Photograph of the Four Lives display in the British Museum featuring sculpture and objects. The words 'Four Lives' is written on the case.

Eternal Telephone

Four lives

Room 4

Eternal Telephone is part of the Four Lives display in the Egyptian sculpture gallery.

Welcome to your Eternal Telephone inbox. You have new voicemails.

Listen to a creative audio installation of imagined voice messages from across time, inspired by the four people represented in this display: Alexander, Abdtanit, Piabrm and Pasherbastet.

Feel free to explore the display and the galleries as you listen.

About the Eternal Telephone audio drama project

Eternal Telephone was created by a team of writers, led by Fin Kennedy of Applied Stories. The team worked with British Museum curators to create these fictional responses to the real people represented in the Four Lives display in Room 4: Egyptian sculpture. Themes such as war, migration, identity and cultural assimilation resonate today. We hope you enjoyed listening.

Eternal Telephone is an original Applied Stories concept for the British Museum. The director was Nada Sabet, with sound design and production by Farokh Soltani. The producer was Fin Kennedy. 

About the writers and production team

Hassan Abdulrazzak 

Hassan Abdulrazzak is an award-winning playwright and writer. His plays include The Special Relationship (Soho Theatre, 2020), And Here I Am (Arcola Theatre, 2017 and touring), Love, Bombs and Apples (Arcola Theatre, 2016 and UK tour; Golden Thread, San Francisco, 2018 followed by a second UK tour; Kennedy Center, Washington DC, 2019), The Prophet (Gate Theatre, 2012) and Baghdad Wedding (Soho Theatre, London 2007; BBC Radio 3, 2008; Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney 2009; Akvarious productions, Delhi & Mumbai 2010). Hassan has translated numerous Arabic plays. He is the recipient of George Devine, Meyer-Whitworth, and Pearson theatre awards as well as the Arab British Centre Award for Culture. 

Anthony Anaxagorou

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet and teacher. His poetry has been published in Poetry LondonNew Statesman, and Granta, and has appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Arts. Anthony’s collection After the Formalities was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize and was named Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year. In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books; a practical guide fused with tips and memoir looking at the politics of writing as well as the craft. His latest poetry collection Heritage Aesthetics was published by Granta in November 2022.

Fin Kennedy

Fin Kennedy is an award-winning playwright, producer and founder of Applied Stories, a digital production company making place-based audio drama. Applied Stories designs site-specific audio drama experiences for museums, archives, schools, councils and community groups, in the belief that stories can foster positive social change, by changing how we view one another. Fin’s plays for theatre and radio are produced in the UK and internationally. He has a particular specialism in co-creating plays with young people and communities and writes for BBC Radio. 

Nada Sabet

Nada Sabet is a playwright, producer, director and facilitator, with two decades of experience writing and facilitating in workshop settings across the Arab world. She holds a BA in Psychology and Theatre from The American University in Cairo, and an MA from Goldsmiths, University of London in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship. Nada has created works for adults, youth and children in theatrical and non-theatrical spaces all over Egypt, including several audio productions with the Goethe Institute in Alexandria. She likes to mix multiple schools and styles, allowing her to tackle taboo subjects in fun and thought-provoking ways.

Farokh Soltani

Farokh Soltani is a sound-maker, writer and teacher, with a special interest in audio drama. His previous sound design work includes the Papatango Prize-winning play Ghost Stories from an Old Country (English Touring Theatre, 2021) and the binaural COVID ward drama Under the Mask (Tamasha, 2020). Originally from Iran, he has been based in London since 2010 and is currently a visiting lecturer in Screenwriting at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. His book on the philosophy of audio drama, Radio/Body, was published by Manchester University Press in 2020.

Acting company

Waleed Elgadi: Pasherbastet / Quarryman / Usold / Scribe / Mediterranean
Sammy Broly: Quarryman’s Son / Artemidoros / Alexander the Great / Refugee
Jumaan Zizzari: Ashtar / Mediterranean Sea 
Naila Mansour: Piabrm / Automated voice 

Contact us

If you would like to comment on this display, please use our contact form and select Museum feedback.