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Arbery: Drama and Fiction, Old and New
Short stories and plays - modern and old, moving, thought-provoking, comic and more.
Nov 13, 2020
To Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt
"Conscious that my servant stood amazed, I turned to him and said: ‘Derrick, could you believe I fancied I saw a—-‘ As I laid my hand upon his breast, he trembled violently, and said, ‘O Lord yes sir! A dead man beckoning!’" Who is the dead man? And why is he haunting the narrator? A forgotten ghost story from the master of nineteenth century literature, Charles Dickens. Abridged by Martin Foreman and read by Alistair Wales. Scroll down our previous podcasts to see the wide range of audio entertainment that we produce.
Oct 30, 2020
"I had seen her not as the living and breathing Berenice, but as the Berenice of a dream; not as a being of the earth, earthy, but as the abstraction of such a being; not as a thing to admire, but to analyse; not as an object of love, but as the theme of the most abstruse although desultory speculation." It's Hallowe'en. Close your eyes and listen very carefully to this story of obsession from Edgar Allan Poe. And if your lust for not the macabre is still not sated, scroll down our podcasts to find H P Lovecraft's The Outsider and Martin Foreman's Smoke. Wilkie Collins' A Terribly Strange Bed will also send a shiver down your spine. Thanks to 5518studios.com for library image.
Oct 23, 2020
Tusitala and the Prince: a fable
"Once upon a time, in a land so far away that no one has ever been there in the whole history of story-telling, there lived a little boy. His name was Tusitala and he looked like every other poor boy you know from stories - not all of them true - who live in lands where the sun is hot and there are chickens to steal and oranges to pick when farmers aren’t looking." A story of friendship, doves and disappointment by David Evans. If you enjoy this story, subscribe to hear our weekly episodes - and scroll down our previous podcasts to see the wide range of audio entertainment that we produce.
Oct 16, 2020
The Grand Slam
"Everyone took the game very seriously. To them each hand and every card in that hand had its individuality and lived its own life. Hands were Iiked or disliked, lucky or unlucky. The cards always combined differently and these combinations were subject to no analysis or laws. The players used them for their own ends and the cards did their share, as if animated by their own wishes and caprices." A story from the nineteenth-century Russian author and playwright, Leonid Andreyev. Sarah Schlesinger is a multilingual US actor and voiceover artist. Her previous podcast for Arbery was The Outsider, from the master of horror, H P Lovecraft. sarahschlesingervoiceovers.com If you enjoy this story, subscribe to hear our weekly episodes - and scroll down our previous podcasts to see the wide range of audio entertainment that we produce.
Oct 9, 2020
In the Square
"She was tired and her headache was getting worse. All she wanted to do was sit down somewhere in the shade and relax. She looked down to the end of the street; the square seemed far, far away." A hot day, a woman alone in a foreign city . . . Martin Foreman's work - comic, serious, challenging, entertaining - features regularly on Arbery Podcasts. Elizabeth McNally is a professional Scottish actress, based in London, with a diverse experience of playing a variety of roles in both theatre and film. If you enjoy this story, subscribe to hear our weekly episodes - and scroll down our previous podcasts to see the wide range of audio entertainment that we produce.
Oct 2, 2020
From Now Until Eternity
"That is why I never went down on bended knee, never uttered the spell and opened the magic box to reveal the enchanted ring that would transform our lives forever. I was afraid of revealing the last part of myself, afraid of embarrassment rising in your eyes, afraid of rejection in your voice." After a year apart, a man returns to the woman he loves. Martin Foreman's fiction ranges from the real to the fantastic, deeply serious to slyly comic, sensitive to offensive. From Now Until Eternity is adapted from Cold Silence in Martin's collection First and Fiftieth and other stories, which is available on Amazon and from arberybooks.co.uk. Scroll down for podcasts of other stories by this author and see more of his work on martinforeman.com. Andrew Fettes is a multifaceted, actor and voice artist, comedy performer, writer and director, he lives in London with too many books and ukuleles. His previous podcast for Arbery was the acerbic, sexually explicit and, to some ears highly offensive, Homophobia, Darling.
