HAROLD PINTER: ‘THE BIRTHDAY PARTY’
The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter
Stanley, an erstwhile pianist lives in a dingy seaside boarding house run by Meg and Petey. He is comfortable there, like a surrogate son. Two sinister strangers turn up – Goldberg and McCann. They claim to know him from the past. They turn Stanley’s birthday party into a menacing and terrifying encounter. Franz Kafka meets Donald McGill in Pinter’s iconic comedy of menace.
Stanley ….. Toby Jones
Goldberg ….. Henry Goodman
McCann ….. Stephen Rae
Meg ….. Maggie Steed
Petey ….. Peter Wight
Lulu ….. Jaime Winstone
Director/Producer Gary Brown
An Irishman and a Jew walk into a seaside boarding house. And what? A parable about power and persecution? Or maybe it’s marginalised minorities taking their revenge against seedy Albion? Pinter’s slippery and sly black comedy has a huge resonance for today.
Harold Pinter was one of the writers championed by the Third Programme – and in the late 1950s commissioned one of his early plays before he had his first stage hit. Pinter himself acknowledged the role the Third had had in his own cultural education. For the 70th anniversary, Drama on 3 presents a new production of The Birthday Party, now considered a Pinter classic, but which on its first London opening only lasted a week.
Photo: BBC Radio 3
World premiere of a newly discovered play by Edith Wharton from 1901, starring Phoebe Fox, Francesca Annis, Paul Ready, David Horovitch and Don Gilet.
Introduced by Laura Rattray, Reader in American Studies, University of Glasgow
Adapted for radio by Melissa Murray
Directed by Emma Harding
Long before she achieved fame with her novel, ‘The Age of Innocence’, Edith Wharton wrote a number of plays. But they were all believed lost until two academics, Laura Rattray and Mary Chinery, discovered the complete manuscript of ‘The Shadow of a Doubt’ in 2017. Wharton’s play – which pivots on the issue of assisted suicide – was about to be staged in New York in early 1901, before the production was abandoned for unknown reasons.
Kate, a former nurse, has recently married above her class to John Derwent, whose first wife Kate had nursed following an horrific accident. But others are suspicious of Kate’s social ascent. And others have knowledge that could destroy her.
Kate Derwent…..Phoebe Fox
John Derwent…..Paul Ready
Sylvia Derwent…..Rosie Boore
Lord Osterleigh…..David Horovitch
Lady Uske…..Francesca Annis
Dr Carruthers…..Don Gilet
Clodagh Nevil…..Alexandra Constantinidi
Bobby Mazaret…..Cameron Percival
Mrs Fullerton…..Emma Handy
The Love that Wrote Its Name
In 1969 while the actor was performing his one man show in Belfast, a young Simon Callow was Micheál MacLiammóir’s dresser. Callow pays tribute to the 50 year relationship of Micheál MacLiammóir and his partner Hilton Edwards, who were the founders of Dublin’s influential Gate Theatre. Simon Callow is an actor, musician, writer, and theatre director. Part of Gay Britannia, a season of programming marking the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised homosexual acts that took place in private between two men over the age of 21. Writer: Simon Callow Reader: Simon Callow Producer: Simon Richardson.
(via Pam Green)
In 2011, Ben Steinfeld and Noah Brody, co-directors of New York’s Fiasco Theater, were invited to an assisted living facility and nursing home just outside New York City to work with its residents on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Because it was the Lillian Booth Actors Home—a facility filled with retired singers, actors, dancers and musicians—Ben and Noah expected to work with a group of seasoned Broadway professionals. While there were some, the cast they finally assembled was largely anything but. Ben and Noah were invited on this adventure by filmmakers Jilann Spitzmiller and Hank Rogerson, who turned the process into a documentary called Still Dreaming. We talk about the experience with Ben Steinfeld and Hank Rogerson.
Hank Rogerson is a filmmaker who, with Jilann Spitzmiller, produced Still Dreaming. Ben Steinfeld is co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater. He co-directed, with Noah Brody, the Lillian Booth Actors Home’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hank and Ben are interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.
(from the Folger Shakespeare Library; via Pam Green.)
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 98
In 2012 the Royal Shakespeare Company staged the first-ever, high-profile, all-black British Shakespeare production, Julius Caesar, set in Africa. The actor who played Brutus, Paterson Joseph, recently wrote a book about the experience called Julius Caesar and Me: Exploring Shakespeare’s African Play.
Paterson Joseph in Julius Caesar. Photo by Kwame Lestrade © RSC
On this podcast episode, he also talks about his early work, his thoughts about race in the British theater, about the proper way to play Brutus, and much more. Paterson Joseph is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.
Listen on iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, or NPR One.
