Monthly Archive: February 2015


You can now get Good Omens on cd from Amazon.

Good Omens: The BBC Radio 4 dramatisation (BBC Radio 4 Dramatisations) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

**Neil Gaiman was the WINNER of the BBC Audio Drama Award 2015 for Outstanding Contribution to Radio Drama**

A full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s celebrated apocalyptic comic novel, with bonus length episodes and outtakes.

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday in fact. Just after Any Answers on Radio 4….

Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield. The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse – War, Famine, Pollution and Death – are assembling.

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Read the review by Lawrence Raw about ‘The Corrections’ which was broadcast on the 13th February.


The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, adapted by Marcy Kahan.  Dir. Emma Harding.  Perf. Richard Schiff, Maggie Steed, Julian Rhind-Tutt.  BBC Radio 4, 5-19 January 2015. BBCiPlayer to 23 Feb. 2015.

Superficially The Corrections might seem to be a family melodrama reminiscent of the kind of fare that enjoyed a peak of popularity in the fifteen years or so after the end of the Second World War (Death of a SalesmanPicnicA Streetcar Named Desire).  An elderly matriarch Enid Lambert (Maggie Steed) struggles to keep everyone together, although it is clear that no real love exists between her husband Alfred (Colin Stinton) and their offspring Gary, Chip and Denise (Richard Laing- Julian Rhind-Tutt, Denise Hill).  They meet on a regular basis – for example, at Christmas – but they are always trying to escape from one another, either by leaving the house altogether or moving to different rooms.  The tone is set in the very episodes, when Alfred exercises a tyrannical authority over the adolescent boys, while Enid plans a kind of pyrrhic revenge by cooking liver and bacon together.


As Emma Harding’s adaptation unfolded, however, it became clear that Franzen deliberately chose to subvert this familiar structure.  This was done partly through the use of an omniscient narrator (Richard Schiff), who kept telling us the events even before they had happened, suggesting a kind of controlling presence that moved the characters through the narrative as if they were voluble marionettes.  Perhaps paradoxically, however, Harding’s production also created a world in which anything could happen: the characters moved from place to place, from job to job, without any clear purpose to their lives.  They just tried to make money, set up themselves both personally as well as professionally, and thereby break free of the family’s controlling presence.  The world of The Corrections was a random one: as the narrative progressed, so the sequence of events became more and more far-fetched (and increasingly amusing), with the characters desperately trying to make sense of their individual fates.


The narrative ended with Alfred’s death in a nursing-home, the victim of several debilitating diseases.  Yet he was still prone to engage in fantasies of power, to which his children readily acquiesced.  Even if they knew his true condition, they were reluctant to admit it.  Hence it became very difficult to separate “reality” from “fantasy” – especially in one extremely funny sequence where Alfred exchanged insults with an animated turd.  Such sequences proved once more how difficult, if not impossible, the task proved for anyone to make sense of their lives – even the omniscient narrator.  The more he told us about the events to follow, the more we doubted his word.  He was merely a storyteller, whose dialogue could be perceived as equally fantastic as that of the increasingly demented Alfred.


Once Alfred had finally passed away, Eleanor solemnly announced that she was embarking on a “fresh start.”  This gave the adaptation an optimistic coda, but did not convince listeners that she would ever fulfill her intentions.  She was just spinning another yarn, a fantasy no different in tone from any of the others that dominated the previous action.


Performed with vocal tongues very much in their cheeks, the cast of The Correctionscreated a memorable listening experience, one that might be offensive in places (especially the scene with the turds), but helped us understand the artificiality behind the melodramatic conventions that so dominated American dramas of the past and present.


I have just finished recording Fanny and Alexander at BBC Radio 3 at Maida Vale.  It was written by Ingmar Bergman and is quite dark.  I play Alexander and it was a great role to play.

There was a strong cast which will be published soon and the script writer is Sharon Oakes, pictured here with me and Hollie Burgess who plays Fanny. Hollie is currently appearing in Broadchurch.

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The week before last I was in Prague.  I was filming an info commercial and it was very cold.  You can see the green gas heater right next to me that was blowing hot air on me all the time.  The whole shoot was really great and I got to travel around the world albeit with the help of CGI.

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This boy is called Charles, he didn’t speak English but we got on well.  He was my body double. The next photo is the Director , Jeppe Ronde, far right, the camera man, in the middle is Sebastian Blenkov and the Producer, Franck Percher.  Everything went really well and I got time to have a look around Prague.  I was treated like a King!!!

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There will be some fantastic screen grabs to come later.  In the meantime here are some great photos of Prague including the Astronomical Clock which I was very keen to see.

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I have been away recently and haven’t had a chance to do my blog. I have been  in the Czech Republic, more of that later. I am recording a new BBC Radio  drama this week.  You can listen in on the 13th February to the latest drama, I have recorded, on BBC Radio 4 with all the details here:-

How Did I Get Here by Jonathan Myerson

Friday14:15   13th February 2015
Rebecca looks after her kids, and her Dad. But Dad isn’t how he used to be. Multi-infarct dementia has made him confused, and forgetful of people and his past.

Rebecca misses her Dad. She longs to talk to him, and to ask him questions.

But what if she could have him back? Just the way he always was?

Has she remembered him right?

Produced and directed by Jonquil Panting.