3.1.1-2 Survey of wireless drama in 1923
3.1.3-12 Cecil Lewis's Broadcasting from Within (Lewis 1924)
3.1.13-15 'Five Birds in a Cage' (29 November1923 London 7.50-8.25)
3.1.17 Archibald Haddon, wireless critic on 'Five Birds in a Cage', talk broadcast 5 December 1923
3.1.18 Elizabeth Jennings
3.1.19 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' (15 December 1923 Bournemouth 8)
The B.B.C. Yearbook 1930 described 1923, the first year of broadcasting as 'pioneering' (166) and Cecil Lewis, enthusiastically, as one in which the B.B.C. was contending with 'enormous difficulties' and in 'one long fight' (Lewis 1924, 54) . But of the new wireless drama, all he could report was that it would 'come into much greater prominence later' (61 see 3.1.4).
Shakespeare productions and the 'birth' of radio drama are discussed in 3.2. Variety is in 3.3. The first Marconi House studio and conditions of early wireless production are entertainingly described by Cecil Lewis (Lewis, 1924, 26-31) and were dealt with in 1.2, but will be returned to here and in 3.2. The first 'Shakespeare' (as I will refer to it) of 16 February 1923 (see 3.2.4 following) took place in the Marconi studio and perhaps the British Empire Shakespeare Society broadcast for Shakespeare's birthday on 23 April 1923 (3.2.23). Early variety artists broadcasting there are listed in 3.3.2 following.
The move was to Savoy Hill, officially on 1 May 1923, and its single studio (Studio No. 3, 'First Studio (1923-4)', see 1.4.1). This studio was heavily draped and sound was deadened too. A description of this Studio is worth quoting again:
one studio only had been built to cope with all the programmes. .. Rehearsals and auditions had to be conducted as best they could be in this studio and in other small rooms.
.. this first studio was very heavily draped. Six air-spaced layers of fire-proof sacking covered the walls and ceiling and a thick carpet was spread about the floor. The result was according to expectations. All who entered that studio were impressed with the dead effect it had on the voice or on music. To the artist not used to broadcasting, this naturally was a great strain, and to an orchestra and its conductor the result was entirely artificial, in that they could not, as it were, properly hear themselves playing. They were unable to gauge and modify the effect of their performance.
(West, A.G.D., 'Programmes from Five Studios. Behind the scenes at London Station', 'The Radio Times' 5 February 1926 p. 292)
But it was possible for 2LO production to expand. This is shown by the four full-length Shakespeares: 'Twelfth Night' (28 May 1923), 'The Merchant of Venice' (15 June 1923), 'Romeo and Juliet' (5 July 1923) and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (25 July 1923) (3.2.24 onwards). But 2LO was slow in the second half of the year. It was only on 29 November1923, with what was billed as a 'studio performance' of the one-act stage play, 'Five Birds in a Cage' (Miss Gertrude E. Jennings), under producer Milton Rosmer, that London started to catch up. Some regional Stations moved forward with full-length plays and one-act plays, other than Shakespeare, Cardiff especially:
22 May 1923 Tuesday Cardiff 9.30-10.15
Oscar Wilde, 'A Woman of No Importance' Act IV
29 May 1923 Tuesday Cardiff 9.30-10.15
Act from selected play
Thursday 5 July 1923 Cardiff 7.10 (mixed)
'Paolo and Francesca' (Stephen Phillips)
Saturday 6 October 1923 Cardiff 7.30-9.0
'Rob Roy' (Scott)
Manchester was also early with 'Gentlemen, The King!' (Campbell Todd) on 4 August 1923. Here is Glasgow and the first production by the future Station Director in Aberdeen and then Dramatic Director in Savoy Hill (from July 1924), R.E. Jeffrey:
Thursday 28 September 1923 Glasgow
'Rob Roy' (Scott)
produced by R.E. Jeffrey
('The Radio Times' noted 'Every player has been chosen specially to suit the requirements of broadcasting.')
Thursday 6 December 1923 Glasgow 7.35
'Trilby' (adapted from the novel of George du Maurier)
Monday 31 December 1923 Glasgow 7.30-8.50
'The Jolly Beggars'
play produced by Mr. George Ross
Here are Bournemouth and Birmingham:
Wednesday 24 October 1923 Bournemouth 9.0
'The Brass Door Knob' (Matthew Boulton)
by "The Radio Players"
9.30 'The Heart of a Clown'
by "The Radio Players"
Friday 23 November1923 Birmingham 9.30-10
Dorchester Hardy Players
from their performance at Dorchester of the Hardy verse play, 'The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall' (Bournemouth)
Saturday 15 December 1923 Bournemouth 8
Miss Rita Owen and Mr. Edward James in 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' (Norman McKinnel)
This is a varied and adventurous mix, presumably showing the local enterprise of the regional Station Directors and making do with whatever actors and likely scripts were locally attractive. The Dorchester players were brought in to the Birmingham studio, presumably on their stage tour. 'Paolo and Francesca' (Stephen Phillips) and 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' (Norman McKinnel) are discussed below. I cannot trace 'The Jolly Beggars' and no playwright is listed. Matthew Boulton was an actor as well, and has eight London stage credits in Wearing for 1920-3. When 'The Brass Door-Knob' was broadcast again (6 November 1925 Nottingham 8-10) it was described as 'a spy play'. Boulton's first radio acting credit is 23 July 1926 2LO for Bert in 'Five Birds in a Cage' (Elizabeth Jennings), presented by R.E. Jeffrey.
