The Once and Future King by T.H. White — Radio Dramatization

November 13, 2014

* Brian Sibley (Colour)_2My friend Brian Sibley — who is a journalist, historian, expert on many different writers, and an amazing radio dramatist/playwright — has dramatized (dramatised with an “s” for Britons like Brian) T.H. White’s incredible series of books about King Arthur and the wonderful Merlyn, five books which are all clustered under the title The Once and Future King.

Brian’s dramatization is a 6-part radio play, which debuted on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday, November 9th. But you haven’t missed Part One — not quite yet, anyway. Each episode will be available for replay for 4 weeks after the initial broadcast on BBC’s iPlayer (yes, those of us not in Britain are still able to listen online.) I’ve listened to Part One, and it is magnificently done.

You can find the page dedicated to the radio series at this link. There are also a number of brief clips on that page, including one of Brian talking about why he was eager to do this particular dramatization. (Look closely at the photo — that’s the same edition of The Once and Future King that I have. It includes all five volumes.) There are also tabs leading to information about the characters and actors, an episode guide, etc. Do have fun exploring it all!

Brian wrote a blog post for the BBC Radio blog about Arthurian legend and T.H. White’s chronicling of the various aspects of the legend. You can read it here.

He has also done posts about the process on his own wonderful blog. Here are a couple of them, in reverse chronological order, rather in the way that Merlyn lives backwards.

Back to the Future, November 7 2014

The Once and Future Project, February 19, 2014

You may also read about this and other projects of this amazingly talented man on his Facebook writer page, called, aptly enough, Brian Sibley — writer.

And here’s a wonderful interview with Brian about the project by the website Den of Geek.

You likely know that the Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot was (and is) based on The Once and Future King. For an interesting look at T.H. White, and the making of the musical, read Julie Andrews’ Home: a Memoir of My Early Years.

Above all, though, I hope you will get yourself to BBC Radio 4 and listen to the series, to be broadcast every Sunday beginning November 9th, for 6 weeks (with access on the BBC iPlayer for four weeks following each broadcast). Here is the link to the iPlayer.



4 People reacted on this

    1. It is amazing. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to it, Teresa. One hour a week for the next 6 weeks (but there’s extra time to listen to each episode.) I was just blown away by the excellence of the dramatization.

  1. Thanks for the link to the blog post. I’ll admit that it’s been years since I read The Once And Future King. White had the ability to make all aspects of the legend seem utterly real, which was marvelous and fascinating, until one came across some of the more violent parts of the story (SPOILER): not the unicorn!!! No!!!!

    Magic made real is a thing of beauty and terror.

    So, as I’ve said, it’s been years.

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