"Judith Adams and Gaynor Macfarlane: two of the safest pairs of hands in radio" Radio Times Choice
Our dramatisation is about making the map of Earthsea breathe life. The action is a series of journeys across this living map. What we hear will be a soundscape full of the elements of fire, water, air and earth and of three-dimensional characters, all as vivid as imagination can conjure.
We make the project in two cohesive parts, three hours each, and, instead of one book following another, we meld the relevant stories and connected narratives together into two blocks of seamless, action-based story-telling: one half asking the question, the other half discovering an answer.
Each half stands alone; but enriches the other.
Part One is based on The Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore.
Part Two is be based on Tehanu, Dragonfly and The Other Wind.
Narrative in the first three stories is shared between Ged (wizard of Earthsea) and Tenar (priestess of the Tombs of Atuan).
This is the through line that links all the journeys: one great, shared journey from false to real death, in which the dragons, as well as women's power, play a vital role in the full understanding of a choice and agreement made when the islands first rose from the sea, recorded in Earthsea folk tales and songs (the verw nadan).
This choice, between dwelling/accruing, and freedom/wildness, was made by all living things, but the consequences in the world of men have not been embraced, and the spirit of the agreement has not been honoured. Those who chose possessions, control and power, even the "good" wizards themselves, have failed to understand the message of that half-death they so fear in the dry, stony world beyond the grey wall: that their victory in seizing magic from the dragons is only partial, and it poisons the spring of natural life itself, as well as natural death.
Women, working closely with another sort of power and the dragons, flying on Another Wind, must remind the people of Earthsea of the way of true living and true dying.