David Threlfall, Samuel West and James Fox star in Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece – as strong on comedy as profound, tragic drama. A family creates an imaginary forest in their loft room for a wounded wild duck.But will someone come to shatter their dreams?
Translated and adapted by Christopher Hampton
Hjalmar ….. David Threlfall
Gregers ….. Samuel West
Werle ….. James Fox
Gina ….. Lise-Ann McLaughlin
Hedvig ….. Lauren Cornelius
Ekdal ….. Clive Hayward
Relling ….. Michael Bertenshaw
Mrs Sørby ….. Georgie Glen
Solo flute played by Martin Feinstein
Director: Peter Kavanagh.
SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM: LISTEN TO RADIO 3 IN CONCERT
Keith Lockhart conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra and a host of music theatre stars in the European premiere of a brand new review of the work of Stephen Sondheim, featuring some of his best-known songs such as ‘Send in the Clowns’ and ‘Losing my Mind’, from some of his greatest shows including Company, Follies, Gypsy and A Little Night Music. The concert includes specially recorded introductions to some of the songs by Stephen Sondheim himself.
Singers: Liz Callaway, Claire Moore, Julian Ovenden; Rebecca Trehearn, Tyrone Huntley, Damian Humbley
BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Keith Lockhart
Director: Bill Deamer.
Photo: BBC Radio 3
Matthew Sweet discusses Ingmar Bergman‘s Wild Strawberries with the writer Colm Toibin, the film critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh and the Swedish Cultural Attaché Ellen Wettmark.
Released in 1957 and inspired by Bergman’s own memories of childhood holidays in a summerhouse in the north of Sweden, Wild Strawberries tells the story of elderly professor Isak Borg, who travels from his home in Stockholm to receive an honorary doctorate. On the way, he’s visited by childhood memories. The film stars veteran actor and director Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson and Ingrid Thulin.
With additional contributions from the film historian Kevin Brownlow and Jan Holmberg from the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, which administers Bergman’s archives.
The BFI in London is running a season of Ingmar Bergman films until March 1st 2018 as part of the global celebrations of the centenary of world-renowned Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918 – 2007).
A Matter of Life and Death: the Films of Ingmar Bergman has been republished with a new introduction by Geoff Andrew of the BFI.
Wild Strawberries is being screened on 26 Feb, Newlyn Filmhouse; 8 March, Borderlines Film Festival; 11 March, Chapter Arts Centre.
This programme was originally recorded in December 2015.
Producer: Laura Thomas
(Main image: Ingmar Bergman. Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images.).
Compassionate and disturbing, John Ford’s great story of doomed love between a brother and sister in this new, visceral production for radio, intercut with the music of Jimi Hendrix and Nick Cave.
Annabella ….. Jessie Buckley,
Giovanni ….. Damien Molony
Signor Florio ….. Niall Buggy,
Putana ….. Fenella Woolgar,
Friar Bonaventura ….. Oliver Cotton.
Lord Soranzo ….. Matthew Pidgeon,
Vasques …… Enzo Cilenti,
Hippolita ….. Indira Varma.
Grimaldi ….. Gary Duncan,
Cardinal ….. Neil McCaul,
Officer ….. Adam Fitzgerald
Dorando ….. Tayla Kovacevic-Ebong.
The original song – In Deep – composed by Jules Maxwell, and sung by Jessie Buckley, Indira Varma, and Abby Andrews
Introduction by Professor Emma Smith from Hertford College, Oxford.
Adapted and directed by Pauline Harris.
Jessie Buckley stars in her first radio appearance as Annabella. Credits include War and Peace for BBC One, The Last Post – BBC One and Taboo.
She played Anne Egermann in the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Buckley played the part of Emily Strong in Rosamunde Pilcher’s four-part TV adaptation of her book Shades of Love.
She appeared opposite Jude Law in Michael Grandage’s West End production of Henry V at the Noël Coward Theatre, and played Perdita in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of The Winter’s Tale.
Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09fmkh5
Vladimir Mayakovsky was THE poet of the Russian Revolution.
A revolutionary in his personal life as well as in his art, Mayakovsky sought to overthrow traditional practices and became the spokesperson for a radical new society. But the tensions and demands of speaking on behalf of the state would take its toll. In 1930 a nation went into mourning when Mayakovsky took a pistol and shot himself through the heart.
Ian Sansom has been reading Mayakovsky since he was a teenager, inspired by Mayakovsky’s uncompromising example as a total artist, prepared to sacrifice everything for his vision.
Ian travels to Mayakovsky’s birthplace in Georgia and speaks to poets, translators and academics who are seeking to keep Mayakovsky’s legacy alive. With rare archive recordings of Mayakovsky reading his own work, a Russian Futurist soundtrack from the period and on-location recordings from Moscow, Georgia and London, Ian attempts to resurrect the spirit of Mayakovsky.
Producer: Conor Garrett.