One Five Seven Years – Episode 5: Selwyn

Skills: [:en]Works[:es]Obras[:], Featured

By Marietta Kirkbride
First broadcast – BBC Sounds – 23/09/22

Imagine you could live for two lifetimes. Would you want to? How would it change you and those you love? What would you do with all those extra years? What second chances might you get? Would this be a blessing or a curse?

This world is an alternative version of our own. Except in this world, a minority of people are discovered to have Extended Life Syndrome (ELS). The condition might give an “Elser” two decades in their thirties, two in their forties, double the time in their fifties, and so on. Little is understood of the biological factors that govern ELS except that it affects a random selection of people. It is the ultimate lottery of genetics, crossing class, race, culture and gender.

And if a simple test existed to check your DNA for this double life, would you take it? Would you want to know?

Now think again. Would you?

100 years old, a telegram from the Queen. 110 years old, a feature in the paper. 120 years, the doctors. 130 years, the scientists, the global research projects. 140 years, TV features, a documentary. 150 years… 157 years…

A time-travelling, tragic exploration of memory and loss, and of a new and incomprehensible form of human isolation.

Written by Marietta Kirkbride

Selwyn ….. Anton Lesser
Anya ….. Rose Wardlaw
Younger Helen ….. Jessica Murrain
Older Helen ….. Pamela Miles
Mary ….. Raquel Cassidy
Chris ….. Jonathan McGuinness
Duncan ….. Asif Khan

Other voices played by the cast

Sound Design ….. Adam Woodhams and Steve Bond
Theme Music ….. Ioana Selaru and Axel Kacoutié

Academic Consultants ….. Tamas David-Barrett & James Fasham
Executive Producer ….. Sara Davies

Series created by Marietta Kirkbride
Directed and Produced by Nicolas Jackson

An Afonica production for BBC Radio 4