A Clockwork Orange. By Anthony Burgess. Dramatisation of Anthony Burgess’s novel which became a controversial film in the 1970s. In a nightmare world of the near future, packs of teenagers run wild, beyond the control of their families or the police. Alex is a gang-leader, addicted to drug-fuelled assault, torture and rape.
Salt is Leaving. By J. B. Priestley. Dr Salt is leaving the dismal and depressing town of Birkden, and his departure can’t come soon enough. Recently widowed and newly retired from the practice of medicine, Salt looks forward to starting a new life in a sunnier clime. But before he can go, he must solve the mystery of the disappearance of one of his patients, Noreen Wilks, a young woman in urgent need of a life-saving drug. Believing she’s just a flighty young person who has run away, the police refuse to investigate, but Salt has reason to suspect foul play. Joining forces with Maggie Culworth, whose father has also inexplicably vanished, Salt must contend with powerful forces desperate to conceal the truth as he follows the clues towards a shocking and macabre conclusion. The only detective story by the prolific playwright and novelist J. B. Priestley (1894-1984), Salt is Leaving (1966) was originally written for the author’s own amusement but has gone on to be recognized as a classic of the mystery genre.
For more detective stories go to the Detective Pages.
The Porlock Poisoner. By Marcy Kahan. A comedy whodunit in which five global do-gooders – a genetic engineer, a feminist activist, an environmental analyst, an economics guru and a world poverty campaigner – descend upon the tranquil harbour village of Porlock Weir in Somerset to compete for a £25m grant. But during a visit to the smallest parish church in England, one of the group suffers a gruesome fate – and a weekend dedicated to world affairs turns into a murder mystery. Fortunately there is a gifted amateur detective present – Tina Paganini, a statuesque blonde with a photographic memory, a misleadingly air-headed manner and the wrong shoes for an English country walk.
Billy Liar. (R) By Keith Waterhouse. Stephen Tompkinson reads Keith Waterhouse’s semi-comical story about William Fisher, a working-class 19-year-old living with his parents in the fictional town of Stradhoughton in Yorkshire. Bored by his job as a lowly clerk for an undertaker, Billy spends his time indulging in fantasies and dreams of life in the big city as a comedy writer.
Arthur and George. (R) By Julian Barnes. The true story of how the creator of one of literatures most enduring fictional detectives became the champion of a young solicitor who was the victim of an appalling miscarriage of justice. Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle encounters a vulnerable solicitor. Clive Merrison reads the 2005 Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel.
White Heat. (R) By MJ McGrath. A hypnotic detective adventure story set in the mysterious Arctic. On Craig Island, a vast landscape of ice north of the Arctic Circle, three travellers are hunting duck. Among them is expert Inuit hunter and guide, Edie Kiglatuk; a woman born of this harsh, beautiful terrain. The two men are tourists, experiencing Arctic life in the raw, but when one of the men is shot dead in mysterious circumstances, the local Council of Elders in the tiny settlement of Autisaq is keen to dismiss it as an accident.
Modesty Blaise: A Taste for Death. By Peter O’Donnell. She’s glamorous, intelligent, rich and very, very cool. Modesty Blaise has been called the female James Bond but she’s much more interesting than that. With her expertise in martial arts and unusual weapons, the ability to speak several languages and her liking for fast cars, twenty-something Modesty became a female icon long before the likes of Emma Peel, Lara Croft, or Buffy. In Stef Penney’s brand new radio adaptation of Peter O’Donnell’s novel, Sir Gerald Tarrant, Head of a secret British agency, tempts Modesty out of retirement and into a job involving a young woman with extra sensory powers, an exotic desert location, and a larger than life public school villain, intent on murdering his way to a vast fortune. With its perfect cocktail of glamorous settings, hidden treasure, a twisting turning plot, and characters to root for, A Taste for Death is an action packed treat – and a guilty pleasure.
Haphazard House. By Mary Wesley. A painter sells every picture at his first one-man exhibition; and then he and his daughter Lisa back a winning horse with the proceeds, making it possible to buy a romantic and partly ruined house on the Devon and Cornwall border. Together with his family and several friends, he leaves London for Haphazard House, where mysterious events change all their lives in ways which are both disturbing and delightful. Slowly everyone comes to terms with his new existence, growing either older, younger or more talented to realise his full potential.
Hide The Moon. By Martyn Wade. In 1945 the composer Richard Strauss is visited by two American GI’s at his home in Garmisch. They want to interview him. His wife, Pauline, is distrustful. Just who are they? And what do they really want? This new play was especially commissioned as part of “Strauss 150” – BBC Radio 3’s season to mark the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’s birth.
