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Hoffnung: Drawn to Music

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 28 September 2009

By Alan Stafford.

Starring Matt Lucas and originally broadcast to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gerard Hoffnung's death, the eccentric cartoonist organises the first ever full-scale humorous symphonic concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

It is 1956, and the fruity-voiced raconteur, tuba player and occasional Quasimodo impersonator Gerard Hoffnung is about to unveil his latest madcap scheme, a Hoffnung Music Festival: a full-scale symphonic concert that will bring many of his cartoon creations to life and poke fun at the pomposities of classical music. Will he succeed in filling the Royal Festival Hall with laughter, or will the whole enterprise come crashing to earth like a barrel of bricks?

An all-star cast including Gina McKee, Hugh Bonneville, Jon Glover and Felicity Montagu bring Alan's play to life. Matt Lucas, a long time fan of Hoffnung, brilliantly conveys Gerard Hoffnung's surreal sense of humour and extraordinary voice.

Gerard Hoffnung/ Psychiatrist 2 ..... Matt Lucas
Annetta Hoffnung ..... Gina McKee
Donald Swann/ Ian Messiter ..... Stephen Boswell
Malcolm Arnold/ Bean ..... Nicholas Jones
John Amis/ Roy Plomley/ Richard Dimbleby ..... Jon Glover
Arthur Drummer ..... Hugh Bonneville
Susan Drummer/ Announcer ..... Felicity Montagu
Tuba player ..... Geoff Webb
Pianist ..... .Alan Stafford
Annetta Hoffnung (present day) ..... herself

Producer: Adam Bromley.
An Above The Title Production for BBC Radio 4.


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