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BBC Radio 4 | Afternoon Drama

The Man Who Turned Into a Sofa

Who needs a Freudian couch when you have the most comfortable sofa in the world? William Goodchild composed, performed and produced the score for this BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama about a depressed man and the sofa that sorts him out. The Man Who Turned Into a Sofa is a true story of illness overcome, written and performed by Andrew Fusek Peters, Polly Peters and Rosalind Jana Peters, with the voice of Lorcan Crannitch as the sofa. The producer is Tim Dee.  First aired on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 17 September 2014.

To listen to the score, please click here


'The Man Who Turned into a Sofa took us right to the heart of what it feels like to be so depressed you’re terrified to leave the house and the only safety is to be found on the sitting-room sofa. Put like that it sounds absurd. A parody of a Radio 4 domestic drama. But this was different. It was less a play and more like a sequence of poems, written and told by the man himself, Andrew Peters, and his partner and teenage daughter,and woven together with music by William Goodchild that was perfectly attuned to the piece. Each of them gave us their point of view on what had happened to their once-happy and sorted family. As the 45-minute sequence progressed, we were drawn closer and closer into the crisis.

The girl is angry that her home has been turned into a care home visited by various members of the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment team; the partner bears a ‘monstrous anger’ that her husband sits there doing nothing while she has to manage everything, running the household around his somnolent frame, which has taken up residence on the sofa. Another voice enters the scene, that of the sofa itself, which turns into Tracey Emin’s unmade bed, covered with the detritus of daily life — empty mugs, unopened post, shapeless socks, sudoku books and dried-up pens.

The sofa complains that it’s now ‘being considered a work of art’. Meanwhile the husband is treated like a naughty child, no longer trusted to do anything for himself after he has attempted suicide by accumulating his pills and taking them in one go. ‘The scream I can’t stop rises up like sick,’ admits the partner, and you know exactly how she feels. ‘Let me not be here.’

This was so powerful, so economical, so completely honest, each of the characters laying themselves bare, without pretence or excuse, it had me hooked from start to finish and then I had to listen to it again to catch the phrases that rang so true.'

The Spectator

18th September 2014


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