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2012061020120610 (R3)

Martin Jarvis directs Jared Harris and Joanne Whalley in Alan Ayckbourn's darkly prophetic comedy. What's the most important thing for composer Jerome: a great new work, or his family?

It's sometime in the near future. Composer Jerome has been suffering a creative block. His only company is his beloved music, the ultra-modern recording devices that surround him, and a malfunctioning humanoid robot, NAN 300F.

Jerome has been unable to work since his wife, Corinna, left with their daughter Geain 4 years ago. Desperate to see Geain again and hoping she'll release the flood-gates, he engages a young actress, Zoe, to pretend to be his fiancee. He wants to deceive his ex-wife into believing he's a fit person to be allowed to spend time with Geain. But, owing to his obsession with recording every intimate moment, Zoe quits. Can Jerome now re-programme robot Nan to sound and look like "perfect" Zoe? And what is most important to Jerome - writing the perfect piece of music on the subject of "love - or being back with his family? Life or Art? Plus - which is better - a robot or a human being?

This is Ayckbourn's 34th play. It received its 1987 world premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre-in-the-Round, Scarborough. In November 1988 it opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End, where it ran for ten months, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.

Jerome - Jared Harris

Lupus - Simon Templeman

Zoe - Sophie Winkleman

Geain, aged 9 - Rosa Calcraft

Corinna - Joanne Whalley

Mervyn - Darren Richardson

Geain, aged 13 - Moira Quirk

Mrs Hope-Fitch - Daisy Hydon

Technician - Matthew Wolf

NAN 300F - Herself

Specially composed music: Mark Holden and Michael Lopez

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis & Ayres Production for BBC Radio 3.