Thursday 30 July 2020

Charles Williams's The Place of the Lion: a radio play version

Did we see a lioness, or a lion; or both?

There is a one hour Canadian radio drama version of The Place of the Lion from 2003, which is available online:

This is performed live, before a festival audience, and by Canadians (i.e. not native English accents) - so allowances must be made; but its heart is in the right place; and there is plenty of humour as well as a clear and strong exposition of the profound, Platonic aspects. The combination of philosophy and jokes is very Shavian - and this broadcast was indeed done at a Shaw festival.

If you like what you hear - the abbreviated play-version may encourage you to 'read the whole thing' - and indeed might prove helpful in understanding what is going-on in some of the trickier parts of the novel.

PloL is my absolute favourite of Charles Williams's novels - which I have read multiple times over a span of thirty-plus years (indeed, I wore-out my first copy!).

It was also a vital catalyst for both CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien in the fiction writing; to the point that I don't think Lewis's Space trilogy would have been written without it, and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings might just have been a kids sequel to The Hobbit.

H/T: Thanks to David Llewellyn Dodds for pointing me at this.


Matthew T said...

"and by Canadians (i.e. not native English accents"

--> I remember being on a training course in the UK once (which was quite a lot of fun) and being accused by some near-incomprehensible Brits of having a "thick Canadian accent". Well, I never!

Anonymous said...

With its combination of what seemed to my memory a lot of direct quotation or preservation of the novel's text, with the streamlining of fitting its action within an hour (it was so good I wished it was at least 90 minutes long), I felt like I got several new insights - which leaves me keen to reread to check that impression. (I'm also tempted to see if people who have never read the novel might be persuaded to try the play first and say what they 'made of it'.)

David Llewellyn Dodds