Poetry, prose and music to transport you to the theatre with readers Indira Varma and Rory Kinnear getting the show on the road, accompanied by Kurt Weill, Purcell and Matthew Locke.
As part of the BBC Lights Up festival of theatre which brings a series of dramas to radio and television, today’s Words and Music takes us both backstage and into the experiences of performers in front of the footlights: from Shakespeare’s Hamlet deciding to use a play to catch out his villainous uncle, to the playwright Michael Frayn describing the agony of a cigarette lighter failing to function on stage. Actors Rory Kinnear and Indira Varma read from a range of plays and prose exploring the pleasures and pitfalls of theatrical life. You'll also hear the voice of perhaps the most legendary figure in modern British theatre: Sir Laurence Olivier, discussing the newly founded National Theatre Company in 1963. There’s a moment from Bernadine Evaristo’s novel Girl, Woman, Other, where a playwright reflects on her move from theatrical radical to member of the mainstream; and that’s followed up with a true visionary of the theatre: Kurt Weill singing a wonderfully Germanic-sounding version of Speak Low. The theatrical soundtrack also stars Henry Purcell, Ethel Merman and Frankie Howard (in a toga) and a seventeenth century wind machine.
As You Like It - Shakespeare
Hamlet/Bernhardt - Theresa Rebeck
Collected Columns - Michael Frayn
Actress - Anne Enright
Girl, Woman. Other - Bernadine Everisto
Hamnet - Maggie O’Farrell
The Early Diaries - Simon Gray
The Seagull - Chekhov Trans. Stoppard
Stop the Show!: A History of Insane Incidents and Absurd Accidents in the Theatre - Brad Schreiber
Hamlet - Shakespeare
Dramatic Exchanges: Letters of the National Theatre - Edited by Daniel Rosenthal
Swing Time - Zadie Smith
An Awfully Big Adventure - Beryl Bainbridge
Wise Children - Angela Carter
Morality Play - Barry Unsworth
The Tempest - Shakespeare
Producer: Georgia Mann
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
Extract from Suite from As You Like It SuiteOrchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Colin Davis.
- EMI CDC7479442.
Extract from As You Like It, read by Rory Kinnear
Extract from Hamlet/Bernhardt read by Indira Varma00:06
Theres No Business Like Show BusinessPerformer: Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton.
- Music Club MCBX014.
Extract from Collected Columns read by Rory Kinnear00:10
Lets Have Another CigarettePerformer: Benny Goodman and His Orchestra.
- Living Era CD AJA 5302.
Extract from Actress, read by Indira Varma00:15
TheatrelandPerformer: Paul Guinery.
- EM Records EMR CD064.
Chacony in G minorPerformer: London Baroque.
- Hamonia Mundi HMT7901327.
Extract from Hamnet, read by Rory Kinnear
Extract from Woman, Girl, Other, read by Indira Varma00:23
Johann Sebastian Bach
From Partita in E for solo violin, BWV 1006; 1. PreludioPerformer: Nathan Milstein.
- Archiv 00289 479 0441.
Kurt Weill & Ogden Nash
Speak LowPerformer: Kurt Weill.
- SCHOTT T4662.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Nocturne (Op.19/4)Performer: Jamie Walton. Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Okko Kamu.
- Signum SIGCD407.
Chekhov trans. Tom Stoppard
Extract from The Seagull, read by Indira Varma
Extract from The Early Diaries, read by Rory Kinnear00:32
Hey Diddle-dee-dee, An Actors Life For MePerformer: Walter Catlett.
- Disney Records D002065992.
Extract from Stop the Show!: A History of Insane Incidents and Absurd Accidents in the Theatre, read by Indira Varma00:35
Comedy Tonight from A Funny Thing Happened O The Way To The ForumPerformer: Frankie Howerd & The Company.
- Capitol SW 1717.
Hamlet - suite... (Op.116a), no.8; The Duel and death of HamletOrchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Vassily Sinaisky.
- Chandos CHAN10361.
Extract from Hamlet, read by Rory Kinnear00:44
Henry V, scene from the film, The Globe TheatreOrchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: William Walton.
- EMI 5 65007 2.
Speaking in 1963
Eileen Atkinson, edited by Daniel Rosenthal
From Dramatic Exchanges: Letters of the National Theatre, read by Indira Varma
Laurence Olivier edited by Daniel Rosenthal
From Dramatic Exchanges: Letters of the National Theatre, read by Rory Kinnear00:47
Ophelia's song for voice and piano Singer: Caroline MacPhie. Performer: Joseph Middleton.
- Stone Records ST8045.
Selection from Guys and DollsPerformer: Geraldo and His New Concert Orchestra.
- Guild 795754515220 - GLCD5152.
Extract from Swing Time, read by Indira Varma00:52
Take Back Your MinkPerformer: Julie London.
- EMI 7777912982 - CDP 7 91298 2.
Extract from An Awfully Big Adventure, read by Rory Kinnear00:56
Homecoming QueenPerformer: Sparklehorse.
- EMI 724383281626.
Extract from Wise Children, read by Indira Varma01:01
Ronde no. 11 [Danserye, 1551]Ensemble: Early Music Consort of London. Conductor: David Munrow.
- Testament SBT1080.
Extract from Morality Play, read by Rory Kinnear01:03
Music for The Tempest - V Lilk and VI Curtain TuneEnsemble: Le Concert des Nations. Conductor: Jordi Savall.
- Alia Vox AVSA9914.
Light in DarknessPerformer: Evelyn Glennie.
- RCA Victor 74321 47629 2.
Extract from The Tempest, read by Indira Varma01:10
Ralph Vaughan Williams
3 Shakespeare songs for chorus, no.2; The Cloud-capp'd towersChoir: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Conductor: Sir David Willcocks.
- Decca 430093-2.
- Sun 21 Mar 2021 17:30