As Bournemouth shows, there were already the beginnings of regional repertory companies calling themselves 'The Radio Players'. Gielgud, 1957, 18 notes that Cecil Lewis 'put it into the mind' of Reith that 'Drama was Worth Broadcasting' and he proved this 'by the production of three quarter-hour dramatic sketches'. These appear to have been the following:
[B.B.C. Programme Records] p 15
Thursday 10 May 1923
9.0 'Love In A Village', by Mayfair Dramatic Club from Guildhall School of Music
Tuesday 15 May 1923 London 9-9.45
Mr. Norman V. Norman and Miss Beatrice Wilson in a duologue "Love in a Train"
(London 9.0-9.45) within variety programme of songs (Times p 12)
[not in [B.B.C. Programme Records] p 15
lists Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S.J.C. Hoare: The Air Defence of London
Thursday 23 August 1923 London 8.30-9.45
Mr Ernest Thesiger and Miss Nancy Roberts in 'Aunt Elija'
Thursday 29 November1923 London 7.50-8.25
Studio performance of 'Five Birds in a Cage' one-act play (Miss Gertrude E. Jennings)
producer Milton Rosmer
A discussion of 'Five Birds in a Cage' follows in 3.1.13. As I argue below, 'Five Birds in a Cage' posed the greatest production challenge yet to 2LO, however 'achieved' or 'unachieved' the play was in wireless transmission. Cecil Lewis published his Broadcasting From Within in January 1924, and in a passage about relays from theatres (Chapter VII A Crop of Troubles), when he had to negotiate his way through the very troubled situation of boycott and put out diplomatic gestures of peace, he argued for in-house production:
It is therefore obvious that very little of the theatre atmosphere can be put over by wireless. Very few plays in the field of legitimate drama could be transmitted at all since the players rarely speak straight to the microphone (a very necessary consideration) and are at constantly varying distances from it. For purely technical reasons, therefore, as far as legitimate drama goes, we can surely do better in our own studio where conditions are all adapted or adaptable to our medium.
(Lewis, 1924, 86)
When did his proofs for the book to go off to the printers? Judging by what he wrote of 'Drama' (shortly below), this was before 'Five Birds in a Cage'. He does not seem to write with the knowledge that Savoy Hill could get on with play production to match some of the regional Stations. When Lewis looked back over 1923, at least he could claim 'Shakespearean recitals' among the programmes that 'cannot appeal to the majority' (53) and put a positive spin on this. But overall, he had to admit:
Drama. - This side of our programmes is one which, I feel, will come into much greater prominence later. Whether it takes the form of comedy, tragedy, or narrative sound-pictures, there is no doubt that a great field lies open here, as it did in the case of the cinema, waiting to be explored.
The pages before this had described the whirlwind of activity which was 'Music', controlled by Percy Pitt and Stanton Jefferies. 'Drama' comes a poor second in that he reports nothing other than:
So far, we have largely contented ourselves (I think wisely) with Shakespeare, whose amazing beauty lies almost entirely in the spoken word as a means of presenting character and situation. No better plays for broadcasting could have been written.
He swiftly moves on to the matter of cutting a selected play 'so that it can be presented as a consecutive whole in under two hours' and credited Cathleen Nesbitt 'who has tackled this part of the work so enthusiastically' (62). He mysteriously mentions:
Others also have helped in the production of modern plays with considerable success.
Presumably he means production in Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow etc., and he does not mention his own part in initiating drama in London. His anecdote about Spot effects in 'The Merchant of Venice' refers to the eight scenes celebration of the Bard's birthday on 23 April 1923 2LO 6.0 ('Merchant' trial scene), and also to the full-length production on 15 June 1923:
In the "Merchant of Venice," Shylock dropping the scales in the trial scene was done by letting a heavy iron chain with one-inch links fall into a paint-pot! People said it was most realistic! When he sharpened his knife, the noise was done with two pieces of angle-iron, which were slowly scraped across each other.
In the context of 1924, this must have struck his readers as a most bizarre piece of microphone business. He also gives the information that there were only two or three rehearsals:
The cast having assembled, the play is gone through two or three times in order to perfect cues, musical interludes, etc., and is finally listened to at the end of the amplifier on a pair of telephones in another room.
The four full-length Shakespeares were broadcast in the evening, the first at 7.30, and the others at 8.0. But there was only one Savoy Hill studio, transmitting all day. This suggests two read-throughs during the day, morning and afternoon, wherever in this early and partial use of the Savoy Hill building the orchestra rehearsed, with some added cue-to-cue rehearsal in the studio before broadcast. And the rehearsal with musicians had to be fitted in somewhere too.
Later in the book, Lewis looks ahead to radio drama as 'A New Art' (119-33). This section is extraordinarily prophetic and further, in 'Stereoscopic Broadcasting' (137 ff.), he explains the possibility of listening to a Shakespeare play or an opera performance in stereo using two transmitters broadcasting on different frequencies. His title 'Stereoscopic' suggests an analogy with the photographic toy, the stereoscope, popular from the 1850s (Crary, 1993, 132). This mounted two photographs of the same scene, but slightly different, mounted on extended glasses, and giving a 3-D effect.
