Last week I was asked to go on Radio 4’s Front Row to review The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! at the Ev. I know. It sounds absurd. Still, these things don’t come along every day. The country’s foremost daily arts news programme! And me! I just assumed every other critic in a 50 mile radius must have been killed in some King Ralph-style incident and there was no-one else left to do the spot.
I’ve done a little radio before, but accelerating straight to full-on national, live R4 was a bit of a freak out, even for my (generally unflappable) self.
This was probably fairly apparent, and not helped by the fact that the show in question is one of the most deliciously open-to-interpretation, un-straightforward productions there’s been in a long time. Reviews had been mixed; it was comic and tragic and yet not tragi-comedy in your usual theatrical sense; and I’ll be waking in the middle of the night yelling ‘THAT’S WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID!’ to no-one in particular for probably the next five years. It was a surprisingly tough gig, but it was also good fun and a tremendous privilege.
Listen again? No fear of that over here. But here’s the proof.