Harold Pinter

Unmade Movies: Harold Pinter's The Dreaming Child
  • Unmade Movies: Harold Pinter's The Dreaming Child

  • Harold Pinter's unproduced screenplay of Karen Blixen's intriguing short story of love and loss

    'An important addition to the Pinter canon' The Stage

    The annals of movie history are full of lost treasures - spectacular scripts from world-renowned writers that could have been classics, had they only been made. Now, for the first time, some of these forgotten gems have been brought to life, fully realised as vivid, cinematic radio productions. Scripted by major 20th Century writers, including Harold Pinter, Arthur Miller, Alfred Hitchcock and Dennis Potter, they star a host of A-list actors and feature richly evocative, atmospheric soundtracks.

    The Dreaming Child, one of seven 'unmade movies' available on audio, is an eerie, enigmatic drama set in Bristol in 1868. Emily Carter, married to a wealthy man, is haunted by her first love, who died at sea. Unable to have children, she and her husband Tom adopt a young slum child - but Jack is no ordinary boy, and seems to have an uncanny knowledge of his new home and family...

    Renowned for his critically-acclaimed plays, Harold Pinter also wrote many outstanding film scripts, including Accident, Betrayal and The Pumpkin Eater. The Dreaming Child was commissioned in 1997 by actress Julia Ormond, who wanted to produce and direct, but the project never got the green light - until now. Lydia Leonard (Last Christmas) stars as Emily, with Bertie Carvel (The Sister) as Tom, Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) as Peggy and Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax) as the narrator, who provides the 'establishing shots' - the stage directions and descriptions from the screenplay. Moving, mesmerising and mysterious, this remarkable production is a triumphant fulfilment of Pinter's great artistic vision.

    Production credits
    Written by Harold Pinter
    Based on 'The Dreaming Child' by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
    Adapted by Joanna Hogg and Laurence Bowen
    Directed by Joanna Hogg
    Produced by Laurence Bowen
    A Feelgood Fiction production for BBC Radio 4

    Narrator - Anne Reid
    Emily - Lydia Leonard
    Tom - Bertie Carvel
    Charlie - Joshua Silver
    Mrs Jones - Joanna Scanlan
    Miss Scott - Susan Woolridge
    Jack - Jack Hollington
    Peggy - Rose Leslie
    Bess - Bryony Hannah
    Mr Rudd - Karl Johnson
    Mr Carter - Malcolm Sinclair
    Children - Flynn Allen, Esme Allen-Quarmby, Isabella Blake-Thomas & Joey Price

    First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 7 March 2015

    © 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
    (p) 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

RELEASED 10/02/2022

Harold Pinter (Author) Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. His writing career spanned over 50 years and produced 29 original stage plays, 27 screenplays, many dramatic sketches, radio and TV plays, poetry, one novel, short fiction, essays, speeches, and letters. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and, in the same year, the Wilfred Owen Award for Poetry and the Franz Kafka Award (Prague). In 2006 he was awarded the Europe Theatre Prize and, in 2007, the highest French honour, the Légion d'honneur. He died in December 2008. Joseph Conrad (Author) Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski was born in the Ukraine on 3 December 1857. His parents were Polish and had both died in exile by the time Conrad was eleven. His uncle then became his guardian and looked after him in Krakow until he was sixteen when he went to sea and sailed on French and British ships. He was made British citizen in 1886 and changed his name to Joseph Conrad. In 1889 Conrad visited the Congo and his experiences there inspired Heart of Darkness. In 1894 he published his first novel, Almayer's Folly and went on to write nineteen more as well as many short stories, essays and a memoir. In 1896 he married Jessie George and they later had two sons. Conrad died on 3 August 1924.

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