Thu 02 Feb, 2024

The Listening Room broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds

Groundbreaking radio drama originally broadcast on National Prison Radio gets broadcast slot on the UK’s most popular speech network.

The Listening Room is a unique collaboration between the theatre company Crowded Room, the Prison Radio Association and BBC Radio 4. 

The play tells the true stories of five people whose lives have been turned upside-down through violent crimes.

Playwright Harriet Madeley

Playwright Harriet Madeley conducted original interviews with three victims and two perpetrators of serious violent offences, including murder, manslaughter and violent assault. 

In each case, the victims and perpetrators describe not only the crimes themselves, but also what happened in the aftermath. Following trial and punishment, each was given the chance to meet the person on the other side in a process called Restorative Justice.

Their words have been turned into a script, and actors recite, word-for-word, their testimonies. During the recording, the actors listened to the original interviews through headphones as they spoke the words.

Each story is shocking in its own way, but all have one thing in common – the remarkable way both victims and perpetrators have shown a determination to move on from the crimes, in order that no further lives should be destroyed as a result of one disastrous decision. 

The Listening Room is on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 29 February at 2.15pm, and is available to listen to on BBC Sounds.

Mark Knightley – Ray
Cathy Tyson – Vi
Ryan Gerald – Jacob
Neran Persaud – Khamran
Leo Wan – Tim

Music: Jethro Cooke

Writer: Harriet Madeley (Crowded Room)
Producer: Andrew Wilkie (Prison Radio Association)

A PRA production for BBC Radio 4