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Tanika Gupta Radio Plays


*14 Aug 22: Classic Serial slot - Brick Lane, 2
By Monica Ali, dram. Tanika Gupta. Itís 2001 and Nazneen has been living in London for nearly 20 years. Her daughters Shahana and Bibi are growing up, and life hasnít turned out as expected for Chanu. As tensions rise on the estate, Nazneen meets Karim. Their connection deepens, but Chanu is laying plans for the family to return to Bangladesh. Will Nazneen decide to take charge of her life? Nazneen ..... Anneika Rose, Chanu ..... Zubin Varla, Razia ..... Chetna Pandya, Hasina ..... Hiftu Quasem, Karim ..... Nikesh Patel, Mrs Islam ..... Nina Wadia, Tariq ..... Ragevan Vasan, Shahana ..... Rameet Rauli, Bibi ..... Riti Suthar, Secretary ..... Gavi Singh Chera. Produced by Anne Isger. Sound by Caleb Knightley, Ali Craig and Pete Ringrose. Production Co-ordination by Luke MacGregor. Production Assistance by Hannah O'Reilly.


*7 Aug 22: Saturday Play: Brick Lane
By Tanika Gupta, dram. from the novel by Monica Ali. When a teenage Nazneen arrives in London, the hectic streets and cramped high-rises of the East End are a world away from her life in Bangladesh. As her sisterís situation back in Dhaka worsens, and with a baby on the way, life only gets more complicated. This drama was winner of the 'Best Adaptation' at the 2023 Audio Drama Awards. Nazneen .... Anneika Rose, Chanu ..... Zubin Varla, Razia ..... Chetna Pandya, Hasina ..... Hiftu Quasem, Mrs Islam ..... Nina Wadia, Dr Azad ..... Neil DíSouza. Produced by Anne Isger. SMs Caleb Knightley, Ali Craig and Pete Ringrose. Production Co-ordination by Luke MacGregor. Production Assistance by Hannah O'Reilly. BBC. Rpt 30 Sep 23.


*2 Oct 21: Saturday Play - The Goldilocks Zone
By Tanika Gupta. Astrophysicist Sofia Khaled's discovery of a potentially habitable planet opens up painful memories for her but a startling new truth for humanity. When future Earth discovers an uncorrupted "cosmic" truth, data finally becomes a force for good. The play was developed through OKRE Experimental Stories. Scientists consulted were Professor Caswell Barry and Dr. Adam Kampff. Sofia.....Souad Faress, Young Sofia.....Raghad Chaar, Gabriel.....Adetomiwa Edun, Zara.....Anjli Mohindra, Hassan.....Ammar Haj Ahmad, Razia.....Lara Sawalha, Hawkes.....Jonathan Keeble, Producer: Nadia Molinari. BBC Audio Drama North.


14 Oct 18 *Death Of A Matriarch
By Tanika Gupta. Broadcast Sun 14 Oct, R3. From Edinburgh Fringe, 8pm. One of three short plays broadcast that evening. Itís Christmas day and these are the last 30 minutes of Sita's life. As she struggles to differentiate reality from dreams and hallucinations, she is visited by two old friends from the past bearing gifts, memories and a hint of whatís to come. Starring Meera Syal. (Note that when I searched, this didn't come up on BBC Genome - there was a typing error on the word 'matriarch').


20 Dec 15: Classic Serial: Memsahib Emma, 1
By Tanika Gupta, based on 'Emma' by Jane Austen, set in 19th-century India. Emma Bhattacharjee is beautiful, clever and rich. She is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. Emma: Manjinder Virk, Roy: Navin Chowdhry, Bhattarchargee: Silas Carson, Krishna: Maya Sondhi, Sumit Chowdhry: Raj Ghatak, Miss Bates: Meera Syal, Mrs. Weston: Tracy Wiles, Mr. Elton: Leo Wan. Producer: Tracey Neale.

    27 Dec 15: Classic Serial - Memsahib Emma, 2
    By Tanika Gupta. Second and final episode. Emma's plans for Krishna backfire when Mr. Elton declares his love for her. Mr. Roy is wary of the newly arrived Frank Churchill. Emma: Manjinder Virk, Roy: Navin Chowdhry, Bhattarchargee: Silas Carson, Krishna: Maya Sondhi, Sumit Chowdhry: Raj Ghatak, Miss Bates: Meera Syal, Mrs. Weston: Tracy Wiles, Mr. Elton: Leo Wan, Mrs. Elton: Evie Killip, Frank Churchill: George Watkins. Producer: Tracey Neale.




