Life And Fate, Vera And Her Pilot


0220110920Life and Fate: Vera and her Pilot

By Vasily Grossman

In a forest in northern Russia, Lenya, a pilot, longs to see his pregnant girlfriend, Vera. She is stranded in Stalingrad with her father, Stepan. Her mother (another sister of Lyuda) has drowned in the Volga. She watches the planes hoping to catch sight of Lenya.

Dramatised for radio by Jonathan Myerson

Lenya Viktorov....Luke Treadaway

Vera Spiridonov....Morven Christie

Pavel Andreyevich....Malcolm Tierney

Stepan Spiridonov....Kenneth Cranham

Skotnoy....Jonathan Forbes

Solmatin....Carl Prekopp

Mukhin....Simon Bubb

Zakabluka....Gerard McDermott

Original music by John Hardy with Rob Whitehead

Directed and Produced by Alison Hindell

Kenneth Branagh, Janet Suzman, David Tennant, Greta Scacchi and Harriet Walter star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. This epic saga takes over every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.

Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, Life and Fate is a sweeping historical tale that 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by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the manuscript itself was arrested and Grossman was told that it would not be published for at least 200 years. He died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.

In a forest in northern Russia, pilot Lenya longs to see his pregnant girlfriend Vera.