DECADES before Alexander McCall Smith’s popular Edinburgh tales of 44 Scotland Street appeared in The Scotsman, Armistead Maupin broke new ground with his newspaper chronicles of a fictional San Francisco apartment block, partly inspiring McCall Smith’s long-running serial.
More Tales of the City
Mon-Fri, Radio 4, 7.45pm
Guns: An American Love Affair
Tomorrow, Radio 4, 1:30pm
The Real George Orwell - Dreaming Monday, Radio 4, 2:15pm
Radio 4’s 15 Minute Drama returns again to Anna Madrigal’s property at 28 Barbary Lane in MORE TALES OF THE CITY, adapted for radio by Bryony Lavery and starring Kate Harper as Anna, Lydia Wilson as Mary Ann Singleton and Jos Slovick as Michael “Mouse” Tolliver. In this sequel, Anna Madrigal reveals further secrets to tenants, as Michael and Mary go on an eventful cruise, Mona Ramsey discovers a secret about her past in a brothel and inveterate socialite DeDe Halcyon Day finds her true inner self.
Staying across the Atlantic, what is it about Americans and firearms? In GUNS: AN AMERICAN LOVE AFFAIR, journalist and author DD Guttenplan returns to his native Vermont – one of the US’s most liberal states but also one of the easiest in which to acquire weaponry – to investigate how, in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting last month, the great American gun debate has become more emotive and entrenched than ever. As some argue that tighter gun controls are necessary, others regard the bearing of arms as more or less part of their identity.
George Orwell took up arms, for a cause, when he fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. Following his return to England, however, his subsequent book, Homage to Catalonia, received a critical reception and Eric Blair – to use Orwell’s real name – and his wife Eileen were haunted by the incarceration by the Communists of their friend and Blair’s former commander, Georges Kopp.
As part of Radio 4’s ongoing Orwell series, Afternoon Drama presents THE REAL GEORGE ORWELL – DREAMING, Mike Walker’s dramatisation of the Blairs’ post-Spain visit to Marrakech, in the hope that its climate might help the ailing writer and enable him to finish his novel Coming Up for Air.