Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie
  • The Glass Menagerie

    • Tennessee Williams

    • Anastasia Hille (Read by)

    • George MacKay (Read by)

    • Patsy Ferran (Read by)

    • Sope Dirisu (Read by)

    Anastasia Hille stars as Amanda Wingfield and George MacKay as her son Tom in BBC Radio 3’s landmark production of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece

    Tennessee Williams's iconic play tells the story of a family trapped in their own unhappy situation and the shattering of their quiet existence when is stranger is brought home.

    Tom shares the cramped and claustrophobic tenement home with his over-bearing mother, Amanda and painfully shy sister, Laura. He works in a warehouse but dreams of becoming a poet, escaping his mundane life. Laura hides at home lacking the confidence to engage meaningfully with the outside world, preferring instead to lose herself in her collection of fragile glass animals. Amanda sells magazine subscriptions over the phone and commits herself to finding a match for her daughter. One day, Tom succumbs to his mother's pressure and brings home a gentleman caller…

    Creating a dream-like atmosphere, The Glass Menagerie has remained one of Williams’ most touching, tender and painful works.

    Tennessee Williams's drama is one of the most loved and well-known stage plays of the 20th century. It won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in 1945 and paved the way for Williams to become one of America’s most highly regarded playwrights.

    The Glass Menagerie is introduced by John Lahr, author of the acclaimed biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh.

    Cast:
    Amanda . . . . . Anastasia Hille
    Tom . . . . . George MacKay
    Laura . . . . . Patsy Ferran
    Jim . . . . . Sope Dirisu
    Directed and produced by Sasha Yevtushenko

    Sound design by Peter Ringrose and Caleb Knightley.
    Production co-ordinator: Mabel Wright

    Music for violin arranged and performed by Bogdan Vacarescu

Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, where his grandfather was the episcopal clergyman. When his father, a travelling salesman, moved with his family to St Louis some years later, both he and his sister found it impossible to settle down to city life. He entered college during the Depression and left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 and completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play Battle of Angels, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and 1955. Among his many other plays Penguin have published The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real(1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), Period of Adjustment (1960), The Night of the Iguana (1961), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963; revised 1964) and Small Craft Warnings (1972). He died in 1983.