Copenhagen (Michael Frayn, BBC Radio Play 2013)
"Greta and I both saw it at the National," recalls Simon Russell Beale. "It was a brain-stretching evening at the theatre. It’s the most extraordinary piece of multi-layered writing. It’s like a piece of origami."
"In the theatre," says Scacchi, "it was a very stark set. No furniture or dressing that I can remember. It was an abstract space. You tried to follow the words. To lie on your sofa, shut your eyes and listen to it, just the words, is probably one of the best ways to receive this story."
Much cameraderie seems to revolve around the simple problem of not rustling one’s script when the green light is on. “I’m hopeless at the page-turning,” says Beale. “I had a sleepless night, the night before we started, I’m not joking, about the f***ing pages. The speeches here are 20 pages long. So I knew that I’d have to… turn over.”
Cumberbatch grabs a page of script from the table and leans forward. “This is one of the secrets,” he murmurs, conspiratorially. “If you do that” – he scrunches the paper slightly, into a shell-like shape - “the molecules tighten so it becomes something hard rather than moveable. It’s more solid. It doesn’t make a noise.”
It’s an atomic approach to crunch-free radio drama? “It certainly is. It’s science!”