British Universities Film & Video Council

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Life of King Henry V, The

Synopsis
'Streamlined’ radio version of the play produced and adapted for broadcasting by Frank Hauser with a youthful Richard Burton in the title role. The play, shortened to fit the 90-minute slot, concentrates on the action of King Henry and his victories. The character of Pistol has been cut in it entirety. The music for the broadcast is composed by John Buckland. Clifton Helliwell conducts.
Series
Saturday-Night Theatre
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Radio
Recording date
3 Apr 1949
Transmission details
23 Apr 1949 at 21:00 (Channel: BBC Home Service)
Duration
90 mins
Availability
No archive copy known

Credits

Producer
Frank Hauser
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
John Buckland
Adaptor for Radio
Frank Hauser
Cast
Richard BurtonKing Henry V
Michael FlandersChorus
Geoffrey WincottArchbishop of Canterbury
Catherine CampbellKatherine
Alan WheatleyDauphin
Abraham SofaerConstable of France
Andrew FauldsDuke of Bedford
Carleton HobbsDuke of Exeter
David EndersDuke of Gloucester
Dudley JonesFluellen
Duncan CarseEarl of Westmoreland
Ernest ThesigerKing Charles VI of France
Gladys SpencerAlice
Howieson CuiffLord Rambures
Hugh ManningMichael Williams
Laidman BrowneMontjoy
Raf de la TorreDuke of Orleans
Stanley GroomeGower
Susan RichardsQueen Isabel
William DevlinDuke of Burgundy

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Plays
Henry V
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
A BBC recording.
General
Rehearsals: 27/3/1949-3/4/1949
History
Initially broadcast as part of the St. George’s Day commemorations, it was transmitted again two days later as part of the ‘Monday Matinee’ series in the BBC Light Programme at 16.30 London time.
Textual information
A written transcript of the production is held at the Birmingham Central Library as part of their Shakespeare Collection.
Reviews
Frank Hauser comments on his editorial decisions and the challenges an adaptor/producer faces adapting this play for radio in a column entitled ‘Saturday-Night Shakespeare’ in Radio Times, 15 April 1949.

In his review of the broadcast for The Listener, Lionel Hale criticises the fact that Shakespeare’s plays are truncated for broadcasting, a practice, he argues, that disregards the audiences familiarity with the richness of his plays: "I enquire why the barest bones of a Shakespearean play should be called ‘Henry V’. If I say Mr. Hauser made an excellent job of this, I speak as a man might speak of an executioner who disembowelled a friend of his. One does not (in short) believe it should have been done at all" (Vol. 41, 28 April 1949, p. 731).

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 438 times.