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20200929Emergency - written by poet Jacob Polley. Part of Contains Strong Language, the BBC's Poetry and Spoken word festival.

In Carlisle during the floods of January 2005, two strangers HIM and HER are holed up during the emergency , amusing each other while the roaring of the weather outside never lets up. They tell each other riddles, revealed as an attempt to invoke and hold on to a world utterly changed.

Outside the STORM gathers pace, speaking to us in an increasingly loud poetic rage as the human love story plays out against this violent backdrop.

‘Emergency’ is a drama written out of and through new versions of the 8th/9th century riddles of the Exeter Book. These riddles, over a thousand years old, are full of the power of the environment to upend human lives and kingdoms, and to a contemporary poet they come on like prophecy, speaking clearly and frighteningly of extreme weather events, flooding, bush fires, deforestation, earthquakes and rising sea levels –of the environmental emergency happening now.

The birds know
and don’t sing to warn I’m coming, then I come
like a root uprooted ripping earth out with it
even as He who bound me the first day today
binds me tighter to this leaving roof slates
and rubble where your living rooms were.

‘Emergency’ is a drama that explores our relationship with the non-human world, explores survival – the stubborn survival of people and language – and creation itself through games of words played by people living at the end of the world.

STORM....Joe Dixon
HIM....James Cooney
HER....Jeanette Percival
PLINY/LANDLORD....Simeon Truby
REPORT/Resident....Emily Pithon

With specially composed music by world renowned sound artists Strijbos & Van Rijswijk.

Directed by Susan Roberts A BBC Audio Drama North Production

Emergency by poet Jacob Polley set in Carlisle in 2005 with Joe Dixon as The Storm

Drama from BBC Radio 4