The series opens with "Disjointed Palaces". As a prelude to compilations of verse and music about arguments and fighting, guilt and betrayal, we get one related to a more indirect kind of action - acting. This could be interesting: examples of the historical interrelation between drama and verse, or the gulf between reading and histrionics. What we get instead is altogether out of joint: unattributed verse fragments, radio interviews, PG Wodehouse one minute, Brecht the next.
Needless to say "All the world's a stage" is trotted out. A less obvious selection, even a Shakespeare sonnet, put with something the programme lacks entirely, commentary, might have helped the listener to appreciate the drama in verse: for example, John Barton's advice to actors to read the sonnets because "they have the same basic ingredients as all (of Shakespeare's) scenes or long speeches. A situation is reacted to, explored and at the end in some way resolved". Just a thought.Reuse content