Just a brief post to let you know that Radio Drama Revival, one of the longest running and most popular radio drama podcasts (also an on air radio show) have been kind enough to rebroadcast my radio sitcom ‘Choices‘. Although host Fred Greenhalgh disagrees with calling it a ‘radio sitcom’. Judge for yourself!
Here’s the plot synopsis…
Ainesh Sharma is an under confident, over intellectual Indian-Irish twenty something. Ainesh has always been a victim of circumstance; working jobs he didn’t enjoy and failing to live up to his potential. Now, sacked from his factory job and thrown out of home by his disappointed parents, Ainesh is forced to train as a psychotherapist. His course is in ‘Choosing Therapy’, the philosophy that we choose our own destiny, and that everything that happens is our fault. With nowhere to stay, Ainesh is forced to live with two of his bizarre classmates. We follow him as he learns whether there really is such a thing as choice, and if so, how he can make his own destiny.
Choices was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and originally produced for Dublin City FM. The show starred Katie McCann, Aishlinn O’Byrne, Kieran Roche and Dylan Jones, and was produced by Heather MacLeod.
Last year Radio Drama Revival also rebroadcast our ambitious 2012 on location production ‘Any Other Dublin‘. Both Dublin and Choices are available as podcasts on iTunes (and in the listings of pretty much every other podcatcher), if you’d prefer to check them out in episodic format!
The titular Arcadia is Sidley Park, Estate of the earl of Croom. We enter Sidley park at the dawn of the 19th century, and today, as two parallel storylines converge to resolve a literary mystery. Arcadia is a Wildely brilliant farce, which examines the spirit of an age and it’s relationship to time, the mathematics of chaos and it’s relationship to determinism, and whether knowledge is ultimately discovered or created. The play was written in 1993, and first staged at the Lyttelton Theatre in London, starring Rufus Sewell, Felicity Kendal and Bill Nighy. It was awarded the Lawrence Oliver award for best new play, and the Tony for best play. Today we discuss whether the work achieves its aim of marrying rapier wit to intellectual rigor, or merely orders the chaos of half understood ideas to don a costume of regency verbiage.
‘Reading Plays‘ is a discussion show, featuring Gareth Stack and James Van De Waal. Each week we do a close reading of a modern play, discussing it’s merits, themes, issues raised, and so on. You can play along by reading or watching a production of the play before you listen to the show.
Next weeks play Doubt by JP Shanley. We’re actively soliciting suggestions for what plays to read in the coming weeks and months. If there’s a play you’d like us to discuss – especially if it’s less well known, or if there’s a production of it coming to Dublin soon, let us know in the comments below.
The Misanthrope (or the ‘The Cantankerous Lover’) by Moliere, is a comedy first performed at the Theatre du Palais-Royal in 1666. Despite its age the play deals with modern concerns, like the nature of friendship and the choice to embrace cynicism over solipsism. Although absent the careful plotting, dynamic staging or linguistic experimentalism of modern theatre, Moliere’s wit remains alive and entertaining. The influence of his barbed dialogue and high society brinkmanship can be seen in writers from as Oscar Wilde to Whit Stillman.
In life Moliere (born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) was a controversial figure. Arguably one of the first literary celebrities, he was accused of numerous villainies, including having illegitimately fathered his much younger wife.
He once wrote ‘Doubts are more cruel than the worst of truths’, and it is this ambiguity that lies at the heart of The Misanthrope. Moliere writes ‘one cannot look into the heart’. Thus we vacillate between paranoia and pronoia, never certain in this life of the nobility of our actions, or whether moral pragmatism is ultimately more valid than holding a steady course. Is it true, as the cynically flirtatious Celimene says, ‘It is easy… to blame or praise everything and everyone may be right, according to their age and taste’. Or is there a moral centre to life, we may avoid or obey, according to our character.
We read the Henri Van Laun public domain translation of the play from the university of Adelaide.
Next weeks play Arcadia [PDF] by Tom Stoppard. We’re actively soliciting suggestions for what plays to read in the coming weeks and months. If there’s a play you’d like us to discuss – especially if it’s less well known, or if there’s a production of it coming to Dublin soon, let us know in the comments below.
Ainesh learns cushion counselling from his eccentric lecturer Sean. After Emma Jane’s flirtation makes him run for the safety of his cinema books, Stillman hassles him about getting a job. Ainesh starts to realise the course might be more than he bargained for when a puppet role-play goes out of control. Ainesh goes house hunting, barely resisting the advances of an older lady, and just avoiding baptism by an over-enthusiastic priest. A mysterious dog saves the day. Dragged clubbing by his classmate Sally, Ainesh runs into Emma Jane, but before he can romance her she meets his much cooler motorbike-riding cousin, Krishna.
Ainesh Sharma is sacked from his minimum wage job for being a smart aleck, and is placed by the social welfare department in a course called ‘Choosing Therapy’ – a radical form of psychotherapy which teaches that everything in life is our choice. The course proves to be quite the indoctrination. Ainesh is befriended by two mysterious classmates, Stillman and Emma Jane.
The show was produced by superproducer Ronan Misteil, and presented by Andrew Booth. Special guest was Gareth Stack. The show is produced live at the studios of Radiomade.ie. All jingles produced by Roger Gregg and the Crazy Dog Audio Theatre.
The show was produced by superproducer Ronan Misteil, and presented by Andrew Booth. Special guest was Gareth Stack. Prank call featured was by Siam Collective, with permission. The show is produced live at the studios of Radiomade.ie. All jingles produced by Roger Gregg and the Crazy Dog Audio Theatre.
Vital update of most important importance: we’re switching to a monthly format. If God protects us from the spectre of global thermonuclear war, next show should be April 3rd. If you’d like to see more of this kind of thing, like us on Facebook.
Last September, infamous documentary auteur Cloff ‘Leather Britches’ Chuffbunting, spent two weeks in the company of Professor Byron Frump. Two weeks that were to prove infinitely memorable, not just for Professor Byron Frump, but for our world. This documentary was the result. If you’ve ever wondered what motivates the man so many of us have grown to admire, and perhaps even love, or pondered the life of the unpleasantly rich and desperately famous, ‘Behind The Tour Guide’ will feed your mawkish obsession.