The Butcher’s Wife
ABC Radio National are repeating The Butcher’s Wife on Sunday 10 July 2011 at 3:00 pm. Repeated on Thursday at 7:00 pm, and available to listen online for 4 weeks from initial broadcast.
The Butcher’s Wife exists as a radio script and a stage play. Here’s a synopsis and some production information.
When she married Luke Harris, Sopoline (Saren in the stage play) thought she’d escaped her past. Here she’s a country town butcher’s wife, and Cambodia seems a long way away. Until Luke’s mysterious disappearance prompts an investigation. Sopoline’s response puzzles local policeman, Gan, who seeks the advice of his sister Callie—recently returned from a gruelling stint as an aid worker. Callie however, is struggling with her own ghosts.
Meanwhile, Sopoline has an unexpected visitor in the form of The Naga: a mythical water serpent. Gan finds himself increasingly drawn to the enigmatic Sopoline. While at home their mother’s growing blindness causes tension between brother and sister. And Callie begins to suspect there might be dark secrets in the butcher’s wife’s Cambodian past.
Production & broadcast details
ABC Radio National, 2005
CBC Canada, Radio New Zealand, RTÉ Ireland, LA Theatreworks USA, RTHK Hong Kong and the BBC, 2005
Mainstreet Theatre Company, South Australia, 2000
Short-listed: 2006 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards
Selected: 2005 Prix Italia International Competition for Radio Television and Web
Finalist: 2001 ANPC/New Dramatists Exchange Award
Australian Script Centre, Collection #6, 2006
‘Noëlle Janaczewska’s fascinating, rhythmic work skilfully examines how the past lives on in the present, and at what cost the migrant makes herself anew in a new land … Excellent and inventive use of sound makes this a very successful adaptation to radio.’ Judges’ Report, 2006 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards