London Event
8th Oct – 3rd December 2015
Inner Voices…Inner Worlds
British Library
Loofah by William Exley

We’re back at the British Library and for this season we’ve been thinking about people’s imaginations, their dreamscapes, their inner voices and inner worlds. Paul Wilson (Curator of Radio at British Library), Hugh Chignell (Professor of Media History at Bournemouth University) and Dr Amanda Wrigley (Research Fellow at University of Westminster) have delved into the archives of the BBC and the British Library to curate this exciting season of programmes originally broadcast from 1956 – 2002.

8th October, 18:00-19:30: All That Fall written by Samuel Beckett, produced by Donald McWhinnie on the Third Programme, 13th January 1956.

‘Do not imagine, because I am silent, that I am not present.’

Beckett’s first play for radio is set in rural Ireland or, more likely, inside Maddy’s head as she makes her way slowly to the station to collect her blind husband. Compulsory listening for anyone interested in radio drama and in radio’s ability to portray the inner world.




22nd October, 18:00-19:30: Under the Loofah Tree written by Giles Cooper, produced by Donald McWhinnie on the Third Programme, 3rd August 1958

‘There were others then. I could have had my pick. Still could come to that…’

A very rare opportunity to listen to the work of arguably the most important radio dramatist of the last century. In addition this was the first radio drama to exploit fully the newly-created Radiophonic Workshop.




5th November, 18:00-19:30: Walk Right By Me written by Christopher C. Harris, directed by Douglas Urbanski and produced by Claire Grove on Radio Four, 22 November 2002.

‘How close do people have to get before you really know they’re there, watching you?’

That so little is known about this remarkable and unsettling piece adds to the experience of hearing Oldman at this best. A drama which most perfectly reflects our themes of an inner voice and an inner world.




19th November, 17:30-19:30: The Waves written by Virginia Woolf and abridged by Louis MacNeice, produced by Guy Vaesen on Radio Three, 7 October 1976.

‘I sink down on the black plumes of sleep. It’s thick wings are pressed to my eyes.’

A monumental and radio drama which combines the talents of two great literary figures, the novelist, Virginia Woolf and the poet, Louis MacNeice.




3rd December, 18:00-19:30: Spoonface Steinberg written by Lee Hall, directed by Kate Rowland on BBC Radio Four, 22 January 1997.

‘I love the beautiful women who do the operas, and how they sing’.

How fitting that this short season of drama listenings should end with Lee Hall’s extraordinary and controversial monologue. A combination of the voice of a dying child and Maria Callas in Tosca provides a truly epic conclusion.




WHERE: The Centre for Conservation at The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB >> Please note The Centre for Conservation can be difficult to find. Head up the stairs to the first floor, down the right hand side of the cafe and outside through the terrace, The Centre for Conservation should be right in front of you.

WHEN: Dates and start times vary, please check each individual event above.

TICKETS: All events are free but they are ticketed. You can book your tickets through the British Library by clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button by each event. If you have any queries please email >>

The wonderful illustration you see at the top of the page was made by William Exley and inspired by listening to Under the Loofah Tree. You can see more of William’s work at his website here >>

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