Searching for: "Penelope Wilton"

  • Neil Gaiman

    A brand new BBC Radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman's award-winning fairytale, merging Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to enchanting effect In a mountain kingdom far away, a young queen prepares for her wedding, believing her future is sealed. But when three dwarves bring news of a sleeping sickness sweeping across her realm, she knows she cannot stand by and do nothing. As a girl, she survived her own long, magical sleep, so she must try to turn back this new plague and save her people. Abandoning her bridal finery, she dons her armour instead, and rides out to a castle at the very heart of the sleeping lands. There, she finds a beautiful princess, sound asleep, and a very old woman,...read more

  • Alan Bennett

    Clever, funny and poignant, Alan Bennett’s masterful plays are rightly regarded as modern classics. Kafka’s Dick is Bennett’s brilliantly clever comedy drama that examines the relationship between life and art, and asks what was Kafka’s embarrassing little problem... Alison Steadman, Richard Griffiths and Nigel Anthony star in this BBC Radio 4 adaptation, described by the Daily Telegraph’s Gillian Reynolds as ‘Pure joy’. Forty Years On stars Alan Bennett in the production of his own acclaimed satirical comedy about a headmaster of Albion House who is retiring and takes part in the end-of-year entertainment for the last time. It also stars Robert Bathurst and Eleanor Bron. An...read more

  • Nick Warburton

    Five new plays from the gospel of Luke, by award-winning writer Nick Warburton. This work presents the Gospel story as you've never heard it before. Everyone knows the story of Jesus' life, as told in the Gospels – and, perhaps because it is so familiar, we have forgotten what an extraordinary life it was. Through these five plays, the story is pieced together as if from the memories of those who were there and saw events for themselves: Jesus' mother Mary, his closest friends, the Jewish High Priest, and the Roman Governor. They recount the events they witnessed as if they had happened just the other day - and the effect on their own lives. This work discusses how James and John...read more

  • Elizabeth Jane Howard

    Penelope Wilton narrates BBC Radio 4’s epic dramatisation of the treasured family saga Elizabeth Jane Howard’s five book chronicle of the upper-middle class Cazalet family begins in 1938, as siblings Hugh, Edward, Rupert and Rachel join together for another family holiday at Home Place, their house in the Sussex countryside. During the course of The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off and All Change, the progress of their lives, and those of their children, will be charted. As their stories unfolds we gain a vivid insight into the lives, hopes and loves of three generations during the Second Word War and beyond. Dramatised by Sarah Daniels and Lin Coghlan, and...read more

  • E.M. Forster

    Dramatisations and readings of EM Forster’s finest works, plus Stephen Wakelam’s radio play A Dose of Fame and the documentary feature Forster in India: Sex, Books and Empire One of the greatest English novelists of the 20th century, EM Forster was also an accomplished short story writer. This collection includes stunning adaptations of his classic novels A Passage to India, Where Angels Fear to Tread, A Room with a View and Howards End. Among the star casts are Penelope Wilton, Ellie Kendrick, Sian Thomas, Emilia Fox, Sheila Hancock and John Hurt. Also featured are four of his short tales – ‘The Story of the Siren’ (read by Dan Stevens), ‘The Road from Colonus’ (read by...read more

  • Hans Christian Andersen

    Here are four of Hans Christian Andersen's best-loved short stories, specially adapted for young children and read by some of Britain's most well-known actors. In 'The Brave Tin Soldier', read by David Tennant, a one-legged toy soldier falls in love with a paper ballerina. In 'Thumbelina', read by Anne-Marie Duff, a tiny but beautiful girl grows from a barleycorn which has been enchanted by a witch. In 'The Nightingale', read by Sir Derek Jacobi, an emperor prefers a sparkling mechanical bird to the song of a real nightingale. And in 'The Ugly Duckling', read by Penelope Wilton, a little bird is called ugly by others until he matures into a beautiful...read more

  • Margaret Oliphant

    Three BBC radio adaptations of famous novels by the prolific 19th-century author Mrs Oliphant – plus an episode of Reading Aloud, with extracts from her autobiography Sometimes called ‘the feminist Trollope’, Margaret Oliphant wrote over 100 works of fiction in a wide variety of genres, ranging from novels of small-town life to historical tales and supernatural stories. Included here are three of her best-loved works, brimming with dry wit, perceptive irony and flawed but fascinating heroines. Miss Marjoribanks Lucilla Marjoribanks, a large and determined girl, returns from school with two resolves – to comfort her recently widowed father and to revolutionise society. She...read more

  • Katherine Jakeways

    All three series of the BBC radio bittersweet comedy narrated by Sheila Hancock following the adventures of the residents of a small town in Northamptonshire - plus special episode 'Full Stop'. Relationships have come and gone but life continues in Wadenbrook, where Sheila Hancock takes us behind closed doors to reveal the inhabitants' heartbreak and happiness. We meet Rod the local supermarket manager (Mackenzie Crook), who shares rather more than is usual about his private life over the store's tannoy system, and recently divorced Jan (Felicity Montagu) who's been trying unsuccessfully to 'find herself'. Forthright self-defence teacher Esther (Katherine Jakeways, also the writer of...read more

