Man and Superman
This is radio drama, not audio drama. Moreover, this is your father's radio drama. This four-hour uncut production of George Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman," complete with the Don Juan in Hell sequence, is directed by Sir Peter Hall and stars Ralph Fiennes, John Wood and Juliet Stevenson. If you' re a theatre addict, it doesn't get any better than that.
Using Irish actor, Niall Buggy as narrator, presumably as Shaw, scenes are introduced. There is no sound bed, the occasional sound effect interrupts the dialogue, music is used sparingly, and nothing distracts from the play itself and the superb performances.
Before the play begin, Peter Hall talks about the influence and importance of radio drama on him and his future career. When he was asked to direct this production, the BBC producer asked him for "cuts." He refused to cut a syllable. While admirable to some, one must remember that Shaw believed that a thing worth saying, is worth saying twenty times. A blue pencil, particularly in the Don Juan in Hell sequence, would have been welcomed.
If audio drama is to pay for itself, this is the way to do it. While people are used to audio books, audio plays are rare. This 4 cassette audio play is an example of how drama of language and ideas can entertain and enlighten.
Rena Down -teaches at Mt.Holyoke College in western Massachusetts
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