Takeover by Paul Sellar

Contact Us

The Wire on BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3, 26 February 2012
In the world of big business, Harry (Allan Corduner) is king. Through a combination of keen instincts and ruthless manipulation, he has risen to the top of the tree, and now has the power to control people's destinies, as well as keep would-be tycoons such as Terry (Ben Crowe) on a tight leash.
Harry's half-brother Adam (Adam Levy) is also in business, but has sadly fallen on hard times. He offers to collaborate with Harry on a takeover bid; initially Harry agrees - so long as the price is right - but eventually cuts Adam out of the deal entirely. This represents a satisfying revenge on Harry's part for what happened long ago, when Adam's father did precisely the same thing to Harry's father, even though they were ostensibly partners in a family business.
Told as a first-person narrative by Harry himself, Takeover laid bare the evils of capitalism, in which every person was out for themselves. Terry was a particularly unpleasant character - although not to be trusted, he was the kind of buccaneer who could be relied upon to make a fast buck. Harry's languid, almost relaxed style of narration gave the impression that he was above such things, but this was nothing more than a facade; he relished the idea of bankrupting his half-brother and watching him suffer.
While set in contemporary Britain, Paul Sellar's play contained the kind of wanton cruelty reminiscent of Jacobean revenge tragedies - one could imagine Corduner's Harry making an effective job of playing the roles of Vindice (The Revenger's Tragedy) or Malevole (The Malcontent). He was both ruthless yet ghoulishly attractive as he revelled in his business success.