The Nobel Prize–winning author created the words for this unique play about religion in the twentieth century.
The choruses in this pageant play represent a new verse experiment on Mr. Eliot’s part; and taken together make a sequence of verses about twice the length of “The Waste Land.”
Mr. Eliot has written the words; the scenario and design of the play were provided by a collaborator, and the purpose was to provide a pageant of the Church of England for presentation on a particular occasion. The action turns upon the efforts and difficulties of a group of London masons in building a church. Incidentally, a number of historical scenes, illustrative of church-building, are introduced. The play, enthusiastically greeted, was first presented in England, at Sadler’s Wells; the production included much pageantry, mimetic action, and ballet, with music by Dr. Martin Shaw.
Immediately after the production of this play in England, Francis Birrell wrote in The New Statesman: “The magnificent verse, the crashing Hebraic choruses which Mr. Eliot has written had best be studied in the book. The Rock is certainly one of the most interesting artistic experiments to be given in recent times.”
The Times Literary Supplement also spoke with high praise: “The choruses exceed in length any of his previous poetry; and on the stage they prove the most vital part of the performance. They combine the sweep of psalmody with the exact employment of colloquial words. They are lightly written, as though whispered to the paper, yet are forcible to enunciate . . . . There is exhibited here a command of novel and musical dramatic speech which, considered alone, is an exceptional achievement.”
In 1950’s Houston, an affluent couple is transformed by tragedy when their son dies under mysterious circumstances and the husband loses his job of 40 years. Shirley Knight recreates her Tony-nominated performance in this 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Phyllis Applegate, Jamie Hanes, Shirley Knight, Lynne Marta, Ronan O'Casey, Daniel Passer, Kenna Ramsey, David Selby and Tom Virtue.
Volume 4 of CBS Radio Workshop includes “All Is Bright”, a history of the famous Christmas song; “1489 Words”, based on a text piece by Thomas Wolfe and adapted by Jerry Goldsmith; a two-part adaptation of Frederick Pohl and Cyril M. Cornbluth’s The Space Merchants; Archibald MacLeish’s “Air Raid”, the series’ only re-broadcast, which had first been written for the 1938 Columbia Workshop; Henry Fritch’s “The Endless Road”, about a road to nowhere being built in the Caribbean and the corruption surrounding its construction; “A Dog’s Life”, which was the actual recordings of a pound dog being adopted raised by a man; Elliott Lewis wrote, directed and performed “Nightmare”, about a man who suffers from nightmares so bad that he can no longer distinguish sleep from reality.
Located in a part of Cumbria that was once part of Lancashire, the River Duddon rises in the high fells of the Lake District and flows for 25 miles through varied scenery before disappearing into the sands between Millom and Barrow-in-Furness. Wordsworth’s series of sonnets, inspired by his walks along the river, were written over a period of years, but are arranged so as to follow its downward course from the fells to the sea. Part One of this reading consists of the 33 sonnets and postscript that were first published as a series in 1820. Later editions of Wordsworth’s works included a 34th sonnet, which is appended to Part One. Part Two contains Wordsworth’s rather eccentric notes on the sonnets, which are largely taken up by an account of the remarkable career of the Reverend ‘Wonderful’ Walker, who lived to the age of 94 after serving as curate of Seathwaite chapel for 67 years from 1735 to 1802. I have read the sonnets using a northern English accent as I believe Wordsworth may have read them himself. (Summary by Phil Benson)
LibriVox volunteers bring you 10 recordings of Fifty Cents by Billy Mortimer. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for August 21, 2011.Originally published in 1881 as a song, with music by Dan Lewis. (Summary by TriciaG)
LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 recordings of A New Arrival by George W. Cable. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for May 17th, 2010."The New Arrival" is a valuable poem because it expresses the joy of a young father over his new baby. If girls should be educated to be good mothers, so should boys be taught that fatherhood is the highest and holiest joy and right of man. The child is educator to the man. He teaches him how to take responsibility, how to give unbiased judgments, and how to be fatherly like "Our Father who is in Heaven." (1844-.) (introduction to 'A New Arrival' from Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary E. Burt ed.)
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