The Man with Wings, a new play for radio by award winning playwright Rachel Joyce, features a war-damaged man who wishes to fly, and a village boy, desperate for the return of his father.
It is 1947 and there is a gloomy and desolate feel to the small Gloucestershire village where young Jack Leach's boy lives. It is a village almost entirely populated by women and children; the men have yet to return from the war - and many will never return.
To this village comes a group of travelling nuns, who may or may not be from a religious community, but who set up a homestead in a deserted farmhouse. Then comes the man - back from the war - who is badly injured, but is nursed back to health by the women in the farmhouse. He is befriended in particular by Mireille, one of the women, and by the young boy, for whom he professes to have a secret. What this secret is, and why the man wishes to fly, is revealed as the play progresses. The boy then witnesses a scene that will live with him forever.
This epic story about faith, forbidden love, and the intoxicating power of the imagination has one foot in the poverty of post-war rural Britain, a place of bitter disillusionment that reflects part of our society today, and another in the world of the beauty where the inconceivable may just possibly happen. Niamh Cusack, Tom Goodman Hill and Ian McDiarmid star in a play, which also introduces Jo Joyce Venables as the boy.
Original Music by Lucinda Mason Brown
Produced by Gordon House
A Goldhawk Essential Production for BBC Radio 4.
Sister Mary....Kate Binchy
Producer: Gordon House
A war-damaged man's wish to fly changes a boy's life forever. A new play by Rachel Joyce