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Synopsis | Reviews


A hostile takeover bid sparks a war among rival business interests.

The Takeover, a 60 minute original produced by the BBC and directed by Sally Avens, was premiered on Radio 3 on 25 February 2012 and was also available on the BBC iPlayer for a further week.

A screenplay version of The Takeover has also been developed through Film 4 and Warp x Studios.

The play has already gone on to receive two award nominations in January 2013.

The first is The Imison Award 2012 for Best Radio Drama Script by a new writer and the second is for Prix Europa, The European Broadcasting Festival, which awards the best European Television, Radio and Online productions each year.

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The Stage (29 February 2012)
Plotting doesn’t come any cleverer than in Paul Sellar’s The Takeover, another success from The Wire series. Against a percussive soundtrack, old family rivalries set in motion shadowy business deals. Allan Corduner and Adam Levy played the half brothers whose fortunes changed with every unexpected twist.
Moira Petty
The Financial Times
25/26 February 2012 - Film, Television and Radio
Radio 3's once avant-garde slot The Wire provides a neatly conventional black fable, The Takeover (9.30pm), an ingenious tale of the soft underbelly of business: double-double-cross and then some.
Martin Hoyle
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The Telegraph
"Today's radio highlights: The best radio programmes on BBC, commercial and digital stations chosen by Gillian Reynolds, the UK's top radio critic"
(25 February 2012)
The Wire: The Takeover (Radio 3, 9.30pm) is a fast-moving play by Paul Sellar starring Allan Corduner as Harry and Adam Levy as Adam, rival half-brothers forced to come together to resist a hostile takeover of their business.
Gillian Reynolds
The Wire on 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. [PLOT SPOILER ALERT] 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 reveled in his business success.
BBC Radio Drama Newsletter (25 February 2012)
On Saturday on Radio 3 is the debut radio play by Paul Sellar. Set in the world of London Businessmen, there are some shady dealings in this radiophonic tale of family and revenge.
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