A young pianist marries a wealthy aristocrat, much older than her, and with three previous wives. Left alone in her new home, she uncovers a grisly secret.
Five stories to gobble you up. From Angela Carter's iconic collection of fairy stories and dramatised for radio by Olivia Hetreed.
Episode 1: The Bloody Chamber
Angela Carter's re-telling of the story of Bluebeard. A young pianist marries a wealthy aristocrat, a Marquis, much older than herself and with three previous wives, all mysteriously deceased. Finding herself alone in the empty castle, with nothing to do but play the piano, she cannot resist entering the one room the Marquis has forbidden to her.
At the time of writing The Bloody Chamber in the late 1970s, Carter was disaffected by both sides of the feminist debate. She re-worked traditional fairy tales from her own unique, literary outsider's point of view, putting women at the centre of the stories.
With their feisty heroines and orgiastic mash-up of beasts, shape-shifters and ghouls, her extraordinary tales are the most perfect example of her style, not just for her incomparable prose, but also in the dizzying twists and turns of perception, fantasy and myth.
Controversially influenced by De Sade, she embraced the erotic, explored our deepest and darkest urges, and subverted the roles of hunter and prey, master and mistress so that, instead of male sexuality, it is the female that becomes transgressive and powerful.
Dramatist Olivia Hetreed is a noted screen-writer, whose work includes the multi-award winning, BAFTA and Oscar nominated Girl with a Pearl Earring, starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson and the award-winning, critically-acclaimed radical adaptation of Wuthering Heights directed by Andrea Arnold.
Sound Design: Lucinda Mason Brown
Director / Producer: Fiona McAlpine
An Allegra production for BBC Radio 4.
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