Terry Pratchett’s Nation Radio 7, Saturday 6pm (repeated 12 midnight)
First of an eight-part dramatisation of the novel about a boy who survives a tsunami, which has also been successfully adapated for the stage at the National Theatre.
Between the Ears: The Chekov Challenge - the Sound of a Breaking String Radio 3, Saturday 9.15pm
One of the most engimatic stage directions in theatre history occurs in Chekhov’s play The Cherry Orchard:
Silence reigns, broken only by the mumbling of old firs. Suddenly a distant sound is heard as if from the sky, the sound of a string breaking, dying away, melancholy
Different productions have varied radically in their approach to create the sound. As electro-folk musician Leafcutter John attempts to come up with an appropriate effect, we also hear from Paul Arditti, who used a mix of industrial, musical and bird sounds for Sam Mendes’ production, and Peter Kavanagh, whose recent Radio 3 adaptation opted for a slowed-down gunshot.
Drama on 3: The Seagull Radio 3, Sunday 8pm
Siobhan Redmond and Paul Higgins star in the latest new Chekhov adaptation of the BBC Radio season celebrating the 150th anniversary of the playwright’s birth.
Woman’s Hour Drama: How Does That Make You Feel? (Ordinary’s Not Enough) Radio 4, Monday-Friday 10.45am
Cathy Belton stars as Martha, a therapist who cannot understand why her clients want to be something they are not and why they are surprised that it’s driving them mad. Her clients include Richard Allam as an MP who thinks he knows why he’s not getting promoted to the front benches and Tim McInnerny as both a TV presenter who fears becoming invisible after being moved onto radio and a chef whose 31-year-old son still lives at home. If you miss the individual episodes in the morning and tune in for the usual 7.45pm, don’t worry - while A History of the World in 100 objects is now in that slot, an hour-long monibus edition will feature on Friday at 9pm in the Friday Play hour.
Afternoon Play: The Ditch Radio 4, Monday 2.15pm
A deceased sound recordist had been working on a natural history project in a remote fenland area - but the resulting soundscape has disturbingly terrifying consequences. Written and narrated by Paul Evans, this is a horror tale that is no less effective for being broadcast in the middle of the day.
Afternoon Play: The Right Ingredients Radio 4, Tuesday 2.15pm
Lisa is deep in grief following the death of her six-year-old daughter. Part of her coping strategy is to only buy things from supermarkets that she finds on other people’s discarded shopping lists. When she starts to accumulate the ingredients for the cake recipe she used to enjoy making with her daughter, she begins to reconnect with the world.
Afternoon Play: No Trampy Immigrants Radio 4, Wednesday 2.15pm
Based on events in Belfast in the summer of last year, writer Eoin McNamee tells the story of a community fractured by a shocking racist attack. Adrian Dunbar, Brid Brennan and Frances Tomelty star.
Mark Thomas - The Manifesto Radio 4, Thursday 6.30pm A new series of the show in which comedian and activist Mark Thomas looks as policy suggestions from the audience and works out whether they would actually be practical, and whether they’d make the world a better place if enacted. Transparent 4x4s? A maximum wage? A comedy with a serious edge, nobody does material like this better than Thomas.