Sep 25, 2020
Ten Million Years
"I have known and loved you for years, for centuries, for millenia. I have known and loved you since before knowledge and love, since before sight, before sound, before touch, before memory. I have known and loved you with every cell that has ever birthed and died in my body. I have known and loved you since you were me and we were one." Love comes in many forms and may last for aeons . . . Story first published in First and Fiftieth and other stories, available from arberybooks.co.uk/
Sep 18, 2020
"Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin box, a superb diamond necklace, and her heart began to beat with uncontrolled desire. Her hands trembled as she took it. She fastened it around her neck, over her high-necked dress, and stood lost in ecstasy as she looked at herself." Guy de Maupassant's classic story read by Scottish actor / voiceover artist Wendy Lap. Music: Johann Strauss's Auf Ferienreisen, Polka Schnell, Op. 133 performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker. If you enjoy this story, subscribe to our weekly episodes - and scroll down our previous podcasts to see the wide range of audio entertainment that we produce.
Aug 28, 2020
"It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity, and desolation; the putrid, dripping eidolon of unwholesome revelation; the awful baring of that which the merciful earth should always hide." Who or what - and where - is the Outsider? This classic intense story from the pen of H P Lovecraft demands to be heard several times to allow the full horror of the situation to unfold. Lovecraft (1890-1937) is one of the best-known, most prolific and talented writers of horror and gothic fiction. Lovecraft on Wikipedia. Sarah Schlesinger is a multilingual US actor and voiceover artist. sarahschlesingervoiceovers.com Image: adapted from wall.alphacoders.com SFX: adapted from classiccat.net / fesliyanstudios.com / sound-image.com If you enjoy this story, subscribe to hear our weekly episodes - and scroll down our previous podcasts to see the wide range of audio entertainment that we produce
Aug 21, 2020
An out, proud gay man condemns homophobia in his workplace. WARNING: A sexually explicit story using very strong language and with subject matter that some listeners may find offensive. Martin Foreman's fiction ranges from real to fantastic, deeply serious to slyly comic, sensitive to offensive. See more of his work on martinforeman.com. Andrew Fettes is a multifaceted, actor and voice artist, comedy performer, writer and director, he lives in London with too many books and ukuleles.
Aug 14, 2020
"This one has the scent of Araby, the sparkle of champagne, the mist of distant moors." At a time when people could still smoke in bars, a group of office workers meet for a drink. On a table sits an abandoned pack of cigarettes; there's no harm in lighting one, is there? A disturbing, haunting tale about the dangers of tobacco. If you enjoy this story, subscribe to hear our weekly episodes - and scroll down our previous podcasts to see the wide range of audio entertainment that we produce. ------------------------- Martin Foreman's fiction ranges from real to fantastic, deeply serious to slyly comic, sensitive to offensive. See more of his work on martinforeman.com. Rosie Kernohan is a recent graduate from the Oxford School of Drama. Image: adapted from wallpapersden.com Sound: adapted from fesliyanstudios.com; freesfx.co.uk; zapsplat.com
Aug 7, 2020
The Lumber Room & The Mouse
Is the Devil really speaking to young Nicholas from inside a rainwater barrel? And what would you do if a mouse were crawling around inside your clothes as you sat opposite an attractive stranger? Two humorous stories from H H Munro ('Saki' 1870-1916) read by Michael Robert-Brown. Also from Michael Robert-Brown on Arbery Podcasts: A Terribly Strange Bed - a story of skullduggery in Victorian Paris - and The Slanderer & A Work of Art - two comic tales from Anton Chekhov. michaelrobertbrown.com
Jul 31, 2020
A Terribly Strange Bed
A young man wins a fortune in a disreputable gambling-house in Paris, gets drunk with an old soldier and then fears for his life. A short story from William Wilkie Collins, the author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone, originally published in 1852 in Household Words, a magazine edited by Charles Dickens. Read by Michael Robert-Brown. michaelrobertbrown.com Also Michael Robert-Brown from Arbery Podcasts: two comic stories from Anton Chekhov: The Slanderer & A Work of Art Title image: Konstantin Korovin Music: music4video
Jul 24, 2020
Death on the Lido
A 14-year-old boy is troubled - or is he fascinated? - by an old man who never stops watching him. In Thomas Mann's 1912 novella Death in Venice (filmed in 1971 by Luchino Visconti) the ageing Gustav von Aschenbach becomes obsessed with the beauty of young Tadzio. Although the two never speak, a silent relationship grows between them, a relationship which persists as the old man's health fails and the city is beset by cholera. Decades later Tadzio remembers that fateful summer. What went through the boy's mind when he realised what was happening? What impact did it have on his adult life? Finally, the silent youth speaks. Originally the title story in Martin Foreman's collection A Sense of Loss, Death on the Lido was later adapted for the stage as Tadzio Speaks with Christopher Peacock ("deeply poetic" Views from the Gods). This audio version with John Vernon brings to life one of fiction's most memorable and least understood characters. A Sense of Loss and Tadzio Speaks can be orde…
Jul 17, 2020
The Slanderer & A Work of Art
The Slanderer: who has been telling tales about Sergey Kapitonlch Akhineyev's activities in the kitchen? A Work of Art: what would you do with the gift of an erotic statuette? Two short stories revealing Russian writer Anton Chekhov's comic side. Read by Michael Robert-Brown. michaelrobertbrown.com Music: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 6 "Patethique" from classiccat.net
Jul 10, 2020
Can it wait till morning?
