Largo Desolato

Episodes

SeriesRepeatedComments
DO320120415
20120415 (BBC7)
20131225 (BBC7)

Theatre critic Michael Billington introduces a classic play from the archives by Czech playwright and President, Vaclav Havel, to mark Havel's death in December last year.

When the death of the former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel was announced last year, Europe lost one of its great dissident voices. From the 1960s to the 1980s, BBC radio broadcast many new productions of Havel's plays - plays that were usually banned in his then-Communist homeland because of the way they mocked and interrogated the absurd nature of totalitarian rule.

Michael Billington, theatre-critic for the Guardian for much of this period, introduces another chance to hear a 1987 Havel black comedy called Largo Desolato in an English version by Tom Stoppard, himself born in Czechoslovakia.

Richard Briers stars as Leopold, a philosopher who has offended the authorities in an unnamed country. He has written a certain philosophical essay and anxiously each day awaits the knock on the door. His friends, of course, expect him to act like a hero -

Professor Leopold Nettles....Richard Briers

Edward....Paul Gregory

Suzanna....Jennifer Piercey

First Sidney....Philip Jackson

Second Sidney....David Goodland

Lucy....Belinda Lang

Bertram....John Moffatt

First Chap....Anthony Jackson

Second Chap....Ian Thompson

Marguerite....Sue Broomfield

Produced by Matthew Walters

Richard Briers stars as Leopold, a philosopher who has offended the authorities in an unnamed country. He has written a certain philosophical essay and anxiously each day awaits the knock on the door. His friends, of course, expect him to act like a hero - Professor Leopold Nettles....Richard Briers

Richard Briers stars in a black comedy by Czech playwright and President Vaclav Havel.