Biographical Dramas [The Real George Orwell]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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Burma2013012820200120 (R4)

By Mike Walker
The first of four dramas featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair.

After an undistinguished academic career at Eton, Eric leaves in December 1921. Unlike most of his friends, his parents can't afford to send him to University. When the girl he hopes to marry rejects him, he sets sail for Burma to join the colonial police. His experiences in Burma will affect him profoundly. They will give him material for essays such as 'A Hanging' and 'Shooting An Elephant', and his first novel, 'Burmese Days' - and they will begin to shape his political thinking. When he rejects the Empire and returns to England, Blair begins to spend more and more time with the poor.

Eric Blair . . . Joseph Millson
Jacintha Buddicom . . . Sophie Roberts
Wilson . . . Joseph Kloska
Inspector d'Souza . . . Ernest Ignatius
Burmese youth . . . Armaan Kirmani
Man on Train . . . Derek Riddell
Ted . . . Alun Raglan

A BBC/Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

By Mike Walker. In October 1922, Eric Blair travels to Burma to join the Imperial Police.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell

01Burma20130128
01Burma2013012820200120 (R4)

By Mike Walker
The first of four dramas featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair.

After an undistinguished academic career at Eton, Eric leaves in December 1921. Unlike most of his friends, his parents can't afford to send him to University. When the girl he hopes to marry rejects him, he sets sail for Burma to join the colonial police. His experiences in Burma will affect him profoundly. They will give him material for essays such as 'A Hanging' and 'Shooting An Elephant', and his first novel, 'Burmese Days' - and they will begin to shape his political thinking. When he rejects the Empire and returns to England, Blair begins to spend more and more time with the poor.

Eric Blair... Joseph Millson
Jacintha Buddicom... Sophie Roberts
Wilson... Joseph Kloska
Inspector d'Souza... Ernest Ignatius
Burmese youth... Armaan Kirmani
Man on Train... Derek Riddell
Ted... Alun Raglan

A BBC/Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

By Mike Walker. In October 1922, Eric Blair travels to Burma to join the Imperial Police.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell

By Mike Walker. In October 1922, Eric Blair travels to Burma to join the Imperial Police.

02Dreaming2013020420200121 (R4)

By Mike Walker
The second of four plays featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair.
In September 1938, Eric and Eileen Blair leave London for Marrakech. He is hoping that the climate will be good for his health, and that he will be able to complete 'Coming Up for Air' a novel that examines, among other things, the nature of England. But the bruising reception he received following the publication of Homage to Catalonia is troubling Eric. And both Eric and Eileen are still feeling guilty about the fate of one of their Spanish Civil War comrades, Georges Kopp. In the summer of 1938 Kopp had just been released from prison. In Marrakech, Eileen falls ill, and Eric dreams of England, and of Kopp.
Eric Blair... Joseph Millson
Eileen Blair... Lyndsey Marshal
Georges Kopp... Ewan Bailey
Tommy... Paul Stonehouse
With Ben Crowe and Will Howard
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer

Of course there is no real George Orwell - it was the pen name of Eric Blair - but he was a writer and political commentator who is very hard to pin down. Ever since his early death in 1950, he has been at one and the same time the darling of some on both the left and the right of British politics - whilst being reviled by others. For all the beautiful simplicity of his writing and storytelling Orwell/Blair is a complex mass of confusions - an anti-establishment, pro-English, ex-Etonian ex-policeman and socialist, who was ardently anti-authoritarian. He was as anti-fascist as he was anti-communist, a former Spanish Civil War soldier who was anti-war but pro the Second World War, and so on and so on.

By Mike Walker. In Sept 1938, Eric and Eileen travel to Morocco. With Joseph Millson.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell

02Dreaming2013020420200121 (R4)

By Mike Walker
The second of four plays featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair.
In September 1938, Eric and Eileen Blair leave London for Marrakech. He is hoping that the climate will be good for his health, and that he will be able to complete 'Coming Up for Air' a novel that examines, among other things, the nature of England. But the bruising reception he received following the publication of Homage to Catalonia is troubling Eric. And both Eric and Eileen are still feeling guilty about the fate of one of their Spanish Civil War comrades, Georges Kopp. In the summer of 1938 Kopp had just been released from prison. In Marrakech, Eileen falls ill, and Eric dreams of England, and of Kopp.
Eric Blair... Joseph Millson
Eileen Blair... Lyndsey Marshal
Georges Kopp... Ewan Bailey
Tommy... Paul Stonehouse
With Ben Crowe and Will Howard
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer

Of course there is no real George Orwell - it was the pen name of Eric Blair - but he was a writer and political commentator who is very hard to pin down. Ever since his early death in 1950, he has been at one and the same time the darling of some on both the left and the right of British politics - whilst being reviled by others. For all the beautiful simplicity of his writing and storytelling Orwell/Blair is a complex mass of confusions - an anti-establishment, pro-English, ex-Etonian ex-policeman and socialist, who was ardently anti-authoritarian. He was as anti-fascist as he was anti-communist, a former Spanish Civil War soldier who was anti-war but pro the Second World War, and so on and so on.

