Many thanks to Dick L for contributions to this page.
Dissolution. By CJ Sansom. Winter, 1537. Henry VIII has declared himself Supreme Head of the Church, and instructed his chief minister Thomas Cromwell to dissolve England’s religious houses and seize their wealth. But Cromwell’s plot to bring down the abbeys has hit a snag – one of the King’s Commissioners has been found brutally murdered in Scarnsea monastery, on the south coast of Kent. If news of the killing were to get out, the consequences could be disastrous. Desiring a quick, discreet result, he sends his trusted lawyer-detective, Matthew Shardlake, to investigate. However, as Shardlake interviews the prime suspects and delves deeper into the mysteries of Scarnsea, it soon becomes clear that the case will not be as simple to solve as he had hoped. Which of the terrified monks is the murderer? And can Shardlake catch him before he strikes again?
Dark Fire. By CJ Sansom. Summer, 1540. It has been three years since the terrible events at Scarnsea monastery, and lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake is living a quiet life in London – until a summons from Cromwell sees him embarking on another dangerous secret assignment. Someone has stolen the last barrel of ‘Greek Fire’: a legendary, highly potent incendiary weapon thought lost since the fall of Constantinople. Shardlake is tasked with tracking it down – and he must move quickly, for Cromwell is out of favour with the King and is relying on the precious substance to save his skin. But Shardlake has another, equally urgent case to deal with – defending an orphan girl, Elizabeth Wentworth, who is accused of murdering her young cousin. Aided by Cromwell’s man, Barak, Shardlake must race against time to solve both cases, for the fates of both Cromwell and Elizabeth depend on him…
Sovereign. By CJ Sansom. Autumn, 1541. Henry VIII, accompanied by his young bride Catherine Howard, has embarked on a Great Progress from London to York, to establish his power and authority with his rebellious subjects in the North and receive their oaths of loyalty. Shardlake, sent ahead of the 3000-strong procession, is in the city to help prepare legal petitions for the King – and to undertake a delicate clandestine mission for Archbishop Cranmer. Sir Edward Broderick, a dangerous conspirator imprisoned in York Castle, is being transferred to the Tower of London for interrogation, and it is up to Shardlake and his faithful assistant Barak to ensure he gets there safe and well. But the death of a glazier sees the duo drawn into a murder investigation, a treasonous plot and a secret that threatens to bring down the royal family…
Revelation. By CJ Sansom. Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. But this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies. Meanwhile, a teenage boy, a religious maniac, has been placed in the Bedlam hospital for the insane. When an old friend os Matthew Shardlake is murdered, his investigations leads to connections to both, and to the prophecies of the book of Revelation. Shardlake follows a trail of horrific murders that are igniting frenzied talk of witchcraft and demonic posession. For what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer…?
Aromatherapy. By Ed Harris. Robert returns from holiday in Thailand in crippling pain from an illness with a very unusual cure.
The Barretts Of Wimpole Street. By Rudolf Besier. Mr Barrett ruled his family with excessive Victorian severity; his obsessive love for his daughter Elizabeth kept her virtually a prisoner in her room, with only her poetry and her spaniel Flush to bring colour to her existence… till the flamboyant poet Robert Browning burst into her life.
Recorded in 1972-10-28 to cassette transferred to MP3 in 2008.
Uncle Silas. By J. Sheridan Le Fanu. One of the most significant and intriguing Gothic novels of the Victorian period and is enjoyed today as a modern psychological thriller. In Uncle Silas, Le Fanu brought up to date Mrs Radcliffe’s earlier tales of virtue imprisoned and menacedby unscrupulous schemers. The narrator, Maud Ruthyn, is a 17 year old orphan left in the care of her fearful uncle, Silas. Together with his boorish son and a sinister French governess, Silas plots to kill Maud and claim her fortune. The novel established Le Fanu as a master of horror fiction.
Carmilla. By J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Meeting first in their dreams, Laura and Carmilla are bound together in the original female vampire romance. What can Laura make of an ancestral portrait that resembles her mysterious new friend or the strange dreams she experiences as she is drawn ever closer to this beauty of the night?
Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and one of the early works of vampire fiction, predating Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) by 26 years. First published as a serial in The Dark Blue (1871–72), the story is narrated by a young woman preyed upon by a female vampire named Carmilla, later revealed to be Mircalla, Countess Karnstein.
Return to Killroe. By John Rooney. One of an army of navvies to flood London in the 1950s Paddo Doherty now finds himself exiled and destitute in a London hostel. An intensely private man, he is reluctant to speak about why he left Ireland all those years before. Once persuaded to take a short holiday trip back home, however, Paddo is staggered by the new wealth of the country and a people who have changed beyond recognition.
Cry Hungary. By Paul Viragh. In October 1956, thousands of Hungarians rise up against the oppressive Soviet-backed government. Peter, a chosen son of the working classes, arrives in Budapest to study at the university. He falls in love with Eva, a committed communist. When Peter becomes involved in the demonstrations, Eva finds her loyalties severely tested.
Annapurna. By Jod Mitchell. Tension mounts as an English couple make their way across a treacherous Himalayan mountain range.
Meanwhile, a mysterious Nepali is stalking them, getting closer by the day.
The Exception. By Christian Jungersen. Office politics become deadly serious in this tense Danish thriller, set in a genocide research centre.
Heads You Win, Tails I Lose. By Peter Kesterton. Bristol, March 2007. Nigel has plans but is trapped in a dead-end job. He meets Kat who spins coins to decide what she should do with her life. Should he stay or should he go? A drama of risks and probabilities that unfolds according to the toss of a coin.