Lewis had already been a wireless actor, as Prologue to two of the Shakespeares (5 July 1923 London 8.0-10.0 'Romeo and Juliet' and 25 July 1923 London 8-10 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'). And surely he directed all of these, or at least he had taken a leading technical role? (In David Pownall's artfully realised recreation of the Savoy Hill 'Twelfth Night', a radio play with the title of 'An Epiphanous Use of the Microphone' discussed in 3.2.27, Reith is a domineering wireless director.)
Lewis acknowledges again that:
Dramatic recitals broadcast have so far been limited to Shakespeare and short modern plays. Some of these presentations have been partially successful, but none entirely so, because they have been written originally for quite a different form of presentation.
He looks to the commissioning of originations, and these would not just be dominated by dialogue:
It is fairly safe to assume, therefore, that plays will be written specially for broadcasting which will be dependent on conversation and sound for their effects.
He was about to give that commission, via Nigel Playfair, to Richard Hughes (4.2), and Hughes would provide ample Spot effects in 'A Comedy of Danger'. As I explain below in 3.1.13-15, the key link for 2LO was 'Five Birds in a Cage' (29 November1923 London 7.50-8.25) with all its noisy Spot.
The following pages in Broadcasting from Within subtitled 'A New Art' are remarkable, for they forecast new formalist techniques before the invention of the technology needed to realise them. It is as if Lewis foresaw that the microphone of the far future would become as mobile as already film cameras of the silent screen had become. (Lewis was shortly to write 'Broadcasting and the Cinema' in 'The Radio Times' of 4 April 1924 (p 62).)
As far as the evidence of surviving scripts goes, these techniques would start to emerge in his adaptation of Conrad's novel, 'Lord Jim' (27 February 1927) and his own play 'Pursuit' (6 January 1928 Daventry 8.45-10 and 7 January 1928 2LO London 5XX 7.45-9.15). There were short scenes, narrative-driven, an exuberant use of soundscape effects and lots of outside locations represented. Such formalist adventures may well have been exhibited in Lewis's other plays, but the scripts do not survive. In terms of radio drama history, as outlined in the Introduction and Chapter 1, these formalist adventures emerge most successfully for the first time in wireless - again on the surviving evidence - in L. du Garde Peach ('Ingredient X' in 1929).
To repeat, 'A New Art' seems to foretell digital production of the 1990s onwards. Here are Lewis's creative suggestions. Firstly, actors' voices must 'express feeling with all the delicacy of tone colour corresponding with every shade of mood' (120). Bernard Shaw would take this point further and demand that the B.B.C. train their actors in wireless skills ('The Radio Times' 14 November 1924 p 357). As for director and playwright, plays 'must be short', 'largely narrative in form' (121) and 'develop quickly'. Characters' voices must be differentiated, 'each voice character being sharply contrasted in tone'. Cast numbers must be 'very limited', otherwise the listener would be 'mazed in a whirl of voices and argument'. All of this argument, as yet, I analyse as no more than Lewis's commonsense observations from the broadcasting and reading of popular one-act stage plays. But they are both refreshing and remarkable, for they are the first statement of the basics of radio directing.
But what follows is inspiring and understandably naïve, in view of forthcoming storms over discovering radio drama's 'art form', the ability to 'transmit realistic sounds' (Sydney Moseley in 1927 etc.) and listeners' complaints about 'clanking' in balancing effects with voices. Scenes 'can be set from one end of the world to the other' and here is the prophecy 'need not all be faked either, nor performed within the studio [but] from the heart of the woods, from riverside or storm-swept hill' (120-1). Lewis foretells the technique of recording OB, to use today's terminology, and what is more, the capturing of dialogue within its real-life soundscape, and the avoidance of the neutral acoustic:
That confusion of small noises which we call silence is painfully absent from a studio where the microphone is in circuit and nothing is said [we need] the background of sound .. from out of which the voices speak.
The conditions of Savoy Hill production in 1923 had led Lewis to this. In effect, he denounces the ambience at present in the one Savoy Hill studio, with its six layers of fire-proof sacking and heavy carpet:
. when the voices speak, they speak out of a background of dead silence. This is unnatural. It spoils all illusion.
Lewis must have been very much part of the engineering debate at the end of 1923 which led to the building of a new larger studio, less heavily draped than the original. In the first, original studio, artists were not able to 'hear themselves playing' (The Radio Times 5 February 1926 p 292, 'Programmes from Five Studios' and see main discussion of Savoy Hill in 1.4, and also 3.2.23, 3.2.26).
Lewis urges the use of a linking narrator 'a Voice which carries story and action forward' and also a 'largely narrative' drama, 'in a series of sound pictures' (121). What is this 'Voice'? Of course, it is the 'Narrator Method', by which stage directions from the script of the adapted theatre play were read to the microphone. But also behind this 'Voice' is the tradition of the narrating or editorial voice in the classical realist nineteenth-century novel, and also the use of intertitles in some silent films (as in D.W. Griffith).
