Neapolitan Novels, The [Elena Ferrante]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01My Brilliant Friend Part 1/22020091420200915 (BBC7)From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is the first in a quartet of books entitled The Neapolitan Novels. They are a forensic exploration of friendship between Lila and the story's narrator, Lena. This is no normal friendship, it's a friendship that loves, hurts, supports and destroys - and yet it is one that lasts a lifetime.

It begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets two girls, Elena and Lila, learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone - or anything - else as their friendship, beautifully and meticulously rendered, becomes a not always perfect shelter from hardship.

It is the story of a nation, of a neighbourhood, a city and a country undergoing momentous change.

This first book centres on their childhood and adolescence.

Lena.... Monica Dolan
Lila.... Anastasia Hille
Lila (child).... Grace Wingate
Lila (adolescent).... Chloe Harris
Lena (child).... Elisabeth McEvilly
Lena (adolescent).... Daisy Tompkinson

From the book by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein.
Dramatised by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. First broadcast in July 2016.

1950s Naples. Elena and Lila learn to rely on each other as children and adolescents.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

02My Brilliant Friend Part 2/22020091520200916 (BBC7)From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is the first in a quartet of books entitled The Neapolitan Novels. They are a forensic exploration of friendship between Lila and the story's narrator, Lena. This is no normal friendship, it's a friendship that loves, hurts, supports and destroys - and yet it is one that lasts a lifetime.

It begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets two girls, Elena and Lila, learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone - or anything - else as their friendship, beautifully and meticulously rendered, becomes a not always perfect shelter from hardship.

It is the story of a nation, of a neighbourhood, a city and a country undergoing momentous change.

This first book centres on their childhood and adolescence.

Lena.... Monica Dolan
Lila.... Anastasia Hille
Lila (child).... Grace Wingate
Lila (adolescent).... Chloe Harris
Lena (child).... Elisabeth McEvilly
Lena (adolescent).... Daisy Tompkinson

From the book by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein.
Dramatised by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. First broadcast in August 2016.

Still relying on each other in 1950s Naples, Elena realises she and Lila are growing up.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

03The Story Of A New Name Part 1/22020091620200917 (BBC7)From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, Elena Ferrante, the continuing story of Lila and Lena, two bright young girls who have grown up in the tough, rough streets of post war Naples.

Striving to make a better life for themselves, they work hard at school but Lila is stopped in her tracks when forced to give up her education and work for the family shoe making business. It's not long before their worlds are pushed apart and Lila ends up marrying a local businessman and son of the murdered local loan shark Don Achille.

Lena.... Monica Dolan
Lila.... Anastasia Hille
Lena (adolescent).... Daisy Tompkinson
Lila (adolescent).... Chloe Harris
Rino.... Tom Varey
Carmela.... Harriet Waters
Marcello.... Luke Williams
Michele.... Lee Rufford
Stefano.... Adam Long
Pasquale.... Joseph Palmer
Nino Sarratore.... Sam Lupton
Antonio.... Josh Bolt
Marisa.... Claudia Jolly
Pinuccia.... Kathryn Drysdale
Gigliola.... Bessie Carter
Nadia.... Bessie Carter
Ada.... Nelly Harker
Enzo.... Brian Fletcher
Toast Master.... David Collings
Lena's Mum.... Jane Whittenshaw
Professor Galiani.... Sara Markland
Girl.... Sara Markland
Armando.... Josh Dylan
Boy.... Josh Dylan
Voice.... Josh Dylan

Written by Elena Ferrante
Dramatised by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Producer: Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. First broadcast in January 2017.

Second novel in Elena Ferrante's acclaimed series about a friendship lasting a lifetime.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

04The Story Of A New Name Part 2/22020091720200918 (BBC7)From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, Elena Ferrante, the continuing story of Lila and Lena, two bright young girls who have grown up in the tough, rough streets of post war Naples.

Lila finds it hard to forgive her husband Stefano. Meanwhile Lena continues her higher education and is determined to make a difference with her life and escape the clutches of Naples - but at the expense of her friendship with Lila.

