Professor Bernhardi - by Arthur Schnitzler - BBC Radio Drama - cheops
Professor Bernhardi (1912) is one of the best known plays written by the Viennese dramatist, short story writer and novelist Arthur Schnitzler. It was first performed in Berlin at the Kleines Theater in 1912, but banned in Austria until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a result of World War I.
In the words of the Oxford Companion to German Literature `the work is Schnitzler\'s best comedy [sic], penetrating in its satire and serene in its ending.` It is regularly performed in the German speaking world and occasionally in other countries to this day.
Adapted by National Theatre playwright Samuel Adamson and produced by Mark Rosenblatt, this new version of Schnitzler`s play about prejudice in sophisticated society had been unseen in London for over 70 years and was produced for the stage by Dumbfounded Theatre Company in 2005.
In the interests of a dying patient Jewish doctor, Professor Bernhardi, prevents a Catholic priest from administering the last rites to a girl who is blissfully unaware of her imminent death. The upshot is a witch-hunt that sets medical etiquette against religious orthodoxy, the Christian establishment against Jews, creates a funding crisis for the teaching hospital and even has Bernhardi convicted and banged up for `agitating the Catholic religion`.
In other hands this could make for heavy-going melodrama. But thanks to Schnitzler`s witty script in a sparkling new version by Samuel Adamson, the evening is a gripping Shavian-style debate in which, beyond passions and the power struggle, factional interests seek career advantage, while the ever-buoyant Bernhardi simply wants to get on with his job of healing the sick.
Third and best of The Last Waltz season at the Arcola, Mark Rosenblatt`s sumptuous staging assembles a powerful 13-strong cast led by Christopher Godwin as a Bernhardi of gentle grace, charm, wit and twinkle-eyed optimism.
His superb central performance is brilliantly supported by John Stahl doubling as an outspoken medic of James Robertson Justice dimensions and a devious Austrian minister of cultural affairs. There are also fine contributions from Dale Rapley as Bernhardi`s self-serving rival, Roger Evans as a sly, heel-clicking medical student with a duelling scar and Mariah Gale eye-catching as a nurse giving false witness.
One episode of 1 hour 30 minutes.
Prof Bernhardi ...... Christopher Godwin
Prof Ebenwald ...... Dale Rapley
Prof Pflugfelder ...... John Stahl
Minister Flint/Defence ...... Andrew Woodall
Prof Tugendvetter/Dr Lowenstein/Prosecution/Waiter - ball ...... John Dougall
Mr Hochroitzpointer/Kulka (journalist)/Questioner ...... Justin Salinger
Father Reder/Dr Schreimann ...... Andrew Havill
Dr Adler/Privy Councillor Winkler/Speaker ...... Mark Lockyer
Dr Oskar Bernhardi/Dr Feuermann/Waiter - restaurant/Foreman ...... Tom Godwin
Prof Cyprian/Bermann ...... David Horovitch
Prof Filitz/Judge ...... Geoffrey Beevers
Philomena/Housekeeper/Secretary (Ministry of Education) ...... Sophie Roberts
Frau Filitz/Nurse/Secretary (Elisabeth Institute) ...... Rachel Atkins
Crowd/Members of Parliament ...... Cast
Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 128
Mode : joint stereo
Frequency : 48000 Hz
Encoder : Lame 3.96
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