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The national educational radio network presents the BBC World Theater these weekly broadcasts are made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This week on BBC World Theatre we present invitation to a voyage by a young doctor not an English translation by J Leslie Frith here to introduce the play is Raymond Raikes who adapted and directed it for this production. I want to begin by making a sort of confession. This play you're going to hear is a very special favorite of mine. So I'm biased I'm afraid. I read it for the first time many years ago in John Leslie Fritz translation the same translation we're using for this broadcast. And that once I fell in love with it when that happens to a producer it means he will move heaven and earth to get a chance to produce it. Well the war intervened and I had to content myself by relating the play many times by producing it in my
mind and by occasionally hearing other productions of it in radio. None of which seemed to me quite to capture the play's true magic. Like several plays written by John Jack Berna this one depends for its atmosphere less on the words that are spoken by the characters than on the thoughts too deep for words that lie beneath the surface. It's a play of silences pauses that engender the drama that lies behind the everyday words. But then it's part of the art of joy. Back then are the playwright that he can recapture for us in those pauses the unspoken the unexpressed poignancy of a dramatic situation. That's why for me invitation to a voyage is real as very few plays are real but how to transfer to radio a play that was written for the theatre in Paris in one thousand twenty four. And hope that it may live again. And what about those silences
those pauses. I thought that one of the answers to my problem might lie in a song which is sung in this play. It has the same title as the play itself. Invitation to a voyage. It's words of familiar to most Frenchman either in the poem by Shar Bowdler. Or in the setting of that poem for piano and voiced by Henri do part. If only I thought if only the words of that song. And above all the music could be used in some of the silences to evoke the mood of this play. It might work. Anyway before I say any more I want you to listen to this song and while you're listening I want you to wonder if you don't already know how a play has come to grow out of it.
We. Were or were not.
Oh. Sure.
That was a song that so fascinated you joy that he made a plate of it its every mood. I won't tell you now any more about the play and I certainly won't give away the plot. He wouldn't thank me for doing that. But I want you to imagine that Ronnie is who has just sung to you is now playing a part in the play that his name is Felipe validate and that he's going to stay with friends or business acquaintances in their home in the Vose district the problems there are years met two sisters Jacqueline and Mary Louise. And one evening because Mary Louise was fond of the piano he sung that song you've just heard. So when the time comes for Philip's visit to end he gives little parting presents to the sisters a fan for Jacqueline The Boat Song for Mary Louise. But he's been gone some weeks when the play begins.
The pie you can walk for nod off in any direction route and you will see nothing but oh how beautiful they look the September evening here with the sunlight slanty. Well we have a north of France have no such views as the joke manufacturers in the are very fortunate to have the time I would have liked to taking you for a walk off echo my idea alone through with the guy. I hope to come back another time with more notice for your fellow officer goodnight and I hope you will give us the pleasure of a visit to our office. You know it's a great advantage to meet our fellow manufacturers in this way and fix contractors here. Richard Lodge. Four weeks ago I had a young son of one of my biggest business going action some better stay with us. What's there to love them now would be in company they have kept pretty good cos I knew from the biggest metal merchants in front yes. Or if you had to be here you must have been
pleased because from your say yes young feet need to be young man. We did a lot of business together but he was staying here and I think he liked my family and my daughter's. Not yet six o'clock anymore but now you hear. That. It was time for ducking off for good works. Now if you go over there. To see my work a setting off to the fundies to their homes in the village less than a mile away. Yes well look I think I'd better be getting back to you kindly showed me all over you having stated Well we've made nearly the round her but before we go back to my house photograph supported life everything you think you are on for when I have one more piece to show you if you come this way. Somehow So I made it into a studio for my oldest daughter. It belongs to her now and that's her pain the piano.
I'd like you to be told we should go there or should be charged as she's quite artistic. Loves the piano. As you can hear yes quite different to my younger daughter 6 years younger not yet married. Yes I fitted up as Osama house as a sort of wedding present for about he's almost in ruins when I started my son in law my partner in the firm you know has his desk here and he comes you know when he wants to be quiet get away from the office the fact that it's going to be coming my always my eldest daughter Madame Olivier me we should get a at this this cutie who is visiting us. My dad used to get school with me doesn't make you sound any younger. Well it will go on playing but it always made you older did I disturb you.
