Newstalk FM Radio Drama

The Dead Key

Brendan Grattan was a young writer with the world at his feet, until a sex scandal caused him to spend the rest of his life in disgrace and silence.

Back in Ireland for Brendan’s memorial, his niece Stephanie begins to doubt the official explanation of his disgrace. Was Brendan innocent after all? And if so, did his dishonour hide another, infinitely more terrible secret?

Her probing introduces her to different associates from Brendan’s life; Marina, his mysterious former Russian lover and British spy David Prentice who demands to know if her uncle has passed on any ‘secrets’ after his death.

The Dead Key unfolds over two episodes through Brendan’s posthumous narrative, spoken into a recording left for his niece, and Stephanie’s efforts to explore the mystery. A contemporary spy thriller and tale of family loyalty.


The programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.

BROADCAST TIMES: ‘The Dead Key’  Episode 1 was broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday June 7th 2020 at 7am, with repeat broadcast on Saturday June 13th at 9pm.

Episode 2 was broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday June 14th 2020 at 7am, with repeat broadcast on Saturday June 20th at 9pm.

PODCAST: Podcast available at www.newstalk.com/podcasts/drama-on-newstalk You can also listen at the bottom of this page, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your podcasts.


Short trailer:


‘The Dead Key’ was written and directed by Jason Gill.  It was produced, recorded and edited by Alan Meaney.  

Brendan played by Martin Kelleher, Stephanie played by Sarah Gordon, Sheila played by Anne Hoey, Sergei played by Pawel Starkowski, Marina played by Irena Cvetkovic, Fin played by Ollie Hegarty, Prentice played by Harry Smith.

Thanks to Martin Howard and Shannonside FM, Francesca Lalor, Hopscotch Multimedia, Athlone Little Theatre, The Cvetkovic family. Image by Everyday basics @zanardi.


Listen back to Episode 1 here:

Listen back to Episode 2 here: