Life and Fate: Krymov in Moscow
by Vasily Grossman
Moscow, Winter 1942. Commissar Nikolai Krymov has been denounced and arrested. He is taken to the dreaded Lubyanka prison in Moscow: a place where, in the past, he has denounced others. Meanwhile his ex-wife Zhenya arrives in Moscow, to stay with Viktor and Lyuda, and to face the consequences of her actions. Dramatised for radio by Jonathan Myerson.
Commissar Nikolai Krymov ..... David Tennant
Viktor Shtrum ..... Kenneth Branagh
Lyuda Shaposhnikova ..... Greta Scacchi
Zhenya Shaposhnikova ..... Raquel Cassidy
Marya Sokolova ..... Harriet Walter
Nadya ..... Ellie Kendrick
Katsenelenbogen ..... Ewan Bailey
NKVD Interrogator ..... Elliot Levey
With Simon Bubb, Elaine Claxton, Jonathan Forbes, James Lailey, Gerard McDermott, Chris Pavlo, Peter Polycarpou, Carl Prekopp, Alun Raglan and Susie Riddell
Directed by Alison Hindell and Jonquil Panting
Produced by Alison Hindell
Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate, an epic saga that fills every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.
Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, this huge novel charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war and is increasingly hailed as the most important Russian novel of the 20th century. Its comparison of Stalinism with Nazism was considered by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the manuscript itself was arrested. Grossman died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.