Anna Maxwell Martin, Raad Rawi and Luke Treadaway star in the first of a season of factual dramas exploring the history of oil - and the price we've paid for it.
This is the colourful tale of how British Oil was thrown out of post-war Iran.
Anglo-Persian Oil (later BP) was specially formed to exploit the 60-year oil concession to drill for oil, which was signed in 1901 by the then Shah of Persia. Prompted by Winston Churchill, the British Government bought 51% of the company's shares. Persian oil soon became Britain's "single largest overseas asset".
But in 1951, newly-elected Prime Minister Mossadegh declared the concession 'immoral', unilaterally cancelled it, and on 1st May successfully passed a law which nationalised Anglo-Persian - and all the oil.
There are riots, demonstrations, and a blockade of shipping. And in the great oil refinery on the island of Abadan, a shocked British ex-pat community struggle to understand the new world which has just arrived...
All this week, The Price of Oil season will take us from 1951 to 2045, and around the world from Iran to Alaska, Libya, Nigeria, Turkmenistan, Washington and onto Scotland's offshore rigs, to explore the role oil has played in shaping our world.
Devised by Nicolas Kent, with Jack Bradley & Jonathan Myerson, the season is produced by Jonquil Panting for BBC Radio Drama.
As director of London's Tricycle theatre for almost 30 years, Nicolas Kent championed responsive factual and political drama, including seasons of plays by renowned writers about Afghanistan (The Great Game) and nuclear weapons (The Bomb). Now he brings that experience to BBC Radio 4, to tell the story of oil.
Stand Firm, You Cads! was directed by Nicolas Kent.
She was Lyra in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials at the National, she has shared the stage with Eileen Atkins (in Honour and The Female of the Species), played Isabella in Measure for Measure, Regan in King Lear and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. She has worn bonnets in Bleak House and North and South, a corset as Elizabeth Darcy in PD James's Death Comes to Pemberley (pictured below) and a prison officer’s uniform in Accused, a gritty Jimmy McGovern story on television. An enviably versatile actress, Anna Maxwell Martin has won two BAFTAs (for Esther Summerson in Bleak House and N in Poppy Shakespeare) and been nominated for an Olivier (for Lyra).
Maxwell Martin has scarcely been out of work since her first job after graduation, in The Little Foxes at the Donmar. Now she is back at the National Theatre, in Consent, a new play by Nina Raine, directed by her husband Roger Michell, who previously directed Raine’s lauded Tribes at the Royal Court. Maxwell Martin’s character, Kitty, is m…