The Dark Tower (Temná věž, 1946)

Louis MacNeice. Rozhlasová hra. Hudba Benjamin Britten, orchestr řídí Walter Goehr. Režie Louis MacNeice.

Osoby a obsazení: Roland (Cyril Cusack), seržant – trumpetista (Harry Hutchinson), Gavin (Frank Partington), matka (Olga Lindo), lektor (Mark Dignam), Sylvie (Lucille Lisle), slepec Peter (Ivor Barnard), Soak (Robert Farquharson), kněz (Alexander Sarner), stevard (Howard Marion-Crawford), Neaera (Vera Maxime), lodní důstojník (Charles Maunsell), Rolandův otec (Laidman Browne), papoušek (Marjorie Westbury), havran (Stanley Groome), hlas hodin (Duncan McIntyre).

Natočeno 1946. Premiéra 21. 1. 1946 (BBC Home Service). Repríza 19. 12. 1946 (BBC Third Programme, 22:15 h.; 73 min.).

Pozn.: Can Roland follow in his brother’s footsteps and face the terror in the dark tower? Roland is looking through the family photo album and hears about family members he has not met- they have left. Each male family member travels a long journey- and does not return. Beyond the desert lies the Dark Tower. This is a „parable play“. Gavin is a questioner. Based upon the classic poem „Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came“ is a poem by Robert Browning, written in 1855 The inspiration is a line from King Lear which has no context and no explanation- demanding someone devise a play around it- after it had inspired Robert Browning to write a poem around it. Such is art.

Louis MacNeice (Irish/British poet, 1907-1963). He attended Oxford, where he majored in classics and philosophy. In 1930, he married Giovanna Ezra and accepted a post as classics lecturer at the University of Birmingham, a position he held until 1936, when he went on to teach Greek at Bedford College for Women, University of London. In 1941, he joined the British Broadcasting Company as a staff writer and producer. Like many modern English poets, MacNeice found an audience for his work through British radio. He was part of the generation of „thirties poets“ which included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis; nicknamed „MacSpaunday“ Although he chose to live the majority of his adult life in London, MacNeice frequently returned to the landscapes of his childhood, and he took great pride in his Irish heritage. His poetry is characterized by its familiar, sometimes humorous tone and its integration of contemporary ideas and images.

Lit.: anonym: The Dark Tower. In web BBC Radio 4, b. d. (anotace + nahrávka k poslechu). – Cit.:  First transmitted in 1946, The Dark Tower is a parable play on the ancient theme of the Quest, suggested by Robert Browning’s poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came. It was written and produced by Louis MacNeice, with music specially composed by Benjamin Britten, and played by an ad hoc orchestra conducted by Walter Goehr.

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