Thursday, 16 January 2014

Spoonface Steinberg.


                                                   

By chance I recently listened to the original 1997 recording of 'Spoonface Steinberg' on the BBC's Radio 4 Extra.

It is unashamedly sentimental, but filled with poignant observation, and beautifully written. The monologue's reader was 11 year old Becky Simpson, who did a staggeringly good job and, I believe, received well-merited awards. The story itself concerns a young Jewish girl and her fight against cancer. The writer, Lee Hall, later went on to write Billy Elliot, amongst other things.

If all this means nothing to you (as it did to me) then may I recommend trying to find the original recording somewhere. There are plenty of 'cover versions' on YouTube, but I'm sure the only one really worth listening to is the original 1997 version with Becky Simpson.

When I was looking up details about the original broadcast, I found a comment that said 'Lorry drivers everywhere were pulling-up into lay-byes, so they could hear the full play'. Somehow this didn't surprise me.

It's quite something; and if you can find it, it's well worth an hour of anyone's time!


22 comments:

  1. For people who have such things, I expect this is available on iPlayer (?).

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  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jnsq

    even without Iplayer!

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    1. Thanks for that, Elsewhere. Having just listened to a tiny bit, may I just say that the monologue itself starts after 2 mins 25. Ignore the beginning.

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  3. Just finished listening... beautiful!

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  4. Remember it first time around. Will relisten.

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  5. Haven't heard of that - will listen when I get a chance.

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    1. If you go to 'Elsewhere's' link (above), it is there for another 5 days. Ignore the first 2½ mins!

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  6. I saw this with my friend john, who was a theatre critic
    It was the crucible production
    He cried and sobbed through it

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    1. No in Sheffield Cro
      My friend was an editor for the Sheffield star

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  7. The title of this post caught my eye on Janice's page and I had to leave a comment as this is my all time favourite radio play. Lee Hall certainly knows how to get hold of our emotions and twist.

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  8. I shed a few tears then as well - the music helps a lot.

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  9. Just listened to it - very beautiful. Wishing you a long and happy "middle".

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  10. I remember the play being broadcast and hearing bits of it but never the whole thing. When my wind-up radio gives up, I'll buy a digital one.

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  11. I shall look for this Cro. It is odd how just now and again something really touches the soul, and it often happens when you are least expecting it.

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  12. Thank you for sharing that -'free as a little bird' read beautifully.

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  13. I remember that vividly from first time around, even after all these years. Exceptional. I would love to listen to it again, so thanks for the link.

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  14. Yeh, I liked it, the way it was read was good. Thanks. I missed it on the day.

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  15. I will get a box of tissues and listen to it over the weekend.

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