Michelene Wandor’s prolific output of plays and dramatisations for BBC radio has garnered numerous nominations and awards. She has also broadcast as reviewer and presenter for Radios 3 and 4.

A divorced woman becomes a mature student. Radio 4, 1978. 45 mins. Starring Maureen Lipman.

‘A delightfully funny debut by Michelene Wandor.’
– Observer

Dust in the Sugar House
Feature on the life and work of writer Antonia White. Runner-up for Pye Radio Award. Radio 3, 1979. 45 mins.

The Unlit Lamp
Dramatisation of novel by Radclyffe Hall. Radio 4, 1980. 90 mins. Starring Caroline Mortimer.

Aurora Leigh
Dramatisation of verse-novel by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Radio 3, 1981. 70 mins. (See also under Theatre.) Starring Sara Kestelman.

Precious Bane
Three-part classic serial dramatisation of novel by Mary Webb. Radio 4, 1981. 55 mins each. Starring Miriam Margolyes.

The Ultimate Astonisher
Feature about the life, work and ideas of writer Dorothy Richardson. Radio 3, 1982. 45 mins. (Copy in National Sound Archives.)

Lolly Willowes
Dramatisation of novel by Sylvia Townsend Warner. Radio 4, 1983, 45 mins.

An Uncommon Love
Play based on the diaries of Victorian man-of-letters Arthur Munby, and his secret love and wife, maid-of-all-work, Hannah Cullwick. Radio 4, 1984. 90 mins.

Five-part classic serial dramatisation of novel by H. G. Wells. Runner-up for Sony Radio Award. Radio 4, 1984. 55 mins each. (See also under Home Page) Starring Paul Daneman.

‘A good example of total adaptation, taking the text to pieces and building it up from ground level with purely radio techniques. It’s light, breezy, rather scampering…’
– John Wain, The Listener

‘A striking example of the adaptor’s art.’
– The Spectator

Friend to Friend
Feature about friendship of two working-class women at the turn of the century. Radio 4, 1984. 45 mins.

Venus Smiles
Dramatisation of short story by J. G. Ballard. Radio 4, 1985. 45 mins.

A Consoling Blue
Feature about Jean Rhys and her writing of Wide Sargasso Sea. Radio 4, 1985. 30 mins

The Nine Tailors
Dramatisation of thriller by Dorothy L. Sayers. Radio 4, 1986. 120 mins. Starring Mary Wimbush.

‘This was a gloriously atmospheric piece of detective fiction.’
– Independent, 1986

The Brothers Karamazov
Eight-part classic serial dramatisation of the novel by Dostoyevsky. Radio 4, 1989. 55 mins each. Starring Stuart Wilson, Michael Malone, Eleanor Bron.

‘A powerfully dramatic adaptation of one of Dostoyevsky’s most difficult novels.’
Guardian, 1989

‘This adaptation will capture something of the depth as well as the breadth of this prodigious novel.’
– The Times, 1989

‘Wandor knows what she is doing….as listeners are aware from her adaptations of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ and Dorothy L. Sayers’ ‘The Nine Tailors’. Her virtue lies in preserving the flavour of Russia, with its hermits, vodka and fish soup.’
– Sunday Times, 1989

Three-part classic serial dramatisation of novel by Jane Austen. Radio 4, 1987. 55 mins each. Starring Juliet Stevenson.

Helbeck of Bannisdale
Dramatisation of novel by Mrs Humphry Ward. Radio 4, 1987. 90 mins.

Whose Body?
Dramatisation of thriller by Dorothy L. Sayers. Radio 4, 1987. 90 mins.

The Dwelling Place
Dramatisation of novel by Catherine Cookson. Radio 4, 1988. 90 mins.

Peter Pan
Adaptation of play by J. M. Barrie for radio. BBC World Service, 1988. 60 mins.

Fanny Burney’s Cheltenham Diary
Adaptation of diaries about the King’s visit to Cheltenham in 1788. Radio 3, 1988. 40 mins.

Adaptation of play by Tom Kempinski for radio. BBC World Service, 1989. 60 mins.

Frenchman’s Creek
Six-part dramatisation of novel by Daphne du Maurier. Radio 4, 1989. 30 mins each. Issued as BBC Enterprises Cassette.

‘Michelene Wandor has written a sensitive dramatisation…’
– Observer, 1990

The Mill on the Floss
Five-part classic serial dramatisation of novel by George Eliot. Radio 4, 1991. 60 mins each.

‘Full marks to Michelene Wandor’s adaptation.’
– The Times, 1990

Killing Orders
Six-part dramatisation of thriller by Sara Paretsky. Starring Kathleen Turner. Radio 4, 1991. 30 mins each.

‘Crisp dialogue side-stepping the usual crime cliches ensures a treat for listeners.’
– Sunday Telegraph, 1991

A Question of Courage
Five-part dramatisation of novel about suffragettes by Marjorie Darke. Radio 5, 1992. 30 mins each.

A Rose from Blighty
Five-part dramatisation of sequel by Marjorie Darke. Radio 5. 30 mins each.

The King’s General
Dramatisation of novel by Daphne du Maurier. Radio 4, 1992. 90 mins.

