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Radio Drama - The Ventriloquist’s Dummy

  I can't think of a more bizarre subject for radio drama than Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In  Amanda Dalton’s imaginative take,  The Ventriloquist’s Dummy , the gut is celebrated for its eloquence – “it tells us how we feel”. Jess ( Christine Bottomly), 40 years old, lives in Manchester and works in a library. She has a problem with her digestion, an undiagnosed condition that has made her ill for years. No one seems to know what’s wrong. It’s like “being a stranger in my skin”. Travel is a nightmare and she feels tired and achy most of the time, but when she ends up in hospital all they can tell her is that she has IBS, a common affliction that affects the lower part of the gut. There’s no specific treatment and symptoms can change – as the consultant irritatingly suggests: it’s “a gut reaction” to something. Jess has a long-term partner, but no children. They don’t really get on any more. He accuses her of being neurotic and self-obsessed. Increasingly isolated, Jess buys a