WOL favourite adapts Rabelais for Radio 4
by Julian Jordon
Prolific Radio 4 playwright, Lavinia Murray - known to her friends on Write Out Loud via her Moxy Casimir persona - has adapted Francois Rabelais’ most famous work, Gargantua and Pantagruel, as a two-part series, starting this Sunday, 11 December. Lavinia tells me she would be delighted to know that some of her Write Out Loud friends were able to listen and enjoy the piece as “it's likely to get a lot of complaints because it's rather bawdy. And bonkers”.
Lavinia’s Moxy Casimir persona delighted the Write Out Loud online community for years with her surreal brand of hilarious poems, asides, and comments; her erudition, her encyclopaedic knowledge and obscure literary references; as well as her unstinting warm support for other poets on the site.
The BBC describes the play as the bawdy, exuberant adventures of medieval giants in a dizzying blend of fantasy, comedy, philosophy and scatological humour. Episode 1 depicts the young life of the giant Gargantua, who is reduced to laughable insanity by an education at the hands of paternal ignorance, old crones and syphilitic professors. The work was frequently banned and poor old Rabelais branded a heretic.
And, of course, he has added to the English language (for all that he was French) the words, Gargantuan and Rabelaisian; all of which reminds me that you really must get yourselves to Write Out Loud Wigan this week. See other news entry.
Gargantua and Pantagruel, dramatised by Lavinia Murray and produced by Gary Brown, both of whom were my tutors on the Salford University MA in TV and radio scriptwriting, is the BBC radio classic serial. Episode 1 Gargantua, Sun 11 Dec 2011, 15:00 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0183r3q