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Scenes from an Execution is an award-winning radio play by Howard Barker broadcast by the BBC in 1984. It is Barker's most famous work for radio, and subsequently won the 1985 Prix Italia for Best Drama.


Galactia, respected female painter in 16th century Venice, is commissioned to produce a painting to commemorate the city's victory at the Battle of Lepanto. But Galactia, stubborn and independent, is intent on painting the battle as she sees it in totality, and not as a glorification of war and conquest.


  • Galactia - Glenda Jackson
  • The Doge of Venice Freddie Jones
  • Carpeta - Clive Merrison
  • The Admiral Suffici - Clifford Rose
  • The Cardinal Ostensile - Peter Howell
  • Gina Rivera - Darlene Johnson
  • The Sketchbook - Brett Usher
  • Prodo / Third Sailor - David Sinclair
  • Supporta - Elizabeth Rider
  • Dementia - Helena Breck
  • Sordo / First Sailor - Anthony Hall
  • Official - Peter Acre
  • Second Sailor - Mark Straker
  • The Man in the Next Cell - Jon Strickland

Directed by Richard Wortley

Critical Reception[]

In addition to winning the Italia Prix, the play is also featured in Sight Unseen, lauded for Barker's use of visual imagery.