Episode 3 of 5
Read by Hattie Morahan
Where were you when Kennedy was shot? That was the starting point for this series in which five writers are asked to build a story around a significant historical event and explore it in fiction. As well as the assassination of JFK, the writers explore the meltdown of Chernobyl, the Tottenham riots, Columbine and the splitting of the lithium atom.
People often ask the "Kennedy Question" to highlight the magnitude of the event itself. And occasionally we find ourselves in the thick of the moment. But just as interesting are the polarities, disjunctions and weird connections between the moment that shakes the world and the life of the everyday.
Episode Three: The Indivisible by Nick Walker.
It's 14 April 1932. In Rutherford's laboratory in Cambridge, Cockroft and Walton fire a proton beam to split a lithium atom and make a breakthrough in the science of nuclear fission. But elsewhere, on a station platform, a mother says goodbye to her son and feels her own world splitting apart.
Nick Walker is part of the Coventry-based mixed media experimentalists Talking Birds whose work has been presented extensively in the UK as well as in Sweden, Ireland and the USA. He has worked with some of the country's leading new work theatre companies including Stan's Cafe, Insomniac, and Theatre Instituut Nederlands. He is the author of two critically-acclaimed novels, Blackbox and Helloland. His plays and short stories have often been featured on BBC Radio 4, including Arnold In A Purple Haze (2009), the First King of Mars stories (2007 - 2010), Life Coach (2010) and Dig Yourself (2011) - all of them Sweet Talk productions.
Produced by: Jeremy Osborne
A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.