Titus Groan on BBC Radio 4

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Titus Groan on BBC Radio 4

Postby Brightonian » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:41 am

The Beeb is broadcasting a 6-part series The History of Titus Groan adapted from the 4 Ghormenghast books, including Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore which is used to "frame" the series. Episode 1 opens with Titus arriving at the island of Sark where he encounters as Artist who seems to have painted scenes from his life. You can catch it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012f7gz.
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Re: Titus Groan on BBC Radio 4

Postby admin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:46 am

Thanks for the info. I wonder how it will compare with the BBC version with Sting as Steerpike.

(later)

Just listened to the first episode. It's by Brian Sibley, who also wrote the first BBC version of the first two Gormanghast books, and the superb BBC Lord of the Rings. This version continues with the new sequel. I had no plans to read the sequel, but I may listen to it.
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Re: Titus Groan on BBC Radio 4

Postby admin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:16 am

I think, based just on the first episode, that I like the two part Titus Groan, with Sting as Steerpike, better than the new four part version, even though they have the same writer and the same excellent BBC acting and sound effects. In the books, which number among the greatest fantasy books of all time, the characters are introduced through action. The same is true of the earlier radio version which in fact, due to compression of two long books into three short hours, has a lot more action than the books. The new radio version begins by introducing the major characters, one at a time, and before they really do much. I suppose the story will pick up in episode two. They are, to be sure, great characters, wonderfully voiced: Lord Groan, Lady Gertrude, Fuchsia, Clarice & Cora, Barquentine, Swelter, Flay, Prunesquallor, and Nanny Slagg.

There is yet another dramatization of Gormanghast, a four hour BBC video version featuring such actors as Stephen Fry, Christopher Lee, and Ian Richardson. It's quite good.
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Re: Titus Groan on BBC Radio 4

Postby Brightonian » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:03 am

The second episode went at breakneck speed, covering the library fire, Sepulchrave's insanity, Flay's dismissal, Steerpike's ascent to become Barquentine's assistant and the deaths of Lord Groan himself, Sourdust, Swelter, Keda and her two lovers. I guess it must be a challenge to fit everything into 6 hours.

BTW I found myself standing about three feet away from Brian Sibley at a Mervyn Peake conference at the weekend. He was deep in conversation, possibly with Sebastian Peake, so I didn't feel inclined to butt in and do the "fan" thing.
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Re: Titus Groan on BBC Radio 4

Postby admin » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:07 am

Ah, yes. When I was young (oh so much younger than today) I would rush up to every famous person I saw and gush like a fanboy (a word which didn't exist at the time). The first time I restrained myself (i.e. grew up) was when I saw Ray Bradbury, Julius Schwartz, and Mort Weisinger going in to dinner at a nice restaurant. It dawned on me, for the first time, that they were old friends who valued their time together, and I would be an unwelcome interuption.

It would be nice to chat with Brian Sibley, though, some time when he's not busy. I wonder if he'll be in San Diego. Authors, unlike actors, often do not have a crowd around them (exceptions being Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore).
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