By Mike Walker. In Sept 1938, Eric and Eileen travel to Morocco. With Joseph Millson.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell

03Loving2013021120200122 (R4)

By Jonathan Holloway
The third of four dramas featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair.

Eric Blair's relationship with the opposite sex could be a distraught one; over the course of his lifetime, he made several awkward marriage proposals to different women. But his relationship with Eileen O'Shaugnessy, whom he married in 1935, had a huge influence both on his life and his writing. This drama explores the nine years of their relationship.

Eric Blair... Joseph Millson
Eileen O'Shaugnessy/Blair... Lyndsey Marshal
Dorothy... Isabella Marshall
Lydia Jackson... Vera Filatova
Inspector Summerfield... Dick Bradnum
Len... Alun Raglan

A BBC/Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

By Jonathan Holloway. Eric Blair's relationship with the women in his life.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell

03Loving2013021120200122 (R4)

By Jonathan Holloway
The third of four dramas featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair.

Eric Blair's relationship with the opposite sex could be a distraught one; over the course of his lifetime, he made several awkward marriage proposals to different women. But his relationship with Eileen O'Shaugnessy, whom he married in 1935, had a huge influence both on his life and his writing. This drama explores the nine years of their relationship.

Eric Blair . . . Joseph Millson
Eileen O'Shaugnessy/Blair . . . Lyndsey Marshal
Dorothy . . . Isabella Marshall
Lydia Jackson . . . Vera Filatova
Inspector Summerfield . . . Dick Bradnum
Len . . . Alun Raglan

A BBC/Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

By Jonathan Holloway. Eric Blair's relationship with the women in his life.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell

04Jura2013021820200123 (R4)

By Jonathan Holloway
The last of four plays featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair. In 1947, the year after Eileen's death, Eric leaves London and moves to Jura, with his sister Avril, and his three year old son. He is suffering from tuberculosis but is determined to try and make a go of living off the land. But most of all he is determined to finish Nineteen Eighty-Four, his final book.
Eric Blair..Joseph Millson
Avril Blair...Liza Sadovy
David Holbrook... Adam Nagaitis
Sonia Orwell...Stephanie Racine
Ricky Blair...James Foster
Henry...Will Howard
Lucy...Alexandra Guelff
Jane...Lizzie Watts
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer

Of course there is no real George Orwell - it was the pen name of Eric Blair - but he was a writer and political commentator who is very hard to pin down. Ever since his early death in 1950, he has been at one and the same time the darling of some on both the left and the right of British politics - whilst being reviled by others. For all the beautiful simplicity of his writing and storytelling Orwell/Blair is a complex mass of confusions - an anti-establishment, pro-English, ex-Etonian ex-policeman and socialist, who was ardently anti-authoritarian. He was as anti-fascist as he was anti-communist, a former Spanish Civil War soldier who was anti-war but pro the Second World War, and so on and so on.

By Jonathan Holloway. Summer 1947, Eric has moved to Jura. With Joseph Millson.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell

04Jura2013021820200123 (R4)

By Jonathan Holloway
The last of four plays featuring episodes in the life of Eric Blair. In 1947, the year after Eileen's death, Eric leaves London and moves to Jura, with his sister Avril, and his three year old son. He is suffering from tuberculosis but is determined to try and make a go of living off the land. But most of all he is determined to finish Nineteen Eighty-Four, his final book.
Eric Blair..Joseph Millson
Avril Blair...Liza Sadovy
David Holbrook... Adam Nagaitis
Sonia Orwell ...Stephanie Racine
Ricky Blair...James Foster
Henry...Will Howard
Lucy...Alexandra Guelff
Jane...Lizzie Watts
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer

Of course there is no real George Orwell - it was the pen name of Eric Blair - but he was a writer and political commentator who is very hard to pin down. Ever since his early death in 1950, he has been at one and the same time the darling of some on both the left and the right of British politics - whilst being reviled by others. For all the beautiful simplicity of his writing and storytelling Orwell/Blair is a complex mass of confusions - an anti-establishment, pro-English, ex-Etonian ex-policeman and socialist, who was ardently anti-authoritarian. He was as anti-fascist as he was anti-communist, a former Spanish Civil War soldier who was anti-war but pro the Second World War, and so on and so on.

By Jonathan Holloway. Summer 1947, Eric has moved to Jura. With Joseph Millson.

A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell