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29 October 2014
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Anthony Minghella (on right)

BBC Radio pays tribute to British film director and writer Anthony Minghella



BBC Radio will broadcast a series of plays by Anthony Minghella as a tribute to the director and writer who died last month aged 54.

 

Prior to his work in film, Minghella wrote a number of plays for BBC Radio including the award-winning productions of Hang Up and Cigarettes And Chocolate which will be re-broadcast as part of the tribute.

 

Programmes featuring Minghella talking about his own creative processes, and literary works that inspired him, will also form part of this tribute season which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.

 

Jeremy Howe, Radio 4's Commissioning Editor for Drama, said: "We want to mark the tragic death of Anthony Minghella with a celebration of the work of this peerless storyteller, a writer who always pushed the boundaries while telling stories you just want to listen to, and who created some of the best radio drama ever."

 

Radio 3 will broadcast Works In Progress on Saturday 10 May at 8.30pm. This was originally recorded by Anthony Minghella in February 2000.

 

In five short programmes, he talked about the creative process behind his films, as he was preparing his adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel The Talented Mr Ripley.

 

In two five-minute episodes from the series, Minghella talks about his approach to writing and film-making, the art of collaboration with the composer, actors and production crew and how circumstances conspired to help him find his unique projects.

 

This is followed by the Prix Italia Award-winning Hang Up at 8.40pm, a radio drama starring Anton Lesser and Juliet Stevenson, written by Minghella and first broadcast in 1987.

 

Written specially as a ballet score for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, choreographed by Jonathan Lunn, this short play of a late night phone-call between two lovers is a study of lost innocence, deception and treachery.

 

Radio 4 broadcasts Minghella's original play for radio, Cigarettes And Chocolate, on Saturday 3 May at 2.30pm.

 

The Giles Cooper Award-winning production starring Juliet Stevenson and Bill Nighy was first broadcast nearly 20 years ago and tells the story of Gemma, her unexplained silence and refusal to speak, and how her circle of friends and lovers react.

 

This is followed by a repeat of a 1994 edition of With Great Pleasure, at 3.30pm, in which Minghella talks about the four pieces of literature that inspired him most.

 

Joining him are Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson to read his chosen selection of prose and poetry, including works by Beckett, Larkin and Pablo Neruda.

 

Minghella's Two Planks And A Passion will be broadcast on Saturday 10 May, at 2.30pm.

 

The 90-minute play is a comic account of the citizens of York preparing a dramatic performance for Richard II and his long-suffering Queen, Anne of Bohemia.

 

The Royal visit is cause for anxiety, civic pride and very hard work, but most of all it inspires the Guildsmen of York to give the best performance of the Passion play they have ever produced.

 

Anthony Minghella was born in 1954 on the Isle of Wight. He studied at the University of Hull and lectured in drama there until 1981.

 

He began writing for BBC Television during the Eighties, and his work included episodes of Boon and Grange Hill.

 

Other television work included three episodes of Inspector Morse. In the late Eighties he wrote The Storyteller series (published as Jim Henson's The Storyteller in 1988) and Living With Dinosaurs.

 

He also wrote plays for theatre, television and radio.

 

In 1991, he wrote Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991), which first appeared on television, then moved to the cinema.

 

Minghella returned to radio drama in 2006 with Eyes Down Looking on Radio 3 in 2006 starring Jude Law, Juliet Stevenson and David Threlfall.

 

He wrote and directed the film The English Patient (1997), based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje.

 

In 1999 he wrote and directed The Talented Mr Ripley (2000). Cold Mountain, based on the novel by Charles Frazier, was released in 2003.

 

He also wrote the original screenplay for Breaking And Entering (2006), starring Juliette Binoche and Jude Law.

 

Most recently he co-wrote and directed the BBC One film, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

 

He died in March this year.

 

TE

 

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Category: Radio 3; Radio 4
Date: 25.04.2008
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