Lewis's call for narrative and 'Voice' is significant. It is firstly a call for popular entertainment as I interpret it, particularly when put in the context of what one-act plays were popular on stage and in the amateur movement in the 1920s. Further, popular silent film was based on story-telling, ever since the 'turn to narrative' by film from 1908 onwards (Abel, 1995, 8). Lewis's programme for 'Voice' and 'largely narrative' drama also turns away from the Modernist novel, as exemplified by Virginia Woolf, I would argue. (See Taylor, 1990, 231 ff. on Modernism and dramatic character, and the turning-point of 1910 in English Modernism, in his discussion of Shakespeare.) In spite of Drakakis, 1981, 2, I do not see a tempting trace of Modernism here. (I deal with this further in 3.2.22.)
Lewis's most exciting idea is the 'series of sound pictures'. This immediately breaks free from the wireless 'Stage Model' of the adapted one-act, with its fixedness in the one stage scene, usually a domestic box set. 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' (15 December 1923 Bournemouth 8), discussed below in 3.1.16, is a good example. How adventurous were R.E. Jeffrey's 'Rob Roy' (28 September 1923 Glasgow), adapted from Sir Walter Scott's novel, or 'Trilby' (6 December 1923 Glasgow 7.35)? The latter was already a stage success, but 'Rob Roy'? It was mentioned in a feature on R.E. Jeffrey in 'The Radio Times' (14 March 1924 p 460), when his star was rising. Did Lewis get a sense of 'stage pictures' from what he knew of this or was he thinking primarily in terms of film editing?
Lewis was also concerned with realism and the contrast of 'mise en scène' on another 'mise en scène':
Scenes can be set from one end of the world to the other. They need not all be faked either, nor performed within the studio No imagination can picture the scene unless the background of sound is there from out of which the voices speak [scenes can be set within one play] in the traffic of London, in the shops of some great mechanical factory, by the side of an old mill wheel, a busy railway station, or a musical evening at some fashionable "at home"
Lewis then turns to the many difficulties involved. The microphone 'does not give a faithful imitation of certain noises' (122) and the greatest problem is 'timing':
Scene following scene is easy on a theatre stage, but when, as in wireless, one scene is in the Strand, the next in Surrey, a third, perhaps, on the beach at Bournemouth, and so on, it will tax the ingenuity of the producer to synchronise his production.
Again, one is astonished at this forward thinking. There was still only one studio in Savoy Hill and multi-studio production was not to be invented till 1925. The most spectacular realisation of Lewis's dream was to be in 'Carnival' (Compton MacKenzie's novel adapted by Lewis) (9 January 1929 London and Daventry 5XX 9.35-11). This was the well-publicised first major production of Val Gielgud, with forty characters, sixty scenes, music and seven studios in use. Wild-track of gulls in St. James's Park was put onto gramophone records.
Finally, Lewis is confident about future writers, though cautious about expense (a constant theme in his book):
given this craftsmanship, which is easy to the professional playwright, there is, I believe, as vast a stage open as in the other forms of drama.
Playwrights, of course, were very slow to arrive. He also seems to envisage a sort of touring system for broadcast plays, which would presumably benefit the playwright in royalties, like the long run in a theatre:
This means that wireless dramatic productions are going to be expensive to produce and some means will have to be found whereby the whole country does not get them at once.
And the Dramatic Department, when set up on 11 August 1924, was run on the Repertory Model, as I term it, till national broadcasts of plays fully began with Daventry 5GB. So Lewis, in 'A New Art', wrote in the immediate crisis of the boycott the 'lamentable position of the theatres' (123) and the insufficiencies of the original Savoy Hill studio, but prophesied a radio drama far into the future.
Here is one other note relating to an actor. Ernest Thesiger's first wireless appearance (23 August 1923 'Aunt Elija') was soon followed by:
29 January 1924 2LO
First broadcast mock trial arranged by Ernest Thesiger
(B.B.C. Yearbook 1930, 191)
Thesiger (1879-1961) was soon to publish his autobiography, Practically True (Thesiger 1927), at the age of forty-eight. Though full of anecdote and about his famous role as the Dauphin in the premiere of Bernard Shaw's 'Saint Joan' in 1923, there is no mention of the B.B.C. Thesiger has been described as:
Witty, skeletal Ernest Thesiger by far the most eccentric gay actor around in the 1930s and 1940s
(Bourne, 1996, 17)
Thesiger later published Adventures in Embroidery in 1941, and some later British film credits were: Laurence Olivier's 'Henry V' (1944) as the Duke of Berri, Theodotus in the film version of Shaw's 'Caesar and Cleopatra' (1945) and an industrialist in 'The Man in the White Suit' (1951). But most famously Thesiger was Dr Praetorius in the American 'The Bride of Frankenstein' (1935). (For full credits, see Howes, 1993, 838-9.)
Thursday 29 November1923 London 7.50-8.25
'Five Birds in a Cage' one-act play (Gertrude E. Jennings)
Producer Milton Rosmer
'Five Birds in a Cage' (Gertrude E. Jennings), a one-act stage play, was premiered on 19 March 1915. This was not revived again in London till the Haymarket, 21 May 1925 - 6 June 1925. It is an exuberant social satire, with five characters caught in a London tube lift, quite a conceit for a stage setting. The hierarchy of class is temporarily turned upside-down. Sections of it are quoted here to give a taste of its entertainment value as a play which was repeatedly broadcast, but also because its structure, setting, theme and production were the template for the first radio origination by Richard Hughes ('A Comedy of Danger'), as I argue. So this play is also remarkable because of its opening:
The scene represents a tube lift, broadside on. The wall is covered with framed advertisements, and has a bench running along it. The gates, one at each end, are set at an angle. There is an electric light in the ceiling (C.), and two oil-lamps hang on nails near each gate. The lift measures 8 feet deep by 17 feet wide. As the curtain is rising the sound of ascending lift is heard, and suddenly stopped; then a voice, SUSAN, the Duchess of Wiltshire's.
SUSAN. Oh, the lights have gone out! We've stopped. Why have we stopped?
[The curtain, now up, shows the stage to be in darkness.]
Why have we stopped, liftman?
LIFTMAN. Dunno, lady.
SUSAN. Why have the lights gone out?
LIFTMAN. Dunno, lady.
SUSAN. Well! Strike a match somebody. I do so hate being in the dark. Don't be so helpless, Leonard! A match!
LEONARD. I'm sorry, Susan dear, I haven't one.
SUSAN. Has anyone else?
[A match is now struck by BERT, and a tube lift is dimly visible in which are four passengers and the LIFTMAN.]
(Marriott, 1928, 195-6)
As will be discussed in the next Chapter, this is the first broadcast play with the action in darkness, and the opening words 'Oh, the lights have gone out!' were to become the challenge just two months later for Richard Hughes's origination, 'A Comedy of Danger'. As the first main non-Shakespearean production in 2LO, it is witty and urbane entertainment.
The five characters are as follows:
Susan, the Duchess of Wiltshire
Leonard, Lord Porth
Nelly, a millener's assistant
Bert, a workman (bricklayer)
Horace, the liftman ('Orace 'Erbert Evans)
'Five Birds in a Cage' was revived by 2LO twice:
Tuesday 11 April 1924 London 7.30-9.30
Produced by Milton Rosmer [the original producer of the 29 November 1923 broadcast]
With Athena Seyler
Friday 23 July 1926 2LO London 8-8.30
Presented by R.E. Jeffrey
With Gladys Young, Reginald Bach, H.R. Hignett, Matthew Boulton and Jane Bacon.
Gordon Lea directed it also in the Newcastle Station (15 April 1925). Milton Rosmer (1881-1971), the director of this first 2LO broadcast of the play, was a successful London actor-director-producer, involved in 1923 both with the plays of John Drinkwater ('Mary Stuart' and 'Oliver Cromwell') and with contemporary comedies. He had already been involved as an actor with two theatre relays by 2LO: 'Oliver Cromwell' from His Majesty's on 12 July 1923 and 'Magic' (G.K. Chesterton) from the Everyman, 23 August 1923.
Continuing with 'Five Birds', when the Liftman lights the lamp, the characters are revealed:
[The lamp now burns brightly, and shows SUSAN, a handsome, smart woman of thirty, very well dressed in a gown that does up at the back; LORD PORTH, a well-dressed, good-looking man; BERT, a handsome young workman with a bag of tools; and NELLY, a pretty, fragile-looking young girl, who is carrying a large cardboard box.]
I have given these stage directions, because if the broadcast used the 'Narrator Method', as it was later to be called, an Announcer would not only read the opening scene setting, but also some directions as the dialogue proceeded and explaining stage action. Below in 3.1.17, I will introduce a remarkable wireless review of this play by Archibald Haddon and he credits 'producer and announcer, Mr. Milton Rosmer' (Haddon, 1924, 123). This strongly suggests that Milton read out the stage directions, or an edited version of them.
The Duchess Susan attacks Lord Porth for his unmanly behaviour they are using public transport because his car broke down going to the night club. Nelly is upset because she must deliver a gown to a lady by half past seven and the handsome, guileless workman Bert comforts her. There is political satire as well:
SUSAN [pushes him back]. All right, all right, all right. [Slight pause.] Being a duchess has never prevented me from studying human nature. I travel third class, I go in buses, even in trams. And so you see! Besides, I am a Socialist. I don't think these distinctions should exist. I consider myself and that young person quite [Looking at NELLY.]
LEONARD [moving C.]. Susan!
SUSAN. Yes, I do, Leonard. That young person and myself quite the same-and as to you, Leonard, and that gentleman - - well, the only difference between you is that he can light a lamp and you can't.
The Duchess continues to attack and verbally to emasculate Leonard (in contrast to what is to develop between Bert and Nelly):
SUSAN. That wasn't a speech, and don't call me dear. It makes me prickle when I think of what you are, Leonard.
So useless, So very, very useless. You're nothing but a shop window. You have a straight nose, you have a manner, and-well-you look intelligent, but what use are you? If I had married you how ashamed I should have felt! What a failure as a husband! Worse than my first!
LEONARD. Still, dear, one doesn't marry people for their behaviour in lifts. A comparatively small part of one's life is spent in lifts.
SUSAN. Really! At this rate it seems to me a very large part! [Looks at BERT.] That young man is strangely decorative, isn't he? He reminds me of a picture by Millet.
LEONARD. Yes, Bubbles.
SUSAN. I did not say Millais. Mother Earth, and all that sort of thing. That's what we all need. We shall never rise by machinery.
