British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

King Lear

Synopsis
Full-length radio adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy produced by Howard Rose. The script of the broadcast has been edited by M. R. Ridley. With Donald Wolfit, Sonia Dresdel, Robert Eddison and Harry Andrews. Duncan Carse narrates.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Radio
Recording date
31 Dec 1948
Transmission details
26 Apr 1949 at 19:10 (Channel: BBC Third Programme)
Duration
145 mins

Credits

Producer
Howard Rose
Writer
William Shakespeare
Adaptor for Radio
Maurice Roy Ridley
Cast
Donald WolfitLear
Rosalind IdenCordelia
John RuddockEarl of Gloucester
Robert EddisonFool
Harry AndrewsEdgar, later disguised as Tom o’Bedlam
Adrian ThomasMessenger
Andrew CruickshankDuke of Cornwall
Arnold DiamondOswald
Barbara CouperRegan
Denis McCarthyKing of France
Douglas JefferiesDuke of Albany
Duncan CarseNarrator
Ian CooperGentleman
John BoxerCuran
Lance GeorgeOld Man
Philip MorantDuke of Burgundy
Ralph TrumanEarl of Kent
Richard WestGentleman (1) (Gentleman)
Roderick LovellEdmund
Sonia DresdelGoneril

Additional Details

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

Notes

Notes
The BBC recording was first broadcast April 26, 1949. The British Library Sound Archive holds copies of the original recording and a copy of a version as broadcast on BBC Radio 3, October 26, 1978.
General
Nine days (1/12/-9/12/1948) were spent on rehearsals and one for pre-recording (10/12/1948). Cf. Margaret Horsfield, Shakespeare on Radio (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 1978), p.88.
History
Broadcast in two parts. Part 1: 19:10-21.10. Part 2: 21.35-23.00.
Textual information
A written transcript of the production is held at the Birmingham Central Library as part of their Shakespeare Collection.
Reviews
'Modest Success’ by Lionel Hale, The Listener, Vol. 41, 5 May 1949, p. 775.
On Donald Wolfit as Lear: "Lacking the physical help of looks ..., he did not discover much authority in his voice alone. But, on this unsure foundation, Mr. Wolfit built excellently, with many superbities in the storm and much genuine pathos; and his speaking was a model of lucid power".

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Archive

Name

British Library Sound Archive

Email
listening@bl.uk
Web
http://www.bl.uk/nsa External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7412 7676
Fax
020 7412 7441
Address
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB

Record Stats

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