Co­me­di­ans Josie Long and Liam Wil­liams cre­ate a Perime­ter in Ra­dio 4 drama

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BBC Ra­dio 4’s ac­claimed Dan­ger­ous Vi­sions sea­son re­turns for an­other year in June – and this time around there’s an added com­edy el­e­ment to the dystopian sci-fi strand, headed up by its new show Perime­ter from ac­claimed co­me­di­ans Josie Long and Liam Wil­liams.

“I made Liam watch Chil­dren Of Men be­cause I’m ob­sessed with it,” says Long on the in­spi­ra­tion for the one-off show. “We wanted to make some­thing that had el­e­ments of that to it, but was light­hearted and silly as well. There’s quite a lot of us tak­ing the mickey out of our­selves in terms of what it means to try and be po­lit­i­cally aware and be an ac­tivist but to also have a per­son­al­ity that’s ridicu­lous.”

Orig­i­nally con­ceived as a TV show, the story fo­cuses on two sib­lings (also called Josie and Liam) who live in a near-fu­ture city that’s di­vided by an elec­tri­fied wall, and where ev­ery­thing has been pri­va­tised. “Things are di­vided be­tween the rich and the poor,” says Wil­liams, who states JG Bal­lard as an­other in­flu­ence. “The two leads, played by my­self and Josie both hate the wall, but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. Josie hates it be­cause she thinks that it’s wrong and Liam hates it be­cause he thinks that he’s on the wrong side of it. They both get the chance to go and live on the other side and we see how this change in for­tunes af­fects the char­ac­ters dif­fer­ently...”

Long says that while the story is in­spired by cur­rent events, they were both keen to en­sure that Perime­ter was still funny. “We’re try­ing re­ally hard to make points about in­equal­ity and the way our so­ci­ety is struc­tured, but you need the hu­mour. It saves it from be­ing too po-faced. I think writ­ing the bits that are silly and whim­si­cal helps us deal with things like cli­mate change and struc­tural in­equal­ity which are just so bru­tal. In some ways it’s a plea­sure to take these things to an ab­surd place. It feels quite righ­teous and jus­ti­fied!”

Also in­cluded in the sea­son are a new adap­ta­tion of The Chil­dren Of Men, PD James’s bril­liant orig­i­nal novel; a new comic retelling of Franz Kafka’s fa­mous Me­ta­mor­pho­sis; Siege, a three-part drama set in a fu­ture France dom­i­nated by fas­cism; and Dark­ness At Noon – an adap­ta­tion of Arthur Koestler’s 1940 al­le­gor­i­cal novel set in a to­tal­i­tar­ian coun­try.

Ra­dio 4’s Dan­ger­ous Vi­sions sea­son be­gins with Kafka’s Me­ta­mor­pho­sis on 24 June.

Ap­par­ently in dystopian times it’s com­mon prac­tice to cre­ate lu­di­crous hats in the shape of beavers.

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