Helen Dunmore
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The Betrayal - Book at Bedtime.

The Betrayal (2010) is Radio 4's Book at Bedtime, 6-17th December 2010 at 10.45 pm, read by Sarah Kestelman.  You will be able to Listen Again to the broadcasts.

Recent Radio work includes an essay on Tolstoy which was broadcast on 17th November in the BBC Radio 3 series The Essay.  The text of this essay is available in the Articles section of my website. 

 

The Mironov Legacy

My first play for radio, The Mironov Legacy, was broadcast on Radio 4 in the Afternoon Play slot on Tuesday 5th September 2006 at 2.15 pm. The play starred Helen Mirren, playing the part of her great-aunt Lena, and Geoffrey Whitehead in the part of Pyotr, Mirren's grandfather.

The play received excellent reviews.

"As the two little girls played and sang outside the door of his (the grandfather's) room and he promised that all this playacting would come to nothing, a profession was what mattered because no one could take that away, there was this infinite sense of time moving all around them, generations growing gradually, inevitably into times of their own. It was simply beautiful and moving beyond words.' (Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph)

'Helen Dunmore took recently translated letters from Pyotr Mironov to his sister Lena and transformed them into a sensitive and thought-provoking examination of memory and change.' (Clare Heal, The Express on Sunday)

The Mironov Legacy is based on the family papers of the Mironov family. Its central character, Pyotr Vasilievich Mironov, is the grandfather of Helen and Kate Mirren. Pyotr was in London on a military mission for the Tsar when the Russian Revolution took place in 1917, and he was forced to remain in exile in Britain with his wife and children. The rest of the Mironov family remained in Russia, and the play draws on letters exchanged during the political and social turmoil that followed the Revolution, as well as on Pyotr's own unpublished memoir.

The part of Lena, Pyotr's sister, was played by Helen Mirren, and the part of Pyotr was played by Geoffrey Whitehead. Iain Mitchell played Pyotr's brother-in-law Gruzinov, Stuart Fox played Basil, Pyotr's son and Helen and Kate's father. The parts of the Mirren sisters as children were played by Susannah Dye and Sophie Ford. The producer was Mark Smalley.

 

 

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