Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand Of Darkness

Sunday 12 April



Science fiction with incredible humanity from a brilliant feminist writer.

This is the first dramatisation of Ursula Le Guin’s 1969 novel, which is as groundbreaking in its approach to gender as when it was first published over 45 years ago.

In a snow-changed city in the middle of an Ice Age on an alien world, one young man prepares for the biggest mission of his life. Alone and unarmed, Genly Ai has been sent from Earth to persuade the world of Gethen to join The Ekumen, a union of planets. But it’s a task fraught with danger. Genly is shocking to the natives. This is a world in which humans are ambigendered – everyone can be a mother, and everyone can be a father.

First Minister Estraven is the only person who champions Genly’s cause, but their relationship is deeply incomprehensible and troubling. Genly’s life is at risk and he must decide who to trust.

With Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Genly Ai; Lesley Sharp as Estraven; Toby Jones as Argaven; Louise Brealey as Tibe; Noma Dumezweni as Faxe; Ruth Gemmell as Ashe; Adjoa Andoh as Ong Tot; Stephen Critchlow as Shusgis; David Acton as Obsle; David Hounslow as Driver; and Rhiannon Neads as Guard.

Adapted by Judith Adams, directed by Allegra McIlroy.

Producer/ Allegra McIlroy for the BBC

BBC Radio 4 Publicity