Burning Both Ends – when Oliver Reed met Keith Moon (Radio 4 Repeat)

Burning Both Ends is being repeated on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday (24th June 2014.)

Details here

It’ll be available on the Iplayer for a week after that.

I have blogged on this play previously here

Burning_Both_Ends__When_Oliver_Reed_Met_Keith_Moon

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I’ve adapted Jonathan Swift’s satirical book Gulliver’s Travels for the Classic serial slot on Radio 4.

I love the book.

The last time it was adapted for the radio was 30 or so years ago in a version that only dramatized the first voyage (Lilliput) and starred Frank Finlay and Spike Milligan. (I’ve heard some of it – and it’s really more of a reading of the book than a dramatization.)

My adaptation is in three episodes – each an hour long, and I dramatize all four of Gulliver’s voyages.

In Ep 1 Gulliver goes to Lilliput. (Gulliver a giant among the little people.)

In Ep 2 he goes to Brobdingnag. (Gulliver tiny, among giants.)

In Ep3 he goes to Laputa (the flying island where there are mad inventors) and Glubbdubdrib the tribe of magicians and necromancers.

And finally, he goes to the Country of the Houyhnhnms… A land of rational horses and disgusting humanity – the Yahoos.

The accumulation of the voyages has a profound emotional affect on Gulliver as he moves through his story…

And the end – gets very dark…..

Arthur Darvill plays Gulliver. With a strong supporting cast. It’s been a very technically demanding play. Sam Hoyle directs. (It’s mostly the same team that did ‘Burning Both Ends.’)

EP 1 is on this Sunday (5th February) R4 at 3pm. And it’s repeated on the following Saturday (11th February) R4 at 9pm.

Eps 2 and 3 are in the same slots in the following weeks.

(UPDATE: The Radio Times Preview/Review of Episode 1 is now HERE)

(UPDATE: Episode 1 is now available on iplayer HERE)

(UPDATE: Episode 2 is now available on iplayer HERE)

(UPDATE: Episode 3 is now available on iplayer HERE)

An incredibly flattering review of GT has just been posted HERE

UPDATE. To those asking about the music we used – here are some of the main themes:

Cape Clear by Seth – titles and credits

String Quartet No 3 {Mishima} 1, from Kronos Quartet plays Philip Glass.

For Sympson’s theme String Quartet No 3 {Mishima} 6, as above.

For Gulliver’s theme Flugufrelsarinn by Kronos Quartet.

Gulliver’s theme Karen B’yr Til Engil & …Eins Og Venjulegt Folk by Johann Johannsson. From album, Englabörn. Label – 4AD – For Houyhnhnm theme.

***UPDATE***

It seems that the serial is now available to buy on Itunes – Here

Burning Both Ends – When Oliver Reed met Keith Moon

I have a new play on Radio 4 this Thursday afternoon (8th December) at 2.15pm…

Set in the Summer of 1974 – “Burning Both Ends” explores the intense, hilarious and very special friendship between English actor Oliver Reed and ‘wild man’ drummer – Keith Moon. It is the story of a “bro-mance” that sprung up when Ken Russell (RIP), playing unwitting match-maker, cast the men opposite each other in his movie version of the rock opera, Tommy.

Keith Moon was the world famous drummer of THE WHO. He had a gargantuan appetite for partying, drugs, alcohol, and pranks – And was looking for a new playmate.

Oliver Reed was the biggest movie star in Britain. His credits included Women in Love, The Three Musketeers, and his iconic role as Bill Sykes in Oliver! He had a beautiful ballerina partner, a huge mansion in Surrey, and a French magazine had voted him ‘the sexiest man’ on earth… Reed had it all… But felt there was something missing from his life… Keith Moon, he decided – “was the path I was looking for”…

It’s a story that I found funny and touching. And the play is a fictionalised account of their time together – mainly set on the south coast while they were on the Tommy shoot.

Sean Pertwee plays Olly – in my opinion, a remarkable transformative performance. (Someone tweeted me that Sean has ‘the most masculine voice in British acting’ And that seems apt for this role!)

Arthur Darvill plays the Keith Moon with a mercurial energy – complex, fun, but with shades of darkness at heart.

Together the actors threw themselves at the roles – playful, funny, joyful, revelatory, naughty, and moving. But that’s just my opinion -and i’m biased.

For details of Burning Both Ends click HERE

[*UPDATE – A feature article I wrote about the play is in today’s Sunday Express. – 4th Dec 2011]

UPDATE – Burning Both Ends is available Here