Hell and High Water. By Marianne Carey. Marlene encourages her best friend, Kay, to spend a weekend at a spiritual health centre in the country. They’re doing it to help Bianca, who needs a full course to make her career-change a success. But what do Marlene and Kay need? Will self-exploration and soul-searching help them ring changes in their lives.
Hide. By Paul Farley. Which is the most feminine wading bird? An oystercatcher or a greenshank? If Ray Winstone were a bird what would he be? Two birders are peering through the slats of a hide and talking as they watch the mud and marshes in front of them. Then something rare turns up outside and a visitor joins them inside.
Horst Buchholz and Other Stories. By Matthew Wilkie.George is desperate for his team to win the pub quiz. He has bet a large sum of money, which he doesn’t have, that they will do so. But the rest of the team have more pressing problems.
Hyde Park-on-Hudson. By Richard Nelson. George VI’s visit to the USA in 1939, just as the world was preparing for a new war. was the first time a reigning British monarch had visited the country. Amid the politics, pomp, picnics and hot dogs, another dimension to the visit survived in the memory of President Roosevelt’s mistress.
I’m the Boss. By Karen Brown. Diane is a busy and successful career woman whose life is turned upside down by a sinister online bullying campaign. But when she finally discovers the culprit, her world disintegrates.
In a Land Far Away. By Andy MacDonald. All Private Jamie “Bullett” McOueen has ever known is soldiering. He is the first to volunteer, the first in the line of fire, and the last to talk about it.
Joanna. By Neil Brand. An old piano recalls the hands that played her, and the passion and pain she has observed.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses. By Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Christopher Hampton’s drama based on the 1782 tale of revenge and seduction by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Published in 1782, just years before the French Revolution, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a disturbing and ultimately damning portrayal of a decadent society. At its centre are two aristocrats, former lovers, who embark on a sophisticated game of seduction and manipulation to bring amusement to their jaded existences. While the Marquise de Merteuil challenges the Vicomte de Valmont to seduce an innocent convent girl, the Vicomte is also occupied with the conquest of a virtuous married woman. But as their intrigues become more duplicitous and they find their human pawns responding in ways they could not have predicted, the consequences prove to be more serious, and deadly, than Merteuil and Valmont could have guessed.
Listen Up. By Glen Neath. The true story of Italian radio enthusiasts who intercept transmissions from early Russian space missions and listen in as the earliest men and women in space call in vain for help. The recordings are considered authentic by some experts and are disputed by others. The production team had access to the archive during the making of this play.
The Silver Sky. By Tanith Lee. Paul Baxter , a research – scientist into time-travel, decides to push his project further than his immediate superiors expect. The risk is enormous. The result is a meeting of two different worlds.
Listening to Time. By Judith Somerville. Hans and Anna meet by chance when visiting one of the remote Aran Islands, the extraordinary beauty of which leads to them developing an unexpected and intense bond. For Hans, it is part of a journey of emotional recovery.
Meryl the Mounted. Black comedy by Colin Hough. Meryl is a mounted police constable with an unhealthy love for her horse; Aiden is a young stable boy with an unhealthy love for Meryl. When their sergeant is found murdered, the pair investigate.
My Sister Under the Skin. Written by and starring Corin Redgrave. The story of an unlikely relationship that develops between an actor and a woman claiming to have a special bond with him and his even more famous father.
RIP Boy. By Neil McKay. In 2000 Zahid Mubarek was beaten to death by his cellmate, teenager Robert Stewart in Feltham Young Offenders Institution. In Neil McKay’s new factual drama, prison offer John acts as our narrator, leading us through an overloaded prison system to reveal how a known racist with psycophathic tendencies ended up sharing a cell with a quiet Asian lad serving only 90 days for petty theft. Stewart’s manipulative actions get him moved round the country from one YOI to another as his behaviour becomes increasingly violent and erratic, from tattooing RIP onto his forehead, to inciting the murder of a fellow inmate during a cookery class. He eventually ends up in the huge, overcrowded nightmare that is Feltham, where cells designed for one hold two, and boys are banged up for twenty-three hours out of twenty-four.
Astonishingly, Stewart’s long record of violence and racist behaviour fails to reach Swallow wing, where the only spare bed is in Zahid Mubarek’s cell.
Undercover Mumbai. This fast-paced, police thriller follows Alia Khan, a young woman inspector in the Bandra Division of the Mumbai Police Force, as she attempts to solve a series of crimes, make sense of her troubled past and cope with being a woman in a male dominated and chauvinistic police force.
When a baby is rescued from a gutter, it falls on the only female police officer on hand, Alia Khan to look after it. Stuck with a new partner, and a boss who is determined to put her in her place, Alia has to fight to be noticed. But over a series of cases, including a child prostitution ring, a scam to lock away unwanted wives and the murder of a fashion model in a five-star hotel, Alia starts to assert her authority. But there is one mystery that haunts her – one linked to her policeman father.
Disgraced police inspector Alia Khan seeks a life of obscurity as a receptionist in a run down Mumbai hotel. But murder soon comes knocking at her door.
Greed All About It. A sharp, satirical look at the Wapping dispute by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. It is 1986 and Alice longs to be taken seriously as a proper journalist. So when Greg ‘from management’ takes a shine to her and mentions that he is involved in setting up a new newspaper in a high tech office in Wapping, she senses an opportunity.
No Place Like Home. By Robert Rigby and Nick Russell-Pavier. Householder Jonathan confronts a burglar with his legally-owned shotgun.