Doesn't this make a charming studio desk in the place take a look out of these big news to see the law of the land better from here. The factory went away from my house. In between the offices to get out which in my Father's Day was a staple in the orchard greenhouses and the tennis club before you come to our house. If it weren't for tact and all around you the trees of the forest quite over with me. Here comes my youngest daughter and I want you to meet me here. It is yeah I mean we should get away. A business colleague who is visiting us less safe. Where might you have gone through times getting on. And I've got to be in AP now for dinner. Oh you mustn't go you to her you said you like the gossip vote. Thank you.
No no my wife will be expecting us regular also will come along. Oh you'll both come to go to work you'll love it. Well my Louise I know I did things have a bar or what your mother and I got something I want to talk over with Mary Louise but very well very well come along we should give a damn good bye. Excuse me miss you Mr. Summers. Oh shut the door Jackie. Yes yes that with Who is she some manufacture on a business trip in the bush because I mean do you want to tour of inspection. You know I just couldn't face going back to the drawing room to pour out the port and he had a bunch too. But Paul rather wanted just to let me come to expect us to dance attendance every time a tin tack much to call to see him. It was bad enough four weeks ago when that Filipe validate was here.
You don't write very often I must say. Well he's only been gone a month and we haven't had a letter and he promised to write so well. What does it matter. He came here to stay we made him welcome dogs to Tim but he's gone I don't think any more about him. Still he could have written to thank you while you was here you were under live you treated him like one of the family. But of course he was the son of a man father does business with. We have to. You want to do your duty if you actually mean or you don't. You will understand that we know netted meanwhile. Oh do you two for one. You left the part about the poet himself or an important visitor who I can't help it that it time to see it but I was disappointed you so proud of us don't know yet just now you were showing me off to this man and saying my daughter in exactly the same way as he says My house my gouged my orchard. You know what we are just part of the 15th and 16th. You
are fed up. You should be. That it's nothing to do with their lives with any of you. Oh good heavens no what are you thinking of. That's the main thing is everything she actually believe you and I are one. You talk as if you were just got married. It was delicious that I have a TS so that your happiness is something for me to live up to its own interviews doing you such a wonderful day off and I know you know I mean nobody's done with the business you need yes I'm not saying that to be unkind but the boy is growing old and a good one for a lead yes you everything to make you happy. A grand husband lover little boy. I don't see what you could find to complain and I complain Jackie. Have I. Lied.
What do you treat. The matter with. Just an idea. Of a thought that instead of trees that never. There might be others that would lose their lives and renew the medleys will be quite capable of wishing again. Like you. But you know what because. You can walk in any direction and you see nothing but. Me that. I don't know. The reason. Good thing we get lots of visitors here but what visitors I just assume see no one. You judge people too quickly. A word a look and they're all right wrong mansions so much
better job than you think. But I get a curious impression from all these people who come and go here. Have a little window that opens on to something beyond and then shuts again at once. But what we have blimps isn't meant for us. You seem to regret it. Nonsense all these people bored me to death. We haven't had much luck since Philip that they owe you in your feed. He was no better than the rest of them there you go again. If it hadn't been the son of a customer you thought him charming but he was so obviously why do you. It wasn't his fault he couldn't get away from it even when he played tennis. You had a way of coming down on the ball it was exactly like a machine for flattening out a nail hit. I didn't notice that. Why did he let something I don't know what. Anyway something you can't acquire just like that. Then he said he was fond of music and singing but.
He said. I couldn't help hearing the hum of a saw mill. In fact he's not really got on your nerves. No I wouldn't say that. I recognized his good points. Then he gave us for instance. I thought that Charlie know him but my brother oh no it's only in the angel's heads as far as taste and this song you brought me from the setting of the poem by Vergil that I don't like but I don't understand him. Do obscure involved.
It was more tolerant than you. You speak ill of anyone. He's too good natured. Sometimes back with us he had off today and he did that in front of the stove. Yes the two of us. What do you think I ever tried to get rid of him. I had to ask for Massey money. Listening to them on TV I would have gossiped night. He's such a boy. But you can see how jolly it was for me. I got to tell him so. A few weeks I seem to like him. We managed to survive these little annoyances you something that helps a lot. You love each other. Yes I have a good deal to be thankful for that.
