The Go-between

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2012070820130526

A new adaptation of L.P. Hartley's story of a boy who is betrayed by a sophisticated young rich woman and her farmer lover who use him to ferry letters back and forth in the blazing summer of 1900 - with Richard Griffiths and Harriet Walter.

It's best known from the 1970 film which focused on the main plot line. But on re-reading the book adaptor Frances Byrnes found within it another drama perfect for radio in which an old man finds a boyhood diary and is forced to unlock the trauma inside.

Re-visited by that summer for the first time since it happened, the older man (Richard Griffiths) turns detective. Leo, in his 60s, finds a locked diary in his attic: it was written in 1900, the last time he lived with any sense of possibility. Leo realises that his tidy life has been a living death and that summer was to blame.

Missing from the film - and working beautifully for the radio - is a clear incremental, emotional journey of a fragile boy-man, who lives in his imagination and is destroyed by an increasingly separate reality. From the beginning the boy (Oscar Kennedy) is vulnerable (fatherless, socially one-step down, child of a pacifist). Leo struggles to be made whole again; his past and present, reality and imagination, re-integrated.

Cast: Richard Griffiths, Dame Harriet Walter, Lydia Leonard, Joseph Arkley, Blake Ritson, Josef Lindsay and Oscar Kennedy who plays the boy in his first major radio role. Oscar was the young Pip in TV's Great Expectations and the young Nigel Slater in Toast.

Another chance to hear the last radio drama performance of the acclaimed actor Richard Griffiths, who died in March.

In L.P. Hartley's classic novel, a boy is betrayed by a sophisticated young rich woman and her farmer lover who use him to ferry letters back and forth in the blazing summer of 1900. It's best known from Joseph Losey's 1970 film, which focused on the main plot line, but on re-reading the book, adaptor Frances Byrnes found within it another drama, perfect for radio, in which an old man finds a boyhood diary and is forced to unlock the trauma inside.

Re-visited by that summer for the first time since it happened, the older man (Richard Griffiths) turns detective. Leo, in his 60s, finds a locked diary in his attic; it was written in 1900, the last time he lived with any sense of possibility. Leo realises that his tidy life has been a living death and that that summer was to blame.

Missing from the film - and working beautifully for the radio - is a clear incremental, emotional journey of a fragile boy-man, who lives in his imagination and is destroyed by an increasingly separate reality. From the beginning the boy (Oscar Kennedy in his first major radio role) is vulnerable - fatherless, socially one step down, the child of a pacifist. Leo struggles to be made whole again; his past and present, reality and imagination, re-integrated.

CAST:

Lionel Colston - Richard Griffiths

Leo Colston - Oscar Kennedy

Mrs. Maudsley - Harriet Walter

Marian Maudsley - Lydia Leonard

Mrs Colston (Mother) - Amanda Root

Ted Burgess - Joseph Arkley

Viscount Trimingham - Blake Ritson

Mr Maudsley - Crawford Logan

Marcus Maudsley - Josef Lindsay

Musicians:

Max Carsley - Chorister at St Mary's Cathedral Edinburgh

Duncan Ferguson - Organist & Master of the Music, St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh.

George Gillespie sings for Ted

Musical Director, Joe Acheson

Adaptor, Frances Byrnes

Producers, Matt Thompson and Frances Byrnes

Director and Sound, Matt Thompson

Revised repeat. First broadcast in July 2012.

20020525

L P Hartley's classic novel, dramatised by Laurie Graham.

A young boy is excited about spending his holiday in Norfolk, but finds himself drawn into a web of adult relationships.