Monday, December 28, 2009

The Box of Delights to be filmed

Writing about John Masefield yesterday I discovered that "The Box of Delights" is to be filmed.

Variety reports:
Brit Mike Newell will direct "The Box of Delights," based on John Masefield's classic 1930s children's novel about a boy entrusted with a magic box that allows him to travel through time.
Brit shingle Brilliant Films is funding development of the feature, which Frank Cottrell Boyce ("Millions") is adapting.
I am afraid Variety reports are like that.

Interestingly, Mike Newell is quoted as saying:
"I first heard 'Box of Delights' as a radio play on the BBC when I was a boy ... I was immediately seduced by the tingling, opening harp music and the fantastical, mysterious, magic story that followed."
I remember hearing The Box of Delights on the radio too and being utterly enchanted by it. But Newell is 18 years older than me, so his must have been a different play.

Much later: If the Wikipedia page is correct then Newell is remembering a 1955 production and I must be remembering one from as early as 1966. No wonder I was bowled over at the ago of 6. Bizarrely to modern tastes, Patricia Hayes played Kay Harker (a boy) in both versions.


Frank Little said...

There was a good BBC TV adaptation, too, with Patrick Troughton as the Punch-and-Judy man. It included an episode in the book dropped from the radio adaptation. Its only fault was the rather primitive (by today's CGI standards) animations.

Frank Little said...

Oops! That comes of commenting before reading all the earlier postings, such as "John Masefield, Traffic and Aston Tirrold".

I would add that the harp music Mike Newell remembers must be the rhythmic figure in the slow movement of Hely-Hutchinson's "Carol Symphony". This ingenious orchestration of traditional carols was used as incidental music throughout the 1940s radio adaptation.

Iain Sharpe said...

I agree with Frank, the BBC adaptation in 1984 with Patrick Troughton was really quite magical.

Although I was far too old by that time to be in the target age group I found myself quite enchanted by it.

I bought the DVD a couple of years back and likewise was struck by the outdated animations.

Ian Ridley said...

I bought the TV adaptation only last month and it holds up very well. I loved it as a 12 year old when was first broadcast

Michael said...

I remember making mince pies with my mother on Chrstmas Eve 1966 and listening to the magical radio play. But this particular version seems sadly now to be lost. Such a pity.