The Last Breath

Nicola is back on the radio on Friday, 6 July 2012 in BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Drama, The Last Breath. The following information is taken from BBC Radio 4’s website.

The drama is set in 2018. Assisted suicide has been legalised in the UK.

Ben Fearnside is an abstract expressionist painter. He has had some success with London galleries but his work has now fallen out of fashion. Without an audience his life-work is unwitnessed and ‘uncreated’. He decides to make one final piece of art: he will capture a dying breath in a jar and exhibit it.

Ben invites freelance radio producer Anita Sullivan to profile him and document the process of capturing The Last Breath. But as the date for breath capture approaches, the identity of the donor remains a mystery.

‘The Last Breath’ is a high-concept piece of drama about a high-concept piece of art. It plays with narrative form by blending documentary and drama, using real people and real names with a fictional story. The play asks some big questions: what is art, what should be sacrificed in the name of art… and what is the price of a soul?

The Last Breath was created by Ben Fearnside with Anita Sullivan

Nicky is played by Nicola Walker

The interviewees are : 
Derek and Mo Fearnside, Ben Fletcher, Professor Emma Jones, Anthony Chopper White, Linda Keenan and Dr Mark Gretason.

The Static State artists are : 
Kenny Watson, Alex Allan, Joseph Watts and Robert Perry.

Music was written and performed by Nick Tettersell.

Producer: Karen Rose 
A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

click to see a larger image of the tweets

There was a conversation on Twitter on 11 June 2012 where QVoice mentioned that they had done a recent recording which involved Nicola. It is possible that that recording was for this programme.

The programme will go on air at 2:15 pm on Friday, 6 July 2012 and run for 45 minutes. If you cannot tune in at that time, the programme will remain available on the BBC’s Radio iPlayer for 7 days thereafter, i.e. until 13.6.2012. There is no geographical restrictions on listening to the BBC Radio iPlayer so no matter where in the world you live in, you should be able to catch this programme. You do not need any special software in order to use the BBC Radio iPlayer.

Update : 12 April 2015

From the Anita Sullivan website

The drama was all improvised. There was no script, only a storyline. All the contributors (apart from Nicola Walker) were friends or professional associates of the artist, non-actors.


This show will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, 14 April 2015. You can listen in from anywhere in the world for 30 days after the repeat has been aired. Thank you, Sweet Talk Productions, for the heads-up.