John Gielgud

Terence Rattigan: A BBC Radio Drama Collection
  • Terence Rattigan: A BBC Radio Drama Collection

    • Terence Rattigan

    • Michael Aldridge (Read by)

    • John Gielgud (Read by)

    • Angela Baddeley (Read by)

    • Benjamin Whitrow (Read by)

    • Mary Wimbush (Read by)

    • Alan Bates (Read by)

    • Siân Phillips (Read by)

    • Michael Bryant (Read by)

    • Anthony Quayle (Read by)

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    13 of the finest works by the world-renowned playwright, as heard on BBC radio

    Sir Terence Rattigan was one of Britain's greatest playwrights, renowned for his well-crafted dramas of upper-class manners and repressed sexuality. He was hugely popular throughout the 1940s and early 50s, and had the rare distinction of having plays running in three West End theatres simultaneously. Having fallen out of fashion in the Sixties, his work is now enjoying a huge revival. Included here are some of his most esteemed plays, adapted for radio and brought together in chronological order in one statement collection.

    We begin with the sparkling comedy French Without Tears, introduced by the author himself. Next is one of his most famous plays, The Winslow Boy, the moving story of an innocent boy accused of theft. The Browning Version features a teacher overwhelmed by a schoolboy's unexpected gift, Adventure Story tells the dramatic tale of Alexander the Great, and The Final Test, adapted from Rattigan's 1951 television play, tells the comic story of a veteran cricketer's son who prefers music and poetry to cricket.

    The Deep Blue Sea centres around the troubled relationship of Hester and Freddie, who need each other, but are worlds apart. In Separate Tables, a radio version of the classic stage play set in the 1950s, a small group of residents at a Bournemouth hotel discover one of them harbours a devastating secret. Variation on a Theme is a reworking of Alexander Dumas' classic 19th-century novel La Dame aux Camélias, Ross explores the enigmatic life of T.E. Lawrence and Man and Boy focuses on a fraudulent financier who, with his worldwide empire facing collapse, flees to the New York apartment of his estranged son.

    Also featured are A Bequest to the Nation, a dramatised account of the Battle of Trafalgar and Lord Nelson's affair with Emma Hamilton, and In Praise of Love, inspired by the relationship between Rattigan's friend, the actor Rex Harrison, and his wife Kay Kendall. Last up is Rattigan's final play, Cause Célèbre, based on the story of Alma Rattenbury, who went on trial with her teenage lover for the murder of her husband. And in two bonus documentaries, Kaleidoscope: Terence Rattigan and Conversations with Terence Rattigan, the great author discusses his life, work and influence.

    Among the array of stars in these enthralling dramas are John Gielgud, Alan Bates, Diana Dors, Siân Phillips, Anna Massey, Amanda Root, Peter Sallis, Nerys Hughes, Michael Williams, Saeed Jaffrey, Mary Wimbush and Carleton Hobbs.

    NB: This collection contains language that reflects the attitudes of the era in which the plays were written

    Production credits
    Written by Terence Rattigan
    First published in 1936 (French without Tears), 1942 (While the Sun Shines),1946 (The Winslow Boy), 1948 (The Browning Version), 1949 (Adventure Story), 1951 (The Final Test), 1952 (The Deep Blue Sea), 1954 (Separate Tables), 1958 (Variation on a Theme), 1960 (Ross), 1963 (Man and Boy), 1970 (A Bequest to the Nation), 1973 (In Praise of Love), 1977 (Cause Célèbre)

    Contents List
    · French Without Tears
    Introduction by Terence Rattigan
    · The Winslow Boy
    · The Browning Version
    · Adventure Story
    · The Final Test
    · Deep Blue Sea
    · Separate Tables
    · Variation on a Theme
    · Ross
    · Man and Boy
    · A Bequest to the Nation
    · In Praise of Love
    · Cause Célèbre
    · Kaleidoscope: Terence Rattigan
    Presented by Christopher Matthew with Terence Rattigan
    · Conversations with Terence Rattigan

    ©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

RELEASED 04/08/2022

Sir John Gielgud had an astonishing 80-year career as a thespian, and performed a huge variety of roles on stage and screen. Along with Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson, he was acclaimed as one of the 'great trinity' of theatre actors, and was particularly renowned for his Shakespearean roles, which included Hamlet, Romeo, King Lear, Richard II and Prospero. Among his other notable stage appearances were in The Importance of Being Ernest, The Seagull, Forty Years On and Home. His films included Chimes at Midnight, Providence, Chariots of Fire, Gandhi and Arthur, in which he played Hobson the butler. The role won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, as well as several other awards. On television, he was seen in Brideshead Revisited, The Far Pavilions, War and Remembrance and Summer's Lease. He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1953, and was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1960, the Companion of Honour in 1977 and the Order of Merit in 1996. John Gielgud died in 2000, aged 96.

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