Advanced search

To think the majority of radio 4 drama is awful?

(156 Posts)
Mogginthemog Mon 22-Jan-18 16:50:03

Today’s offerings I’ve cringed through were something called, “Tom Wrigglesworth’s hang-ups’ and, “Introduction and Allegro”, about a string quartet. Both supposedly comedies and both pathetically unfunny and irritating. I’ve been at home far more than usual due to illness and bad weather and just about every drama that’s come on I’ve ended up turning off. I don’t understand why they can do factual programmes so well yet don’t seem to be able to find people to write decent drama.

I don’t know if I’m being unreasonable and am totally out of kilter with what decent drama involves or whether most of it is actually a pile of rubbish.

VapersNest Mon 22-Jan-18 16:52:26


It’s been a running joke with me and my mum forever. Once the news programmes are over, turn it off quickly or you might be subjected to a dreadful radio 4 radio play. Cringe!

CarefullyDrawnMap Mon 22-Jan-18 16:54:40

Yes, awful. I heard that string quartet thing today and it was dreadful. I think radio 4 has really gone downhill lately, there is loads of crap on it.

TheDailyMailIsADisgustingRag Mon 22-Jan-18 16:55:13

I’ve heard some funny stuff on there actually, but not recently. There was one I used to listen to about an Advertising company. That was quite funny I think.

Also, I have a secret love for the wartime one in the mornings. Think it’s called Home Front.

The plays in the afternoon are a bit shit though. The worst is when they do sex scenes! I can’t listen to them for some reason, though I don’t mind watching them in Peaky Blinders etc confused.

Showergel1 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:55:55

I enjoy listening to them but I've noticed anything that is particularly comedy related has a very student feel about it. Sometimes the jokes can feel very forced and people laugh too hard.

user1471517900 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:57:41

I liked the advertising one a lot. Josie Lawrence was in that one I think. I wish they'd put a panel show on 4extra between 6-6.30pm again as that's perfect for my commute. Always some sci fi book

Subtleconstraints Mon 22-Jan-18 16:59:20

Utterly dreadful! Aside from appalling plots and clichéd subject matter, my particular bugbears are arch middle class actresses murdering working class accents, and characters being forced to whisper in the hope that it will imbue the narrative with added significance - which it doesn't - it's just profoundly irritating.

AuntyElle Mon 22-Jan-18 17:00:29

Some of it is dire, especially the comedy (which is so bloke-heavy). But I think some is excellent.
A good crime drama over the last two weeks:
And I’m loving the CP Stone dramatisation on 4extra:

Weezol Mon 22-Jan-18 17:01:01

What you want is Radio4 Extra which is primarily made up of programmes from the archives. Especially at weekends at 6-7pm for The Seventh Dimension which is sci-fi and classic horror.

Today I've listened to Hancock's Half Hour, The 99p Show and The Party Line. Later it will be Agatha Raisin starring the legend that is Penelope Keith.

I haven't listened to R4 in years and don't miss the hectoring, nannying tone of a lot of the programmes.

Daffydil Mon 22-Jan-18 17:01:24

I really liked Stone that has been on in the 2.15 slot for the last fortnight. And the Agatha Christie that's been on Friday mornings for the last tree weeks has been good too.

The Marcus Brigstock thing that was on before Christmas was hilarious. And the cold Swedish winter was good too.

I didn't find the string quartet thing today funny at all.

Mogginthemog Mon 22-Jan-18 17:03:37

Glad it’s not just me being a grump with cabin fever. The Home Front series did sound better written and acted than anything else I’ve come across I must admit but still seemed rather writing by number-ish.

Studenty describes the comedy exactly showergel. Both of today’s atrocities sounded like they were put together by a precocious 17 year old . So forced and embarrassing and completely unfunny.

Heartoffire Mon 22-Jan-18 17:03:38

Gave up radio 4 years ago as it’s far too London centric and up itself.

Radio 5 much much better. Far better journalistic interviews and better guests. And more than one monotone boring estuary accent. Far too many middle aged white men too.

Coloursthatweremyjoy Mon 22-Jan-18 17:05:12

I enjoy some of it...Tracks and The Voice of God were good late last year. But I like the book readings much more. Anansi Boys was on over Christmas and im going through How to Stop Time at the moment.

I was listening to The Reservoir Tapes. 15 episodes 15! Once a week for 15 minutes! By the end of it I couldn't care less what happened to the missing girl and it never really concluded anyway! What do you think happened? I don't know, you're the author...why don't you tell me! Dire.

MikeUniformMike Mon 22-Jan-18 17:05:38

I dislike fake American accents, fake Indian accent, etc.
I love R4 in general but find myself switching the radio off a lot nowadays.
Stella Gonet was reading something the other day and she said Lenth. Every DID has Kirsty Young saying Sickth.
One of the CAs says Kerrr-nel for Colonel.
And I can't stand Jenni Murray.

Mogginthemog Mon 22-Jan-18 17:08:03

Oh god yes the terrible accents! Absolutely no one seems to be able to do a convincing American, Indian, European or UK regional accent. They are supposed to be actors yet they can only act using their own voice.

lookingforthecorkscrew Mon 22-Jan-18 17:08:22

Are both those shows that you mentioned actually dramas? Surely they’re comedies?

MrsDilber Mon 22-Jan-18 17:09:41

Is there a time of the week when they do a spooky section? I ask because "whistle and I'll come" was on and that was great.

ASmallBlueberry Mon 22-Jan-18 17:09:58

There was a great one recently about the aftermath of a rape, called Not A Love Story. It was very powerful and moving.

ArbitraryName Mon 22-Jan-18 17:10:20

I have always hated radio 4 drama. I like the factual stuff but the drama is always dire.

ArbitraryName Mon 22-Jan-18 17:11:45

I particularly hate anything involving the slurpy sounds of kissing.

treaclesoda Mon 22-Jan-18 17:12:52

I was going to say that I had a bit of a soft spot for the Home Front one.

But the rest of it, no, not for me.

Cheby Mon 22-Jan-18 17:13:58

There are some real gems in there though; Cabin Pressure springs to mind.

bigtissue Mon 22-Jan-18 17:14:13

Sorry OP, I liked the 4/4 one about the string quartet, I thought it was well characterised - and Scottish too smile

The Pliny and Me series by the very talented Hattie Naylor is wonderful, IMVHO.

CarefullyDrawnMap Mon 22-Jan-18 17:16:31

There was a good afternoon drama on a couple of years ago where a woman was in hospital and suspended in a kind of contraption, it wasn't really explained what was going on, but it turned out to be psychological - her daughter had been killed. I haven't explained it very well. That one was good and has stayed with me.

Eolian Mon 22-Jan-18 17:16:55

They are usually awful - either boring or excruciating or both. When Dh (normally a devotee of R4) hears a R4 drama announced, he always says "Oh great, it'll be about some woman looking for her tea towel or something tedious". They are now known as tea towel dramas in our house.

Yy to the awful accents.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: