The Beautiful Ugly


AD2012070320141205 (R4)

The Beautiful Ugly

by Lavinia Murray

This is an imagined day in the life of Hans Christian Andersen as a child. Combining fact with fantasy we explore the remarkable roots of Andresen's magical creativity and enter an icy, snowy, surreal landscape.

Christian finds himself on a quest to save his father's life from the chilling grip of the Ice Maiden.

Christian - Ellis Hollins

Merman - Jonathan Keeble

Mother....Fiona Clarke

Ice Maiden - Kathryn Hunt

Father....Seamus O'Neil

Producer/Director - Pauline Harris

Further info:- H.C.A. is an awkward, wonderful, off-kilter child, preparing to reach out into the world - unable to reconcile the poverty and dullness into which he was born. And this is the day he becomes aware of his tremendous and exquisite gift for storytelling.

Hans Christian's father has just returned, tired and debilitated, from a two year stint in the Napoleonic Army. He points to the ice patterns on the window. 'See, the Ice Maiden is coming for me!' he laughs. Hans Christian can indeed see the faint silhouette of a woman draped in ice flowers with an icicle crown with her hand held out towards them. Hans Christian's mother, becomes fearful. When her husband has dozed off she tells Hans Christian that the Ice Maiden will surely visit, freeze his father's heart and eyes, and take his soul. She sends Christian on a trip for a talisman from the wise woman. Christian is on a quest - to save his father's soul - from the chilling grip of the Ice Maiden.

The writer - Lavinia Murray - very experienced radio writer, wrote The Tyger Hunt - a drama about an imagined day in the life of William Blake as a child. Other work for Radio 4 includes The Opium Eater, Man of All Work.