British Universities Film & Video Council

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King Lear

Synopsis
Radio adaptation of the play produced by John Tydeman. With Alec Guinness as Lear; Jill Bennett, Eileen Atkins, Sarah Badel, star as his daughters, and Ronald Pickup as the Fool. The music is composed by Christopher Whelen. Special effects by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
Series
World Drama
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Audio; Radio
Recording date
14 Oct 1974
Transmission details
15 Dec 1974 at 17:45 (Channel: BBC Radio 3)
Duration
195 mins

Credits

Producer
John Tydeman
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Christopher Whelen
Cast
Alec GuinnessLear
Sarah BadelCordelia
Cyril CusackEarl of Gloucester
Ronald PickupFool
Robert PowellEdgar, later disguised as Tom o’Bedlam
David Ericsson 
David TimsonDuke of Burgundy
Donald DouglasDuke of Cornwall
Eileen AtkinsRegan
Jill BennettGoneril
Julian CurryDuke of Albany
Michael DeaconKing of France
Norman RodwayEdmund
Paul Gaymon 
Peter Pacey 
Peter WilliamsGentleman
Rolf LefebvreDoctor
Rolf LefebvreOld Man
Trevor MartinEarl of Kent

Additional Details

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

Notes

Notes
According to Tydeman, less than 30 lines of the play were cut in this production.
Recording took about 8 days.
General
Alec Guinness plays Lear for the first time. An interview with the actor can be found in Peter Martin’s article on the production in Radio Times, 14-20 December 1974. The article is entitled "Sir Alec Guinness talking ... but so discreetly he’s hardly there" (p.17; 19).
History
With this production, producer/directorTydeman completed his quartet of major Shakespearean tragedies (see separate entries for HAMLET, OTHELLO and MACBETH ). There was a 10-minute interval at 19:05.
Stills
Still of Guinness reading his part in the studio in Radio Times, 14-10 December 1974, p. 10.
Reviews
Sheridan Morley, ‘John Tydeman: Lear for the ear’, The Times, 14 December 1974, p. 9.
The radio performance is analysed in detail in Dermott Rattigan’s production analysis of four King Lear broadcasts in Theatre of Sound: Radio and the Dramatic Imagination (Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2002), pp. 223 ff.

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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