Tracks

TRACKS is a 9-part conspiracy thriller with a cast led by Romola Garai.

It was broadcast on BBC Radio 4  (August-October 2016.)

It was available to download as a Podcast and on the BBC Iplayer until Spring 2017.

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(9 Episodes x 45 mins)        Trailer

EPISODES 1-9

Episode 1 – The Nervus Vagus – is  Here

Episode 2 – The Broca and Wernicke Areas – is Here

Episode 3 – The Pineal Gland – is Here

Episode 4 – The Bridge of Varolius – is Here

Episode 5 – Hippocampus – is Here

Episode 6 – Nociceptors – is Here

Episode 7 – The Accumbens Nucleus – is Here

Episode 8 – Amygdala- is Here

Episode 9 – Habenula – is Here

(Archive: Here’s a STATEMENT by R4 about the broadcast of the last episode of Tracks)

PRESS/REVIEWS/MEDIA

Review of Episode 1 in  The Guardian

Review of Episode 1 in The Spectator

TRACKS Ep 6 was a R4 – “Pick of Week” – (18/9/16)  – Chosen by Hardeep Singh Kohli.

TRACKS Producer, James Robinson was interviewed on Radio 4  Friday  30/10/16 –  discussing audience FEEDBACK

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TRACKS –  DIRECTORS / PRODUCERS:

Episodes 1,2,5,8,9 – James Robinson @mcgrin

Episodes 3,4,6 – Helen Perry @bellaperry

Episode 7 – Abigail Le Fleming @haywarddollerton

Supervising Sound Designer – Nigel Lewis

SOME MUSIC USED IN THE SERIES:

Tracks theme – (written for the series) by Stu Barker.

Studio Suicide, 1980 – By Tim Hecker.

Prungen – By Jaga Jazzist.

Dido’s Lament (Dido & Aeneas) – Andreas Scholl, William Orbit, & Rico Conning.

Some Absolute End – Bill Ryder-Jones.

A1 – Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm.

I’ll See You In My Dreams – Johnny Mercer (featuring the Pied Pipers.)

Symphony Number 4 in G major: III. Ruhevoll, Poco Adagio – Mahler

Body Eraser – Halls.

Cancer – I Break horses

Other News:

(12/11/16): An interview with James Robinson (including audio) detailing some of the process of How We Made Tracks

Tracks short-listed for a British Podcast Award

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Tracks short-listed for some BBC Audio Drama Awards

Tracks short-listed for a Prix Europa Award

A Tracks Q&A can be found on the menu above – beware it contains spoilers.

Readers/Listeners comments for Tracks are  here under the Tracks post,  under the Contact page, and under the Tracks Q&A page.

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Demon Brother repeat on R4

Demon Brother will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 on Monday and Tuesday of next week.  (1st & 2nd February 2016)

I previously blogged about this 2-part thriller here

Both Parts are now available for download as  Drama of the Week

 

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White Noise (Rpt)

The BBC are repeating WHITE NOISE next week on Wednesday 24th September – R4 at 2.15pm. I have previously blogged on this play HERE.

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This play was written in the weeks leading up to the London Olympics in 2012 – it was a part of the ‘Rapid Response’ strand of radio dramas – a direct response to current stories in the news.

As well as the imminent Olympics, and ongoing austerity – the play was also written at the same time the digital switchover was happening, and reflects the uncertainty of all these events on the residents of one family in Dagenham.

(It seems quite surprising now that we didn’t know whether the Olympics would be a success. But that brilliant opening ceremony was quite a surprise, and relief, at the time.)

White Noise was first broadcast before the Olympics began – so it’ll be interesting to see if it gains or loses anything by now being placed into historical context.

The story is fairly simple – centering on 18 year old FREDDY, 40 something DANNY, and the more mature KATH.

As the Olympics loom young Freddie wants to be an Artist but has no artistic talent. His father Danny, a mechanic, loses his job, discovers his local pub has been taken over, and has an identity crisis. Their mum/nan Kath, an agoraphobic, goes on a necessary fearful walk through the park…

The chimeric day of the opening ceremony provides a day of reckoning for all three…

The play was written very quickly – but came from the heart.

