Linda Cracknell Radio Plays & Readings
Linda Cracknell is a British writer of fiction, radio drama and non-fiction about landscape and travel - often on foot. She is a noted short story writer and has brought out two collections: Life Drawing (2000) and The Searching Glance (2008). Linda also writes drama scripts and teaches creative writing in workshops across Scotland and internationally.
BBC RADIO PLAYS
R4 afternoon play, 14 Dec 11. 'Play of the Week' for Radio 3 and 4.
LC:It was recorded on location at Perthshire’s charming Library of Innerpeffray at the beginning of November, and I’m only now shuffling the paperwork around, deciding what to keep, what to discard, where to file it. But it’s interesting to look over the lengthy process of proposal and development in the scraps of paper, the notebooks, the handwritten and successive typed manuscripts, with Director Eilidh McCreadie’s helpful notes, which finally led to the official script sent out to all involved by the BBC.
I’ve been enchanted with Innerpeffray for a long time, Scotland’s first public lending library set on a bend of the river Earn. Founded in 1680, it epitomises Scotland’s Enlightenment, and a belief in the power of books to civilise and democratise, to illuminate the spirit, after a period of terrible violence. It proved ‘the urge for education amongst the lowliest of country folk’ and is more recently a magnet for literary tourists rather than a lending library. I’d wanted to write something set there for a long time, though I hadn’t thought of it being a radio play.
It chimed though, with a visit to Kenya in early 2009. I’d been intending to go the previous year but was prevented by the post-election violence which ravaged the country, leaving over 1,000 dead and thousands displaced. I was going there to visit friend and PEN colleague Philo Ikonya, who had stood in that election. Several things became apparent as I visited various towns and villages with her and talked to people. They included a burning desire for peace, political freedom, and tolerance; and a hunger for books and reading which by and large remained un-met.
BBC & programme details: In a remote Scottish library, a farmer's widow and a visiting Kenyan librarian bond unexpectedly over a shared love of books. Recorded on location at Innerpeffray Library in Perthshire, a museum celebrating Scotland's first public lending library. Cast:
Elspeth .. Ellie Haddington,
Simon .. Fraser James,
David .. Ralph Riach.
Producer Eilidh McCreadie.
THE THREE KNOTS....2009
BBC Radio 4 afternoon play, 22 Dec 09. Two men stranded on a mountain on a stormy December night meet a mysterious old woman who believes she can control the elements. Angus ...... Finn den Hertog, Thomas ...... Robert Jack, Old Woman ...... Gerda Stevenson, Elizabeth ...... Hannah Donaldson, Minister ...... Jimmy Chisholm. Produced by Kirsty Williams. Repeated on R4-extra.
LC: .....my radio play about faith, the supernatural and loyalty in the west highlands during the 1840s. Based on real events in Strontian, it explores a fictionalised version of how a floating church came to be used on Loch Sunart for ten years.
UNTIL SUCH TIMES....2006
15 Nov 06. Dramatization of short story by Jessie Kesson for R4 Women’s Hour drama. A young girl, left in the care of her grandmother and invalid aunt, finds comfort in counting down the minutes and hours until her escape.
Grandmother ...... Eileen McCallum,
Ailsa ...... Gayanne Potter,
Child ...... Laura Smales,
Edith ...... Carol Ann Crawford,
producer David Ian Neville.
THE BEST SNOW FOR SKIING....2005
14 Jul 05. R4 afternoon play based on the life of Valda Trevlyn Grieve, wife of poet Hugh MacDiarmid. With Collette O'Neil and Ian Robertson. It was also given a staged reading at the Gateway Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival, 2005.
It is 1978, and Valda Greive, the second wife of the Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid is reassessing her life following her husband's death. A young student arrives at her door during a snow storm determined to pay his respects his deceased hero's memory. Valda, irritated by the youngster's intrusion and pious reverence does her best to shatter his illusions. The story unravels over the two days this odd couple spend in each other's company while snowed in at Brownsbank Cottage. Recorded on location at Brownsbank Cottage, Valda Grieve and Hugh MacDiarmid's former home; with Colette O'Neil and Iain Robertson. Directed by Lu Kemp.
