Category Archives: Performance

ARTHUR MILLER:  ‘DEATH OF A SALESMAN’ WITH DAVID SUCHET, ZOË WANAMAKER (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 3—LINK BELOW) ·

Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06gpwk4

Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

David Suchet, Zoë Wanamaker and director Howard Davies, who all won awards for the sell-out production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons in the West End in 2010, reunite to create a new production for Radio 3 ofMiller’s 1949 classic about the American dream and his second big Broadway success. The original won The Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award and Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. This new radio production is part of the celebrations across BBC Radio 3, 4 and 4 Extra to mark the centenary of the birth of one of the most important American playwrights of the twentieth century.

Willy Loman is a 63-year-old travelling salesman worn out by a life on the road. His wife Linda has supported him throughout and borne him two sons, Biff and Happy. Biff is working away and has returned home for the first time in years, so the whole family are reunited. But there is a secret between Willy and Biff, which has destroyed what was a mutual hero-worshipping relationship when Biff was a star athlete in High School, and still haunts them both.

Penny whistle, Wilf Dalton
Technical presentation, Eloise Whitmore

A Watershed production for BBC Radio 3.

BRIAN FRIEL: ‘FATHERS AND SONS’, AFTER TURGENEV (LISTEN NOW ON BBC, RADIO 3—LINK BELOW) ·

Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09czx1d

‘Fathers and Sons’ by Brian Friel, after the novel by Ivan Turgenev. Fathers: Charles Dance, James Fleet. Sons: Edward Bennett, George Blagden.

In Turgenev’s prescient 1859 story of generational collision, both young heroes seem, at first, passionate revolutionaries, believing the old Russia should be swept away. But they’re unsure what they’d replace it with. This clash of values is dramatic, funny and recognisably up-to-date, with Julia McKenzie as a batty princess, Lisa Dillon a self-searching widow, Gabrielle Lloyd a loving mother and Martin Jarvis as odd-ball Uncle Pavel. 

Turgenev’s darkly observant human comedy examines a particular period in Russian history which, in this epic production, foregrounds the eventual political struggle. And Friel, with benefit of hindsight, allows a glimpse of the future. Movingly, the play reminds us that it’s the eternal values of love, friendship, loyalty and devotion that will, ultimately – hopefully – survive.

Nikolai Kirsanov … James Fleet 
Arkady … George Blagden 
Vassily Bazarov … Charles Dance 
Yevgeny … Edward Bennett 
Princess Olga … Julia McKenzie 
Anna Sergeevna … Lisa Dillon 
Pavel … Martin Jarvis
Arina … Gabrielle Lloyd
Fenichka … Lucy Phelps
Dunyasha … Joanna Cassidy
Katya … Matilda Wickham
Piotr … Kieran Hodgeson 
Fedka … Darren Richardson
Prokofyich and Timofeich … Nigel Anthony

Musicians: Michael Lan, Stavros Dritsas, Louis Baily, 
Djordje Gajic, Richard Sisson 
Music advisers: Lucy Parham, Richard Sisson
Sound design: Mark Holden

Produced and directed by Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres 
A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 3.

 

CHEKHOV: ‘THREE SISTERS’ (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 3–LINK BELOW) ·

Listen at: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0739rh4

Three sisters living in a garrison town in provincial Russia dream of the day that they will return to their home city of Moscow. Maybe then their lives will really start. But in Anton Chekhov’s poignant classic somehow real life keeps getting in the way.

Three Sisters was written in 1900 and is a meticulously observed play for an ensemble cast. In its wry portrayal of dreams and self-delusion, and of the folly of believing that life is always better elsewhere, Chekhov’s drama captures universal truths, joys and sorrows but his greatness as a writer of the human condition lies in his avoidance of either sentimentality or judgement.

With Peter Ringrose on additional piano

Sound: Nigel Lewis

Adapted for radio by D.J.Britton
Directed by Alison Hindell
BBC Cymru Wales production

JOE ORTON DOUBLE-BILL: ‘THE ERPINGHAM CAMP’ AND ‘THE RUFFIAN ON THE STAIR’ (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 3—LINK BELOW) ·

(Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08wn0lm)

Crimes of Passion, a double-bill of Joe Orton plays to mark the 50th anniversary of his death, plus an interview with Kenneth Cranham, a close friend of Orton’s who played several key roles in his plays. The two plays are The Ruffian On The Stair, a Pinteresque radio play about a couple whose lives are disrupted by a young visitor and The Erpingham Camp, Orton’s rambunctious State-of-England farce, set in a 1960’s holiday camp.

The Erpingham Camp:
Erpingham ….. Robert Daws
Riley ….. Jonjo O’Neill
Lou ….. Kerry Gooderson
Ted ….. Samuel James
Kenny ….. Charlie Clements
Eileen ….. Sarah Ridgeway
W.E. Harrison ….. Tom Forrister
Jessie Mason ….. Sanchia McCormack
Padre ….. Simon Ludders
Accordion Player ….. Colin Guthrie

The Ruffian On The Stair:
Mike ….. Gerard Horan
Joyce ….. Sophie Thompson
Wilson ….. Jack Rowan

Producer ….. Mary Peate

The Ruffian On The Stair was Orton’s first play, commissioned by BBC Radio and later adapted for the stage. The Erpingham Camp started life as a TV drama. Both plays were later presented at the Royal Court Theatre as a double bill with the title Crimes of Passion, which marked the beginning of a turn of fortune in Orton’s career as a playwright after the poorly-received first production of Loot. Both the radio and the stage productions of Ruffian on the Stair starred the young Kenneth Cranham, who went on to play Hal in Loot and Sloane in Entertaining Mr Sloane and became a friend of Orton’s. As part of this evening, Matthew Sweet interviews Kenneth Cranham about his friendship with Orton.

