23 August 07 | Chad W. Post

Sometimes the cultural divide between the U.S. and UK is staggering:

BBC Radio 3 is to air a new play by veteran dramatist Mike Walker, about a Russian journalist arrested by the KGB, as the centrepiece of its autumn drama line-up.

The station has given the green light to Walker’s new play “Babel’s Tower,” inspired by the writings of Russian journalist and playwright, Isaac Babel, and recently released KGB files detailing his imprisonment.

“Babel’s Tower” stars Sir Antony Sher, Robert Glenister and Stephen Noonan. The play tells of the last days of Babel, the Russian war correspondent and screenwriter who fell foul of the KGB, and imagines him being interrogated after his arrest in 1939.

“Babel’s Tower” also dramatises the journalist and writer thinking of characters from his best-known collections of stories, including Jewish gangsters fighting over Odessa in The Odessa Tales, and the Red Army cavalry he rode with as a correspondent.

In addition, the fall line-up includes an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s After the Quake and “Seven Wonders of the Divided World,” which is “written by seven international artists . . . about living near political barriers.”

The entire Speech and Drama section of the BBC Radio 3 website is worth checking out.

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