Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Lawrence Sweeney Mix (BBC Radio 4 improvised comedy series)

The Lawrence Sweeney Mix is a fine project of Josie Lawrence (most visible in the States as a stalwart of the original Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and Jim Sweeney, and aside from being quite funny (by me), and unusually for Radio 4 on a "stripped" (Monday-Thursday) schedule rather than offered one can (at this hour) hear three of the four episodes they are going to do in this second "series" (or "season" for us in the States)...what's most unusual about it for those used to the "Chicago school" of improvised comedy and drama is that they flagrantly break the Yes And rule...Lawrence and Sweeney frequently say No, or completely undermine the reality the other is suggesting, but are deft enough to keep the game going.

Good audience participation as well. (And do check this out sooner rather than later, as Radio 4, at least, usually keeps items such as this up for only a week...though Radio 7 and the World Service might have it up for longer...).


C. Margery Kempe said...

Gaah -- so many things to hear and at present, never any time to listen!

Todd Mason said...

Indeed (and see Kate's new BITCHBUZZ essay here: ). I could recommend the fine ACT ONE RADIO THEATER/LA TheaterWorks production of MARVIN'S ROOM starring Mary Steenburgen and Roxanne Hart...if the archived file didn't cut the last several minutes off the play...

Here's the KPFA link, anyway (checking to see if the KPFK archive has, gosh, The Whole Play):

(and, no, KFPK, despite the production being in LA, doesn't carry the drama...NFL blackout rules apply, perhaps)

Here's the blurb:

Marvin's Room
Good-hearted Bessie has been taking care of her ailing father for 20 years, but now she’s the one who’s sick, and she must reconcile with her estranged sister, Lee. A remarkably humorous and tender play, this critically acclaimed family drama was dubbed by The New York Times as “one of the funniest plays of the year as well as one of the wisest and most moving.” Written by Scott McPherson. Starring (in order of appearance): Mary Steenburgen as Bessie, Steven Weber as Dr. Wally, Gloria Dorson as Ruth, Dana Vitatoe as Bob, Roxanne Hart as Lee, Sharon Madden as Dr. Charlotte and the retirement home director, Jason Ritter as Hank, and Kendall Schmidt as Charlie. Directed by Jenny Sullivan.

Unknown said...

I don't suppose you know where I can listen to this? I've been trying to find it for ages!

Todd Mason said...

I know the most recent episodes were repeated within the last six months on (probably) Radio 4 Extra, and were accessible online thus...A quick spin doesn't turn 'em up yet, but the BBC Radio 4/4 Extra pages are Not set up for maximum surfing ease.

Todd Mason said...

Yeah, definitely looks like you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for either another repeat cycle (or, if miracles occur in the Big Society, new episodes) or look for gray market caches online. You'd think BBC would be marketing the hell out of nearly all such things, making home audio widely available in various forms.