Howard Brenton

Howard Brenton

Howard Brenton

Five BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Productions: Pravda, Epsom Downs and more


A collection of Howard Brenton's finest plays, produced for BBC radio

One of Britain's leading contemporary playwrights, Howard Brenton is well known for his controversial state-of-the-nation plays, dark comedies and powerful political satires. He has written over 50 works for the theatre and numerous screenplays, including 13 episodes of the hit TV series Spooks. Included here are some of his most acclaimed dramas, including the award-winning Pravda, co-written with David Hare.

Epsom Downs - Set on Derby Day in the Silver Jubilee year 1977, this provocative drama presents a teeming, Brueghel-like array of characters: from the gamblers, bookmakers and trainers to the jockeys, the horses and the Derby course itself... Among the ensemble cast are Peter Woodthorpe and Nigel Anthony.

Pravda - Lambert Le Roux is an enormously powerful South African media tycoon. He's also a monster manipulating all, including Fleet Street. Anthony Hopkins and Bill Nighy star in this caustic black comedy.

Thirteenth Night - Jack Beaty is an activist in a 'piddling little Labour Party ward.' What would he do if he came to power tomorrow? Tom Wilkinson, Frances Tomelty and Bill Nighy star in Brenton's surreal parody of Macbeth, with its horror-comic vision of a totalitarian state run mad.

Nasser's Eden- 1956. Sir Anthony Eden and Gamal Abdel Nasser battle over Egypt nationalising the Suez Canal - Britain's last symbol of her empire. Written specially for radio and starring Alec McCowen and Nadim Sawalha, this fast-paced drama looks behind the politics to reveal the personalities who changed the face of history.

Bloody Poetry - Switzerland, 1816. The poet Shelley, his future wife Mary and her step-sister Claire meet the infamous Lord Byron. But their dreams of a utopian future result in tragedy... Oliver Ryan, Clare Corbett, Patrick Kennedy and Sarah Ovens star in Brenton's compelling play celebrating these four young artistic radicals.

Text copyright © Howard Brenton 1977 (Epsom Downs), 1981 (Thirteenth Night), 1984 (Bloody Poetry), 1998 (Nassar's Eden) Pravda text copyright © David Hare and Howard Brenton 1985

Cast and credits
Written by Howard Brenton
Pravda written by Howard Brenton and David Hare

Epsom Downs
Cast: Peter Woodthorpe, Nigel Anthony, Heather Bell, Peter Baldwin, Michael Spice, Graham Chinn, Jean Rogers, Chas Byer, Cliff Burnett, Mary Clare Nash, John Bull, Petra Davies,
Eva Stuart, John Levitt, Susan Sheridan, Wilfrid Carter, Martin Muncaster, Tammy Ustinov, Heather Bell, Olivier Pierre, Michael McStay, Peter Gordon, Fred Bryant, David Tate, Andrew Branch
Adapted for radio by Howard Brenton
Directed by Richard Wortley

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Bill Nighy, Robert Glenister, Suzanne Burden, Frederick Treves,
Garard Green, Stephen Tompkinson, David King, Christopher Good, Vincent Brimble,
James Greene, Simon Treves, Danny Schiller, Nicholas Gilbrook
Adapted and directed by Richard Wortley.

Thirteenth Night
Cast: Tom Wilkinson, Frances Tomelty, Bill Nighy, Peter Woodthorpe, Sean Barrett,
Timothy Bateson, Maggie McCarthy, Eileen Tully, Pauline Siddle
With Alex Jennings, Richard Huw and Michael Jenner
Directed by Michael Heffernan.

Nasser's Eden
Cast: Alec McCowen, Nadim Sawalha With Bob Peck, Nigel Davenport, Saeed Jaffrey, Raad Rawi, Trevor Peacock, James Laurenson, Alix Refaie, Antony Zaki, Clifford Rose, John Rowe, Peter Birrel, Vic Tablian and Ajay Chabra
Produced by Carolyn Horn.

Bloody Poetry
Cast: Oliver Ryan, Clare Corbett, Patrick Kennedy, Sarah Ovens, Gareth Pierce
Adapted for radio and directed by Alison Hindell

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