Angela [Drama On 3]

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DO320210516Angela is the first autobiographical play by leading dramatist Mark Ravenhill. Written during lockdown specifically for radio, the play centres on his mother, Angela, at the age of 84 and suffering with dementia, looking back across her life. This production was originally created for Sound Stage, by the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in association with Naked Productions. Sound Stage is a new audio-digital platform offering audiences the chance to have an ‘at home theatre experience.

Mark Ravenhill says:

“With the death of my mum in 2019, I was drawn for the first time to write an autobiographical play. I was particularly interested to explore the way culture high and low had impacted on Mum's life and our lives as a family. The play is constructed around a series of encounters with children's literature, classical ballet, amateur theatre and popular song - encounters that shaped my mum's sense of self and her relationship with me. Both my parents are from working-class backgrounds which gives a specific turn to their relationship to culture and to me. As I thought about a form that could move swiftly in time and location and between inner thought and outer action, I realised that this was best written as a radio play. I feel it's the most 'radio' of the radio plays that I've written…??

The drama intercuts between Angela in her old age, her memories and mind failing her, and her youth; growing up, falling in love with Ted, moving away from her roots as the world of amateur dramatics welcomed her, her struggle with post-natal depression, the challenges of her own aspirations, and the roller coaster that is motherhood. The play is poignantly set against Mark's experience of beginning to learn his lifelong passion of ballet, in his fifties.

Exquisitely observed and full of compassion, Angela is an emotive exploration of working-class motherhood in the 1960s, told by one of Britain's leading dramatists, as we've never heard him before.

The cast

Older Angela.... Pam Ferris

Young Angela.... Matti Houghton

Ted.... oby Jones

Older Mark.... Joseph Millson

Young Mark.... Jackson Laing

Angela's mum, Ballet teacher, Nurse 2 and Ivy.... Alexandra Mathie,

Julie, Nurse 1 and Plummy woman.... Nadia Albina

The Fox and Doctor Carter.... Olivier Huband

Doctor Adetiba, and the Director.... Dermot Daly

Social Worker, Ballet woman and Nurse 3.... Kirsty Stuart

Doctor Mansoor and Plummy man....Raj Ghatak.

The production team

Director/Producer, Polly Thomas

Assistant director, Emma Lynne Harley

Composer, Alexandra Faye Braithwaite

Recording engineer, Louis Blatherwick

Sound designer, John Scott

Executive Producer, Eloise Whitmore

Angela originally created for Sound Stage, by the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in association with Naked Productions

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3

Mark Ravenhill's new play about his mother, her love of culture and dementia.