The Hedge

by Anita Sullivan
Hedge with hand


'The Hedge' is an original drama for Radio 4. Richard and Marion met and married in the 60's with a shared purpose of social activism. Now, with society apparently disintigrating around them, they retreat into their perfect garden behind an impossibly high, impossibly deep hedge. It is supposed to keep the world out... but something is starting to get through.

'The Hedge' is a BBC Wales production, broadcast April 27th 2012. Starring Fiona Shaw, Peter Ellis and Tanya Franks, narrated by Dorien Thomas. Original music by Lou Bell.

Produced and directed by James Robinson.

Duration: 44 minutes.


[The play opens in a non-specific place, notionally the world beyond the garden hedge. Sounds of riot, at a slight distance: explosions, sirens, horses, police helicopters overhead. Voices shout indistinctly. Across the battle sounds, the narrator speaks calmly. The narrator understands the hedge and nothing surprises him.]

NARRATOR    -As the seed... contains the plant. So the garden... contains the world. A protected world. Trees extend their limbs; ripe fruits fall on the lush grass. The air pulses with insects and the breath of flowers.

[The riot sounds morph those of a suburban garden: sirens fade, shouts become children playing, helicopters become lawnmowers. The narration continues]

NARRATOR    -Creatures of forest and field, the slow-worm and hedgehog, forage in safety. And above, birds flutter like prayer-flags, ringing the earth and sky.

[Birdsong (woodlark). All riot noises have gone.]

NARRATOR    -This particular paradise is surrounded by a hedge: high as a house, broad as a moat, exact as an architect’s plan. Inside it live an ancient oak tree... a man...

MARION    -Richard!

NARRATOR  -...and a woman.



  • Radio 4 'Pick of the Week'
  • Radio Times 'Pick of the Day' and William Gallagher review: "Writer Anita Sullivan’s story is an intriguing, engrossing tale that works a truly delicate balance between the fantastical and the grippingly real."
  • Telegraph 'Pick of the Day' and Gillian Reynold's review: "Strange and haunting".
  • Independent Radio Choice of the day

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