I wish I could find and I live here one exactly like him. I don't think there can be. What doesn't exist is another wife like you. I'm what he's me he's our lives we we were just running you down there you wouldn't get too many I will get out of here I'm going color love now that I've got Jack you know I can't count stop putting on a certain Mr Gallico this up you know has made your fallen off that I want to look into it once I will look into it here while we chatter there's a laughter but your father is waiting for me. Let's see what's the time. 12 minutes past 6:00. You know I was surprised you were still at the work to this laid out a little longer than I should have been getting quite anxious about it. Well that reminds me. Listen to this my anxious lady as I came across the factory I met your son all alone. She didn't. Yes. All alone in
that big yard and you know what he was doing you know he was unscrewing a hose pipe. Curious occupation for voice 7 you're with me guess what he was looking for. The pressure. Ratio on him that was the end of the LEAP apparently were not enough. What business had you leap to. Why shouldn't he. It was a rather nice joke really but I would have had a letter from him. He left Paris me where's he gone to. You'll never guess where this letter came from Dacca a sudden decision he said of America fortnight ago. A medic. Yes a big job in the Argentine. He told me about it being on the cards for some months now he's got it so he's all right. In Iraq yes in the Argentine. When Assad is the big house. I'll tell you about it tonight. But before long. I do mean a lot. Does it mean staying out that well of course but the how long. Well you never know. All his life perhaps if things go well and I was plenty of scope out there
as you can imagine that's exactly what the part told him one day. Yakin Did you know. Yes I've had them talking about it we're here for the music you all get out the atlas isn't the encyclopedias. It'll fill up the evenings. Well see you later. Oh you later. Yes saying Mary Louise I should feel rather than happy if I were Filipe to be going to the other side of the world with the idea of perhaps never coming back again. Oh I expect he does feel it a bit don't you. Still if you're not married. MARTIN Do you know do you. What's the matter. Oh it's why I don't know doesn't seem to suit him very well. In the yard and if you're lucky perhaps. Perhaps not.
To say that to yourself when your help somewhere. After all the Tree me. Mayumi I just did something something rather interesting I want to show you I get it from on the Internet. Oh I think I'm coming maybe I could talk over
an offer with the V.A. You must've forgotten yet. Right I was showing we should get a round by a state this evening. I got several ideas for improvements. I thought my get out should be better behind the house on the left coming up from the works the police were using now was the stable in my father's day. One must move with the times. What was suitable enough for a stable is round of it again. Don't you agree. Yes I should make a big shed of the steam. We can do with another shed your mother's been complaining of the last to see winters he doesn't know when to keep a wood so he won't object. But there's something else that concerns you all. This to do studio of yours. Here's a live you know. He would tell us what he thinks is
a levy. I just go to term body Louise about an idea I got for this little studio. You're right I don't want to touch the inside edge botched too pleasant to look at your desk. Louise's Gita called and I gave up you completely on your wedding day. Just on of my business but I come to think in the 20 yards or so you've got to cross in the open to get here from the house must be a little trying in winter and I don't think you have in your cupboard we built what you say to that. Well Mary Louise what do you say. No more wind or rain or snow you know it's kind of you Paul believe me the wind and the rain in the snow. If the studio we're joined under the house you wouldn't be in my studio any longer. Do you feel that. Yes if Luis So you know what about it now. Come and sit down to live it it's over you can do the suggestions you need to be people from the
north as you know they make contacts. Can't keep peace with their orders at the moment they don't want to take the risk of analogy with Iran. There isn't a young business that's so concerned and how they're not keen to approach any other tech manufacturers very well that they come to us to make tracks but we never have or we might infer it's a risk but do they offer us three new experts paid by them a third of the cost of putting in new machinery and above all new customers rather why didn't you tell them we couldn't keep pace without orders either. Results of that was with the labor we should have it on disposal we should manage a key piece of them but we employ nearly all the men in the village of Amber says it is because I know the surrounding villages are well what do you think. If we hadn't the army contract be considered It would be Army absorbs two thirds wow but I I can't she beat it into a game by changing our methods. Apart from the English firms we have the biggest manufacturers names welcoming our oh if you want to expand it Rob you can't. I doubt whether that would be
worth our while to make it in but surely all spheres was exactly what I think if you suggested making anything but didn't thanks to these fellows it wouldn't interest either. When you got to let them know tomorrow morning but I thought I didn't give them much hope. Well I'm very glad we agree about it. I thought we should live I often go by my wee so bad I thought I was sorry you wouldn't have my cover when you know it was always given to young women of it either. Thank you. He's dreadfully disappointed you refuse his cover the way didn't you understand. Why of course I understand you know that. What are you thinking about. Well I was just thinking Letty. It's rather odd letter from Philly buddy. Oh yes yes yes it is rather odd. I was amazed. A
