Thursday, March 15, 2012

BBC Radio 4

I recently made a 13 hour drive and occupied most of my time with new podcasts! I wanted to make you all aware of my two favorite so far from BBC Radio 4. If you weren't aware the BBC still produces radio dramas, comedies, series, and so forth. People go to school to become radio actors! And screen actors do radio as well; David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch come to mind.

I stumbled upon The Art of Monarchy with Will Gompertz, who if you frequent the BBC News Entertainment page you'll recognize as the BBC's art editor. I enjoy his pieces on BBC News and really have been enjoying The Art of Monarchy podcast available on iTunes. Each twenty minute podcast looks at six objects in the Royal Collection and how they reflect upon that week's theme. So far image, war, faith, magnificence and people have been addressed. Gompertz travels to various royal sites including Windsor, The Tower of London, Hampton Court, and Balmoral to view these objects. They are described and discussed by Gompertz and various curators of the Collection. Images of the objects are available on BBC Radio 4's website for the program. I really enjoyed this podcast and can't wait for the final installments. This podcast is a must listen for Anglophiles captivated by the monarchy and English history.

The second podcast I really enjoyed surprised me. I downloaded Weekly Drama which is a weekly hour long drama or play from Radio 3 or 4. The first episode I listened to was a political satire that was basically a review of the European economic crises using Dickensian names that really bored me. The second episode, and the most recent available was titled An American Rose and was a play by Charlotte Jones about Kennedy sisters Kick and Rosemary. I've blogged a little about Kick here, so I knew what was going to happen to her. I'd never heard of Rosemary before so was intrigued and heartbroken by her story. Whether you know all or nothing about the Kennedies this play was well constructed to guide the audience to the necessary information as you needed it. The Kennedies' accents were very strange. I've heard JFK, Bobby, and Ted talk, but the women, who are the only Kennedies you hear, were a very strange Southern, Transatlantic, hardly Boston kind of a sound, strange but whatever. Mrs. Kennedy was played by Fenella Woolgar, whom I saw in The Real Thing at the Old Vic. This podcast seems like it'll be rather hit and miss with content preferences, but I really enjoyed An American Rose.

I've also subscribed to Friday Night Comedy which is Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me  w/o the contestants. Comedy of the Week I started, but didn't like the play from that week.

Also, if you love Benedict Cumberbatch's voice (and if you don't you probably enjoy the sound of forks scratching plates), get his reading of Metamorphosis by Kafka on Sci-Fi Friday, only parts 1 and 2 have been put up so far.

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