Thursday, 14 April 2011

Oops still no books!

Cabin Pressure recording (Drill Hall, 11th April)

I'm still not doing so well with the reading, well no I am doing fine with the reading - there are about half a dozen books that I am half way through - it is the finishing that is a problem.

My excuse this time is that I spent 6 hours traveling to and from London just to hear a 30 minute radio show recorded. And I wouldn't change that for the world!

Radio is a passion of mine, especially spoken word radio. I think that I could live quite easily without a television but if radio vanished I'd find it hard to cope. BBC Radio 4 is my station of choice, I don't like everything on it but there are some real crackers to be heard. Comedy in particular.

Mr Bookworm and I came across the wonderful Cabin Pressure either just as, or just after, series one was broadcast and have been hooked ever since. Like the best sitcoms it can be listened to repeatedly and as well as great humour has unexpected depths and sadness too. The BBC offers free tickets to recordings of most of its shows and so I put into the draw for this and luckily I got enough tickets that a Mr Bookworm, a friend, my sister, my brother-in-law and I could all go to a recording.

None of us knew what to expect and it all turned out to be a bit fraught at one point due to slow moving traffic, inability to read a map and non-moving trains. However by the skin of our teeth all 5 of us got in.

The script was more or less read through from beginning to end (only small stops for line fluff and missed cues) with the sound effects that create the atmosphere played to the actors there and then. I had thought that all of these effects would have been added later so to here the whole script almost as is was wonderful.

I'm obviously not going to write about the plot but it was side splittingly funny with wonderful asides just dropped in throughout, including references to one of my favourite songs. The out takes and actor asides were just as funny too.

One of the great thing about radio is the pictures that it lets you create in your mind, and I was bit worried that seeing the actors just read the scripts into a microphone would ruin this for me. It hasn't, it has just highlighted what a superior medium radio really is.

The best news - I also got free tickets to the recording on April 29th so I get to do it all over again! Who cares that it is Royal Wedding Day, that the trains will be packed and that it is 6 hours of travel for such a short thing? Not me!

Cabin Pressure is written by the wonderful Mr John Finnemore (his blog is just as good) and all photos used here are taken from that page.

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