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To wonder what Radio 4 Drama writers are smoking?

(36 Posts)
OscarWinningActress Fri 27-Jun-14 16:16:34

There have been some really kooky ones lately. The 'dancing contagion' one this morning was utterly bizarre. I didn't hear the end because I had to dry my hair. What happened in the end? Did everyone dance themselves to death?

Wellwellwell3holesintheground Fri 27-Jun-14 16:19:55

I heard it a while ago - I think they start synchronising and then just stop. A few people collapse and die. It's not nearly as weird as the one with the queue and the one with the unborn babies committing suicide.

OscarWinningActress Fri 27-Jun-14 16:23:25

Unborn babies committing suicide? Wtf?

limitedperiodonly Fri 27-Jun-14 16:40:02

R4 dramas are really bad, as are their alleged comedies.

Their 6.30pm comedy sketch/panel things are awful, with the exception of the News Quiz and Just A Minute. And I am including the fucking arse-clenchingly bad Now Show in that.

I quite like David Sedaris but one monologue would have been ample, not six.

Marcus Brigstocke wouldn't raise a Ramsay Snow-esque titter from me even if he died slowly and painfully, which he does every time he comes on.

Actually, if the self-satisfied humour-vacuum Brigstocke was tormented by Ramsay Snow, that would be worth my licence fee.

DoJo Fri 27-Jun-14 16:44:23

I love a good weird radio 4 drama, possibly because it brings back fond memories from my childhood. I have a particularly vivid recollection of one about a woman whose baby decided that it did not want to be born and so 'hid' when she was given an internal examination. She was declared to be having a phantom pregnancy, the baby managed to get a violin from somewhere (I know - huh?) and I believe she ended up dying at some point later on and they discovered that she had a two year old inside her or something. It was massively odd, but at the age of about 7, I just assumed that this was the kind of thing grown ups liked. It possible skewed my vision of the entire adult world and left me with mental scars from which I will never recover. Still love them though...! grin

ImperialBlether Fri 27-Jun-14 16:53:10

Their comedy is really awful. I like the game shows like Just A Minute, but the rest is awful.

I heard that drama about the dancing today when I was driving back from work. When I first put it on a woman was saying how her 4 year old son was put into a trance by one of the women - at that point I thought it might be a documentary, though I knew too that it was the right time for drama. It was odd though because although it was portrayed as a docu-drama, I could tell that all of the actors were actors; none of them passed for real. It's interesting that if someone is actually upset on the radio, I feel upset too, but when an actor is, I don't.

The end was very abrupt - after a few minutes where everyone was synchronised it was "Oh they've stopped in New York" and "They've stopped in London" and then it ended. Very strange.

Wellwellwell3holesintheground Fri 27-Jun-14 16:53:53

Yeah, the unborn babies thing was utterly bizarre. The thing is, you get the occasional gem of a drama - the one about the transgender teenager and the German exchange student was superb, as was the one about the art installation of someone's breath. There have been some that have made me late and some that I've had to listen to again and some I've hadto make DH listen to.

As for the comedies - The Now Show is funny, I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue is funny and The news quiz is very funny. Cabin Pressure is absolutely hilarious and Benedict Cumberbatch is great in it. I find Just a Minute painfully unfunny because it's the same jokes all the time - deviation from the English language etc. It's had its day.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Fri 27-Jun-14 16:54:35

Today's dancing plague felt very much as if there was a much bigger story squealing to escape. At 2.50 I looked at the clock - wondering if perhaps it might run till 3.30. But no, all wrapped up by 3.pm. Just the jottings for a story rather than a fully fledged drama.

The one with the queue was amazing! (Though I wish I could remember how it ended...) I didn't hear the suicidal babies.

Yesterday's offering (by the Welsh Poet Laureate?) was definitely strange; I felt I needed another listen to fully appreciate it.

But they are generally disappointing. Certainly not clever or complex enough for the supposed R4 audience.

Wellwellwell3holesintheground Fri 27-Jun-14 16:55:11

Imperial - I think it seemed strangely stilted because it was improvised.

