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A Better World: Stories of Democracy and Consumerism Retold: Four full-cast BBC Radio Dramas inspired by Das Kapital, News from Nowhere & more


Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
Narrator
Release Date
October 2023
Duration
3 hours 33 minutes
Summary
Four full-cast BBC Radio dramas inspired by classic texts about democracy, consumerism and our future

Sarah Woods has developed a reputation for taking seemingly un-dramatisable non-fiction classics and turning them into gripping and immersive audio drama. Four seminal political books are here brought to life and into the twenty-first century, and ideas that have been fascinating and shaping society for hundreds of years are developed into brilliant, insightful dramas.

How does humanity's success also mean its potential destruction? And what do we need to turn from this danger, and instead develop a global system that's positive, sustainable, and better for the masses rather than the few?

In Das Kapital, Karl Marx's iconic work is reinterpreted as we imagine what Marx would make of our current global economy and its key commodity: the smartphone. From the cobalt mines of Africa to the tech firms of the UK, the story carries us from political concept to everyday object, forming our behaviours, economies, and our planet in a way perhaps only Marx foresaw. This captivating adaptation was nominated for both an Audio Drama Award and the Prix Europa 2018. Starring David Threlfall and Kimberley Nixon.

The Limits to Growth is based on the work of Donella Meadows, lead author of the seminal 1972 report on Earth's capacity to support human unchecked economic expansion. Still incredibly relevant today, the drama it inspired follows the experiences of Donella and Dennis Meadows as they write their ground-breaking report and come to fundamentally reassess the way they live, steering towards a hopeful, sustainable future. Starring Samantha Dakin and Ben Cura.

News from Nowhere was originally published in 1890 by artist, designer and socialist William Morris, and is movingly updated here for the 21st century. Using Morris's central idea that society needs to re-discover the value of work and thrive on beauty over consumerism, the story is given a new perspective when modern-day man Will Guest travels into a future utopia and discovers love for both a woman and society at large. Starring Ron Cook.

Democracy is one of the most influential political texts ever written, asking whether democracy can offer us the world, and the leaders, that we need. In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville travelled to the USA on a nine-month trip that led him to conclude that democracy was unstoppable and would spread across Europe. His concerns about democracy - the dangers of self-interest and materialism; the tendencies towards mediocrity; the risk of populist, despotic leaders and the silencing of minorities - echo clearly into the present day. In this drama, set in the present day UK, an elderly man turns up at a Preston hospital who doesn’t seem to be registered with a GP and won’t give his address. He says his name’s Alexis de Tocqueville and that he needs to find out what has happened to democracy. Starring Philippe Spall and Catherine Ayers.

Sarah Woods is an award-winning playwright and systems thinker who communicates current issues through innovative drama. She has written over 30 plays, series, adaptations and drama-documentaries for BBC Radio, including Borderland, which won the Tinniswood Award for Best Audio Drama at the 2018 BBC Audio Drama Awards.

©2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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