Unmade Movies: Dennis Potter's The White Hotel: A BBC Radio 4 adaptation of the unproduced screenplay

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2022
1 hour 39 minutes
Dennis Potter's unproduced screenplay of D. M. Thomas's award-winning novel, plus bonus documentary

'Incendiary' Radio Times

The annals of movie history are full of lost treasures - spectacular scripts from world-renowned writers that could have been classics, had they only been made. Now, for the first time, some of these forgotten gems have been brought to life, fully realised as vivid, cinematic radio productions. Scripted by major 20th Century writers, including Harold Pinter, Arthur Miller, Alfred Hitchcock and Dennis Potter, they star a host of A-list actors and feature richly evocative, atmospheric soundtracks.

The White Hotel, one of seven 'unmade movies' available on audio, centres around circus performer Lisa, who visits famous Berlin psychoanalyst Dr Probst to discover the cause of her mysterious breast and pelvic pains. Reading her sexually-charged journal, Probst concludes that the answer lies in her past. But then Lisa reveals her unsettling premonitions - 'I see what is going to happen. And what is going to happen cannot be endured.' Is her trauma really the result of childhood memories, or a dark vision of the future?

Lauded for his groundbreaking TV dramas, Dennis Potter also wrote several acclaimed screenplays, including Gorky Park. The White Hotel was taken up by numerous directors, from Bertolucci to David Lynch, with actors including Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep slated to star - but the project defeated them all. Now, directed by Jon Amiel, who worked with Potter on The Singing Detective, this haunting, hallucinatory drama has finally found an audience. Anne-Marie Duff (His Dark Materials) stars as Lisa, with Bill Paterson (Fleabag) as Probst and Simon McBurney (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as the narrator. It is preceded by a 15-minute documentary, The Long Road to the White Hotel, telling the story of the many failed attempts to film Thomas's novel and the making of the radio production.

NB: Contains strong language and sexual scenes

Production credits
Written by D. M. Thomas
Original screenplay by Denis Potter under licence from Briarpatch Limited L.P
Directed by Jon Amiel
Produced by Laurence Bowen and Peter Ettedgui
Sound design: Wilfredo Acosta
A Dancing Ledge production for BBC Radio 4

Lisa - Anne-Marie Duff
Probst - Bill Paterson
Narrator - Simon McBurney
The Lover - David Gyasi
Victor - Nigel Lindsay
Aunt Magda - Morwenna Banks
Vera/Old Woman/Wife - Jasmine Jones
Various - Wayne Forester
Officer/Captain/Maitre d'/Old Man - Nick Underwood
Koyla - Felix Jamieson
Little Lisa - Tillie Murray

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 8 September 2018

The Long Road to the White Hotel
With DM Thomas, Amanda Bale and Jon Amiel
Produced by Philippa Geering and Geoff Bird
An Overtone Production for BBC Radio 4

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 8 September 2018

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
(p) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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