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I bought the DVD a couple of years back and likewise was struck by the outdated animations.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