In the deep night a phone box rings. It could be Margate in Southern England, the Florida Everglades or a tiny town in New Zealand. But who will pick up? And will this complete stranger share their life under the cloak of darkness?
That's the premise of Don't Hang Up. This is its second and final series. It began life in 2002 as a one off experiment in talking to strangers. Oral historian Alan Dein remains its presenter. For this series lengthy negotiation was needed with foreign telephone companies to allow calling in. Many hours of dialling day and night then followed. All interviews were unscripted and unplanned before the final production process transformed the raw material into a feature.
This second instalment is a deliberately dark journey into the small hours. It opens on the moonlit Portland Place, central London, to the haunting strains of Rudy Vallee's Deep Night, before sweeping the listener into a near deserted Broadcasting House as Dein and his producer begin dialling, dialling into the dark.
What follows is a wild ride into 3 very different and often disturbing worlds. A violent teenage girl in Margate. A Tran-sexual prostitute in a small New Zealand town. And an ex-cop in the Everglades, scarred by his years of service. The three are given their own musical themes (Ska, Blues and jazz standards). Gorecki's 3rd Symphony is used to bring the three narratives together as the connections are made via stories of pain, loss, sharing and survival.
'Don't Hang Up' is A BBC Radio 4 Documentary production
It was presented by Alan Dein and produced by Mark Burman.
First broadcast 21st April 2012.
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