The Coleridge Collection Part II: Audio and Audiovisual Productions

An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism and Scholarship
Volumes I-III
Walter B. Crawford
With the research and editorial assistance of
Ann M. Crawford


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[S II.8 1971] (C7431) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Screenplay by Roald Dahl, based on his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [NY: Knopf (1964), 162 pp]. Produced by Stan Margulies and David L Wolper. Directed by Mel Stuart. c1971 Wolper Pictures, Ltd, and the Quaker Oats Company. Digitally processed, Burbank: Warner Home Video c1996. 14546, color, 100 mins.

  • A musical starring Gene Wilder as Willy, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, and others. Leading a party through his factory, in room where bubbles for soda pop are made Willy casually says (at about 81 minutes into the video), "Bubbles, bubbles everywhere, and not a drop to drink" [cf The RAM 121-2]. Allusion not in book.

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[S II.8 1978] (C9123) Clouds of Glory: The RAM. Written by Ken Russell and Melvyn Bragg. Director, Ken Russell. Producer, Norman Swallow. Featuring David Hemmings as C and David Warner as W. Program for Granada Television (1978). Re-broadcast: CBS Cable television, Channel 24, LA, 8 Oc 1982. With title The RAM, produced on video cassettes (VHS, Beta, U-Matic) (FFH 930 and IB-930) Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities [the VHS cassette, FFH 930, is c1988], 52 min, advertised as part of a series, "A Survey of English Poetry."

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[S II.8 1993] The RAM. In the Middle English series from BBC2 School Programmes. (1993). 20-min TV documentary. For children aged 9-13 years.

  • A commentary on the poem from a custodian, an artist, and a "mariner," interspersed with scenes using actors in Coleridge Cottage and the Quantocks. (Derrick Woolf)

[S II.8 1993] Visions in a Dream: Pictures from the Life of Coleridge. A Play Written by Mike Levy; Music by Simon Phillips; Directed by Brian Harvey. Coleridge Community College, Cambridge (1993). Duration: 50 mins.

  • Play, aimed at a school audience, "uses contemporary accounts, poems, and songs to paint a portrait of the poet. It uses no set other than a garden bench." The play is performed, both words and music, by a cast of 10 narrators, ages 13-15, and an adult playing STC. "The narrators create the characters from the poet's life who act as witnesses to his character and physical makeup. They also serve as his thoughts, nightmares, and dreams. I concentrate on the Somerset years although the play takes us up to the arrival in the Lake District."
  • The original music (performed by 10 musicians) includes a song, "By the Banks of the Susquehanna," and a setting for KK, as well as a liberal use of gongs, cymbals, and other exotic instruments (Mike Levy). First performed in Village Hall, Nether Stowey, 21 Oc 1993; programme includes 400-word author's note. Performed 15-20 Ag 1994 at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and 2 Oc 1994 in Cambridge.
  • Reviews: JB, Times Educational Supplement (Ag 1994). L Forde, "Fringe Reviews" in Scotsman (18 Ag 1994). S Goorney, Stage and Television Today (2 S 1994).
  • Derrick Woolf sent brief description, 1993 Nether Stowey poster and performance programme, and 1994 Edinburgh Festival Fringe poster.
  • Author sent full description, list of reviews, and script of play.

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[S II.8 1994] The AM. Part of the English Time series from BBC2 School Programmes, David Rudkin, Producer. Announced 13 D 1993 for Spring Term Wednesdays, with Friday repeats. Launched with documentary Summer of '97, 12/14 Ja 1994. Then 3-part dramatization of poem 19/21 and 26/28 Ja, 2/4 F. Series concluded with documentary Shock Horror 9/11 and 16/18 F. Later, Half-Term repeats. Each segment 20 mins. The context-setting Summer of '97 [1797] (produced and directed by Cassie Braban) was filmed in and around Alfoxden Park. It deals with the origin of The RAM and the beginning of C's opium addiction, and uses extracts from KK, W's The Ruined Cottage and Tintern Abbey, and DW's journal. The dramatization (Anne Brogan, Producer; Juliet May, Director; Richard Langridge, Executive Producer) starred Paul McGann as C and the AM, with Maria Friedman as wife Sarah, Michael Simkins as WW, and Amanda Mealing as DW.

