, and particularly his own son.
Unoriginal Sin. After the death of his father and the breakdown of his marriage, Jake needed to get away from home, so he has accepted his old friend Sufiq Khan’s invitation to come on secondment as Police Chaplain to Khan’s West Yorkshire division. Jake arrives in his new posting the week before Christmas with a mission is to clean up a rough division, but he is immediately plunged into the question of original sin as an 11 year old is investigated for murder.
Insha’allah. Jake is three months into his secondment in West Yorkshire; it’s Spring and love is in the air, but during an investigation into a missing Muslim teenager, Jake gives out more information than he should, unleashing violent elements beyond his control.
Opiate of the Masses. Six months into his secondment, Jake is still living at the homeless shelter with his best friend Tony. Thrown into a hostage crisis and an exorcism, with suspicions about the circumstances of his father’s death and allegations of drug dealing by his friend swirling around, Jake finds all his demons are coming home at the same time.
Dog Tooth. By Eric Saward. Set prior to the re-unification of Germany. When a leading German parliamentary member is killed in a road traffic accident, the evidence points to sabotage and murder. The East German and British police forces must work together to catch the culprits and uncover a high-level conspiracy in the process.
Dream Story. Paul Rhys reads Arthur Schnitzler’s psychological exploration of a marriage. It was made into the film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ by Stanley Krubrick . Dream Story details the thoughts and psychological transformations of Doctor Fridolin over a two-day period. In this short time, he meets many people who give a clue to the world Schnitzler is creating for us. This culminates in the masquerade ball, a wondrous event of masked individualism, sex, and danger for Fridolin the outsider.
Mogadishu. Vivienne Franzmann’s cutting-edge play explores the consequences of an assault on a white female teacher by a troubled black student and her well-meaning but misguided attempt to protect him. Mogadishu was originally produced at the Manchester Royal Exchange in 2011 and won both the Bruntwood Award for Writing and The George Devine Prize for ‘Most Promising Playwright’. The critics called it “A startling debut”, “A tough, gripping spectacle”, “The play of the year? Quite possibly”. As the school investigates an allegation of physical and racial abuse, the teacher becomes entangled in a mesh of legal requirements and formal processes that threaten her family stability and her career. Franzmann – a former teacher herself – has adapted the play for radio and uses multiple perspectives on the incident to show how formal procedure and protocol can override common sense and professional judgement. Mogadishu unfolds in a series of actions, reversals and counter-reversals with sharp dialogue and fast-pacing. The language of contemporary teenagers is presented with considerable authenticity revealing them to be complex, dysfunctional, funny and vulnerable.
An Ideal Husband. By Oscar Wilde. The unprincipled Mrs Cheveley threatens to reveal Sir Robert Chiltern’s secret past unless he agrees to give his support in Parliament to a questionable Argentinian venture. Faced with ruin in the eyes of the country and his wife, he seems to have no alternative. Wildean wit and the elegance of English society is woven into this classic drama.
Say Goodbye Twice. By Oladipo Agboluaje. To mark the 50th Anniversary of Nigerian Independence from Britain, a rollicking new Peckham-set comedy by acclaimed young playwright Oladipo Agboluaje. British Nigerian Noelle’s son wants to move to Nigeria with his father, a Nollywood producer, for a taste of the good life he’s been denied growing up on their Peckham estate. The fact that Noelle’s a disgraced ex-copper with criminal past and a severe lack of money isn’t helping her hang on to him. But when she takes one more dodgy job for cash, Noelle’s pulled into a conspiracy which will finally force her to negotiate between her dual identities, and find a way of living with them both.
The Pattern of Painful Adventures. By Stephen Wakelam. It is 1607 and Shakespeare’s life is at a turning point. Business is going well, but the playwright urgently needs a collaborator for his latest play. His daughter is getting married. His brother has a sick child and is in need of a job.
The Chalk Garden. By Enid Bagnold. It is the mid-1950s, in a Sussex country house, the elderly Mrs St Maugham lives with her unruly granddaughter Laurel. Though without references, Miss Madrigal becomes the paid companion to Laurel. Only when The Judge visits does the truth unravel. The production is introduced by the director, Michael Grandage.
Merlin and Arthur on the Way to Glastonbury. By Nigel Baldwin. Tony Daly is spirited back to the Dark Ages by Merlin who mistakes him for Arthur who didn’t turn up to pull the sword from the stone in the first place. Whatserface is along for the ride. A humorous take on the Arthurian legends with Nick Le Prevost as Merlin.