In the 1950s Peter Paterson-Brown became a general practitioner in a small town in the Scottish Borders. These three episodes are dramatised, by Oliver Cookson and Marilyn Imrie, from his diary of his experiences over the years. With Oliver Cookson as the doctor and Barbara Dickson as Nellie, Lady Hamilton and Hazel. Barbara Dickson has been a popular and best-selling singer-songwriter and actress since the 1970s, with many single and album hits. She is married to Oliver Cookson, a BBC director and occasional actor. Her website is barbaradickson.net.
Jul 3, 2020
Now We Are Pope: Frederick Rolfe in Venice
26 October 1913 Alone in his room in a palazzo in Venice on the last day of his life, writer Frederick Rolfe ("Baron Corvo") reflects on the past, his thoughts spiritual and carnal, his memories caustic and unforgiving. A devout Catholic, although hostile to those of that faith, he never forgets that he, like the hero of his most famous novel, Hadrian VII, should have been made Pope. Now We Are Pope draws on Rolfe's writings - both his fiction, which often depicted real people lightly disguised, and his letters, which included malicious gossip and explicit descriptions of sexual encounters. All the characters mentioned in the play were real, except Septimus Scaptia, who appears in an unfinished novel, and Jeremiah Sant, who plays a key role in Hadrian VII's life. Ermenegildo Vianello ("Zildo") was a young gondolier whom Rolfe met soon after he arrived in Venice. The play was first presented in London and Edinburgh in 2014 with Christopher Annus as Rolfe. The playscript is available…
Jun 26, 2020
At the end of the day, a grandmother looks back at her life from marriage to the present day. A virgin on her wedding night who becomes a reluctant mother with a philandering husband, a stay-at-home wife who in middle-age discovers business skills she never suspected, over decades this woman's emotions have been severely tested and sometimes rewarded. Audio version of the one-woman by Martin Foreman, with Maggie Macleod, presented at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. "four stars", All Edinburgh Theatre. An earlier version of this story, set in North America, is in First and Fiftieth and other stories; order online at Arbery Books.
Jun 19, 2020
Kitchen Table a short story by Martin Foreman (publd 2002) read by Gordon Houston A sixteen-year-old, his girlfriend, first sex, fatherhood and a whirlwind of emotions. Story originally published in First and Fiftieth and other stories, available from Arbery Books.
Jun 12, 2020
Ben and Joe's
Ben and Joe's a short story by Martin Foreman (publd 2002) read by John Vernon In a bar in Los Angeles a group of middle-aged gay white men while away their afternoons until their lives are disrupted by the arrival of a young black man. Story originally published in First and Fiftieth and other stories, available from Arbery Books.
Jun 2, 2020
Night Traffic a short story by Martin Foreman (2002) read by Gordon Houston A motorway service station in the middle of the night. A young man and his lover on their way from Edinburgh to seek a new life in London. Trial podcast from Arbery Productions: arberyproductions.co.uk/podcasts.htm. Published in "First and Fiftieth and other stories" from arberybooks.co.uk.