It features the redoubtable acting talents of Ricci Harnett, Louise Jameson, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Ayesha Antoine, and Matthew Gravelle. James Robinson directs/produces.

 

Burning Both Ends – when Oliver Reed met Keith Moon (Radio 4 Repeat)

Burning Both Ends is being repeated on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday (24th June 2014.)

Details here

It’ll be available on the Iplayer for a week after that.

I have blogged on this play previously here

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“Vincent Price and The Horror of The English Blood Beast”

My play about the uneasy relationship between film director Michael Reeves and actor Vincent Price – on the set of seminal 60s English horror movie “The Witchfinder General” – was first broadcast on Radio 4 in the Saturday play slot in 2010.

It’s now been brought to my attention that the play can be listened to Here

There’s also a very good and insightful review / essay written about the play that is HERE – (Even if they do get the title of the play slightly wrong!)

I remember having a roaring time recording the play in Cardiff. The cast included: Kenneth Cranham as Tony Tenser, Nickolas Grace as Vincent Price, and Blake Ritson as Michael Reeves.

*UPDATE* – 1st March 2013-
“Vincent Price and the Horror of the English Blood Beast” will be repeated on Radio 4 next Friday (8th March) evening at 9pm.

*UPDATE* – 7th November 2015 – just seen that the play is up on Youtube.

White Noise

I have a new play on Radio 4 this coming Tuesday (10th April.)

It’s called WHITE NOISE and it is set in current day Dagenham, East London.

The details are here.

Here’s a photo from the studio during recording.

(Ricci Harnett, and Theo Barklum Biggs are the actors pictured playing ‘Danny’ and ‘Freddy’. The back of head belongs to Scott Handcock the production co-ordinator)

The play is part of the ‘Rapid Response’ series. This means that the turnaround time between commissioning and broadcast has been very short (by Radio Drama standards.) This is to ensure that the play is as contemporary as possible – which is what the strand is all about.

(This is Louise Jameson playing ‘Kath’)

Other members of the cast (not pictured) are Matthew Gravelle (Who I’ve worked with on ‘Burning Both Ends’, and ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’) And Ayesha Antoine.

The Director / Producer is James Robinson who I worked with on “The Rain Maker” a couple of years ago. (That was the radio horror play that we recorded on location in a forest in Kent.)

Burning Both Ends – When Oliver Reed met Keith Moon

I have a new play on Radio 4 this Thursday afternoon (8th December) at 2.15pm…

Set in the Summer of 1974 – “Burning Both Ends” explores the intense, hilarious and very special friendship between English actor Oliver Reed and ‘wild man’ drummer – Keith Moon. It is the story of a “bro-mance” that sprung up when Ken Russell (RIP), playing unwitting match-maker, cast the men opposite each other in his movie version of the rock opera, Tommy.

Keith Moon was the world famous drummer of THE WHO. He had a gargantuan appetite for partying, drugs, alcohol, and pranks – And was looking for a new playmate.

Oliver Reed was the biggest movie star in Britain. His credits included Women in Love, The Three Musketeers, and his iconic role as Bill Sykes in Oliver! He had a beautiful ballerina partner, a huge mansion in Surrey, and a French magazine had voted him ‘the sexiest man’ on earth… Reed had it all… But felt there was something missing from his life… Keith Moon, he decided – “was the path I was looking for”…

It’s a story that I found funny and touching. And the play is a fictionalised account of their time together – mainly set on the south coast while they were on the Tommy shoot.

Sean Pertwee plays Olly – in my opinion, a remarkable transformative performance. (Someone tweeted me that Sean has ‘the most masculine voice in British acting’ And that seems apt for this role!)

Arthur Darvill plays the Keith Moon with a mercurial energy – complex, fun, but with shades of darkness at heart.

Together the actors threw themselves at the roles – playful, funny, joyful, revelatory, naughty, and moving. But that’s just my opinion -and i’m biased.

For details of Burning Both Ends click HERE

[*UPDATE – A feature article I wrote about the play is in today’s Sunday Express. – 4th Dec 2011]

UPDATE – Burning Both Ends is available Here