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The Shepherd

Frederick Forsyth's haunting classic Christmas tale, read by Luke Thompson. An adaptation by Amber Barnfather, with music and sound effects by the Saint Martin Singers.

Christmas Eve, 1957. Flying home from Germany, a young RAF pilot is alone in the cockpit of his Vampire. Over the North Sea, the radio goes dead...

An innovative adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's haunting classic Christmas tale, read by Luke Thompson and adapted for radio by Amber Barnfather.

Written as a Christmas present, Forsyth's gripping and much-loved ghost story is a moving reflection on loneliness, fear, gratitude and sacrifice.

A binaural soundscape features specially recorded a cappella pieces, improvised sounds and mouth/body percussion by the Saint Martin Singers, conducted by Charles Talbot. It includes symbolic sound effects using Christmas decorations and Vampire aircraft recordings made at the RAF Museum, London.

Luke Thompson's credits include lead roles at Shakespeare's Globe. In 2013, he was nominated for an Ian Charleson award, given annually to an actor under 30 for a performance in a classical play. This is his debut solo piece for BBC radio.

A small, amateur choir, the Saint Martin Singers owe their origin to a few fire watchers at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields during World War Two who made music together on the quieter nights.

Sound design: David Chilton

Adaptor/Producer: Amber Barnfather

A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Christmas Eve 2016 21:15

Binaural sound

Binaural sound

What is it and why does it matter?