You Must Listen

You Must Listen – remake of Nigel Kneale’s lost tale comes to Radio 4

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The programme, remade from the surviving script, stars Toby Jones, Caroline Katz and Reece Shearsmith. 

That Toby Jones is an industrious fella. No sooner had we digested the trailer for ITV’s The Long Shadow, than we found his name leading a rather special BBC Radio 4 audio drama. You Must Listen is one of a number of programmes commissioned to celebrate 100 years of audio drama.

Originally broadcast in September 1952,You Must Listen was written by Nigel Kneale, one of the most admired English science-fiction writers of the last century. His Quatermass trilogy continues to influence generations of admirers and filmmakers, among them Russell T Davies and John Carpenter.

Before his television career, Kneale’s radio drama paved the way for what was to come. It explores many of the same themes that he later addressed in Quatermass, The Stone Tape and The Road, of the paranormal coming into collision with modern science.

For this version, audio producers Bafflegab have returned to Kneale’s original script – fortunately kept by the late writer as no recording of the original play exists.

You Must Listen

Here’s the premise for You Must Listen:

A solicitor’s office has a new phone line connected, but the staff keep hearing a woman’s voice on the phone. Engineer Frank Wilson is called to fix the problem, and gradually the disturbing story of the woman starts to emerge.

This modern version stars Toby Jones, Reece Shearsmith, Caroline Catz, Jessie Cave and John Scougall. Also in the cast are Jason Barnett, Jacqueline King, Dan Starkey and Becky Wright.

Editing and sound design are by Charlie Brandon-King, music by Evelyn Sykes. You Must Listen is produced and directed by Simon Barnard and is a Bafflegab production for BBC Radio 4.

You Must Listen airs on BBC Radio 4 on 20th September at 2.15pm, and will be on BBC Sounds afterwards.

If you’re keen to hear a trailer, there’s one on the Bafflegab website.

For information on the other specially commissioned audio drama centenary programming in September, check out the BBC Media Centre.