Lena.... Monica Dolan
Lila.... Anastasia Hille
Lena (adolescent).... Daisy Tompkinson
Lila (adolescent).... Chloe Harris
Rino.... Tom Varey
Carmela.... Harriet Waters
Michele.... Lee Rufford
Stefano.... Adam Long
Pasquale.... Joseph Palmer
Nino Sarratore.... Sam Lupton
Antonio.... Josh Bolt
Pinuccia.... Kathryn Drysdale
Ada.... Nelly Harker
Enzo.... Brian Fletcher
Nunzia.... Becky Hindley
Donato Sarratore.... Sam Dale
Old Professor.... Sam Dale
Gigliola.... Bessie Carter
Bruno.... James Joyce
Interviewer.... James Joyce
Pietro.... Ferdinand Kingsley
Mariosa.... Claudia Jolly
Professor Airota.... David Collings
Adele.... Sylvestra Le Touzel
Guard.... Nicholas Boulton
Examiner.... Jane Whittenshaw

Written by Elena Ferrante
Dramatised by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Producer: Celia de Wolff
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. First broadcast in January 2017.

Lila finds it hard to forgive her husband, while Lena is determined to escape Naples.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

05Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay Part 1/32020091820200919 (BBC7)The third book in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels, charting the lifelong relationship between two girls, Lila Cerullo and Elena Greco, who grew up together in the slums of post-War Naples.

Elena, having escaped to Milan after the publication of her first book, struggles to find the courage to live, parent and write again after her marriage to her increasingly dismissive husband Pietro.

Lila, meanwhile, also struggles to rise above her social conditions and desperately tries to find a way to better herself in whatever way she can. By day she suffers the daily abuse and exploitation at work in the local sausage factory and by night she works hard with her partner, Enzo, to make a difference with her life by studying hard the ever-changing face of technology.

Struggling with periods of mental darkness, she also wrestles with being a parent and finding the time to be true to herself. Eventually she is encouraged by a group of old friends and young students to admit her anger at the social adversity and abuses suffered by the women at work in the factory and to stand up and shout about it.

As always, amid the troubles, the two women turn to each other, gaining either strength or weakness from the other, not always to happy effect.

Lila Cerullo.... Anastasia Hille
Elena Greco.... Monica Dolan
Father.... Richard Tate
Old Professor.... Richard Tate
Nino Sarratore.... Daniel Flynn
Adele.... Sylvestra Le Touzel
Pietro.... Ferdinand Kingsley
Mother.... Jane Whittenshaw
Elisa.... Nelly Harker
Ada.... Nelly Harker
Gino.... Tom Bevan
Michele.... Daniel Ryan
Carmela.... Louise Calf
Mariarosa.... Claudia Jolly
Juan.... James Joyce
Bruno.... James Joyce
Franco.... Simon Scardifield
Sylvia.... Marisa Abela
Pasquale.... Nicholas Gleaves
Enzo.... Carl Prekopp
Teresa.... Caroline Gruber
Filippo.... Nicholas Boulton
Tarratano.... Nicholas Boulton
Dario.... Tom Glenister
Professor Galiani.... Sara Markland
Nadia.... Jayne McKenna
Armando.... Josh Dylan
Edo.... Fred Haig
Peppe.... Joe Bolland
Student.... Phoebe Marshall
Student.... Joe Bolland
Student.... Marisa Abela
Student.... Declan Mason
Student.... Nicholas Armfield

Dramatised for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. First broadcast in June 2017.

Lila is now a young mum. But Lena has escaped Naples with a degree and her first novel.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

06Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay Part 2/32020092120200922 (BBC7)The third book in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels, charting the lifelong relationship between two girls, Lila Cerullo and Elena Greco, who grew up together in the slums of post-War Naples.

Elena, having escaped to Milan after the publication of her first book, struggles to find the courage to live, parent and write again after her marriage to her increasingly dismissive husband Pietro.

Lila, meanwhile, also struggles to rise above her social conditions and desperately tries to find a way to better herself in whatever way she can. By day she suffers the daily abuse and exploitation at work in the local sausage factory and by night she works hard with her partner, Enzo, to make a difference with her life by studying hard the ever-changing face of technology.

Struggling with periods of mental darkness, she also wrestles with being a parent and finding the time to be true to herself. Eventually she is encouraged by a group of old friends and young students to admit her anger at the social adversity and abuses suffered by the women at work in the factory and to stand up and shout about it.