Six-part dramatisation of thriller by Sara Paretsky. Radio 4, 1993. 30 mins each. Starring Kathleen Turner and Martin Shaw.

Bitter Medicine
Six-part dramatisation of thriller by Sara Paretsky. Radio 4. 30 mins each. Starring Sharon Gless.

Jane Eyre
Four-part classic serial dramatisation of novel by Charlotte Bronte. Radio 4, 1994. 60 mins each.

‘Michelene Wandor’s fine adaptation has the full complement of atmospheric noises and creepy music, and beautifully maintains the balance between the sensibility of Jane’s inner world and the brutality of her material circumstances.’
– The Times, 1994

‘No Bronte fan should miss it.’
– Paul Donovan, Sunday Times, 1994

The Jungle Book
Five-part dramatisation of stories by Rudyard Kipling. Radio 5, 1994. 30 mins each. Runner-up for Best Radio Dramatisation, Writers’ Guild Award. Issued on BBC Enterprises Cassette. Starring Eartha Kitt.

‘Michelene Wandor’s dramatisation returned us to the original and thereby provided a fascinating gloss on Disney, who remade Kipling in the image of American society.’
– Anne Karpf, Guardian, 1994

‘It has depth and colour, its light shifting on the inner eye, every character and situation defined.’
– Telegraph, 1994

‘A fine dramatisation by Michelene Wandor…a magnificent version, true to Kipling’s original.’
– Mail, 1994

Power Cut
Short story. Radio 4, 1994. 15 mins.

Body of Glass
Dramatisation of novel by Marge Piercy. Radio 4, 1995. 90 mins. Starring Eleanor Bron.

The Go-Between
Abridgement of novel by L.P. Hartley. Radio 4, 1995. 10 x 15 mins.

‘The adapter is Michelene Wandor, queen bee of radio abridgements.’
– Sunday Times, 1995

The Long Road to Freedom
Abridgement of autobiography of Nelson Mandela. BBC World Service, 1995. 12 x 15 mins.

Ethan Frome
Dramatisation of novel by Edith Wharton. Radio 4, 1997. 90 mins.

Arms and the Man
Adaptation of play by G.B. Shaw for radio. BBC World Service, 1995. 60 mins.

The Devil in the Cupboard
Short story. 15 mins. Radio 4, 1996.

The Piano
Three-part classic serial dramatisation of novel by Jane Campion and Kate Pullinger. Radio 4, 1995. 60 mins each. Nominated for Writers’Guild Award, 1996. Audio Cassette: BBC/Polygram

New for Old
Myths retold; eight re-written Greek myths, in modern settings. Radio 3, 1996, 13 mins each.

Pride and Prejudice
By Jane Austen. Dramatised for the World Service English programme. Fifteen parts, 15 mins each. 1996.

Gone to Earth
By Mary Webb. Three-part classic serial. Radio 4. 60 mins each.

The Mill on The Floss
15 episodes dramatised for BBC English World Service, 1997.

The Queen of Spades
Original play based on Pushkin short story. Radio 4, 90 mins, 1997.

Short story. Radio 4. 1996.

Scarlet and Black
By Stendhal. Abridged for Radio 4, 10 episodes, 15 mins each. 1996. Audio Book, BBC.

The Tailor of Panama
By John le Carre. Abridged for Hodder Headline audio cassette. 1996.

Original radio play, Radio 4, 90 mins.

The Castle of Otranto
Dramatisation of novel by Horace Walpole. Radio 4. 1997.

The Moonstone
By Wilkie Collins. Dramatised in 15 x 15 min. episodes for BBC English, World Service. 1998.

Hemlock and After
By Angus Wilson. Dramatised for Radio 4’s Classic Serial slot; 2 x 60 mins. 1999. Starring Derek Jacobi and Anna Massey.

Corridors of Light and Shadow
A fantasy encounter between Henry VIII and Isabella d’Este, during a weekend in Mantua. Location sound, and fictional script. Produced by Piers Plowright. Radio 3, 45 mins, 1999.

Toccata and Fugue
Short story. 15 mins. Radio 4. 1999.

A Lifelong Passion
Impressionistic story of the relationship between Nicholas and Alexandra, based on memoirs, diaries and letters. 45 mins, Radio 4, 1999.

The Shade Catcher
The search for Charlotte Mew. Impressionistic feature on early 20th century writer. Starring Fiona Shaw. 45 mins. Radio 4, 1999.

In The Cage
By Henry James. Dramatised for Radio 4. 60 mins. 1999.

The Clock of Heaven
The story of the discovery of Longitude. Play. 45 mins. Radio 4, 1999. Starring Barbara Flynn, Nicky Henson, Finetime Fontayne.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
By Jean Dominique Bauby. Abridged, with sound, for World Service Drama. 60 mins. 2000. Starring Tim Piggott-Smith.

A Country House
Dramatisation of short story by Dorothy Edwards. Radio 4, 2000. 45 mins. Starring Jane Lapotaire.

Of Abrupt Self
Programme about John Blow’s Ode on the Death of Purcell, docu-drama. Radio 4, 30 mins. 2000.