  • A. S. Byatt

    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of A.S. Byatt's 'Frederica Quartet', plus selected short stories and a fascinating talk by the author Inspired by the novels of D.H. Lawrence, particularly The Rainbow and Women in Love, this ambitious quartet from Booker Prize-winning novelist A.S. Byatt charts the lives of the Potter family between 1953 and 1970. Set against the changing social and political landscape of England in the '50s and '60s, it follows the heroine, Frederica, from precocious teenager to TV talk show host, and from her Yorkshire home to the heart of swinging London. The Virgin in the Garden sees the Potters preparing to celebrate Elizabeth II's coronation, while...read more

  • BBC Radio

    Dramatisations and a reading of selected novels by Barbara Pym - plus bonus material Barbara Pym is one of the 20th Century's wittiest, and most underrated, novelists. Her perceptive comedies of manners, centred around the domestic lives and loves of unassuming middle-class Englishwomen, won her many devoted readers and saw her hailed as a modern-day Jane Austen. Yet she spent 15 years out of print in the 1960s and '70s, until Philip Larkin championed her work in the Times Literary Supplement. Her seventh novel was subsequently shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and writers from Jilly Cooper to Alexander McCall Smith continue to laud her talent today. Included in this collection are...read more

  • Elizabeth Gaskell

    Penguin Classics presents Elizabeth Gaskell, adapted for audio and available as a digital download as part of the Penguin English Library series. Read by Penelope Wilton. 'Eh, miss, but that be a rare young lady! She do have such pretty coaxing ways ...' Seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson worships her widowed father. But when he decides to remarry, Molly's life is thrown off course by the arrival of her vain, shallow and selfish stepmother. There is some solace in the shape of her new stepsister Cynthia, who is beautiful, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets. Soon the girls become close, and Molly finds herself cajoled into becoming a go-between in Cynthia's love...read more

  • Claire Tomalin

    Penguin presents A Life of My Own by Claire Tomalin, read by Dame Penelope Wilton. As one of the best biographers of her generation, Claire Tomalin has written about great novelists and poets to huge success: now, she turns to look at her own life. This enthralling memoir follows her through triumph and tragedy in about equal measure, from the disastrous marriage of her parents and the often difficult wartime childhood that followed, to her own marriage to the brilliant young journalist Nicholas Tomalin. When he was killed on assignment as a war correspondent she was left to bring up their four children - and at the same time make her own...read more

  • Katherine Mansfield

    A landmark collection of BBC Radio productions of the works of Katherine Mansfield - plus bonus dramas and documentary One of the great Modernist authors, Katherine Mansfield was a short story virtuoso, redefining the genre with her subtle, powerfully perceptive tales. A prolific writer, she penned over 60 stories and several poetry collections before her death from TB in 1923, aged only 34. This outstanding collection opens with Radio 4's 2020 series And Other Stories: Katherine Mansfield. It comprises dramatisations of 'Marriage a la Mode', 'Something Childish But Very Natural', 'Bliss', 'Daughters of the Late Colonel', 'The Garden Party', 'Ma Parker' and 'Her First Ball', all...read more

  • Elizabeth Jane Howard

    'Elizabeth Jane Howard is one of those novelists who shows, through her work, what the novel is for . . . She helps us to do the necessary thing - open our eyes and our hearts' Hilary Mantel It is the 1950s and as the Duchy, the Cazalets' beloved matriarch, dies, she takes with her the last remnants of a disappearing world - of houses with servants, of class and tradition - in which the Cazalets have thrived. Louise, now divorced, becomes entangled in a painful affair; while Polly and Clary must balance marriage and motherhood with their own ideas and ambitions. Hugh and Edward, now in their sixties, are feeling ill-equipped for this modern world; while Villy, long abandoned by her...read more

  • Antonia Fraser

    Antonia Fraser's memoir describes growing up in the 1930s and 1940s but its real concern is with her growing love of history. The fascination began as a child when her evacuation at the beginning of the war to an Elizabethan manor house became an inspiration for historical imaginings - and developed into an enduring passion; as she writes, 'for me, the study of History has always been an essential part of the enjoyment of...read more

  • Claire Tomalin

    Esteemed biographer and legendary literary editor Claire Tomalin's stunning memoir of a life in literature In A Life of My Own, the renowned biographer of Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys, and Thomas Hardy, and former literary editor for the Sunday Times reflects on a remarkable life surrounded by writers and books. From discovering books as a form of escapism during her parents' difficult divorce, to pursuing poetry at Cambridge, where she meets and marries Nicholas Tomalin, the ambitious and striving journalist, Tomalin always steered herself towards a passionate involvement with art. She relives the glittering London literary scene of the 1960s, during which Tomalin endured her husband's...read more

  • Antonia Fraser

    'Before biography was fashionable, Antonia Fraser made the past popular' Guardian 'As a pure storyteller, Antonia Fraser has few equals' Sunday Times CAROLINE NORTON, a nineteenth-century heroine who wanted justice for women. Poet, pamphleteer and artist's muse, Caroline Norton dazzled nineteenth-century society with her vivacity and intelligence. After her marriage in 1828 to the MP George Norton, she continued to attract friends and admirers to her salon in Westminster, which included the young Disraeli. Most prominent among her admirers was the widowed Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. Racked with jealousy, George Norton took the Prime Minister to court, suing him for damages on account...read more