  • The dramatization relates the poem to C's life. Part I: "C, inspired by his friendship with W and the gothic-horror romances popular at the time, begins to write the epic poem." Part II: "C believes he is losing the gift of imagination. He compares himself to W, and feels he cannot match William's greatness. He is haunted by the failure of marriage. He sinks deeper into opium addiction in an attempt to escape." Part III: "C's nights are filled with opium induced nightmares. His wife and friends haunt his waking hours. He feels abandoned in an alien world, pursued by the character created by his own imagination." In Shock Horror (produced and directed by Cassie Braban and narrated by Donald Pleasance) the poem "is viewed as one of the main sources for one of the great gothic stories of English Literature, Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'."
  • A publicity card (108 x 155mm) prints the schedule on one side and on the other a drawing of the spectre bark silhouetted against an opening in the clouds (The RAM 175-6). Schedule side has copyright notice, "David Myerscough-Jones"--the artist?
  • From BBC2 publicity material sent by Derrick Woolf.

[S II.8 1994] The Fall of Robespierre. Presented by Christ's Hospital Drama Department. Directed by Duncan Noël-Paton. Music by Tim Benjamin. "World Première" on 25 Jy 1994 during C Conference at Cannington College, Somerset. Later staged at Christ's Hospital.

  • Acknowledgments in programme include thanks to Reginald Watters for the idea and for "much invaluable information and encouragement." Cast includes Christ's Hospital pupils. The 6 pages of programme materials include headnote by Director, notes about C at Christ's Hospital, a chronology of the French Revolution from Ap 1789 to July 1794 execution of Robespierre, an explanatory list of "French Revolutionary Institutions Mentioned in the Play," and "Brief Notes on Characters Mentioned in the Text and Characters in the Play, Victims of Robes pierre." Illustrations (4 contemporary engravings) include Gillray's satirical engraving in New Morality (1798--C6) showing C and Southey with asses' heads.
  • Programme and other information sent by Merle L Gardner.

[S II.8 1994] Great Poets of the Romantic Age. Poems selected by Heather Godwin. Read by Michael Sheen. Produced by Nicolas Soames. Naxos Audiobooks Ltd (©1994). Made in Germany. 2 CDs, NA202112 (79:20 mins) and -122 (78:50 mins). Slipcase liner, 8 pp of notes by Godwin.

  • C-related notes include 70-word biographical-critical sketch (C "a failed academic and soldier") and this sentence: "The AM, a tale of the supernatural, set in an unfamiliar landscape, and yet primarily concerned with an individual's experience of sin, guilt, love and redemption, contains all the crucial elements of the Romantic framework." Back of liner identifies the music (classical) used on the CDs. Other poets: Blake, W, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Clare.
  • On CD2, Sheen reads, with appropriate expressiveness, KK (track 13, 3:32) and The RAM (tracks 14-20. 55:26).
  • Gift to CCC from Stephen H Ford.

[S II.8 1994] The Lake Poets. Directed by Stephen Gammond. Produced by Julian Gammond. Script by Robert Woof and Jonathan Wordsworth. Presented by Robert Woof and Jonathan Wordsworth, with Molly Lefebure, Grevel Lindop, and Pamela Woof. Wordsworth Readings, Ted Hughes. With special thanks to Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Trust. Green Umbrella Productions. W H Smith Exclusive Video. [Castle Vision] CVI 1869. [Chessington, Surrey]: Castle Communications PLC (1994). VHS 60 mins approx. Packaged with book by Pamela Woof, The Lake Poets (1994 in Part I above), in color-illustrated case labeled "W H Smith Exclusive Video & Book. The Lake Poets. The Works of WW are Read by the Poet Laureate Ted Hughes"--the latter flanked by oval portraits 50 x 32mm captioned "William Wordsworth" and "Samuel Coleridge" (Vandyke [1795--C9202]). [This entry is based on cassette case and video itself.]

  • Excellent presentation of Wordsworth. A more accurate title for the video would be "Wordsworth (with brief mentions of some of his predecessors, friends, and admirers)." No more than 6-7 minutes strictly about C (mostly by Jonathan Wordsworth on The RAM and KK, and Molly Lefebure on C's Keswick experience and Dejection); about twice that for such Wordsworth-related writers as Thomas Gray, Southey, DeQuincey, and later writers such as Tennyson and Emerson. C portraits shown: Dance (1804--C9208, twice), Northcote (1804--C9209, twice), and Hancock (1796--C9203).
  • Gift to CCC from Molly Lefebure.

