All That Fall
by Samuel Beckett

BBC Radio 3: The Sunday Play

Broadcast: Sunday 8th April 2001 @ 7:30 p.m.

Samuel Beckett's first radio play, "All That Fall", was originally commissioned in 1956 by the BBC. Ostensibly an anecdote set in a rural community in Ireland, the play is a careful synthesis of speech, sound and silence, constructed with Beckett's unique blend of desperate humour and despairing tragedy.

In "All That Fall", Maddy Rooney, seventy years old, "two hundred pounds of unhealty fat", makes her laborious way to the Boghill railroad station to meet her blind husband, Dan, as a surprise for him on his birthday. Along the way she meets a comic array of Irish characters. On the retum home, deluged by neighourhood children and by rain, they keep their spirits up with a lively banter, sometimes savage, sometimes heartrending.

"All That Fall" was first broadcast on BBC Third Programme on January 13, 1957. It was directed by Donald McWhinnie and featured Jack MacGowran, Patrick Magee, Mary Farell, James Gerard Devlin, Allan McClelland, Harry Hutchinson.

With Anna Manahan [Mrs. Maddy Rooney, a Lady in her 70s], Patrick Laffan [Christy, a Carter], David Kelly [Mr. Tyler, a Retired Bill Broker], John Kavanagh [Mr. Slocum, the Racecourse Clerk], Michael Devaney [Tommy, a Porter], James Ellis [Mr. Barrell, the Station Master], Jean Ann Crowley [Miss Fitt, a Lady in her 30s], Sharon Hogan [Dolly / Female Voice], Niall Toibin [Mr. Dan Rooney, Maddy's Husband], and Dan Colley [Jerry, a Small Boy].

Directed by Bill Bryden at RTE Studios, Dublin.

70 min.


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