BBC to broadcast radio dramatisations of Orwell

We received a letter from the BBC recently, informing us of some dramatisations to be broadcast at the end of January and beginning of February 2013. The programmes, to be broadcast on Radio 4 are:
Homage to Catalonia: in two parts – Sunday 27th January & Sunday 3rd February. Both at 3pm.

Adapted by Mike Walker. In 1936 Eric and Eileen Blair were making ends meet by running a small village shop in Wallington and growing vegetables. Eric had recently sent ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ to Victor Gollancz, hoping it would be published. But then news came from Spain that Franco’s Nationalists had risen up against the elected Republican government.
The Real George Orwell: Dreaming – Monday 4th at 2.15

They will be available on the free new BBC iplayer Radio app for iPhone and iPad too.

For more details click here:

Still available is the programme with Alan Johnston explaining how “Homage to Catalonia” inspired him to become a journalist – and taught him some dark truths about politics.

For the George Orwell archive at the BBC click here:


One thought on “BBC to broadcast radio dramatisations of Orwell

  1. Book ends…

    I am sure all who follow this site will recognize this passage from the end of Homage to Catalonia:

    And then England – southern England, probably the sleekest landscape in the
    world. It is difficult when you pass that way, especially when you are
    peacefully recovering from sea-sickness with the plush cushions of a boat-train
    carriage under your bum, to believe that anything is really happening anywhere.
    Earthquakes in Japan, famines in China, revolutions in Mexico? Don’t worry, the
    milk will be on the doorstep tomorrow morning, The New Statesman will come out
    on Friday. The industrial towns were far away, a smudge of smoke and misery
    hidden by the curve of the earth’s surface. Down here it was still the England I
    had known in my childhood: the railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the
    deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving
    streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the
    cottage gardens; and then the huge peaceful wilderness of outer London, the
    barges on the miry river, the familiar streets, the posters telling of cricket
    matches and Royal weddings, the men in bowler hats, the pigeons in Trafalgar
    Square, the red buses, the blue policemen – all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of
    England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked
    out of it by the roar of bombs.

    However, the passage below was written a few years earlier and also describes a train journey through Kent, in 1918:

    After enormous delay the train started and rattled inland among the chalk hills. The warm autumnal afternoon was delicious. Green hedgerows again between green meadows and cornfields where reapers were busy. Beyond Ashford, the Weald. This was England. Wandering lanes, hedged and ditched; casual, opulent beauty; trees heavy with fulfilment. This was his native land. He did not care.

    I wonder if Orwell was inspired by this. Oh, any guesses concerning the author?


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