Audio Drama Wiki

Setting a Glass is a radio play by Nick Warburton. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 02 November 2010, as an installment of the Afternoon Play[1].

The play was nominated for the 2010 Tinniswood Award.


A man is summoned to a hospital where his elderly mother is fading away. He arrives in the middle of the night and walks through empty corridors looking for a coffee machine. So why is he avoiding sitting at his mother's bedside?

He gets talking to an auxiliary nurse a disgruntled but determined young woman whose life is starting, just as his mother's is ending. As he tells this complete stranger about his mother's uneventful life, her small achievements, he comes to understand some of the mechanisms at play in his strange inability to sit with her.


  • Mike ..... James Fleet
  • Ellie ..... Hannah Pierce
  • Directed by Peter Kavanagh

Critical Reception[]

"Another superb two-hander came from James Fleet and Hannah Pierce in Nick Warburton’s Setting A Glass. Radio is the perfect medium for intimacy and this dead-of-night play was studded with moments of misinterpretation and sudden shards of understanding. Fleet was the middle-aged son of a dying woman, visiting her ward at midnight, while Pierce was the young, impulsive healthcare assistant. In their encounters, his paternalism turned to confrontation while her guttural and unseasoned utterances softened into clear-sightedness." - Moira Petty, The Stage[2]