Life And Fate, Krymov And Zhenya - Lovers Once

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Life and Fate: Krymov and Zhenya - Lovers Once

by Vasily Grossman

October 1942. Evacuated from Moscow to Kuibyshev before the invading German army, the beautiful Yevgenia (Zhenya), Lyuda's sister, is alone. While she tackles Soviet bureaucracy for the residence permit she needs for food, her ex-husband, the Commissar Nikolai Krymov, is posted into the heart of the battle for Stalingrad, hundreds of miles away.

Dramatised for radio by Jonathan Myerson

Nikolai Krymov....David Tennant

Zhenya Shaposhnikova....Raquel Cassidy

Jenni....Eleanor Bron

General Rodimtsev....Bruce Alexander

Major Byerozkin....Sam Dale

District Inspector Grishin....Peter Polycarpou

Limonov.... Adrian Scarborough

Seryozha Shaposhnikov....Freddie Fox

With Elaine Claxton, James Lailey, Gerard McDermott, Simon Bubb, Alun Raglan, Jonathan Forbes, Carl Prekopp, and Katie Angelou.

Original music by John Hardy with Rob Whitehead

Directed by Jonquil Panting

Produced by Alison Hindell

Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate that fills every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.

Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, this huge novel charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war and is increasingly hailed as the most important Russian novel of the 20th century. Its comparison of Stalinism with Nazism was considered by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the manuscript itself was arrested. Grossman died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.

Soviet Russia, 1942. Krymov and Zhenya cannot forget each other despite being miles apart.