Japanese spends all the time here becomes almost one of the family and then complete silence and suddenly a month later a letter from Dacca. Yes I know you has an excuse. Life in Paris doesn't leave you much spare time. We live so quietly here. Anyway this letter puts him right. If I were unkind I could find another excuse. You were rather unkind to him was that. Well I remember you wouldn't go and see him off from Epping now because he bored you. I didn't know you didn't but well I got that impression anyway. And the same evening when you mimicked his way of singing. Oh I didn't remember me. And as it was Miller didn't want us to see that you mind he didn't need you you are quite wrong. No no no I'm not. I feel just the same. It's always beastly to say good bye to any one. If this letter comes back he can't be far from Buenos Aires by now. Don't you feel that. Well but it's always beastly to say goodbye to anyone. But why go on about it. When he was
in a bad job Phillipe we soon got used to many way not a friend but pleasant to be with wasn't he. Yes yes it's rather strange to realise that this man whom we should probably never see again was sitting in that chair in front of the stove joking with us less than a month ago. Yes. Even that. How far away do you know it's not far away. Oh it's far away if you like in the sense that everything is far away that will never come back. And yet it's all rather fanciful really with this chap Phillipe. We should hardly ever think of him now if we hadn't had those evenings together when he made us both laugh. You brought us in the end I suppose it's just as well as gun still. It's like turning over a page a happy page if you see what I mean. I mean if you look at it like that. Well you can say people never altogether
leave you. You know that's a little Frank. You really do seem frightened to be frightened dear sweet really proud baby isn't the B.A.A. is don't you remember the month that took the piano away to build it bad. You just didn't leave that empty space made you quite a cook. Oh you silly diving. There. What's the matter is if you didn't want to let me go. As if you wanted to protect me. Yeah that's better. Well you know if you if you got to work this evening I may perhaps need your advice out to dinner about a letter or two but will you be free. Oh I'm always so glad when you need my help. That of a child left to correct the question.
I wanted to ask you something. It's a bug you were talking of late have you thought if you want a philly ballad be where you are right turn carries farther then forward it. Besides I shouldn't in the least know where to address him out of what I thought is when those are just the lies of a town of a million people who of course does not affect me. He could have let you know. But he says he doesn't know himself where he lives he went stay in a hotel I suppose but he says the idea is it should settle down out there that he didn't know much about his job but doesn't say much. I get a letter urging the office I showed you tonight. You know. It's rather curious and yes indeed I live in this window. What are you going to do now. Well I shan't do any more work before dinner. Would you
like to go for a walk. No I don't feel like you just you like. Shogun always come in Jacqueline. Sorry to see the wives in a bad temper what have you done tomorrow nothing we went on talking about Philip. Well back then I understand because if anyone ever got on her nerves it was Danson for you see I'm not the only one does surprise me is that she didn't take advantage if he's going to put this. He gave her a way. To actually do that. What's the matter. There's no point in breaking a thing that may have some value. There's never any point in breaking anything. Who or who put it down carefully. There now I've got something to show you both Philip's letter reminded me that I had a photograph of him it was in a book you don't buy. That's amusing. It's a look at it. Not bad.
Well if you look. What do you think of it Mary Louise. Does it remind you of him hitting a tennis ball like a machine for flattening out nail heads and singing like a sawmill. What's so funny in that. He looks nice don't you think. It's quite like him exactly like him. I didn't think so. We're still with him all right. It's absolutely only just. It's not a good photograph. Oh yes it's really really good. You can't get away from it. Just as you please. It's strange you know here's a man who hasn't been gone a month and already begun to agree with those photographs like him and not one of the three of us must have to start in imagination. Well perhaps I or the truth is simply that we don't see with the same eyes. That's quite usual of course chatting of an evening by the stove it did seem to have better features and this I agree. The camera is not as friendly as the eye
still I don't know. Mona Louise have another look closely though right. But I saw it quite well the first time and in a day or two he'll be in the art and he may be there already. That's a journey I should find awfully tempting. What do you Olivia with all genders attempting especially when you can't go on I'm not a mother Louisiana Gulf like that right. I didn't think it would. I thought I'm going to happen. Just leave me to myself. That's the best way you know you did it you're not done better. Smile all the same. Admit that it's like Gates and now I'm talking not with me to get it benumbed you judge me I'm like oh I haven't a scrap of self-respect so not exactly you know that I know you're just not into me. Yeah I sent one back right after you know me.
