The Vital Spark: Intelligence
Sarah's latest play was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 5th January at 2.15pm
During the Second World War, the young Muriel Spark worked in the British 'Black Propaganda' Department of MI6. Her job was to produce what she called 'a tangled mixture of damaging lies, flattering and plausible truths'.
Sarah's latest play for Radio 4 was commissioned as part of a season to celebrate Muriel Spark's centenary. The Vital Spark; Intelligence is Radio Pick of the Week in the Daily Telegraph and Pick of the Day in the Times and Radio Times
More details here
'Writing a play about Spark is a bold task. It would have been so easy to get her so wrong...This brilliant play by Sarah Wooley feels utterly plausibly Sparkish' Catherine Nixey - Times.
'Sarah Wooley’s absorbing play is inspired by novelist Muriel Spark’s war work in the British “Black Propaganda” department of MI6. Just back from Africa following a divorce, Spark is hungry for experiences to use in her writing whether that means putting herself in danger during an air raid, socialising with German agents or seizing the chance to bamboozle the enemy by penning half-truths and lies to be broadcast on imitation German radio stations. Jessica Hardwick is excellent as the spirited author in a thought-provoking drama that uses conversations with her boss (Stuart McQuarrie) to explore the ethics of propaganda and by extension all fiction-writing.' Stephanie Billen The Observer The New Review 31 Dec 2017
'The fine young theatre actress Jessica Hardwick stars as the great Scottish novelist Muriel Spark in Drama: The Vital Spark: Intelligence (Friday, Radio 4, 2.15pm) by Sarah Wooley. It vividly portrays Spark's early career in the British Black Propaganda Department of MI6 during the Second World War. It was a job that involved what Spark called "a tangled mixture of damaging lies, flattering and plausible truths", and began her development into a writer. Stuart McQuarrie (Trainspotting; 28 Days Later) also stars as the propagandist Sefton Delmer'. Charlotte Runcie The Telegraph 30th December 2017
'In 1944 a young Muriel Spark moved to London with the intention of harvesting "experiences" to write about. The Vital Spark: Intelligence (Friday, Radio 4, 2.15pm) dramatises the result of this quest: Spark's work in wartime propaganda, writing scripts for a fake German radio station. "Whatever I do, I'll be prolific" she states. Well-written by Sarah Wooley, who presents Spark as ambitious but not self-satisfied. ✶✶✶✶✶' Financial Times 30th December 2017
Click here for more information on the centenary of the birth of Muriel Spark.