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24 September 2014
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Broadcast debut of Rock 'N' Roll as Stoppard is celebrated on BBC Radio

Sir Tom Stoppard is celebrated across BBC Radio with a season of his work on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC 7.


This includes the radio debut of his most recent play, Rock 'N' Roll, which has been specially adapted by Stoppard with a new final scene.


The season also features new Stoppard adaptations of Arcadia, The Fifteen Minute Hamlet and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, and listeners are given another chance to hear some of the acclaimed playwright's best radio productions.


Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead will also be the subject of a Night Waves: Landmarks programme on Radio 3, in which a panel of cultural figures re-evaluates one of his most respected works.


Radio 4 launches the Stoppard season with Albert's Bridge – first produced by BBC Radio Drama in 1967 – it has been described as Stoppard's finest radio play. Originally broadcast by BBC World Service, this 1988 production stars Paul Copley as Albert and features a cameo performance by Norman Bird.


Radio 4 will also broadcast a new adaptation of Arcadia, staring Jason Watkins as Bernard, Nicola Redmond as Hannah and Jack Laskey as Septimus, and The Fifteen Minute Hamlet, with John Dougall as Hamlet.


A touching love story, as well as a brilliant comedy of ideas, Arcadia examines literature, mathematics, landscape gardening and love through the lives and preoccupations of the inhabitants of Sidley Park, Derbyshire in the early 19th and late 20th centuries.


The Fifteen Minute Hamlet is Stoppard's condensed version of Hamlet, it contains all the quotable and famous lines – though not necessarily in the same order.


Radio 3's Drama On 3 broadcasts Rock 'N' Roll and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead.


Stoppard's most recent play, Rock 'N' Roll – a thought-provoking play about loyalty, compromise, love and music – spans Czechoslovakia's recent history from 1968 to 1990, from the dual perspective of Prague, where a rock 'n' roll group symbolises the resistance to communism, and the British left, through the eyes of a Marxist philosopher at Cambridge.


The cast includes Bill Paterson as Max, Daniel Evans as Jan, Penny Downie as Eleanor, Amanda Root as Esme and Ron Cook as Nigel.


The soundtrack features The Rolling Stones, Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground> and, of course, The Plastic People Of The Universe – who recently played their first gig in London 40 years after their formation.


Stoppard's first major play. Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, re-tells Shakespeare's Hamlet through the eyes of two of the play's lesser characters. Rosencrantz is played by Danny Webb, Guildenstern by Andrew Lincoln and Player is played by Desmond Barrit.


Radio 3's Night Waves: Landmarks will be examining Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, 40 years after this unique play made Tom Stoppard's name at the age of 29.


Night Waves explores the origins and legacy of this play, with those that have been involved in bringing it to the stage, including the director of the very first production, Derek Goldby. The Night Waves: Landmarks series explores work that stands out from the cultural landscape.


BBC 7 will be broadcasting In The Native State, originally broadcast in 1991, the cast includes Peggy Ashcroft and Felicity Kendal; a 1978 adaptation of The Dissolution Of Dominic Boot with Derek Fowlds and Maria Aitken; and a 1989 re-edit of the 1970 production of Where Are They Now? featuring Timothy West.


Notes to Editors


Stoppard on BBC Radio:



  • Friday 29 June, 9pm, Radio 4
    Albert's Bridge

  • Saturday 30 June, 2.30pm, Radio 4

  • Saturday 30 June, 7pm, Radio 4
    The Fifteen Minute Hamlet

  • Saturday 30 June, BBC 7 (time tba)
    In The Native State

  • Saturday 30 June, BBC 7 (time tba)
    The Dissolution Of Dominic Boot

  • Saturday 30 June, BBC 7 (time tba)
    Where Are They Now?

  • Thursday 5 July, 9.45pm, Radio 3
    Night Waves: Landmarks

  • Sunday 8 July, 8pm, Radio 3
    Rock 'N' Roll

  • Sunday 15 July, 9.40pm, Radio 3
    Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead






Category: Radio; Radio 3; Radio 4; BBC 7
Date: 14.06.2007
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