Hair of the Dog by Katie Hims

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Hair of the Dog on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4, 1 January 2014
The first week of 2014 was definitely Katie Hims week, with five plays broadcast in the Afternoon Drama slot, plus this special production for New Year's Day.
It's New Year's Day in a London pub, and Nick (Nicholas Gleaves) has vowed to give up smoking ... but not just yet.  He will have just one or two more drags, until the time comes to pick the kids up.  His spouse Jo (Madeleine Bowyer) vows to have a coffee, but ends up drinking gin and tonic instead.  We also encounter a French barperson in a rocky relationship with her lover, and an alcoholic who - like most of his kind - insists that he can control his drinking and thereby enjoy the roast beef dinner awaiting him at home.
Hair of the Dog takes up the idea of New Year's resolutions to contrast new and old ways of life.  Nick might protest that he wants something different for 2014; but we are inclined to doubt his resolution.  The other characters are equally unsure - as the action progresses, we see that the new ways of life they might encounter might be infinitely worse than their old ways.  The play includes some genuinely surreal moments; the kind that can only be recreated successfully on radio, where listeners are required to interpret sounds imaginatively.  The imaginative sound-design was by Alisdair McGregor.
Recorded in a single take on location in a London pub, Hair of the Dog placed considerable demands on the seven-strong cast.  It is a credit to them, and director Boz Temple-Morris, that they accomplished the task highly successfully.  An entertaining, if somewhat disturbing listen for a New Year's Day afternoon.