Monday, 15 January 2018

BLAZE!

The ferro di prua (or 'dolfin') of a gondola flashes in the sunlight...


[Photos: © Brian Sibley, 2018]

MIST IN VENICE

Although not, for most visitors, the weather-option of choice, Venice swathed in mist is like no other place on earth...







[Photos: © Brian Sibley & David Weeks 2006, 2015 & 2018]

Friday, 5 January 2018

ORCHESTRA FOLK

Members of the Orchestra of Teatro La Fenice...

[Photos: © Brian Sibley & David Weeks 2017]





  

 




Tuesday, 26 December 2017

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS

As the BBC no longer repeats what was – for many years – a staple item in its Radio 4 Christmas schedule, I feel free to pass on this little Sibley Christmas gift to you all–––

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at Christmas 1977, it stars the incomparable Miss Penelope Keith (with a belated appearance by Mr Timothy Bateson) in...

And Yet Another Partridge in a Pear Tree: 
A Cautionary Tale for Christmas Showing that it is Better to Give than to Receive


HAPPY BOXING DAY!
(or, as it's called where we are,
"Il giorno di Santo Stefano"
or
"St Stephen's Day")

Monday, 25 December 2017

DAY OF DAYS!


CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS!

[Basilica di San Marco, Venezia. Photo: Brian Sibley]

A SURPRISING GIFT

From the creator of Mary Poppins, P L Travers, a mystical story about that first Christmas and a surprising gift brought to the manger by an unlikely gift-giver.

The Fox and the Manger, which I dramatised for radio in 1990, stars Dame Wendy Hiller and Alec McCowen with Richard Pearce and Cast...


Sunday, 24 December 2017

"THE END OF IT"

I, as you all must know by now, love (correction – am obsessed by) Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Each of the story's five 'Staves' has its wonderful evocative scenes – the haunting of Jacob Marley, the bittersweet memories of Christmas Past, the glorious peregrinations of Christmas Present (especially the Cratchit family's humble Christmas dinner) and the terrifying shadows of Christmas Future, but I am particularly fond of the last section in which Scrooge the miser is 'born again'. Dickens called this section – the denouement of his fable – "The End of It".

Here is that conclusion as presented on stage in 2003 by The Lansbury Players in my  adaptation. You will hear Richard Holliss as Ebenezer Scrooge; Cody Barthram as the Boy on Christmas Morning and John Wain as the Poulterer; Chris Holliss and Di Barber as the Charity Collectors; Noel O'Callaghan as Nephew Fred and Joyce Gambles as his wife, Rose; Keith Cummings as Bob Cratchit and Yours Truly as Mr Charles Dickens with the ensemble cast. The songs and original music were by Nick Clark and the production directed by Dave Millard.

So here it is –– the blissful transition from despair to hope of which the true spirit of Christmas speaks to us still...


A DICKENS OF A TALE!

"On", as Mr Dickens puts it, "of all the good days in the year – Christmas Eve": here is the story of how the world's best-loved Christmas book came to be written and what happened to it afterwards...

HUMBUG! was first broadcast 1993, this is a revised & extended version of a programme originally broadcast in 1987. Told by me (in those far off days when I was still a BBC voice) it features Norman Bird, Diana Olson and more Scrooges and Marleys than you can rattle a chain at!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!


Saturday, 23 December 2017

O LITTLE TOWN...

It's very nearly Christmas, so here's a little entertainment I created (back in 1983) reflecting – not too irreverently, I hope – on the very first Christmas... 

A Birthday at Bethlehem stars the brilliant Dame Thora Hird and Peter Goodwright with Peter Bartlett and Tarleton's Jig...


Friday, 22 December 2017

CHRISTMAS ON DISCWORLD

A seasonal conversation between me and the late, great Terry Pratchett about his Discworld and its mythic gift-giver, Hogfather, and what happens when that character gets kidnapped...

This encounter was first broadcast on 'Meridian', BBC World Service, on 30 December 1996 and the reader is the great Stephen Thorne (know to aficionados of Sibley dramatisations as both Aslan and Treebeard).

I hope it provides a seasonal Ho-ho or two...