[S II.8 1994] The RAM. A Music Theatre and Record Project. Words by STC. Concept & Music by Richard Hill. Theatrical Producer, Anthony Lilley. Theatrical Director, Emma Jenkins. Original Artwork Ideas by POSSI. Album Produced by Richard Hill. Album Executive Producer, Chris Barber, O.B.E. In Support of The Prince's Youth Business Trust (1994). Audio cassette, duration ca 90 mins.

  • "Set designs will be created by Liz Cooke . . . . Paula and Simon Kenevan (POSSI), whose series of paintings on silk illustrating The RAM [qv in Part I 1992 above] have proved so inspirational, will also be involved in the production. Their painting 'At Anchor' which was presented to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, will be used as our main advertising material for both the stage production and the record sleeve design. The original painting on silk will be auctioned at a special event for the benefit of The Prince's Youth Business Trust." The music will be "scored for synthesizers throughout, to exploit the magical, surrealistic sounds which best serve C's dreamscape words and the concept of a 'space time' continuum. The piece is conceived as a modern masque, using elements of opera, musical and ballet . . . ." First performance planned for the Edinburgh Festival, Ag 1994, to be followed by "a U K tour of theatrical, university and heritage venues."
  • The above was written from the 9-page prospectus for additional funding and from additional information provided by Derrick Woolf, who sent us the prospectus, on the cover of which is reproduced At Anchor by POSSI (qv in Part I, 1992).

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[S II.8 1995] C in Somerset: The RAM & Other Poetry, Comments by de Quincey & Hazlitt. One of a series of literary programmes selected and read by John Hagen. Wellington, Somerset: nd but 1995. Audio cassette, liner illustrated with drawing profiling front of ship under sail, lone mariner visible.

  • Side A: De Quincey meets, praises C; The RAM in full. Side B: Hazlitt is more sceptical; other poetry including Christabel Part I.
  • Gift to CCC from Derrick Woolf.

[S II.8 1995] The Quantock Connection: W & C, Poems from LBs (1798). Nether Stowey: Coleridge Books [ie, C Reginald Watters]; and Wellington, Somerset: Quintus [ie, John Hagen] (nd but 1995). Audio cassette, 2 sides.

  • Liner lists contents: side 1, The RAM , Parts 1-6; side 2, The RAM , Part 7; Wordsworth's Anecdote for Fathers, Lines written in Early Spring, Expostulation and Reply, An Evening Scene: The Same Subject, Old Man Travelling, Lines written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey. Excellent reading by Watters, very expressive, the Mariner's voice distinctive.
  • Gift to CCC from Reggie Watters.

[S II.8 1995] Romantic Poets: STC. As read by Pete Postlethwaite. Selected and produced by Sean Murphy. (The Romantic Poets Series, LFPC 7907) L: EMI Records Ltd, trading as Music for Pleasure (c1995). 2 audio cassettes in 1 case.

  • After C's sentence beginning "I love fields and woods and mountains with almost a visionary fondness," reads without commentary, not in chronological order, The Eolian Harp, This Lime-tree Bower, The Dungeon, The RAM, Christabel, Frost at Midnight, Fears in Solitude, The Nightingale, KK, Love, Dejection, Phantom, and To Nature. Opening and closing music by Debussy.

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[S II.8 1996] The Bristol Connection: C & W, Bristol 1795. CR 5373. Bristol: Clifton Recording (1996). Audio Cassette. Inlay card reads: "The Bristol Connection: A Celebration in Words and Music of the First Meeting of C & W. Reggie Watters--Reader, Charles Gibbs--Bass-Baritone, Nigel Dodd--Piano. Saturday 14th October 1995, at St George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol. CR 8631. Recorded at the concert and mastered in digital stereo by Richard Jeffrey for Clifton Recording, 4 College Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3JB, (0117)974-1153."

  • Card also lists contents of cassette, given in full detail in Watters, ed, The Bristol Connection (qv in I 1996 above).
  • Gift to CCC from Reggie Watters.

[S II.8 1996] Great Narrative Poems of the Romantic Age. Selected by Perry Keenlyside. Produced by Neville Jason. Read by John Moffatt, Samuel West, Sara Woodward. (NA 209212) Cherry Hill, NJ: Naxos Audiobooks of America (©1996). Made in Germany. 2 CDs: CD1: 69:18; CD 2: 66:45; Total time 2:16:03.

