Audio Drama Wiki

Writing on Wigan Pier by David Pownall
Directed by Martin Jenkins
BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Play - 31.07.2010


In 1936, George Orwell embarked on a visit to Wigan, a typical coal-mining town in industrial Lancashire in order to write a book about the people, their experiences and their struggle to cope with the effects of the Depression.
Determined not to be dismissed as a dispassionate observer, he resolves to spend time living with and amongst the people. However, he brings with him his self-guilt, his obsession with the English class system, his fiercely-held preconceptions of the working-class and his remarkable cut-glass voice, of which he is all too painfully aware. The visit is both revealing and humorous.
He stays in an appalling doss-house above a tripe shop, tries to work down a pit, stays with a family, makes a pass at the wife, upsets the local Women's Institute and meets a priest escaping from fascism in Spain. Whilst most who meet him take him for who and what he is, for Orwell the experience develops into a journey of self-discovery.


  • Orwell .... Adrian Scarborough
  • Neil .... Karl Davies
  • Helen .... Helen Longworth
  • Grandad .... Bernard Cribbins
  • Mrs Brooker/Country Lady .... Thelma Barlow
  • Gollancz .... Keith Drinkel
  • Arnold .... Anthony Glennon
  • Meade/Ignatius .... Tom Bevan

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