30 July 2012

The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids, John Wyndhams' evergreen tale of a future blighted by fallout, mutation and intolerance is in the Radio 4 "Classic Serial" slot over the next couple of weeks and it's perfect listening for the summer hols. I read the novel for the first time whilst in my early teens, then re-read it again straight after. Not something I was, or am, in the habit of doing but I was obsessed by the story for that summer. The local library also had an excellent unabridged audio-book performed by actor Robert Powell if memory serves.  Auntie Beeb's original radio drama really shows it's age now when you listen back to it, so it's great to be getting this new adaptation 31 years later. It's a long standing audio drama pet-hate of mine, when an adult female voice is cast in the role of a boy and the aforesaid 1981 version has that in spades. I don't know who they thought they were fooling but thankfully at least, the practice seems to have died out in recent times. Also, as was common in radio drama of that time and earlier, there's a plethora of plummy RADA type accents of the old school, which really don't fit the post-apocalyptic agrarian community they are portraying.

I'm pleased to confirm the new 2012 adaptation is a big improvement so far upon first listen. You can catch up with both episodes here until the 12th of August.

28 July 2012

Djinn & Tonic

Three Wishes. Time once again to join Janet Ellis for half an hour or so as she explores the myth of the djinn/jinn/jinni/genie from One Thousand and One Nights and beyond. If you enjoyed the previous programme in this occasional series, the one all about them there mermaids (still one of the more popular posts here at Ripping Yarns) then do your ears a favour and give this a listen. It's all rather lovely.

19 July 2012

Summer Ghosts

Three short stories about "daytime ghosts"
"Yes, the ghosts you see at night, they're the souls - the auras, if you like - of good people who didn't deserve to die. That's why they're full of regret, and frightening. Ghosts we see in broad daylight are the ones whose death were right and fair - they've been redeemed by death. They were evil while alive..."
In this series of commissioned stories the aim is to present ghosts or ghostly happenings in the cold light of day. Will something 'unexplained' be as scary in a light that is... well, reliable to the eye!
1. All The Dead Mothers of My Daughter's Friends by Sophie Hannah.
Mel makes a friend at the school gates and learns about the different types of ghosts in the world. Then the theories are tested out...
2. The Queen of Craigielee by Louise Welsh
Photographing the deserted tower block means going to its thirtieth floor, which isn't really the place to be...
3. Swings by Adam Thorpe.
Howard is alone when he visits the deserted playground. Then something starts to make a squeaking noise...

18 July 2012

Hammond Lord

Jonathan Douglas "Jon" Lord (1941-2012)

2 July 2012

Independence Day UK

Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore, earlier.

Independence Day UK (1996) the Audio Movie from Dirk Maggs and rather a peculiar cast. Lots of fun to be had here I think. According to the link above the original broadcast was immediately followed by John Peel, who dryly commented: "Well, it's been like an hour-long intro to a Man or Astro-man? single." More info here.

Here's a link to a recent interview with Maggs on the Radio Drama Revival podcast. I can't wait for his upcoming BBC radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, supposedly airing later this year.

dl: 1 & 2