  • On CD2, Moffatt and Woodward, with appropriate expressiveness, read Christabel (tracks 1-2, 16:07 + 16:08). Notes by Keenlyside include biographical-critical sketch of Coleridge and synopsis of the poem (125 words).
  • Gift to the CCC from Stephen H Ford.

[S II.8 1996] Kaleidoscope Feature. BBC Radio 4, 2 F 1996, 9:30 pm. Side 1 of audio cassette. Night Waves. BBC Radio 3, 21 Mr 1996.

  • Side 2. Kaleidoscope Feature presents discussion of C's poems aimed at understanding C's reputation: "Few poets perhaps have suffered so much for engaging so vigorously with the world of ideas, or at least English poets with European ideas." Participants other than the moderator: Richard Holmes, M Dooley, and Steve Connor. Night Waves presents reading of sections of The RAM with musical bridges and background music, interspersed with commentary by Richard Holmes, the presentation intending to show how "many and various persons" have been intrigued, inspired, and held spellbound by it.
  • Gift to CCC from Merle L. Gardner.

[S II.8 1996] The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Read by James Mason. Also featuring Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark, read by Roy Dotrice. Los Angeles: The Publishing Mills, n.d., a CD in AudioBooks series. Reissue of production ©Buena Vista Records, (P) 1996 Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

  • "This lost recording has been on a journey of its own. Recorded in 1959 when James Mason was at the height of his stage and screen powers and fresh from a recent Academy Award © nomination" (from commentary on back label of CD case). Front label illustrated with color adaptation of Doré's 1876 design of mariner clinging to shrouds beside a mast.
  • Gift to the CCC from Stephen H Ford.

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[S II.8 1997] By Heart: 101 Poems to Remember. Ed with an Introduction by [and read by] Ted Hughes. Produced by Richard Carrington. (Faber-Penguin Audiobooks) Penguin Books (this recording ©1997). 4 audio cassettes (sides 1-2, 3-4). Package liner lists contents without reference to cassette sides, but Kubla Khan is 11th on side 2.

  • "In By Heart Ted Hughes has collected together 101 poems that are both personal favourites and particularly suited to his own method of memorizing. emning four centuries, the anthology offers the reader a 'mental gymnasium' as well as a treasury of some of our most enduringly popular poetry. . . . Ted Hughes was made [England's] Poet Laureate in 1984" (from the liner).
  • The introduction is an extensive essay on the system of memorizing by image chains rather than by rote, and the importance of listening to, sensing, patterns of rhythm, inflection, and sound which can be found in all worthwhile poems.
  • Gift to the CCC from Stephen H Ford.

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[S II.8 1998] A Gift of Words and Music. From the Fellowship of Winters College [the Fine Arts college of York U, Toronto]. Executive Producer and Artistic Design by Andrew Tomcik. Production by Michael Coghlan. Notes and Creative Guidance by B W Powe. Contributors: Maurice Elliott, reader; David Mott, composer, musician; Christina Petrowska, pianist; B W Powe, author; Casey Sokol, musician; Ceri Stephens, singer. Recorded in 1997 and 1998 at Winters College. 1 CD, 17 selections; slipcase liner, 4 pp.

  • Elliott reads Youth and Age, Conclusion to Part II of Christabel, and KK. No C-related notes.
  • Gift to the CCC from Stephen H Ford.

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[S II.8 1999] Classic Serial: The RAM. BBC Radio 4, 23 My 1999, 3:00 pm. Listed in Sunday Telegraph Mag (23 My 1999), 62; and in Daily Telegraph Television & Radio (23 My 1999), 13. Not heard.

  • From tearsheet from Rosemary Elizabeth Coleridge Middleton.

[S II.8 1999] HOLMES, Richard. Writers & Company: Richard Holmes on STC. Broadcast on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [CBC] Radio, 15 My 1999. Audio cassette recording of original broadcast.

  • Gift to CCC from Stephen H Ford.

[S II.8 1999] The Late Story: Lyrical Ballads . BBC Radio 4, 17 My 1999, 12:30 am. Listed in Sunday Telegraph Mag (16 My 1999), 64. Not heard.

