Radio Beckett [Drama On 3]

Episodes

First
Broadcast
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2016100220190512 (R3)

Matthew Sweet presents a sequence of radio plays by Samuel Beckett, with Stephen Rea and Ian McKellen. Recorded in binaural sound and first broadcast as part of Radio 3’s 70th season.

Like no other dramatist, Beckett’s works capture the pathos and irony of modern life.

In the decade following the success of Waiting for Godot (1952), Samuel Beckett wrote some of his most absorbing work for radio, including the BBC's Third Programme. These plays are suffused with a musicality which, though evident in his novels, poetry and plays, is particularly remarkable in this medium. They are concerned with human isolation and the frailty of memory and communication.

With the exception of the monologue FROM AN ABANDONED WORK, the plays can be heard in binaural surround sound. Just wear your headphones.

The plays give a great insight into the development of Beckett’s style and into his approach to sound. Increasingly different in tone and conception from his stage work, the radio plays become more abstract as characters become less individualised and more representative.

FROM AN ABANDONED WORK performed by Stephen Rea

ROUGH FOR RADIO 1
He....Ron Cook
She....Monica Dolan

ROUGH FOR RADIO 2
Animator....Stephen Dillane
Stenographer....Louise Brealey
Fox....Brian Protheroe
Dick....Nick Underwood

WORDS AND MUSIC
Croak....Ian McKellen
Words....Carl Prekopp

CASCANDO
Voice....Stanley Townsend
Opener....David Seddon

Music composed and directed by Roger Goula
Composer's assistant: Jessica Jones

Music performed by
Piano: Kit Downes
Violin: Georgia Hannant
Viola: Oli Langford
Bass Clarinet: Nicola Baigent
Flute: Michael Liu
Cellist: Raphael Lang
Synth: Jessica Jones

Directed by Gaynor Macfarlane

Matthew Sweet with a sequence of radio plays by Samuel Beckett, with Ian McKellen.

Series of drama performances, ranging from experimental works to the Classics