Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.
It's San Francisco, 1928, and Sam Spade is a wisecracking, womanising Private Investigator. Missing husbands and unfaithful wives are his usual stock-in-trade, but when the beautifully distressed Miss Wonderley calls he gets involved in a dangerous caper most people would run a mile from. Miss Wonderley asks Sam's partner, Miles Archer, to shadow Floyd Thursby, whom she maintains has kidnapped her sister. But then Archer is shot dead, and Miss Wonderley's story turns out to be a lie.
King Henry is married to Katherine of Aragon, but he has been smitten by the charms of the queen's maid of honor, Anne Bullen, and is tempted to divorce his dignified and noble wife. Meanwhile, the lords of England resent the influence of Henry's trusted advisor, Cardinal Wolsey, who is gradually drawing power into his own hands. As Katherine and Wolsey suffer their tragic falls, new figures rise to fill their places, but they, too, will be brought low by the inexorable sweep of time and fortune.
A collection of three plays by Mike Walker, inspired by Holinshed's Chronicles, about the early years of the Plantagenet dynasty. The series was originally broadcast on Radio 4 in the Classic Serials slots on 14, 21, and 28 February 2010.
"A truly cinematic radio production."
Vanity Fair, with its rich cast of characters, takes place on the snakes-and-ladders board of life. Amelia Sedley, daughter of a wealthy merchant, has a loving mother to supervise her courtship. Becky Sharp, an orphan, has to use her wit, charm, and resourcefulness to escape from her destiny as a governess. This she does ruthlessly, musing: "I think I could become a good woman, if I had 5000 pounds a year."
"I know the problem"
Jane Lapotaire reads one of the greatest of all English novels, a finely etched satire about the scatterbrained Mrs. Bennett whose aim in life is to see her five daughters married. Meet Jane Austen's rich and varied characters: the proud Mr. Darcy; the pompous parson; Mr. Collins, who seeks the most advantageous match for himself; good-humored Mr. Bingley; and of course the two eldest Bennett daughters, Jane and Elizabeth.
"Jane Lapotaire Has a Dream Voice"
The people who inhabit the Arctic stand out among folk traditions in the world, for the sheer weight and number of their stories. This is not surprising really as their long ‘winter night’ lasts for half the year. Their stories are nearly all drawn from nature, and their place in it: as the very harshness of their environment defines very much of their lives.