Monday, 31 August 2009

Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie

The above clip is a version the play by Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie starring Joan Crawford and Spencer Tracy recorded in the Lux Radio Theatre 1938. You can listen to the entire performance in clips on You Tube and the audio quality improves by Part 2.

Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie was a favourite of Lowry's. He received a copy of the play as a prize while he was at the Leys School, Cambridge in 1925. We know this because he tells the above to his friend Carol Brown in a letter to her in 1926 and he lists O'Neill as one of the writers on his current reading list alongside Alec Waugh, Noel Coward, Michael Arlen and Samuel Butler.

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (16 October 1888 – 27 November 1953) was an American playwright, and Nobel laureate in Literature. His plays are among the first to introduce into American drama the techniques of realism, associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. His plays were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O'Neill wrote only one well-known comedy (Ah, Wilderness!). Nearly all of his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism. Read more on Wikipedia

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