BOB DYLAN’S NOBEL LECTURE ·

(By Bob Dylan; via Pam Green; listen to Dylan give the speech using the link below; photo: Rolling Stone.)

When I received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature. I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I’m going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful.

If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly. Buddy died when I was about eighteen and he was twenty-two. From the moment I first heard him, I felt akin. I felt related, like he was an older brother. I even thought I resembled him. Buddy played the music that I loved – the music I grew up on: country western, rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm and blues. Three separate strands of music that he intertwined and infused into one genre. One brand. And Buddy wrote songs – songs that had beautiful melodies and imaginative verses. And he sang great – sang in more than a few voices. He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be. I saw him only but once, and that was a few days before he was gone. I had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed.

(Read more)

http://www.svenskaakademien.se/en/nobel-lecture?nl=cooking&em_pos=large&emc=edit_ck_20170611

ARTHUR MILLER: ‘A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE’ WITH ALFRED MOLINA (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 3—LINK BELOW) ·

Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06h93s1

Martin Jarvis directs Arthur Miller’s 1955 award-winning masterpiece. Recorded in the US for Drama On 3. Alfred Molina won the BBC Drama Awards Best Actor accolade as Eddie Carbone. He leads an all-star American cast. Universal themes: family, guilt, loyalty, sexual attraction, jealousy – and love. A timeless reminder as immigrants from Syria, Eritrea, Libya currently seek new lives, new dreams. Here, it’s the American one. 

Setting. An Italian-American neighbourhood near the Brooklyn Bridge, New York. 1950s.

Lawyer Alfieri (our narrator) confides to listeners there are cases where he can only watch as they run their bloody course.

Longshoreman Eddie Carbone lives with his wife Beatrice and her orphaned niece, Catherine, in a Brooklyn tenement. He has a love of, almost an obsession with, 17 year-old Catherine. Beatrice’s Italian cousins are being smuggled into the country. The family hide the illegal immigrants, Marco and Rodolpho, while they work on the docks. Eddie’s increasing suspicion and jealousy of Rodolpho’s developing relationship with Catherine eventually leads to betrayal and a tragic confrontation.

Sound design: Wesley Dewberry and Mark Holden
A Jarvis & Ayres Production.

SOPHOCLES/BURGESS: ‘OEDIPUS THE KING’ (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 3—LINK BELOW) ·

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08g4cly

Never before performed or heard in the UK, Burgess’s Oedipus the King is a robust and powerful version of Sophocles’ classic text. The drama includes an invented language that Burgess created especially for the 1972 production of the piece at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, USA, which has been archived in the International Anthony Burgess Foundation archive. This broadcast will be the first time it has been spoken or heard in over forty years.

Christopher Eccleston, a keen Burgess fan, who used to run a market stall in the same area of Manchester that Burgess grew up in, stars as Oedipus; Don Warrington as Creon, Adjoa Andoh as Jocasta and Fiona Shaw as Tiresias, the ancient blind prophet who was born both man and woman.

The music was composed for the original theatre production by Obie Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated composer of the show, Stanley Silverman. Stanley has worked with Arthur Miller, Pierre Boulez, James Taylor, Elton John, Sting and with legendary New York theatre maker Richard Foreman.
The BBC Philharmonic and Manchester-based Kantos Chamber Choir perform the music, conducted by Clark Rundell.

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JEAN RACINE : ‘ANDROMACHE’ (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 3—LINK BELOW) ·

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08bbghs .)

Jean Racine’s play, first performed in 1667, is set a year after the Fall of Troy in Epirus, where Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, is ostensibly betrothed to Helen’s daughter, Hermione. Pyrrhus however is pining after Hector’s widow, Andromache. The play opens as Orestes, son to Agamemnon, comes with a message from the Greeks demanding that Pyrrhus should hand over Andromache’s son Astyanax. Orestes, it so happens, is in love with Hermione.
Edward Kemp’s version of the play is set against a present-day soundscape and asks ‘when a culture has endured a shattering event – the Trojan War or one of the world-changing events of the current century – how can we move on? And if we can’t, are we destined to repeat the same cataclysmic mistakes over and over again?’

Translated by Edward Kemp
A Cast Iron Radio production for BBC Radio 3

PETER ACKROYD: ‘THE MYSTERY OF CHARLES DICKENS’ WITH SIMON CALLOW (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 4) ·

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jvp1

Fagin, Bill Sykes, Micawber and many more. Simon Callow recounts the remarkable life of Charles Dickens – with a showcase of the colourful characters in his novels.

Callow’s exhilarating one-man show by Peter Ackroyd is an unforgettable and mesmerising journey into the life and times of one of our best-loved Victorian writers.

Producer: Stephen Wright
Director: Gemma McMullan

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2001.