Mission Statement:

Audio drama is one of the most intimate and expressive dramatic mediums, rivaling theater and film in poetic, visual, and narrative qualities. Many people are unaware of this - a stigma lingers that "radio drama" is a scratchy, cartoonish thing of the past, as if people thought that cinema ended with silent movies, unaware of all the great films made since that time. In reality, audio and radio drama is the great frontier of modern theater - with subtle, intimate performances and powerful, gripping stories.

My aim is to promote a discussion of the art, sociology, theory, and future of this remarkable artistic form. The current state of audio drama is precarious, but through careful consideration of how content is presented, distributed, and interacted with, I believe that the radio and audio drama community can grow and prosper and reach an even wider audience.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Slight Ache by Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter's first play for radio, and essential listening for anyone interested in the medium. It demonstrates with breathtaking simplicity the subjective landscape that audio drama can develop. There are three characters – Flora, her husband Edward, and a mute matchseller. We do not hear the matchseller speak or make any sound. Over the course of the play, Edward and Flora each project their own realities onto this mysterious figure – listen how one's own colorations of him morph with theirs.

The play is analyzed in greater detail in Elissa Guralnick's fabulous book, Sight Unseen, and I highly recommend listening to the play before reading her chapter devoted to it. The version below is the 2000 remake, starring Pinter and Jill Johnson. The original 1959 production starred Maurice Denham and Vivien Merchant, and I'm not sure it still exists. In any case, I've never heard it.

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