The topsy-turvy of social roles continues. Susan quizzes Bert, who has attended her Socialist rallies, but who has been made a foreman bricklayer today. Leonard talks sympathetically to Nelly, and then the young Bert begins a shy but sincere and tentative courtship of Nelly. Bert climbs out of the lift gate in a rescure attempt, though it's 'again' the regilations' and Nelly has an outburst against 'ladies'. A crisis is reached when heroic Bert struggles back with the instruction that the Liftman is to climb down:
SUSAN [to LEONARD) after pause]. After all, it's better he should go. He's exceedingly plain, and Bert is really wonderful. And so clever! I must get to know him better. Leonard, hold the lantern for that gentleman.
[LEONARD takes the lantern from BERT. ]
BERT. Thank you, sir.
SUSAN. You do believe in Brotherhood, don't you, Mr Wilson?
BERT [backing away]. I think I'll get the other lamp, mum. [Crosses R.]
The lift is violently shaken:
SUSAN. Oh, my dear friends, this is a wonderful example of Brotherhood. Here we are, four of us, in this little cage-four of us who half an hour ago didn't even know each other
LEONARD. I knew you, Susan.
SUSAN. Don't call me dear!
LEONARD. I didn't, dear.
SUSAN. And in a few minutes we shall all perish together.
LEONARD. I sincerely hope not.
SUSAN. Hand in hand we will face this ordeal together. [Holds out a hand to each man. LEONARD takes it. She pulls it away.]
BERT. You'll excuse me, mum, but if I'm to face anything hand in hand with anyone, it's with this young lady. She's out of my class, I know-I'm only a working man-she's got good pluck, a kind heart, and a pretty face, and she could do better, but she's my choice to walk out with, and I don't care who knows it.
LEONARD. Hear, hear!
SUSAN [haughtily]. I wasn't proposing to walk out with you. This is no moment for walking out. I wish it were!
The Duchess makes desperate and unlikely promises to all and then discovers the gown box Nelly was delivering has her own name on it. She is the 'lady' Nelly is so upset about. The Liftman climbs back, all is restored and suddenly, former social relations are resumed:
SUSAN. Saved! Then we're not going to be killed! Oh what a mercy!
LEONARD. I must say I was in a bit of a funk, Susan dear.
SUSAN. Don't call me dear! How fortunate it's all turned out SO well, isn't it? Most fortunate. Where are the bags and parasols and things I had with me, oh, there they are! Gather them all up, Leonard. [He gives her her handbag and parasol] You shall come home with me, Leonard-as far as my door. I'm still feeling very shaky, you know-oh, very, very shaky! Let's get out. [Suddenly remembers BERT and NELLY.] Good evening. Now, you'll bring my dress around as quickly as possible. Don't delay. I shall make no complaint this time.
[LIFTMAN climbs in.]
Ah! Here's Horace! Well, Horace, the danger is really over, I suppose?
LIFTMAN. Danger mum? You ain't been in no more danger than a barrel of bananas.
SUSAN. Bananas! Oh, how nasty!
We are almost at the end of the play. To sum up on 'Five Birds in a Cage', a stage play from 1915. This is splendidly alive dialogue, and it satirically contrasts attitudes and manners in a forced encounter, and all inside a strongly London environment. It was a deft choice for broadcast, because it had a wide public appeal.
The political satire was even more apposite post-War and yet raised no problems about 'controversial' material in the B.B.C. (not resolved till a statement by the Prime Minister ('The Times' 6 March 1928 p 10)). There is more than a dash of Bernard Shaw here. The Duchess of the 1915 stage play is obviously an intellectual Fabian, with a slight suggestion of Beatrice Webb. Could 'Susan, Duchess of Wiltshire' be imagined as a guest of Lady Ottoline Morrell at Garsington? Morrell's 'court' included 'a glittering, if somewhat precious assortment of artists and intellectuals' and Ramsay MacDonald was a regular visitor (Marquand, 1997, 189). Eight years later, the wireless Duchess is now surely Labour. This was just before the 6 December 1923 election, which, though the Conservatives won, the Labour Party and the Liberals made strong gains. Bert the bricklayer was being politicised, but in his promotion, resists being unionised. He is heading for the Tory branch of the petty bourgeoisie.
And what of production in Savoy Hill? 'Five Birds in a Cage' makes quite a few radio demands, to modern ears the close environment of the lift, forcing open the lift door, climbing out and in, shaking the lift, staggering, echoes down the shaft, the call of the rescuers:
[A loud, hollow echo of voices is heard.]
[Voice off: " Hurry up there."]
SUSAN. Oh, that very unpleasant noise! Do go and stop it!
LIFTMAN. It's all very well for you, lady-
[Hollow voice heard again : " Can't you hear what I'm telling you?"]
[A loud bang is heard and rattling of chains, and the shaking stops suddenly.]
All of this is common currency to stage technicians and those doing the 'hollow' calling from the wings whenever the play was performed on stage. Did this 'get over' on the wireless? Archibald Haddon's review, discussed in the next section, suggests that this happened. To sum up. The more one rereads 'Five Birds in a Cage' the dark, the rescue and the contrasting characters in their emergency the more one is reminded of Richard Hughes' 'A Comedy of Danger', but without the comedy and urbane wit.
There is a precious piece of evidence to add here. Archibald Haddon, Dramatic Critic to the B.B.C., broadcast a talk entitled 'Growth of National Drama' on 5 December 1923 on 2LO. He addressed the listeners as 'Hullo Playgoers!', his catch phrase. Fortunately he published this collection of scripts as Hullo Playgoers. Wireless Theatre Talks Broadcast to the British Isles from 2LO, an attractively-presented volume (Haddon 1924). Haddon had an agenda. He supports the B.B.C., particularly in lobbying through the difficult boycott, and in becoming a sort of cheer-leader for listeners, urging them on.
