Beckett Audio

AudioBooks and Adaptations

Murphy

Read by Colm Meany, Fionnula Flanagan, and others.

Viper Records; 6 CDs; $49.99. [Browse/Purchase]

Description from the publisher:

The complete unabridged text on six CDs. Narrated by Fionnula Flanagan, starring Colm Meaney (Mr. O’Brien of Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Murphy, and featuring 20 of the finest English and Irish voices in the world.


Molloy

Read by Sean Barrett & Dermot Crowley.

Naxos Audiobooks, 2004, ISBN 9-62634-292-7; 7 CDs; $45.98. [Browse/Purchase]

Over the last few years, Naxos AudioBooks has devoted a great deal of energy to James Joyce, bringing together talents such as Jim Norton, Marcella Riordan, and Roger Marsh to record nearly all of Joyce’s major works – a project that culminated on the Bloomsday Centennial with the release of a 22-CD unabridged Ulysses. Happily, the company has now turned its attention to the works of Samuel Beckett.
Molloy is the first offering in what will presumably be a complete recording Beckett’s Trilogy. Issued on seven CDs and lasting eight and a half hours, the work is presented in unabridged form, and comes packaged with a small essay by John Calder. As suiting its subject, the production is spare, with Dermot Crowley reading the “Molloy” narration and Sean Barrett the “Moran” sections.
Although both actors do a commendable job, Barrett’s reading of Moran seems better suited to his character. With his crisp accent and slightly pompous tone, Barrett exhibits a certain fussiness that underscores Moran’s officious personality. It also works to sharpen the elements of black humor, such as when Moran bedevils his son with verbal abuse, awkward questions, or – God forbid – the dreaded enema. Crowley’s Molloy, on the other hand, seems somewhat removed from the rapid gallop of Beckett’s narrative. Crowley reads the part more in the style of traditional drama, his steady pacing revealing a surprisingly thoughtful Molloy. While Crowley’s working-class Dublin accent gives Molloy a satisfying earthiness, this is a Molloy who needn’t remark, “I shall try and speak calmly.” To those who prefer a nervous and grouchy Molloy, Crowley’s interpretation may sound a bit too polished; but in the end, it does reinforce the possibility that Molloy and Moran are aspects of the same creature.
Despite these minor reservations, there is much to recommend this very welcome set. Both actors are skilled readers, speaking with clarity and conviction, and both are sensitive to the complexity of the text, bringing out its moments of irony, humor, and poignancy. The sound production is excellent, and unlike earlier Naxos releases, the multiple cases come in a convenient box. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for Malone Dies.

Molloy

Read by Conor Lovett.

Gare St. Lazare Players, 2003, CD. [Browse/Purchase]

A dramatic adaptation of Molloy by Conor Lovett of the Gare St. Lazare Players. Currently, their Web site is “under construction,” but when it opens, Apmonia will post additional details.

Text For Nothing #8

Read by Jack MacGowran

MP3. [Browse/Download]

The great Beckett actor Jack MacGowran reads “Text for Nothing #8.” Available as a free MP3 from UbuWeb.

  Green Bar

Go To:

Beckett Audio Main PageBack to the main audio page, where you will find the standard Apmonia menu.

Radio PlaysRecordings of Beckett’s radio plays.

Recorded PerformancesRecordings of Beckett in performance.

MiscellaneousBeckett-related radio shows, readings, and soliloquies.



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–Allen B. Ruch
& Tim Conley
7 August 2004