True crime docudrama presented by Paul French
Drama written by Sarah Wooley
Radio Pick of the Day in The Times, The Radio Times and The Daily Mail
BBC Sounds link here
Spotify link here
iTunes link here
‘A superb evocation of the louche underworld of inter war China’ Radio Times
‘Riveting...perfect listening for a long winter’s night... 5 stars' Daily Mail
Whatever anyone declared categorically about Shura Giraldi, someone else insisted on the exact opposite. Shura was handsome and beautiful; Shura was kind and good, Shura was exploitative and evil. Shura was just another struggling White Russian refugee trying to get by in 1930s China.
Paul French is a historian and writer who focuses on China in the first half of the 20th century. He's been on Shura’s trail for 15 years, digging through the paper records and archives in half a dozen countries in an attempt to get to grips with the enigma that was Shura. This story, a product of that tireless research, is full of truths, but like an old jigsaw brought down from the attic after decades, there are many pieces missing.
So we're using drama, written by Sarah Wooley, to conjure and join the dots of Shura’s story, and go in search of a lost life and a forgotten world. The search will take us from a Russian far east in violent revolution, to the chaos of the mass emigration of the White Russians, to the crowded hutongs of Peking; from that city’s nightclubs and cabarets, to the casinos of Shanghai; from a China wracked by rampaging warlordism, invaded by Japan, and then fighting its own civil war that culminated in its own revolution. Shura saw it all; Shura lived through it all; Shura, in part, explains it all.