Mark Burgess - Joan and the Baron
4 Extra debut. An odd friendship forms when a French bon viveur invites an English left-wing theatre director to stay. Starring Eleanor Bron.
Bordeaux, late 1970's: a Frenchman in his seventies; an Englishwoman in her sixties.
He is a poet, a translator of Elizabethan verse, a racing driver, yachtsman, wine maker, theatre and film producer and, at one time, the most notorious womaniser in Paris. He is also a Rothschild.
She is from Stockwell in London, born to an unmarried mother who disapproved of books and reading. But after a convent school education as a scholarship girl and another scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art she became one of the most influential directors of the twentieth century, creating the Theatre Workshop in Stratford East and earning the sobriquet 'the Mother of Modern Theatre'. She is Joan Littlewood.
Following the recent deaths of their respective partners, Baron Philippe seems to be moving on with his life while Joan declares she has no wish to. She shut-down emotionally at the point of her beloved Gerry Raffles' death and has no desire to return to her famous theatre in Stratford East or ever to direct again. The Baron extends an invitation to his Mouton estate.
Joan and the Baron explores the growth of friendship between this unlikely pair, after a chance meeting in Vienne.
Written by Mark Burgess
Director: David Blount
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.
|Joan Littlewood||Eleanor Bron|
|Baron Philippe de Rothschild||Michael Jayston|
|RADA Principal||Jonathan Tafler|