T. H. WHITE - THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING - 1. THE COMING OF MERLYN (320kbs-m4a/125mb/55mins)
BBC Radio 4 Extra broadcast: 24th September 2018
The radio debut of all five books of The Once and Future King in an adaptation by the award-winning dramatist, Brian Sibley, whose credits include dramatisations of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels and most recently, Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man.
T. H. White's imagining of Arthur's childhood in The Sword in The Stone, his use of myth to deliver a powerful anti-war message and the humanity of his depiction of doomed love marks this cycle of novels as one of the defining works of 20th century fantasy fiction.
White uses the Arthurian legends to explore epic themes of national identity, democracy and the virtues of right over might.
T. H. White's classic retelling of the King Arthur story dramatised by Brian Sibley. England is in turmoil. On the night before a decisive battle, Merlyn and Arthur meet to talk about what has brought the King and country to this perilous state.
Paul Ready as Arthur, David Warner as Merlyn, Edward Bracey as Wart, Ethan Hammer as Young Kay, Bruce Alexander as Archimedes, Michael Bertenshaw as Sir Ector, Lyndsey Marshal as Guenever, Paul Heath as Sir Kay, Elaine Claxton as Lyo-Lyok, Jane Slavin as The Ant Controller, Monty d'Inverno as Tom the Page and Bettrys Jones as Mustard Pot.
Original music by Elizabeth Purnell
Directors: Gemma Jenkins, Marc Beeby and David Hunter