TRANSMISSION ART ARCHIVE
1959, 44:35 min.
Embers was Beckett’s second BBC radio work and was written specifically for the actor Jack MacGowran, who had a minor role in Beckett’s first BBC radio commission, All That Fall. Embers is not an easy piece, and I have found it helpful to have a sketch of what's going on. The main protagonist Henry is the primary voice and the piece begins with a monologue addressed to his father, who has died. This is followed by a dialogue between Henry and his ex-wife Ada with intermittent scenes involving their daughter Addie. The piece ends with a second monologue by Henry. During his monologues Henry refers to story he is making up about two characters, Bolton and Holloway. Beckett wrote his BBC pieces very intentionally for radio, not for stage theater. He referred to these not as radio dramas but rather as “radio texts for voices, not bodies... [They depend] on the whole thing coming out of the dark.” (James Jesson) Not surprisingly Beckett was opposed to these radio texts being performed as staged theater. Embers features actors Jack MacGowran as Henry and Kathleen Michael as Ada. - Described by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2019/2020, Karen Werner.