He veered off in his broadcast of 5 December to give a review of 'Five Birds in a Cage' and this is history, for it is the first detailed attempt at radio drama criticism. His chosen topics also let us in on issues of reception for the founding audience of wireless drama. Indeed the whole volume is instructive on the listeners acclimatizing themselves to the new 'radioplay', as he terms it (as already discussed in 1.7) and for his building a new, friendly wireless vocabulary.
He starts by mentioning that the production 'Five Birds in a Cage' had taken place in the same studio ('wirelessed from the room where I am speaking' (123)), and that he had heard the play 'in a town thirty-five miles from London'. This crops up regularly in his talks, and is empasised here. It must refer to his home. Haddon is representative of the B.B.C. listeners-in to what is radiated from the aerial over Selfridges in Oxford Street.
Firstly, he is amazed at the technical and creative quality of the experience:
[I] was more than satisfied indeed, I was delighted. I could almost hear the performers breathing.
He comments on the actors' vocal skills and that each character was differentiated:
Not a syllable was slurred; the vocal tones were as clear as the proverbial bell; and the various enunciations of the players, all strikingly contrasted according to character and accent, were every bit as distinct as they were when I saw the play in its original form at the Haymarket Theatre.
So two worries are answered to here. Radio acting is possible and 'clustering' (as I term the dangerous sameness or overlapping in voices (Beck, 1997, 97)) is not a danger. Indeed, the experience matches the theatre original. What a guarantee! Crucially, he assures listeners that the new task of becoming the first audience of wireless drama 'filling-in' in the imagination or perceptual completion (Beck, 1999, 1.7) is problem-free:
It was astonishing to find how easily and naturally the missing visual effects were realised by the imagination without the least expenditure of mental effort.
Then he instructs his audience on how he himself supplemented what he had heard:
The scene of the piece is a London tube lift which has stuck half-way down. One of the characters, a workman, descends the lift-shaft to reconnoitre. Thirty-five miles from London, I heard the workman's voice receding and fading as he made the descent, and I could hear the women in the lift above him giving tiny little exclamations of apprehension lest he should slip and fall.
Here is the script:
[BERT prepares to descend.]
NELLY. Oh, no!
BERT. It's all right, miss, give you my word. 'Ere, my lad, you'll 'urt yer 'eart if you rush about like that. [Descends.]
SUSAN. That young man is very handsome-and so agile. What a pity it is, Leonard, that you can do nothing! Did they teach you nothing at school?
LEONARD. No, dear, one doesn't go to school to learn things.
[A loud, hollow echo of voices is heard.]
SUSAN. What is that terrible noise?
NELLY. He's fallen!
LIFTMAN. No, 'e ain't.
SUSAN. There it is again. What is it, Leonard? What is it?
LEONARD [R.G.]. It sounds like a trombone.
SUSAN [C.]. Absurd!
LEONARD. I didn't say it was a trombone.
LIFTMAN. He's a-comm' up.
(Marriott, 1928, 208-9)
Other elements are brought in here by Haddon: perspective in the 'mise en scène' and actors' movements off. Haddon assures us that what he called in other talks the 'mind-pictures' (again a term of the time) work and we hear that characters move around, up and down, backwards and forwards. There is also the matter of the women's 'tiny little exclamations of apprehension'. I take these to be actors' additions to the script, called in professional parlance the 'umms'. These are characters' emotional reactions while another is speaking and are discussed in Beck, 1997, 86-9. It could be conceded that Haddon only summarises the short agitated lines of Susan and Nelly here. But if there is the possibility that the 'umms' (or paralanguage) technique is recorded here for the first time, it is fascinating for the history of radio acting.
Haddon also acclaims another novel element in the production, Spot effects:
I could hear the soft drawing of a match over a match-box when an agitated male passenger in the lift sought to relieve his feelings with a cigarette, and the Cockney liftsman ordering "No smoking in the lift!" I could hear the lift gates rattling when the lift arrived at the bottom
His last detailed point is about the range of the acting:
I did not miss the smallest stutter of the dude passenger who wanted to know "What are they d-d-d-doing?"
This is Lord Porth, who has a stutter appropriate to his class through the script and here, when the lift suddenly lurches:
LEONARD. D-d-damn the thing! What are they doing!
For Haddon, all of this fullnes of acting 'got over', as he would say in another of his talks. He then rounds off with a paean of praise, the name credits and another swipe at the boycott:
All this is marvellous, yet it is only the beginning, the inception of the radioplay. The producer and announcer, Mr. Milton Rosmer, did the thing perfectly, and Miss Athene Seyler, Mr. Hugh Wakefield, and Mr. Fred Grove were excellent. The radioplay, when it is in full blast, will be a profitable new medium of expression for the actor. That being the case, I am amazed that the actors' professional representatives should even think of obstructing its progress. What folly! What egregious short-sightedness!
