Monday, March 12, 2012

Goodbye Phillip Madoc, hello William Boyd

Catching up on emails I finally opened the Radio 4 Extra newsletter. My intial joy at reading that they were broadcasting again the Bert Coules adapted Cadfael stories of Ellis Peters was tempered by the news that this was to honour Phillip Madoc, the voice of Cadfael in this series, who had died.

If you haven’t heard these then you really should listen here. Philip Madoc is sensational his rich, deep tones adding immensely to the wonderful Coules script. I often wondered why they had not used this team to greater effect by simply making more productions. Sadly of course it cant be now but we do at least have these examples to remind us of just how good radio drama can be.

Voice is so important and it was fascinating to listen to William Boyd at the Aye Write festival in Glasgow speaking about the choice of narrators for his works when rendered in to audiobooks, praising Rosamund Pike and Timothy West in particular. He made a a telling and accurate observation, a good actor is not necessarily a good reader, and that reading for audiobooks is a very particular skill. How true.

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