Lady Windermere’s Fan
Oscar Wilde play adapted for BBC World Service. 60 mins. 2000. Issued on BBC cassette.

National Velvet
Dramatisation of novel by Enid Bagnold; 2 x 45 mins. Radio 4, 2001.

The Holiday
Dramatisation of novel by Stevie Smith. 60 mins. Radio 4. 2001.

The Millstone
Dramatisation of novel by Margaret Drabble. 5x 15 mins. Radio 4. 2002.

Via Angelica
Short story. Radio 4. 2002.

Out of Sweetness
Contemporary retelling of the the Samson story. 20 mins Radio 3, 2002.
Starring Eleanor Bron

Original play about passion. 15 mins. Radio 4, 2002.

The Little Photographer
Dramatisation of a story by Daphne du Maurier. 45mins. Radio 4, 2003

Zuleika Dobson
Dramatisation of novel by Max Beerbohm. 60 mins. Radio 4, 2003.

Every Eye
Dramatisation of novel by Isobel English. 45 mins. Radio 4. 2004.

The Perfect Courtier
Original impressionist story about Cellini and his times, told through the eyes of Perseus and Medusa. Radio 3. 20 mins. 2003. With Eleanor Bron and Oliver Ford Davies.

They do it with Mirrors
Cards on the Table
They Came to Baghdad
The man in the Brown Suit
Abridgements of novels by Agatha Christie for Macmillan Audiobooks. (2001-2003.)

She Fell Among Thieves
Dramatisation of novel by Dornford Yates. 60 mins. Radio 4, 2004.

The Princess and the Carpenter
Play about late 17 th century composer Charpentier, and his patron, Marie de Guise. Radio 3. 20 mins. 2004.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Dramatisation of novel by D. H. Lawrence. 2x 60 mins Classic Serial. Radio 4, 2006.

The Making of a Marchioness
by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Dramatised for Radio 4, Classic Serial, 2 x 60 mins. 2007. With Miriam Margolyes and Charles Dance.

Tulips in Winter.
Play about Spinoza. Radio 3. 90 mins. 2008. With Timothy Spall, Angela Pleasence, Philip Voss.

Dramatisation of novel by Nora Ephron. Woman’s Hour, 5 x 15 mins. 2009.

Courtly Love 2012
Original play about Isabella d’Este and Lucrezia Borgia.’…a play that is truly entertaining and captivating.’ (Radio 3)

Mrs Dalloway 2012
Dramatisation of the novel by Virginia Woolf.(Radio 3, 2012)

Plays with music

Gardens of Eden
Play based on own poems, with music specially written by Michael Nyman. Radio 4, 1987. 40 mins. Starring Maureen Lipman and Miriam Margolyes.

‘Ms Wandor is one of radio’s most effective writers.’
– Guardian

‘A strong, haunting, often very funny piece. Jewish jokes and feminism were served up, some dazzling.’
– Observer

‘The piece as a whole seemed to me to belong not with poetry nor prose nor drama, but to that rarely attained genre, the pure radio work, like ‘Under Milk Wood’ or the best plays of Louis MacNeice. The style was adapted perfectly to a work of literature designed to live not on the page, but in pure sound.’
– John Wain, Sunday Telegraph

Ben Venga Maggio
Poem-play woven round Italian carnival music from the Renaissance. Music played by Musica Antiqua of London. Radio 3, 1990. 45 mins. Runner-up for the Innsbruck Early Music Festival Prize, 1990. Nominated for Sony Award, 1991. Nominated for Prix Italia, 1991. Starring Fiona Shaw.

The Courtier, the Prince and the Lady
Play set in Renaissance Italy, drawing on Machiavelli and Castiglione as source material. Produced by Piers Plowright. Music by Josquin and his contemporaries. Radio 3, 1990. 40 mins. Nominated for Sony Award, 1990.

‘Michelene Wandor’s new play, set in Renaissance Italy, stirs a steamy cauldron of power, sex and politics.’
– The Times

‘A passionate, erotic and ultimately deadly love story.’
– Radio Times

‘The week’s most compelling drama is Michelene Wandor’s account of an evening of politeness and passion in an Italian palace at the time of the Italian Renaissance.’
– The Sunday Times

A Summer Wedding
Drama to frame the music written for the celebration of the wedding of Cosimo de Medici, in Florence in 1539. Produced by Graham Dixon and Piers Plowright. Music played by Musica Antiqua of London. Radio 3, 1991. 90 mins.

Love and Friendship
Two pastoral plays by Spanish Renaissance writer and composer, Encina. Recreated with music played by Musica Antiqua of London. Radio 3, 1992. 30 mins.

Orlando and Friends
Play inspired by Orlando Furioso, epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto. Produced by Piers Plowright. Arranged music from sixteenth century, and played by own group, SIENA. Radio 3, 1995. 45 mins.

Corridors of Light and Shadow
45-minute fantasia to evoke Mantua, past and present. Authentic, location sound, recorder music (MW), and an encounter between Henry VIII and Isabella d’Este. Producer Piers Plowright. Radio 3, 1999.