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A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Changeling

The Changeling (New Mermaids) - Thomas Middleton

bookshelves: earlymodern16c-18c, fraudio, play-dramatisation, published-1622, revenge, jacobean, winter20092010

Read in August, 2009

** spoiler alert ** [image error]


Blurb - "The Changeling" takes its title from the fact that several characters go through changes that make them unrecognisable from what they formerly were or appeared to be — such is the power of love and lust.

A young man falls in love with a girl who is betrothed to someone else. She contrives to have her first lover murdered by her father's
servant, whom she despises. Hate turns to love, or just passion, and she finally transfers her affections from her second lover to her
first's murderer. Such skulduggery will out, and so it does with her, and her murdering lover's, death. Revenge is wreaked on all who
deserve it, and we are the wiser for watching the cathartic experience, though this is bought at the price of a high body-count, four in all.

But like all Jacobean tragedies there is a deeper significance to this narrative. "The Changeling" is about being possessed by love.
Love draws Alsemero to Beatrice-Joanna. Love draws De Flores to do murder for Beatrice-Joanna, who in turn finally finds her hatred
for him turned to love. Corrupt love is played here, and mirrored in the sub-plot where madmen are possessed in bedlam. But in the
madhouse there is sometimes less madness than in real life as Antonio's 'change' demonstrates. In Bedlam a celebratory play is
being prepared, whose dramatic intention is remarkably similar to the rude mechanicals' play in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's
Dream. Each world reveals the other.

"The Changeling", by English dramatists Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, was first performed at London's Phoenix Theatre in
1622, during the period known as the Jacobean age. "The Changeling" is considered to be Middleton's finest tragedy. It was common
at the time for dramatists to collaborate, and Middleton and Rowley collaborated on five plays over a period of five years. For "The
Changeling", scholars believe that Rowley wrote the first and last scenes and the subplot, while Middleton was responsible for the main
plot and the characterisation of the major characters.

A new radio production of Thomas Middleton and William Rowley's Jacobean classic, set in Alicante, Spain, in the 1920s. Beatrice-Joanna is due to marry Alonzo e Piracquo, until she falls in love with Alsemero and seeks the help of her father's man, De Flores.

Beatrice-Joanna ...... Anna Madeley
De Flores ...... Zubin Varla
Vermandero ...... Nicky Henson
Tomazo de Piracquo ...... Alex Hassell
Alonzo de Piracquo ...... Alex Blake
Alsemero ...... Simon Muller
Jasperino ...... Nigel Hastings
Diaphanta ...... Liz Richardson
Isabella ...... Catherine Bailey
Alibius ...... Philip Fox
Lollio ...... Stephen Hogan
Antonio ...... Piers Wehner
Franciscus ...... Joseph Cohen-Cole
Pedro ...... Rhys Jennings

Broadcast on: BBC Radio 3,
Directed and adapted for radio by Jeremy Mortimer.

The principle source of "The Changeling" was John Reynold's "The Triumph of God's Revenge Against Murder", published in 1621,
and sections of this book were read before each of the five acts by David Byrd.