As always, amid the troubles, the two women turn to each other, gaining either strength or weakness from the other, not always to happy effect.

Lila Cerullo.... Anastasia Hille
Elena Greco.... Monica Dolan
Bruno.... James Joyce
Michele.... Daniel Ryan
Adele.... Sylvestra Le Touzel
Mother.... Jane Whittenshaw
Gigliola.... Jayne McKenna
Nadia.... Jayne McKenna
Melina.... Caroline Gruber
Pasquale.... Nicholas Gleaves
Professor Galiani.... Sara Markland
Pietro.... Ferdinand Kingsley
Mariarosa.... Claudia Jolly
Carmela.... Louise Calf

Dramatised for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. First broadcast in June 2017.

From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, the continued story of a lifetime friendship.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

07Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay Part 3/32020092220200923 (BBC7)The third book in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels, charting the lifelong relationship between two girls, Lila Cerullo and Elena Greco, who grew up together in the slums of post-War Naples.

Elena, having escaped to Milan after the publication of her first book, struggles to find the courage to live, parent and write again after her marriage to her increasingly dismissive husband Pietro.

Lila, meanwhile, also struggles to rise above her social conditions and desperately tries to find a way to better herself in whatever way she can. By day she suffers the daily abuse and exploitation at work in the local sausage factory and by night she works hard with her partner, Enzo, to make a difference with her life by studying hard the ever-changing face of technology.

Struggling with periods of mental darkness, she also wrestles with being a parent and finding the time to be true to herself. Eventually she is encouraged by a group of old friends and young students to admit her anger at the social adversity and abuses suffered by the women at work in the factory and to stand up and shout about it.

As always, amid the troubles, the two women turn to each other, gaining either strength or weakness from the other, not always to happy effect.

Lila Cerullo.... Anastasia Hille
Elena Greco.... Monica Dolan
Mother.... Jane Whittenshaw
Franco.... Simon Scardifield
Pietro.... Ferdinand Kingsley
Father.... Richard Tate
Elisa.... Nelly Harker
Woman.... Nelly Harker
Gigliola.... Jayne McKenna
Marcello.... Ben Crowe
Michele.... Daniel Ryan
Alfonso.... Nicholas Armfield
Adele.... Sylvestra Le Touzel
Mariarosa.... Claudia Jolly
Nino Sarratore.... Daniel Flynn
Eleanora Sarratore.... Phoebe Marshall

Dramatised for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4. First broadcast in June 2017.

From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, the continued story of a lifetime friendship.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

08The Story Of A Lost Child Part 1/32020092320200924 (BBC7)Elena Ferrante's story of a life long friendship between Lila and Lena comes to an end in this sad and surprising final chapter.

Lena, now a famous writer, returns to Naples with her two children to find Lila has also managed to turned her life around, despite remaining in the claws of violent and mafia run Naples. Finding themselves both pregnant, the complications of their friendship grows ever deeper and the tensions deepen. As the city attempts to rebuild itself, post war Naples continues to struggle to accept or change the inevitabilities of life.

Broken marriages, violent relationships, and the yearning for something more - something better is never far away. The violent past of these two extraordinary friends will always be there and, for one, there seems to be only one way out.

Lena.... Monica Dolan
Lila.... Anastasia Hille
Nino Sarratore.... Daniel Flynn
Pietro.... Ferdinand Kingsley
Adele.... Sylvestra Le Touzel
Dede.... Grace Wingate
Dede.... Ella Dale
Elsa.... Isobel Tinsley
Elsa.... Georgia Taft
Mariarosa.... Claudia Jolly
Carmela.... Louise Calf
Colombe.... Louise Calf
Antonio.... Hugh Kermode
Mother.... Jane Whittenshaw
Guido.... David Collings
Franco.... Simon Scardifield
Augustin.... Simon Scardifield
Armando.... Josh Dylan
Marisa.... Sara Markland
Elisa.... Nelly Harker
Photographer.... Nelly Harker
Enzo.... Carl Prekopp
Marcello.... Ben Crowe
Guest.... Ben Crowe
Alfonso.... Nick Armfield
Tina.... Sylvie Goodwin
Imma.... Grace Pearcey
Imma.... Cosima Pearcey
Michele.... Daniel Ryan
Guest.... Daniel Ryan
Gennaro.... Tom Davies
Pasquale.... Nicholas Gleaves

Written by Elena Ferrante
Translated by Ann Goldstein
Dramatised for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker

Directed by Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4, first broadcast in October 2017.

