Paradigm by Sean Grundy

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Afternoon Drama on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4, 21 January 2014
The musical refrain from the Sixties children's classic Camberwick Green - heard three times - summed up the theme of this black comedy. 
For those who remember, each episode of Camberwick Green began with a musical box turning, and a character emerging from within; they provided the focus of attention for the subsequent story.  In Alison Crawford's production, the theme was used to remind us of how little control most human beings have over their lives.
Angela Kilmartin (Michelle Holmes), and her two children Lara (Lucy Gaskell) and Ewan (Adam Barlow) discovered to their cost that their lives had been scripted, Truman Show-style, for the last quarter of a century.  The man they knew as their father (David Birrell) was an actor; their domestic dramas had been scripted.  This was all done for the purposes of research - or so Mrs. G. (Rosie Cavaliero) would have us believe.
Eventually Angela and her family decided to continue their involvement in the drama - only this time they were responsible for the script.  However, in an intriguing twist of the drama, they were not quite as responsible for their own destinies as they might have assumed.
Paradigm was an intriguing piece, deliberately making fun out of the distinctions between 'life' and 'art,' 'fact' and 'fiction.'  The fact that the writer Sean Grundy appeared in the production as an aspiring writer of the Kilmartins' future drama only served to complicate matters still further.  The cast clearly enjoyed themselves, although in a production of this nature it was difficult to tell whether they were simply "acting" as part of their life soap opera, or truly expressing their emotions.  Or maybe it simply didn't matter.