Samuel Beckett’s Rough for Radio I and II

I’ve been listening to a lot of Beckett recently, including his radio plays. Rough for Radio I is the only Beckett radio play that was never produced by the BBC. Originally written in French in 1961, Beckett translated it into English, publishing it in Stereo Headphones magazine in 1976 as Sketch for Radio Play. It never had a BBC production, and has never been produced in Britain. I came across a live recording on YouTube, performed by A Somber Threat Theatre Ensemble at The Zeitgeist Gallery, Cambridge, MA (USA) during the late 1990’s.

It took me longer to track down Rough for Radio II, also known as Rough for Radio, or by the original French title Pochade Radiophonique. This is a bizarre piece in which two figures, the Animator and Stenographer, interrogate a  prisoner, Fox. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this one, or the other piece. I think a few more listens are in order.


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