BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre
Broadcast: Saturday 26th December 1981 @ 8:00 p.m
In the days before King Arthur there was a father (Sir Ector) with two boys: Kay, and the Wart. Kay was older, and bossier, and hated getting things wrong--so when he lost his hawk in the forest, it was the Wart who stayed out all night, searching for it.
The Wart didn't find the hawk, but he did find a very strange old man, who turned out to be Merlyn the Magician. And when Merlyn came to Sir Ector's castle as the boys' tutor, schoolwork suddenly became much more fun. After all. who wouldn't enjoy being turned into a fish, or a badger, or even a snake?
And although the Wart was an adopted brother and not Sir Ector's real son, who knew what he might become after having a magician as a tutor for six years?
Only the magician Merlyn knew that his pupil, Wart, would one day be the great King Arthur. For six years he was the boy's tutor, until the day King Pendragon died without an heir. Then a sword embedded in a stone appeared, bearing the claim that whosoever can withdraw it will be the next king.
Dramatised by Neville Teller from T. H. White's 1938 novel, "The Sword in the Stone".
With Michael Hordern [Merlyn the Magician], Toby G. Robertson [Wart], Charles Hodgson [Sir Ector], Jeffrey Seagull [Sir Grummore Grummursum], David Gooderson [King Pellinore], Simon Tuff [Kay], Pauline Letts [The Governess], David Davis [Archemedis / Cully], Stephen Thorne [Mr. M.], Josephine Gordon [Madame Mim], Steve Hodson [The Goat / Twitty], Jill Lidstone [Eckert / The Crow], Stella Forge [The Falcon], Gary Cady [Balan / The Secretary], John Warner [The Snake], Peter Wickham [Gallopus], and Lewis Stringer [The Badger].
Original music by Benjamin Britten, played by a section of the English Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Stuart Bedford.
Directed by Graham Gauld
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