Quicksands

quicksandsLucy Caldwell’s new radio play “Quicksands”, a drama about the slippery and shifting notions of truth and memory was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on December 8. Though no longer available on BBC iPlayer more information can be found here..

A young married couple, Tessa and James, hire a caravan for a week’s holiday on the wind-swept Northern Irish coast with their two young children. It’s make-or-break for their relationship: James is in love with someone else and wants a separation. Clambering over the sand dunes on the beach Tessa and the children get into difficulties and find themselves trapped in quicksand.

When James realises what is happening to his family he turns and leaves them, running away. James insists he was running for help, but Tessa believes, has always believed, that James turned his back on his family and intended to leave them for dead. But just who … Read more

Louis MacNeice Memorial Lecture

Macniece-lectureThe BBC Louis MacNeice Memorial Lecture seeks to acknowledge the impact and continuing relevance of Louis MacNeice’s work as a poet, BBC programme-maker, critic and author and explores current themes within the arts and broadcasting.

The 2014 lecture, given by Professor Jonathan Allison (who edited the MacNeice letters for Faber and Faber) had additional dramatized sequences by Lucy Caldwell. The focus of the lecture was the wartime period in MacNeice’s career and offered insights which his writing and correspondence provides into his work, relationship and views.

The event took place Thursday 04 December, 7.00pm, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast… Read more

The Watcher on the Wall

macnieceTo mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death, the story of poet Louis MacNeice’s trans-Atlantic love affair with the American short story writer Eleanor Clark and the poetry it inspired, dramatised from his Letters by playwright Lucy Caldwell.

In 1939 Louis MacNeice fell in love. The poet had had a tough few years: his world had fallen apart when his adored wife eloped with their American lodger, and now, with divorce proceedings acrimonious and MacNeice a single parent looking after their young son Daniel, the poet plunges himself into his travels and his work.

Then, in the spring of 1939, MacNeice met Eleanor Clark, a young, beautiful and gifted short-story writer. Their intense, passionate, desperate affair – he in England, she in New York, the war and the Atlantic Ocean between them – consumed the next few years, and the poet’s imagination. Communicating through letters, their relationship becomes for MacNeice … Read more

Avenues of Eternal Peace

avenues“Avenues of Eternal Peace” – the Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4, on 4 June 2009 – focused on the horrific events in Tienanmen Square twenty years ago. Student couple Kai-Liang and Chang Li join the Tiananmen Square protests, where their passions and ideas are put to the ultimate test.

Avenues of Eternal Peace was chosen as a ‘Pick of the Week’ on Radio 4.… Read more

Girl from Mars

mars“I came home because they found a body. It was two weeks before my twenty-first birthday and a month before my final exam results were out. Which meant I was almost exactly as old as she was. As she was.”

Five years ago, almost to the day, Eleanor’s big sister Amy disappeared. At about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon she walked out of the house and no-one ever heard from her again. They never found out what happened to her, either. Until now…

Girl from Mars was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 3rd June 2008.

Girl from Mars won the Imison Award which perpetuates the memory of Richard Imison who devoted his entire career to radio drama and to developing new talent. Of “Girl from Mars” the judges said:

“This is a gripping and powerful depiction of the effect on a family when one sibling goes missing. Read more