A Kidnapping. By Andy Mulligan. Daniel Ryan and Jade Matthew play two British teachers at an international school in Manila who conspire to kidnap the 10-year-old son of a prominent Filipino politician. It’s a simple get-rich quick plan that turns out not to be quite as straightforward as they had hoped. A fast-paced thriller and a grand, comic morality tale set and recorded in the Philippines.
Walking On Sunshine. Comedy by Leah Chillery. Why do you rarely see a black face in the country – apart from the sheep? Elijah is a black man who likes to go for lovely walks in the countryside. One day his girlfriend points out the obvious – that he was the only black face she saw all day.
The Conflict Is Over. Dramatisation by Michael Eaton of the events that led to the signing of the Downing Street Declaration in December 1993 and the subsequent IRA ceasefire in August 1994, told through the relationship between John Major and Albert Reynolds.
Four Quartets. (R) By T.S.Eliot. Jeremy Irons reads Four Quartets by T.S.Eliot.Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T.S. Eliot’s career as a poet. While containing some of the most musical and unforgettable passages in twentieth-century poetry, its four parts, ‘Burnt Norton’, ‘East Coker’, ‘The Dry Salvages’ and ‘Little Gidding’, present a rigorous meditation on the spiritual, philosophical and personal themes which preoccupied the author. It was the way in which a private voice was heard to speak for the concerns of an entire generation, in the midst of war and doubt, that confirmed it as an enduring masterpiece.
Poorland. By Sean Grundy. Sean Grundy’s satirical take on attitudes towards poverty and the poor. Come to “Poorland Yorkshire”, the latest addition to our chain of exciting theme parks which have transformed some of Britain’s toughest council estates. Take the family on one of our many thrilling rides – “Benefit Island” water ride, “Joyride” or “HellEviction”. Stay for the night in the “Disenchanted Kingdom”. Try out one of our celebrity chav make-overs or visit our Poorland gift shop where “each toy is some child’s broken dream”. Come to Poorland, wream is unfulfilled. On the same day, Susan and John visit the new Poorland theme park which has been opened on the site of the Yorkshire council estate that they grew up in. Susan’s accompanying her teenage daughter on her birthday and John’s there to review the new ride “The Fires of Orgreave”. They bump into each other and soon discover that they remember their childhood on the estate in starkly different ways.
The Second Mr Bailey. By Andrew Doyle. John is a young gay man living in Edinburgh in 1967. Homosexuality is about to be legalised in England, but not in Scotland. When John takes up lodgings with the enigmatic Mrs Margaret Bailey, he begins to experience what life as a conventional straight man could be like. But Margaret is no ordinary house-wife; she’s slowly turning John into a replica of her husband. And John’s beginning to like it.
The Transfer. By Nick Perry. It’s 5am on Monday 2 February and football’s transfer window closes in eighteen hours. Danny Provisor is a football agent negotiating a last-ditch deal to bring Serbian prospect Slavko Ilich to the UK, but a call to his girlfriend Frankie reveals that Slavko hasn’t returned home from a night out. Fending off phone calls from suspicious reporters and an increasingly irate Chief Executive, Danny searches for Slavko knowing that this deal will not only rescue his career, but also provide security for his family. With BBC Radio 5Live counting down the hours the pressure begins to build, and the deal and Danny’s world start to collapse.
The African Queen. By C. S. Forester. Set in 1915, Rose Sayer’s work as a missionary comes to an abrupt end when the village she and her brother, Reverend Samuel Sayer, live in is invaded by the German army. Samuel dies of fever and Rose blames the ungodly Germans for having ground him down and frightened off the entire village. Patriotically, but naively, Rose conceives of blowing up a German warship thus helping the war effort. She convinces cowardly Cockney Charlie Allnut to lend his rickety steam-powered boat, The African Queen, for the cause. He has offered to give Rose a lift in his boat to get away from the village and the Germans, so reluctantly goes along with her plan. If they manage to survive German attacks, rapids, malaria and mechanical mishaps will they be able to survive each other? The novel, The African Queen by C.S. Forester, was of course the basis for the highly popular Hollywood movie of the same name. Paul Mendelson’s dramatisation goes back to the novel re-instating Forester’s original ending and giving Charlie his Cockney identity back!
Psyche. By Diane Samuels. An experimental and visionary designer has been captivated by the story of Psyche and Eros and is creating a series of pieces inspired by the myth. She has found the right girl to be her model. But where does the myth begin and where does it end?
The Weighing Room. By Justin Hopper. Noel is a jump jockey anxious to get his career back on track after a spell on the sidelines. Just what does it take to survive in the demanding and dangerous world of National Hunt racing?