BBC radio to air Minghella play season

BBC radio is to pay tribute to the late director and writer Anthony Minghella by broadcasting a series of his plays later this month.

The special season, to be broadcast across BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, will include the plays Hang Up and Cigarettes and Chocolate, and will also feature archive interviews of Minghella talking about his work.

Radio 4 commissioning editor for drama Jeremy Howe said: “We want to mark the tragic death of Anthony Minghella with a celebration of the work of this peerless storyteller, a writer who always pushed the boundaries while telling stories you just want to listen to, and who created some of the best radio drama ever.”

The tribute will begin on Saturday, May 3, with Radio 4 broadcasting Minghella’s play for radio, Cigarettes and Chocolate. The production stars Juliet Stevenson and Bill Nighy was first broadcast nearly 20 years ago.

This is followed by a repeat of a 1994 edition of With Great Pleasure, at 3.30pm, in which Minghella talks about the four pieces of literature that inspired him most.

BBC Radio 4 will follow this with Minghella’s Two Planks and a Passion on Saturday, May 10 at 2.30pm.

Meanwhile, also on May 10, BBC Radio 3 will broadcast two episodes of Works in Progress, a series of short programmes recorded by Minghella in February 2000.

The chosen five-minute episodes feature Minghella talking about his approach to writing and film-making and the art of collaboration with the composer, actors and production crew. The episodes will be transmitted at 8.30pm.

These will be followed by Hang Up at 8.40pm, a radio drama starring Anton Lesser and Juliet Stevenson, written by Minghella and first broadcast in 1987.

Minghella died in March this year, aged 54.

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