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Listen and enjoy: The Beginning of Easy Traumas

Until now all the excerpts have been from BBC Radio 4.  The next is from Radio 3.

It could be that the main difference in approach, content and style between Radio 4 and Radio 3 plays is the way in which listeners listen.

Most Radio 4 plays a broadcast at times when listeners are doing other things such as washing up, ironing, gardening or driving; while listeners tend to sit down to a Radio 3 play and give it their undivided attention.  Thus a Radio 3 play can make greater demands upon the listener.

However it is clearer sooner in this play than the previous one that one or more characters is an angel - of a very different sort.

The Script

ANNOUNCER Introducing the Easy Traumas Agency.  Take it away caster Sugar.
ANNOUNCER: And Pollux.
POLLUX: Hello there.
ANNOUNCER: Deborah Makepeace plays Caster Sugar, Steve Hodson plays Pollux, Christian Rodska plays Barney and Liz Goulding plays Wilma in Easy Traumas by Tina Pepler.
POLLUX: Let go into the healing power of hatred.
CASTER SUGAR: Get smart about falling apart.
POLLUX: Get wise to your own demise.
CASTER SUGAR: We work fast, from the outside in.  No introspection.
POLLUX: Don't think.
CASTER SUGAR: Don't wonder what went wrong.
POLLUX: Whatever you do, don't think.
CASTER SUGAR: Just do it.
POLLUX: Your thoughts will catch up with your instincts.
CASTER SUGAR: Easy traumas.
POLLUX: Bizarre, yes, cruel perhaps, indifferent almost certainly; but we know what we're saying.
CASTER SUGAR: Are we shallow?
POLLUX: Are we cruel?
CASTER SUGAR: You bet your bottom we are.
POLLUX: But we're very good communicators.
CASTER SUGAR: You need us.
POLLUX: Barney.
CASTER SUGAR: You may not know it, but you need us.
POLLUX: Let go.
POLLUX: Let go.
BARNEY: (AS IF HE'S GOT HIS NEEDLE STUCK)  The notochord, the notochord, the notochord...
POLLUX: Watch this man.  No one and nothing in his life so far has ever encouraged him to believe that for him there is such a thing as choice.
CASTER SUGAR: We have been watching him.
POLLUX: And his wife.
POLLUX: Poor dear lady.
CASTER SUGAR: They have a dog, a Jack Russell called Yorick.
POLLUX: Alas poor dog.
CASTER SUGAR: For a long time we have been watching him.
POLLUX: With the indifference of omniscience.
CASTER SUGAR: The death of curiosity.
POLLUX: Alas poor curiosity.  Weep for Leonardo.  Where is he now?  Perhaps…
CASTER SUGAR: Perhaps like us he is a star, a star in the sky.
POLLUX: But Barney stands like stone.  What can reach him now?
CASTER SUGAR: He imagines he's telling them about living creatures, describing life.
POLLUX: But he is so bored.
CASTER SUGAR: And so very boring.
POLLUX: Killing curiosity.
CASTER SUGAR: Killing Leonardo.
BARNEY: The notochord is composed of a series of flattened plates surrounded by a fibrous sheath.  The plates are arranged...
BARNEY: Yes, Andreas?
ANDREAS: What is sheath?
BARNEY: The plates are arranged in a regular manner with their flat surfaces in the transverse plane of the body.  They are of two sorts, fibrous and homogenous, which alternate with each other.  Each plate develops as a highly vacuolated cell, the nuclei being later pushed aside to the dorsal or ventral edge.  This structure is well suited by the turgidity of its cells enclosed...
ANDREAS: Please sir.
BARNEY: ... in the sheath to resist forces...
ANDREAS: Please sir.
BARNEY: Yes, Andreas?
ANDREAS: Please sir what is turgidity?
BARNEY: ... … resist forces tending to shorten the body.  The cord of amphioxus is peculiar in that it extends from the very tip of the head to the end of the tail, projecting, that is to say, beyond the level of the myotomes, a condition presumably associated with the burrowing habit.
ANDREAS: Please Sir.  Please Mr Stone.  I don't understand anything.
BARNEY: Turgidity.  It's the name of the game.

Notes to actors:

Be very conscious of conveying what I term 'contained energy', 
which might also be described as 'disciplined urgency'.  
Radio acting requires 101% concentration for short periods of recording.

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We recommend the following, which can ordered from Amazon.co.uk :

We also recommend the following radio scripts: another play by Tina Pepler, Song of the Forest in Best Radio Plays of 1990.  This is a beautiful, lyrical play about the healing power of the Amazonian Rain Frorest.  We also recommend Polaris by Fay Weldon in Best Radio Plays of 1978, I Never Killed My German and Of the Levitation at St Michael's by Carey Harrison in A Suffolk Trilogy, The Village Fete by Peter Tinniswood in Best Radio Plays of 1987, Cigarettes and Chocolate by Anthony Minghella in Best Radio Plays of 1988, Death and the Tango by John Fletcher and In the Native State by Tom Stoppard in Best Radio Plays of 1991.  Sadly some of these scripts are out of print.  However you should be able to order them from your local library

We also recommend the recording of Lee Hall's wonderful first radio play, I Luv U Jimmy Spud.  Lee went on to write the screenplay of Billy Elliot.

The Well Tempered Audio Dramatist

We also recommend:   The Well-tempered Audio Dramatist by Yuri Rasovsky, a Guide to the Production of Audio Plays in Twenty-first Century America.  The book features chapters on every aspect of audio drama production including Project Management, Microphone Techniques, Casting and Sound Effects. You can read the entire text online at The United States National Audio Theatre Festivals..