Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane by Patrick McGilligan

bookshelves: winter-20152016, jan-2016-litricher, nonfiction, published-2015, radio-4, biography

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from January 01 to 08, 2016



Orson Welles, the defining wunderkind of modern entertainment, gets his due in a new biography of his early years – including his first forays in theatre and radio before his groundbreaking move to Hollywood. Read by Jack Klaff

Episode 1: A star is born – in Kenosha.

Episode 2: Orson gets his first professional acting job at the Gate Theatre, Dublin.

Episode 3: A 20 year old white actor from the Midwest is the surprise appointment to direct Macbeth for the Negro Unit.

Episode 4: Until Orson, no one wanted to produce Marc Bernstein’s pro-labour opera The Cradle Will Rock, with its clear left-wing union sympathies. Enthralled with Bernstein, Orson with his partner John Houseman, commit to a Broadway run. But as the hot subject of unionisation rages across the nation, the Federal Theatre Project is made to take drastic action.

Episode 5: Welles and Houseman agree on a Halloween Eve adaptation of The War Of The Worlds. What could possibly go wrong?


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