  • From tearsheet from Rosemary Elizabeth Coleridge Middleton.

[S II.8 1999] The Mariner. A musical adaptation of The RAM and other works by C. Music and Libretto by Joseph Biggerstaff. Directed by Bill Magee. Concert version presented at the Albert Hall in Canberra, Australia, on 9 and 10 Mr 1999, in association with the Canberra National Multicultural Festival 1999. Stage version, developed from the concert recitals, presented at the Albert Hall on 26, 27, and 28 Ag 1999. Both presentations by Mariner Enterprises in association with the Max & Andrea Orwin Singing Studio, Canberra.

  • The performance on 28th August was preceded by a Medieval Fayre with patrons partaking in spitroasts, ales, wine, and medieval dancing.
  • While he tried to remain faithful to the original, the composer found that some changes were necessary to bring the work to the stage. The libretto has been adapted from C and original lyrics have also been included to develop plots and characters, and to transform the telling of the tale from its original narrative form. For example, in the opening song Come and Join the Feast! new characters portray the pomp and gaiety of a Tudor wedding feast, while the song by The Company of Adventurers (directed by Bill Magee) furnishes details about the sea trade in Bristol following the War of the Roses, bringing to life the cramped conditions of ships which expanded the horizons of the Old World.
  • To create dialogue between the members of the cast, some characters from The RAM have been embellished. For instance, the Mariner's "brother's son" has become Perkin the Mariner's nephew and youngest member of the crew, while the ship's Captain and the Helmsman (the more experienced members of the crew) are given more prominent roles in the story. The two daemons are likewise recast, and in the amusing duet We Two they appear as agents of the Polar Spirit, sent aboard to cast the final spell which will forever compel the Mariner to retell his ghastly tale. Other new characters are also present. Christabel, the Captain's wife, appears both before and after the tragic voyage, and a zealous but irritating Master of Ceremonies presides over the wedding feast.
  • As for the Ancient Mariner, he is depicted very much as C wrote him. His younger self, however, is not so much a seaman as he is a gun (crossbow) for hire. An able hand with both a compass and a crossbow he joins the crew to "fight off heathen hordes" and make his fortune from the spoils of the voyage. As in the original, the Mariner is transformed from a brash opportunist to a mellower and more repentant being during the course of events.
  • Despite these changes the musical retains the essential themes which left the young wedding guest a "sadder but wiser man." But does the mariner retell what he has actually experienced or the illusions of a mind tormented by guilt?
  • The composer admits that in writing The Mariner he not only intended to bring the excellence of C's work to the attention of a larger audience, but also to raise awareness of the plight of the albatross. In the musical, parallels are drawn between the death of the albatross and the degradation of our environment. The finale is a timely reminder that we can no longer afford to be negligent with our planet's limited resources.
  • The Mariner website includes the following pages: (1) the "home" page; (2) "Concept" (source of much of the above annotation); (3) a detailed synopsis of the musical (a descriptive "Dramatis Personae" part of the original synopsis page only); (4) performance dates; (5) CD offer (six songs on a CD); (6) the cast, the originally short cast list fully expanded in the S 1999 page by short biographical sketches of the members; (7) "our sponsors," mostly commercial backers; (8) a biographical sketch of C, and information about The Friends of C association; (9) the entire poem with Argument but without the glosses; and (10) an informative discussion on albatrosses and the damage caused by line-fishing.
  • The first version of the website included a press ("Scrap Book") page, with the texts of Philip O'Brien, "An Ancient Mariner of Note," Canberra Times (19 S 1998), announcing plans under way for the musical; and of a review of the premiere presentation, by Malcolm Tapscott, "Worthy Vocal Tribute to the Ancient Mariner," Canberra Times (12 Mr 1999). Only the latter is included in a S 1999 page (the "concept" page).
  • Given to the CCC by Joseph Biggerstaff: the complete libretto (as it was before the director's contributions); the CD with studio recording of the concert version of six songs ("When You Leave," "The Doldrums," "The Dream," "Creatures of the Calm," "Hermit of the Wood," and "He Is Gone"); the printed program for the August theatrical performances; a live video recording of the performance of 27 Ag 1999 (shot with two cameras and later edited; nothing added); and a navy blue T-shirt reading in white 'The Mariner / World Premiere / Canberra - March 1999,' with the pennant logo (seen at right) following The Mariner.

