In which The Author catches up on four weeks’ listening
There’s a new production of Titus Andronicus at Stratford-upon-Avon at the moment. Arguably the Bard’s bloodthirstiest play, it features the (in)famous scene where the heads of two murdered boys are fed to their unfaithful mother in a pie. The Props Manager had to devise a suitably gory-looking recipe, consisting of pork loin and beetroot, for that authentic ‘just butchered’ look. He also had to come up with a Quorn-based alternative to suit a vegetarian understudy.
(Front Row, Radio 4, approx 3 weeks ago.)
According to the bestselling medical textbook Orthopaedia: or the art of correcting and preventing deformities in children
Redness is a defect of the hair, the red colour hair proceeds from it being more nourished with the red part of the blood than with any other humour. Bleeding is a great help in this cause, but we must take care not to push this method too far.
(Disability: A New History, Radio 4, 30 May.)
The music of Richard Wagner really isn’t as bad as it sounds.
(Götterdämmerung, Radio 3, 18 May.)
In which The Author has his horizons broadened by the BBC
As regular readers probably know, I don’t have a TV at home. Instead, I spend most of my time in the house with the radio on. I’m pleased to observe that, some ninety years after its inception, the BBC is maintaining Lord Reith’s original brief to ‘educate, inform, and entertain.’ I’ve posted a couple of these updates on Facebook already, and now I hope to bring you a regular digest of three interesting things I learned during the previous week’s listening.
- A female panda comes into oestrus for only two or three days once a year (PM, Radio 4, Friday.)
- The earliest surviving audio ‘recording’ dates from 1860. It’s a phonautograph print of someone singing Au clair de la lune. The inventor, Edouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, lacked the technology to play it back, and it remained unheard until 2008. (Noise: a human history, Radio 4, Friday.)
- Norwegian composers and musicians get up to some very strange things during those long winter evenings. (Hear and Now, Radio 3, Saturday.)
Being a Non-Linear Account of the Life and Opinions of The Author, Cross-referenced and Illustrated, with Occasional Hesitations, Repetitions and Deviations.