When Nicola Beaumont (English, partner in a law firm, mother of four) sits down to a long-winded corporate Burns Supper, she sweeps us up in her private account of the evening's events. At first impatient with all the whisky-fuelled pomposity around her, Nicola finds herself surprisingly moved as the traditional rituals of a Burns Night unfold. What she comes to learn about the eighteenth-century Scots poet, Robert Burns, brings new self-knowledge which will help her through the night's violent emotions and climactic events.
Helen Simpson's story 'Burns and the Bankers' is part of her collection 'Hey Yeah Right Get a Life' (Jonathan Cape, 2000); her latest book is 'A Bunch of Fives: Selected Stories' (Vintage Classics, 2012).
Liz Lochhead was appointed as Scotland's national poet in January 2011.
London taxi driver....Maynard Eziashi
Nicola Beaumont....Sophie Thompson
Torquil Cameron....John Sessions
Charlie Beaumont....Greg Wise
Donald Forfar....Peter Forbes
Iain Buchanan....David McKay
Susan Buchanan....Angela Darcy
Professor Sydney Campbell-Douglas....Siobhan Redmond
Gemma Goodman....Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Recorded on location at the Caledonian Club, London, with violinist Sam McGregor.
Sound Design: David Chilton
Producer/Director: Amber Barnfather
A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 4.