[S II.8 1999] A Walk with the AM. BBC Radio 4, 16 My 1999, 4:30 pm. Listed in Sunday Telegraph Mag (16 My 1999), 64. Not heard.

  • From tearsheet from Rosemary Elizabeth Coleridge Middleton.

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[S II.8 2000] Finding Forrester. Written by Mike Rich. A Laurence Mark Production in association with Fountain Bridge Films. Directed by Gus Van Sant. Columbia Pictures, 2000. Rating: PG13. Video 05717, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2001, ca 132 mins.

  • Stars Sean Connery as William Forrester, a great writer who withdrew from society after the publication of his early, much-acclaimed, first and only novel. Co-stars Rob Brown as Jamal Wallace, a teenage genius who seeks out and is mentored by Forrester.
  • Given a scholarship to a prestigious prep school, mainly for his exceptional talent as a basketball player, Jamal sits in an English literature class of 30 students taught, bullied, and sneered at by one Professor Crawford. One day, Crawford writes on the blackboard, without title or author's name, Coleridge's Epitaph on an Infant (CPW 68)--by no means his best-known four lines--and asks the class to name the author. No one speaks up, so Crawford calls on a student whose name is Coleridge, badgers him unmercifully as none of his heavy-handed hints get through, until finally Jamal, seated behind Coleridge, mutters to him, "Tell him your name." The boy still doesn't catch on, and Crawford asks Jamal what he has said. Jamal responds, "I just said to say his name," and prodded again by Crawford, clearly identifies the author. Prodded further, Jamal goes on to embarrass Crawford for using "farther" when it should have been "further," and for other faux pas. When Crawford angrily tries to show up Jamal by quoting other authors, Jamal finishes each quotation perfectly and identifies the author.

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[S II.8 2001] Grasmere. A play by Kristina Leach. Directed by Joseph Arnold. Presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance of California State University, Fullerton, on 13, 15, and 17 March 2001 in the Arena Theatre of the Performing Arts Center of CSUF. Seen by the Crawfords on 15 March. For presentations in 2002, see review by Miller below.

  • The cast: Logan Sledge (W Wordsworth), Annie DiMartino (D Wordsworth), Darcy Blakesley (Mary Hutchison), and Aaron G Lamb (Coleridge). The action of the play takes place in and around Dove Cottage in Grasmere for a period of one year, 1802.
  • The focus of the play is on the personal interrelationships of the characters, with Dorothy as the intense center of the action. Her soliloquizing lines (or adaptations of those lines) from her journal is a key continuity device. To preserve focus and bring into a single period of time the essence of the interrelations of the characters, the playwright has telescoped and otherwise altered the chronology of some of the historical events.
  • According to the theatre program, Kristina Leach received her B.A. in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on playwriting in 2000. She has won awards for some of her short plays and for stage performances. She is the Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of the award-winning theatre company "Six Chairs" in Long Beach.
  • Review: M C Smith, LA Times (12 Mar 2001), B7r, ils.
  • Review: Daryl H Miller, "In 'Grasmere,' a Delicate Portrayal of Literary Souls," the second of four reviews in the "Theater Beat" column in the LATimes (30 Ag 2002), F24. "The school's production of 'Grasmere' . . . was invited to be part of the American College Theater Festival's national showcase earlier this year at the Kennedy Center." That production is, "after minor script changes, what's being presented" by the Chautauqua Theatre Alliance at the Egyptian Arena Theatre, on Las Palmas Avenue in Hollywood, in September 2002 (ending 22 Sept). "Purists will note that Leach has been heavy-handed with some facts": in one example, "Coleridge begs Wordsworth for help in figuring out what to do with the albatross" in The RAM, but by 1802, the poem "already had been in print for several years."

[S II.8 2001] Pandaemonium. Director Julien Temple. Producer Nick O'Hagan. Executive Producers David M Thompson, Mike Phillips, Tracey Scoffield. Cinematographer John Lynch. Screenplay Frank Cottrell Boyce. Editor Niven Howie. Music Dario Marianelli. Costumes Annie Symons. Production designer Laurence Dorman. Art directors Bill Crutcher, Ben Scott. Set decorator Phillipa Hart. A USA Films release [in 2001] of a BBC Films presentation of a Mariner Films production in association with the Arts Council of England and Moonstone Entertainment, 2001. Running time: 2 hrs, 4 mins. (Seen by the Crawfords on 2 Jy 2001.)