Reason why you know. All of. US so do my job well you know getting on I guess because that scene I was still thinking about the Argentine and said Don't you remember if you know all this Otis singing that the bright blue sky. Will you watch it. Oh very well I think if you want to What do you think I can do yes I'm going to sing but not here. You seem to have lost your sense of humor to day. Thank you. Well. It's not a good photograph.
Going. What were you singing. Oh. I didn't know you were there right now. All right what was the song. This all right sheet of music that says you know I want to live and they fought and died for your tastes have changed. What do you mean. When I get enough ago I remember you saying you didn't like but to let you didn't understand you I must put those papers in this desk. Something to teach me how good you need taking out of yourself what I have for you to make fun of. I'm not. Oh it's frightening how kind you are right.
Well you know how do you know what I did say to you at the last not to trouble to come across I don't need anything during March next month April perhaps. Thank you for seeing to it. But it's my job surely. Yes I'm going for work in the forest fire but what but don't you remember we promised my sister and her husband yes we're spending the rest of the afternoon with them very well we'll spend the rest of the afternoon with them as we did yesterday and the day before. It wasn't very kind of you to say that you know not very kind I'm sorry but only here for a week. So yes yes I was wrong. After all we don't see them so often not just that she is my sister. I'm drawn to them because I feel that a couple survey like us and one or two things are married 11 years too and I know how you see what I mean. Well why shouldn't I see and you please me very much when you're nice to them and I still look and I'm sure you will be very nice for the day or two they've still got with us.
I promise I will be your thing because you know quite well I don't feel that people can really use not to be so difficult. It's not a thing you can argue about. Anyway you have nothing to complain about when you walk in when you want to say that and sometimes you forget especially when people get on your nerves you get a job why must you go on about it. Although I did read this then anyway whenever there's any tedious little job to be done I hate asking or so I always go out of my way to ask you nicely. You deal with Oh I've nothing to blame you for no Indeed I've nothing to blame you for more than you can probably understand that I can't help being a little unhappy about you unhappy why I don't understand you very well these days you have so depressed me just as you do but then the president I think though of course I'm not. You know I'm coming around just at the moment yes.
That's why I mention it to your tome of there's nothing wrong of course all the same. I'd like to know what it is like nothing and I have been a lucky woman. You hurt me so much because I am not any other man would be satisfied with what you give me. Everything to content a man who asks for nothing more. I can't explain but you know what I mean well enough but I don't want a strange girl you are. Why do you say that I was sensible you become sensible. Well I felt it for how long. Well more than a year now. It's just the life sobered you my darling. It's true. Life was so but my little girl. You're so shallow. I mean when I married you you were a child went you and I happiness kept you young. There wasn't a care in those kind eyes. But now
what goes on in that head of yours I send so many thoughts so deep so hidden. No no I leave you. Why all this. I thought I knew you. No I'm not trouble. You mustn't talk to yourself about it. About Nothing at all. What's the good. You know me better than you think just accept the fact that well that's me and you are. I could almost believe you when you talk to me like that. If I would only be sure you meant it. But I do think you feel that I do too why do I disappoint you. What a question not if you say but do I know where on earth did you get hold of such an idea. It was because when I had a feeling something was eluding me. So I wondered whether it was my fault that I would have to think things like that. But it's true I don't know how to make you happy. What more could you do want thousands of things spoil you
or give you I don't know more jewelry more clothes what you say no he lacks the car little car your friends new friends more often parties and books perhaps you love books beautiful things beautiful things pictures yes. Or if you're bored a trip to Paris. That's it. And we can palace theatre's races. How do you like that. And not one of those thousand things would be what you really want. There's no need to wreck your brains like that the best thing you can give me honestly is in yourself. I'm glad to hear that the BAPS there's a model in it. Happiness is in ourselves. Is that what you mean. Yeah I think there was a time. Ten to six. And where do you in 10 minutes. The latest we show before you.
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BBC world theater
Episode Number
Invitation to a Voyage (Reel 1)
Producing Organization
British Broadcasting Corporation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
This series presents performances of great plays, both classic and modern.
Radio Theater
Performing Arts
Media type
Producing Organization: British Broadcasting Corporation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-2-69 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:45:55
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