Song of the Reed: Swallowtail

Steve Waters (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


Sophie Okonedo and Mark Rylance star in the first of Steve Waters’ seasonal dramas following the life of Fleggwick, a fictional wetlands nature reserve, over the period of one year.

Fleggwick, like the ecosystem it protects, is under threat. The site was not financially sustainable when its founder passed away so his daughter Liv (Sophie Okonedo) needs to find a way for it to survive. But if that means selling out to ‘trendy conservation’ then Ian (Mark Rylance), the Warden, wants nothing to do with it.

Recorded on location at RSPB’s Strumpshaw Fen, the story is informed by the real work and science of conservation taking place in the face of rapid environmental change in the wetlands of Norfolk, and everywhere.

It’s a rainy summer's day and a Swallowtail Safari is being held at the reserve with members of the public, as well as a manager from WildScapes, visiting Fleggwick with the hope of catching a glimpse of the elusive and utterly beautiful swallowtail butterfly. The future of the reserve may ride on it.

Liv ..... Sophie Okonedo
Ian ..... Mark Rylance
Tam ..... Ella Dorman Gajic
Kay ..... Molly Naylor
Sadegh ..... Zaydun Khalaf
Nikki ..... Karen Hill
Voice of the Reed ..... Christine Kavanagh
Other parts played by staff and volunteers at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBBC Radio 4
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2021

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