  • One report in an English newspaper says that the film "will hit cinema screens in the autumn," and that it "has caused some debate even before it has been released because the period drama features shots of Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset. Director Julien Temple has used film maker's license to include as part of a prophetic dream sequence the massive 20th century buildings which now dominate the coastline." (Brian Best, "Somerset Report: Now, it's Coleridge the movie," Western Daily Press (10 Jy 2001), 22, il.
  • Cast: Linus Roache, STC. John Hannah, William Wordsworth. Emily Wood, Dorothy Wordsworth. Samantha Morton, Sarah Fricker Coleridge. Andy Serkis, John Thelwall. Emma Fielding, Mary Hutchinson.
  • Review: Kevin Thomas, "'Pandaemonium': Poets Clash in Era of Volatile Change," LATimes (29 Je 2001), F16, il. Thomas writes: Dorothy "of course falls in love with C but tells him she'll settle for possessing his 'soaring soul' and honorably leave his body to [his wife Sarah]. . . . In many ways Dorothy emerges the most sympathetic as well as the most pivotal figure in the film. . . . But as Temple has said, 'Pandaemonium' is C's story and is specifically concerned with the paradox of how C's opium addiction at once unleashed in him such great poems as 'The RAM' and the ‘Kubla Khan' fragment but also threatened to destroy the poet. (After repeated attempts C did succeed in bringing his addiction under control.)" Thomas's reminder appears nowhere in the film.
  • From this review, persons not thoroughly familiar with sober scholarly treatments of the lives of these Romantics might well assume that this presentation of their lives is reasonably accurate. But the presentation is full of gross distortions and exaggerations, chronological miscombinations and misplacements of events, and omissions of essential related events, all of which amount to serious inaccuracies. Thomas says [and we agree]: "Even if the final meeting of C and W is historically accurate in every detail, which seems highly doubtful" [and of course it's very inaccurate!], Temple "conclude[s] his film in a thud of fustian staginess," which "plays as preposterous."
  • The worst exaggeration and chronological misplacement is showing DW in the mid-18teens as deranged by opium addiction, a bad treatment of DW's early partial dementia in her late years. A gross anachronism occurs when a character is reading KK to children--from Nick Bantock's pop-up edition of the poem published in 1994 (C6638).
  • Sent by Stephanie Franklin on 24 July 2002: A Julien Temple Film, Pandaemonium: Guide to locations filmed in rural Somerset in the South West of England, undated, a 3-fold brochure (folded size 210 x 100mm), with 22 captioned, full-color illustrations of cast and locations in Somerset; the Quantock Hills; Bossington Hill, Exmoor; Hestercombe Gardens; Stolford and Watchet; Nether Stowey; and Wookey Hole Caves. The main text includes a somewhat detailed interpretive description of the screenplay, and a descriptive list of "Events and Attractions" in the area.
  • Photocopy of Western Daily Press report sent by Rosemary Elizabeth Coleridge Middleton.

[S II.8 2001] [The Poet Coleridge in Ottery St Mary.] Commissioned by Ottery St Mary Heritage Society. Script by Society member Chris Wakefield. Produced by Julian Wright of Phoenix Media. Exeter (2001). Duration: 30 mins.

  • Plans reported by Brian Best, in "Somerset Report: Town's tribute to a rebel poet." Western Daily Press (10 Jy 2001), 22-3, il: "Ottery St Mary Heritage Society is so proud of the local claim to fame it has commissioned a video film to be made about the early life of Coleridge. Already more than 100 villagers have been auditioned for the 25 parts which includes five main characters. Coleridge is being filmed at different ages--as a toddler, aged eight, 13 and 25. The half-hour film script [written by Heritage Society member Chris Wakefield] is based on the poet's later writings about his first nine years in Ottery up to 1781 and subsequent visits he made to the town. . . . The video is being produced by Julian Wright of Exeter-based Phoenix Media and faces a big task reproducing Ottery Fair in 1775. . . . Phoenix is putting £1,000 into the production while the heritage society has also raised £1,000. . . . Once the video is completed it will be available for local people and visitors to buy at the tourist office in the town."
  • Report in "Pulman's Diary: Search continues for Coleridge lookalikes as time runs out," Pulman's Weekly News & Advertiser (30 My 2001), 16, il: Ottery St Mary Heritage Society "spokesman Tim Caulfield initially appealed for Coleridge lookalikes in November," and the search "has so far drawn a blank. . . . Filming of the video was to have started in the Spring. But the absence of the leading character now threatens to delay the project. . . . The video will now commence production in early Summer [said Caulfield] and develop as funds permit with a proposed launch in early December."
  • From photocopy sent by Rosemary Elizabeth Coleridge Middleton.