RESCUE ME....2010
31 Aug 2010; produced by Jeremy Mortimer. A play about an illegal forced marriage.


RUDOLPHO'S ZEST....2008
R3: Drama on 3. Broadcast: Sunday 6th April 2008 @ 8:20 p.m. Rudolpho is a larger-than-life old man dying in a London hospice. He flirts with the pretty nurse, Susan, and is full of stories, but he has a remarkable secret: he has lived for 192 years.... Producer Tracey Neale. 90 min. For more on this play see Jim's notes .


THE PARTING....2004
R4, 26.07.04. Four men miss the 6.32 train and end up stranded overnight at the station. Sam the station man becomes their confidante as each tells him why he wanted to be on that particular train. With Trevor Peacock, Don McCorkindale, Ewan Bailey, Danny Dyer, Calum Callahagn. Director Tracey Neale.


*THE TRIAL OF WILLIAM DAVIDSON....2002
1 Oct 01; in the series 'Hidden History' - ep. 1. William was the illegitimate son of Robert Sewell (1751 Ė 1828), the Attorney General of Jamaica, and a local black woman. At the age of 14, he travelled to Glasgow to study law. In Scotland he became involved in the movement for parliamentary reform. He was apprenticed to a Liverpool lawyer, but ran away to sea. Later, he was press-ganged into the Royal Navy. Eventually after being an unsuccessful cabinet-maker he became a Methodist preacher. Following the Peterloo Massacre, he became involved in radical politics. He was involved in the Cato Street Conspiracy against Lord Liverpool's government in 1820. This is the story of his trial.


*STOWAWAY....2001
If you have misgivings each time you hear of large numbers of refuguees heading towards our overcrowded island you need to hear Stowaway (R4, 10 Dec 01), by Tanika Gupta. Vikram's family has been swindled out of its land; Vikram, after half a life in servitude, pays his meagre life savings to a man who promises to stow him away on an airliner. Disaster follows disaster as he fights for survival in the wheel bay. After plays like this one realises that living in the UK is a privilege which one should not take for granted. ....ND, VRPCC newsletter, Dec 2001


*THE ETERNAL BUBBLE....2000
BBC World Service 23/1/00 60min mono
This play is set in India and envisages a world that has been split in two. At the end of the 21st Century, most people live in scientifically controlled environments called Bubbles where death has been 'eradicated'. Bodies are kept alive in special dormitories that keep hearts beating long after consciousness has gone. Some people choose to live in the 'Second World', the world outside the Bubbles, where there is real sea, sky and sun but also disease and death.

Dr. Madhu Kapoor is an eminent Bubble scientist whose work is dedicated to prolonging life at any cost, including that of her son Kiren, kept alive in a dormitory after a childhood accident. When Dr. Kapoor's ex-husband, Professor Choudhury, lures her to the Second World hinting that he can prove that there is life after death, she embarks on a journey that will have profound implications for life in the 'Eternal Bubble'.


THE QUEEN'S RETREAT....1999
1 Jun 99.


COAT....1999
In the 'Women on Love' series; no. 2. 24 Feb 99.


WAISTLAND....1999
18 Feb 99.


*THE WHISPERING TREE....1998
BBCR4 6/8/98 45min
A year after her mother's death, 14-year-old Shamila prefers to escape into a world of Hindu myth and legend rather than confront her guilt and pain.


THE BOUNTY HUNTER....1997
25 Jun 97; afternoon play. The Bounty Hunter rounds up runaway Asian women and delivers them back to their homes - regardless of the circumstances to which he returns them. With Rehan Sheikh and Riz Abbasi.


*SKELETON....1997
R4, 7 Aug 97 , 60min . A medical student is obsessed by a beautiful and unobtainable woman.


8 Feb 96: Ananda Sananda
By Tanika Gupta. Madhu and her friend Eva visit the Ananda Hotel in Puri, India, at her father's request. But where are the other guests? Jogu Bhasker, with Shireen Shah. Urbi Basu and Madhukar Kothare. Producer Tanya Nash. Ananda Sananda: Rosh Anseth, Madhu SHAH: Een Khan, Eva: Josephine Welcome, Baba: Rehan Sheikh.


PANKHIRAJ....1994
R4 22 Mar 94 / 2pm. With Charubala Chokshi, Meera Syal, Souad Faress. Thirty Minute Theatre.


ASHA....1991
20 Oct 91.



Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections

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