The Silent Woman
by Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson - The Silent Woman, or "Epicoene"

BBC Third Programme

Broadcast: Wednesday 25th November 1959

In "Epicoene", Ben Jonson satirises all levels of society. It is the story of Morose, a man who has such a hatred of noise that he has the country searched for a silent woman to marry which will, in turn, disinherited his nephew. In order to avoid being disinherited, his nephew, Dauphine, hatches a scheme to trick the old man.

One of Jonson's best comedies, "Epicoene" was premiered at the Whitefriars Theatre in December 1609 or January 1610, and acted by the Children of the Queen's Revels. The play was adapted for radio by Raymond Raikes. This recording is a 100-minute version edited for the Transcription Service World Theatre series.

With Marius Goring [Truewit, Ned Clarimont's Friend], John Westbrook [Ned Clarimont], Laidman Browne [Morose, a Gentleman that Loves no Noise], Gabriel Woolf [Sir Dauphine Eugenie, Nephew to Morose], David Spenser [Mistress Epicoene, the Silent Woman / Ned Clarimont's Page], Ronald Baddiley [Sir Amorous La-Foole], John Ruddock [Cutbeard, a Barber], Rolf Lefebvre [Sir John Daw], Derek Smith [The Narrator / Mute, Servant to Morose], Norman Shelley [Thomas Otter, a Land and Sea Captain], Vivienne Chatterton [Mistress Otter], Tom Watson [A Parson], June Tobin [Lady Haughty], and Janet Burnell [Lady Centaure].

Music composed and conducted by John Hotchkis, and played by the Goldsbrough Orchestra.

Solo song sung by David Spenser.

Produced by Raymond Raikes

100 min.


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