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The Dark Tower

Friday 27 Oct 2017 - Saturday 28 Oct 2017

Part of Britten on the Radio

An iconic radio play broadcast live by the BBC in 1946, The Dark Tower is widely acknowledged to be the finest of MacNeice’s many works for radio and one of the most critically acclaimed radio plays of the 20th century. The verse drama – set in the world of myth, but with strong allegorical, autobiographical and even satirical elements – has at its core music by Britten to whom MacNeice dedicated the published script.

As the centrepiece of this Britten Weekend, we recreate that original broadcast under the tower of Orford’s medieval church in front of a live audience. The 12-strong cast act to the microphone in this most imposing and atmospheric of radio studios with Britten’s music and his musical sound-effects played ‘live’. Combining period touches with an entirely fresh approach, this production brings this momentous radio drama collaboration up to date for a contemporary audience.

A radio play by Louis MacNeice
Music by Benjamin Britten

Robin Brooks director
Fiona McAlpine producer
BBC Concert Orchestra
Robert Ziegler conductor

Harry Lloyd Roland
Lucy Robinson Mother
Jude Akuwudike Sergeant-Trumpeter
Matthew Tennyson Gavin
Adrian Scarborough Tutor
Manjinder Virk Sylvie
Nicholas Murchie Blind Peter
Jonjo O’Neill The Soak
Hannah Genesius Neaera
Sam Dale Priest
Georgie Glen Barmaid
William Gidney Young Roland
Other parts played by members of the company

Learn more about The Dark Tower in the videos below:

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast this new production of The Dark Tower on Sunday 29 October at 9pm.

The performance will last approximately 105 minutes with an interval of 15 minutes.