Dangerous Visions: Speak


Dangerous Visions is a season of dramas and readings that present uneasy reflections of the future, mixing sci-fi classics with brand new writing and a strong line-up of acting talent. […]

(Source: BBC Radio 4 – Dangerous Visions)

Dangerous Visions

By Philip Palmer

Starring Pippa Haywood and Andrew Gower

Lucian (Andrew Gower) has a vocabulary that is limited to a core 1500 words, but Clara (Pippa Haywood) wants to teach him those that are forbidden. A dystopian love story about the power of words, set in a near future where the language spoken is Globish – a reduced version of English.

The OED lists 171,476 English words in current use. The average adult native English speaker has an active vocabulary of about 35,000 – 50,000 words. But studies suggest our vocabularies are shrinking.

Globish is a real international business language, developed in 2004, made up of the most common 1500 English words. It is designed to promote international communication in the global economy. ‘Speak’ imagines a future in which Globish has become the official language.

A gripping two-hander about the power of words; how words – and even more, the absence of words – can control, confine, leach emotion and trap minds.

Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production.

(Source: BBC 4 Radio – Speak)

Speak was broadcast on 18 June 2018 and 17 October 2020 on BBC Radio 4. It was available to listen to online for 30 days after each broadcast, and you could also download it via the BBC Radio iPlayer app.

Director James Robinson shared this Radio Times article about Speak on Twitter.

Listen to this excerpt from Speak, in which Andrew Gower recites Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 130.