Four journeys into the dark recurring dreams of the city. In each episode, leading writers collaborate with documentary-makers Russell Finch and Joby Waldman to uncover the unsaid obsessions of city life.
Episode 4: Strange Cargo by Michael Smith
Writer Michael Smith returns to his hometown of Hartlepool for a glimpse into the historic port's collective imagination.
On a solitary walk back from the pub he peers into the shadows of the dark, deserted seafront.
These experimental radio features blend archive, fiction and documentary footage. What's real and what's fiction becomes unclear, just like the city. A city isn't just a location on the map, it's a place we imagine, dream about, invent even. A place to love, to endure or to resent. A place where you can find anything - but it always has a price. You don't need to live in one; it's part of the universal imagination. A place where everyone - and no one - belongs.
But the way we think of a city has common dark undertones, recurring dreams that come round again and again. These late night woozy dreamscapes each uncovers those unsaid obsessions, each taking a different theme - vermin, death, identity and -memory - and question why these ideas seem to keep coming back in the way we imagine urban living.
Producers: Russell Finch and Joby Waldman
A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4
Location recording: Maxy Bianco.