[S II.8 2001] Spy Nozy and the Poets. Afternoon play on BBC Radio 4 at 2:15 pm on 22 F 2001. Listed in Daily Telegraph (22 F 2001), 46, il.

  • Described there in "Today's Choice by Gillian Reynolds": "While Coleridge (Martin Clunes [pictured]) is celebrating the publication of his Biographia Literaria in 1815, a man (Mr. Walsh, played by Bill Nighy) is anxiously waiting to see him, considering he has been traduced by Coleridge's version of an adventure 20 years before. Walsh had been recruited as a Home Office spy, to observe a pair of dangerous French spies in a small Somerset village. The spies turn out to be Wordsworth and Coleridge. The curious thing about the tale is that it's largely true."
  • From photocopy sent by Rosemary Elizabeth Coleridge Middleton.

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[S II.8 2002] Possession. Focus Features & Warner Bros Pictures present a Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures production in association with Contagious Films, released by Focus Features, 2002. [Seen by the Crawfords on 17 Ag 2002]. Director Neil LaBute. Producers Paula Weinstein, Barry Levinson. Executive producers David Barron, Len Amato. Screenplay David Henry Hwang and Laura Jones and Neil LaBute, based on the novel by A. S. Byatt, 1990--C7667. Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes.

  • Announced in the LATimes (15 Ag 02). Reviewed by Kenneth Turan, "'Possession' Is Lost With Just One Misstep," LATimes (16 Ag 02): "Sure as his hand is in the historical segments, LaBute can't avoid a fatal mistake in the modern era: He's changed the male academic from a lower-class Brit to an American [Aaron Eckhart, friend of the director], a choice that upsets the novel's exquisite balance and shreds the fabrick of the film, corrupting all of LaBute's good work and robbing it of the impact it would otherwise have. . . . Although fitting a 555-page book into an hour and 42 minutes of screen time entails a considerable amount of compression as well as the excising of the novel's philosophical underpinnings, overall, 'Possession' hews to the outline of the book." Although the novel is saturated with Coleridge material, only three bits survive, early in the movie: two name-only references, and Maud Bailey's former lover's saying of her, "She thicks men's blood with cold" (The RAM 194).
  • AMPAA rating: PG-13 for sexuality and some thematic elements. LATimes guidelines: "adult subject matter, the sexuality is more talk than action."
  • The C7667 annotation begins: Front jacket flap aptly calls this novel "a tour de force of wit and intelligence, romance and scholarship." Its summary also is fair and accurate: "Like John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman [1969-C7391], Possession is both a modern novel and a high Victorian novel. Two young academics are researching into the lives of, respectively, the Browningesque mid-Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash [RHA] and his contemporary Christabel LaMotte [CLM]; as they delve deeper into the turbulent and hitherto [thought to be] unrelated lives of the two poets through their letters, journals and poems, and trace their movements from London to the north Yorkshire coast--from spiritualist seances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany--bizarre and haunting counterpointing and correspondence of passions and ideas begins to emerge. An astonishingly rich and exhilarating blend of mystery, romance, comedy, Victoriana and modern university novel." Etc.
  • The cast principals: modern academics: Gwyneth Paltrow (Maud Bailey) and Aaron Eckhart (Roland Michell); Victorian poets: Jeremy Northam (RHA) and Jennifer Ehle (CLM); and Lena Headey (Blanche Glover, Christabel's friend).

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[S II.8 2003] BAKER, Mary. Bellingham and the Ambassador. A play broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on 29 Ap 2003 at 2:15 p.m., according to Radio schedule edited by Marsha Dunstan in the Daily Telegraph (29 Ap 2003), 25.

  • Coleridge is a character in the play, which also refers to his wife Sarah and daughter Sara. Source: Rosemary Elizabeth Coleridge Middleton, who also sent clipping of the Radio schedule.