By Elena Ferrante. Lena begins an affair with her best friend's ex-lover Nino.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

09The Story Of A Lost Child Part 2/32020092420200925 (BBC7)Elena Ferrante's story of a life long friendship between Lila and Lena comes to an end in this sad and surprising final chapter.

Accepting the fact that her lover Nino will not leave his wife, Lena decides to move back to Naples with her two children and accept his offer to rent them a flat in the nice part of town. They continue to have an affair and she finds herself pregnant.

Strangely, Lila also finds herself also pregnant and this unites their friendship once more. Lila however seems to suffer during her pregnancy - not helped by the chaos caused by the earthquake that hit Naples in 1980. Gradually she seems to lose touch with her world once again.

Written by Elena Ferrante
Translated by Ann Goldstein
Dramatised for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker

Lena …. Monica Dolan
Lila …. Anastasia Hille
Nino …. Daniel Flynn
Pietro …. Ferdinand Kingsley
Dede …. Grace Wingate
Adele …. Sylvestra Touzel
Elsa …. Isobel Tinsley
Carmela …. Louise Calf
Antonio …. Hugh Kermode
Mother …. Jane Whittenshaw
Mariarosa …. Claudia Jolly
Elisa …. Nelly Harker
Enzo …. Carl Prekopp
Marcello …. Ben Crowe
Alfonso …. Nicholas Armfield
Guido …. David Collings
Franco …. Simon Scardifield
Tina …. Sylvie Goodwin
Imma …. Grace Pearcey
Armando …. Josh Dylan
Marisa …. Sara Markland
Imma …. Cosima Pearcey
Michele …. Daniel Ryan
Dede (older) …. Ella Dale
Elsa (older) …. Georgia Taft

Directed by Celia de Wolff
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Despite her friend Lila's dismay, Lena continues her affair with Nino.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

10The Story Of A Lost Child Part 3/32020092520200926 (BBC7)Elena Ferrante's story of a life long friendship between Lila and Lena comes to an end in this sad and surprising final chapter.

While deep in conversation with her old lover Nino and holding his child with Lena, Lila loses sight of her own daughter who suddenly disappears. Lila's world will never be the same and, despite Lena's attempts to help her friend try to come to terms with her loss, their past comes back to haunt them and one of them finally decides that there is only one way forward.

Does this free the other or hold her prisoner to her past forever?

Lena.... Monica Dolan
Lila.... Anastasia Hille
Nino Sarratore.... Daniel Flynn
Pietro.... Ferdinand Kingsley
Adele.... Sylvestra Le Touzel
Dede.... Grace Wingate
Dede.... Ella Dale
Elsa.... Isobel Tinsley
Elsa.... Georgia Taft
Mariarosa.... Claudia Jolly
Carmela.... Louise Calf
Colombe.... Louise Calf
Antonio.... Hugh Kermode
Mother.... Jane Whittenshaw
Guido.... David Collings
Franco.... Simon Scardifield
Augustin.... Simon Scardifield
Armando.... Josh Dylan
Marisa.... Sara Markland
Elisa.... Nelly Harker
Photographer.... Nelly Harker
Enzo.... Carl Prekopp
Marcello.... Ben Crowe
Guest.... Ben Crowe
Alfonso.... Nick Armfield
Tina.... Sylvie Goodwin
Imma.... Grace Pearcey
Imma.... Cosima Pearcey
Michele.... Daniel Ryan
Guest.... Daniel Ryan
Gennaro.... Tom Davies
Pasquale.... Nicholas Gleaves

Written by Elena Ferrante
Translated by Ann Goldstein
Dramatised for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker

Directed by Celia de Wolff

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4, first broadcast in October 2017.

Elena Ferrante's story of a lifelong friendship between Lila and Lena comes to an end.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.

Dramatisation of the quartet of books by one of Italy's most acclaimed authors.