10 Feb 03. R4 afternoon play. The City Square Care Team tidies up litter - and people. 45m. With Finlay Walsh, Richard Callon, Gayanne Potter, Eileen McCallum, Billy Ridoch, Tommy Mullins, Stuart Wilkinson.
LIDO: THE HORIZON POOL....2011
7 Jun 11. 'Lido' features three stories which explore outdoor swimming. The Horizon Pool, by Linda Cracknell , is about how the UK 's most northern outdoor pool, the Trinkie in Wick, may hold the key to recovery for a teenager. Reader: Finn den Hertog. Producer: Bruce Young.
NIGHT'S HIGH NOON....2009
19 Nov 09. Read by Robin Laing. Part of a series based on Hitchcock's favourite plot device - the MacGuffin. The story is an atmospheric tale in which a man's desire for fame becomes a sinister need for notoriety.
A KESTREL FOR A KNAVE....2008
By Barry Hines. Abridged for R4 Book at Bedtime, Nov 08.
THE WEIGHT OF THE EARTH & THE LIGHTNESS OF THE HUMAN HEART....2008
4 Jul 08. A climber teeters between life and death on the slopes of a remote mountain. Read by Ralph Riach.
THE WILD PLACES....2007
By Robert Macfarlane. Abridged for R4 Book of the Week, Sep 07.
POOR, OBSCURE, PLAIN & LITTLE....2005
25 May 05. Mr Hunsden from The Professor, looks back at meeting Lucia la Catena when she and her father visited his wooll mill. Now she is a great ballerina. From a week of stories inspired by characters from the work of Charlotte Bronte, recorded live in Haworth to mark the 150th anniversary of her death. Read by David Crellin.
3 Jan 05, rpt. 18 Nov 06..Working away from home during the festive season, an executive rediscovers her sense of adventure. Read by Tamara Kennedy.
SNEEZE ON WEDNESDAY, GET A LETTER....2004
8 Sep 04. Having received a photo of his grandson George sits down to write a letter to his son. A letter he imagines that might bridge the gap of years between them. Produced by Lu Kemp.
8 Jun 04. By DH Lawrence. Ten-part abridgement. R4 and WS, June 04. Written in 1915, this book caused a public furore upon publication and it was subsequently banned for being sexually explicit. Abridged in ten parts for Radio 4, the novel explores the passionate lives of three generations of the Brangwen family of Nottinghamshire from the 1840s to the early years of the twentieth century. Produced by Lu Kemp.
THE SMELL OF GROWTH....2003
19 Sep 03. A tale of petty crime read by Frances Thorburn. Growing up isn't easy when you're only ten. Trying to be clean, good, and deserving, not covered in mud and doing the wrong thing.
9 Jan 99; reading by Ann Scott Jones. A husband and wife go hill walking, and cross a Rubicon.
A Wilder Vein, Two Ravens Press. Editor, anthology of non-fiction writing about the wild places of the British Isles. ISBN 978-1-906120-43-6; £10.99 Published November 2009
The Searching Glance, Salt Publishing. Second short story collection. Published March 2008, . ISBN 978-1-84471-441-4
Life Drawing, 11:9 (Neil Wilson Publishing) 2000. Short Story collection. ISBN 1-903238-13-7
EXAMPLES OF NON-FICTION, NON-RADIO WORK:
The Heart in our Soles - a barefoot walk in a Kenyan village, published in Issue 1 of Tramway's digital literary magazine, May 2011.
Doubling Back - Ten paths trodden in memory - non-fiction essays on a series of walks in pursuit of stories.
The Beat of Heart Stones, essay inspired by walking an ancient dyke that climbs Schiehallion. John Muir Trust Journal 46, Spring 2009.
Cailliche, an extract from a longer piece about a 15 day walk following a drove road. Two Ravens Press, June 2008.
Restaurant reviewing for The List Eating and Drinking Guide 2006 and 2007.
Epic flight to freedom from the Nazi jackboot Feature on a reconstructed mountain escape in Norway for The Scotsman, August 2004.
Back of beyond, open canoe trip across Rannoch Moor for ‘Canoe and Kayak’ magazine, July 2002.
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website.
Back to top