BBC Radio 4 dramatizes John Cheever’s The Enormous Radio

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BBC Radio 4Roy, our spy in the U.K. (informed and undercover) reports in his latest dispatch that John Cheever’s short story The Enormous Radio is getting a 45 minute dramatization on BBC R4! Roy sez this is at least the 4th audio dramatized version of this literary tale. It had previously been adapted in 1956 for the CBS Radio Workshop, in 1978 for Mindwebs, and in 1985 Vanishing Point!

The text version of The Enormous Radio first appeared in the May 17, 1947, issue of The New Yorker. Wikipedia describes it as a a “Kafkaesque tale about a sinister radio that broadcasts the private conversations of tenants in a New York apartment building.”

The Enormous Radio
By John Cheever; Performed by a full cast
Radio Broadcast – Approx. 45 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 / Afternoon Play
Broadcast: Wednesday July 16th 2008 @ 14:15 (U.K. time)
Irene Westcott’s marriage is under strain. When her husband, Jim, brings home a new radio set to keep her company during the day, she soon finds her life unraveling around her. At first repulsed by the size and ugliness of the new set, Irene soon discovers to her delight that instead of the normal stations, it is picking up sounds from the other apartments in her New York block. Without telling her husband, she begins to listen in secret, eavesdropping on private displays of carnal love, vanity, faith and despair.

This should be available via the Afternoon Play “Listen Again” feature shortly after the broadcast.

Here are the |MP3| 1956 version done for the CBS Radio Workshop and the Mindwebs version |MP3| of this tale.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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