OscarWinningActress Fri 27-Jun-14 16:55:26

I used to enjoy them. The police and mystery ones are good and I love the gentle, soothing ones like the No. 1 Ladies but lately it's been all sci-fi, apocalyptic, dystopian weirdness and really bad American accents.

The Now Show is terrible confused. I listen from overseas so luckily I rarely hear that one.

I especially like Brain of Britain and GQT for comedy value grin.

lastnightIwenttoManderley Fri 27-Jun-14 16:59:01

I got in the car and started listening to the dancing contagion one halfway through the 'interview' with the dancing vs illness people. Had me thoroughly confused about what the hell I was listening to!

Giddypants Fri 27-Jun-14 16:59:05

Love love love David sedaris, I could listen to him all day!
News quiz and just a min are funny but that's about all I listen to.
I heard desert island discs this morning which was quite interesting with July Murray, but I suppose it's give and take with who's on and who you find interesting.
I only listen to the dramas when I've done a night shift and trying to get back to sleep, it works wonders!

Giddypants Fri 27-Jun-14 16:59:49

*Judy not July bloody auto correct!

TheCunkOfPhilomena Fri 27-Jun-14 17:01:36

I couldn't agree more Oscar. I don't often have time to listen to them 'live' so will search iPlayer in the evening but now it's a case of searching through so much drudge to find something worth listening to.

The Now Show has never been funny IMHO, I love The News Quiz though.

GoblinLittleOwl Fri 27-Jun-14 17:06:01

I've got out of the habit of listening to Radio 4 Dramas; now I remember why!
The comedy slots, apart from Just a minute and The News Quiz, are painful, including the once wonderful I'm sorry, I haven't a Clue, (and I could really do without so much Paul Merton in Just a Minute; he's as annoying as Clement Freud.)

BOFster Fri 27-Jun-14 17:08:17

I love David Sedaris- when was he on? What do I look up on iplayer? thanks

StephenManganiseverywhere Fri 27-Jun-14 17:11:06

On the subject of R4 comedy, I know humour cannot and should not be justified but for those of you saying it's all rubbish (with a couple of exceptions)....

are you seriously including the exquisite In and Out of the Kitchen (Miles Jupp/Justin Edwards) in that. God god, women and gents! As Monica would say, just writing it I had a teeny tiny orgasm!

But some of the plays are WEIRD I'll give you that, no argument!

BarbaraPalmer Fri 27-Jun-14 17:11:47

anyone hear yesterday's? I was driving back form a meeting at work, and was so transfixed by its bizarre shiteness that I couldn't tune out. It featured a talking greyhound and a lot of Microbes confused.

AKeyFox Fri 27-Jun-14 17:23:39

I think they smoke their own scripts.

Marginally better than the Woman's Hour Drama writers who make smoothies out of theirs.

PhaedraIsMyName Fri 27-Jun-14 17:32:23

No fans of Claire in the Community?

Cabin Pressure was brilliant. And this.

John Finnemore Souvenir programme Episode 3, sket…: youtu.be/eIKHt4BH6Jw

atticusclaw Fri 27-Jun-14 17:34:55

That dancing thing earlier today was freaky. I switched the radio on trying to find the news and listened for a good couple of minutes to what I thought was the news and some sort of tragic event before realising it was a play!

They all just stopped suddenly at the end and then after the event the dancers couldn't really remember anything

ppeatfruit Fri 27-Jun-14 17:43:53

They're giving 'new'' authors a chance I reckon they should look for other criteria as well as 'newness' like, god forbid, TALENT grin

SquirrelledAway Fri 27-Jun-14 17:50:41

Jeez, yesterday's "modern twist on The Odyssey" was just plain weird. Especially the talking greyhound.

Glitterfeet Fri 27-Jun-14 17:55:43

Phaedra another Cabin Pressure fan here. Also Another Case of Milton Jones.

firesidechat Fri 27-Jun-14 17:58:30

Well I can't stand Just a Minute or that other one whose name escapes me (been going for donkeys years too).

David Sedaris is a legend and the only one to make me laugh out loud. I wish he was on more often.

As to the weird dramas, I tend to agree that they are sometimes a bit tedious, but some have hooked me in despite my initial sceptism. I quite like a good old fashioned murder mystery myself.

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