(Haddon, 1924, 123-4)
Gertrude E. Jennings (died 1958) had twenty-five plays in print in 1926, according to Firkins (Firkins, 1927, 93), and thirteen London productions in Wearing for 1920-3. She was a sophisticated and successful comedy playwright and she was an actress. Two other plays of hers were broadcast:
Monday 4 May 1925 Newcastle 9-9.30
'Between the Soup and the Savoury' (Gertrude E. Jennings)
Tuesday 20 October 1925 Liverpool 9.30-9.50
The Station Repertory Players
'The Rest Cure' comedy in one act (Gertrude G. Jennings)
Presented by Edward P.Genn
2LO revived 'Five Birds in a Cage':
Friday 23 July 1926 2LO London 8-8.30
'Five Birds in a Cage' (Elizabeth Jennings)
presented by R.E. Jeffrey
Susan Gladys Young
Horace Reginald Bach
Leonard H.R. Hignett
Bert Matthew Boulton
Nellie Jane Bacon
Short, 1942, 202-3 said Jennings 'is best remembered for her one-act plays, which owed much of their quality to the fact that Miss Jennings had herself been a working actress'. MacQueen-Pope described her 'The Young Person in Pink' which ran at the Haymarket, Aldwych and Queen's in 1920 (208 performances) and again in 1923 at the Adelphi and Criterion (98 performances), as 'a charming comedy' (MacQueen-Pope, 1959, 41).
Jenning's 'The Young Person in Pink' finished its run at the Criterion on 6 October 1923, so she was a current and fashionable playwright. Donald Calthrop, later to become involved in the Productions Department, played Lord Stevenage in the play.
So as will be further discussed in Chapter 4 regarding Richard Hughes, this 'Five Birds in a Cage' was an unacknowledged template for him in a number of ways. The 2LO production team, under Cecil Lewis, as Gielgud informs us, made their way into radio drama production through some challenges in this play. Of course there remains the question of what, in the wireless technology of the time, was 'achieved' or 'non-achieved' as I term it, and we have the extraordinary benefit of Archibald Haddon's review. However, this is still firmly a wireless play within the 'stage frame' that makes no leaps in time and space.
I now discuss 'The Bishop's Candlesticks':
Saturday 15 December 1923 Bournemouth 8
Miss Rita Owen and Mr. Edward James in 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' (Norman McKinnel)
This was the first broadcast of a play which was to receive five subsequent repeats:
Thursday 10 December 1925 Bournemouth 8.20-8.40
The Station Players
Presented by George Stone
Tuesday 11 January 1927 Cardiff and Daventry 8.5-8.40
Monday 27 June 1927 Birmingham 7.45-9 (mixed)
Presented by Stuart Vinden
Monday 17 October 1927 Hull 7.45-8.5
Tuesday 28 August 1928 Plymouth 5.50-6.30
'The Bishop's Candlesticks' was originally produced at the Duke of York's Theatre on 24 August, 1901. There were five characters:
Persomé, the Bishop's sister, a widow
Sergeant of Gendarmes
The publicity in 'The Radio Times' for a later production gives the following setting:
It is winter time, towards the end of the last century. The plainly but substantially furnished kitchen of the Bishop's cottage, which is about thirty miles from Paris, looks out over the woods. Strangely out of place with their surroundings there are two very handsome candlesticks on the mantelpiece. Persome, the Bishop's sister, and Marie, the maid, are in the kitchen. Marie is stirring some soup while Persome is laying the cloth.
McKinnel adapted this from an incident in Victor Hugo's novel, 'Les Miserables'. The stage directions at the top of the script are as follows:
It is plainly but substantially furnished. There are doors R, L and LC with a window RC, a fireplace with a heavy mantelpiece down R and an oak settle with cushions behind the door LC. A table stands in the window RC with writing materials and crucifix (wood), and an eight-day clock R of the window. Down L is a kitchen dresser with cupboard to lock. An oak dining table stands RC. There are chairs, books, etc. A winter wood scene is represented without. On the mantelpiece are two very handsome candlesticks which look strangely out of place with their surroundings.
Persomé, awaiting the Bishop's arrival, is shocked to discover from the maid that he has sold some silver to give to a poor woman:
BISHOP.. And so you make me this delicious soup. You are very good to me, sister.
PERSOME. Good to you, yes! I should think so. I should like to know where you would be without me to look after you. The dupe of every idle scamp or lying old woman in the Parish.
BISHOP.. If people lie to me they are poorer, not I.
PERSOME. But it is ridiculous, you will soon have nothing left. You give away everything, everything!
BISHOP.. My dear, there is so much suffering in the world, and I can do so little, (sighs) so very little.
PERSOME. Suffering, yes, but you never think of the suffering you cause to those who love you best, the suffering you cause to me.
BISHOP. (rising) You, sister dear. Have I hurt you? Ah, I remember you had been crying. Was it my fault? I didn't mean to hurt you. I am sorry.
(Marriott, 1926, 154)
But there is something the Bishop will not give away:
PERSOME. Oh, go on! go on! you are incorrigible. You'll sell your candlesticks next.
BISHOP. (with real concern) No, no, sister, not my candlesticks.
PERSOME. Oh! Why not? They would pay somebody's rent I suppose.
BISHOP.. Ah, you are good, sister, to think of that, but, but I don't want to sell them. You see, dear, my mother gave them to me on-on her deathbed just after you were born, and-and she asked me to keep them in remembrance of her, so I would like to keep them, but perhaps it is a sin to set such store by them?
Persomé locks the food cupboard and exits. The main incident of the play now occurs:
BISHOP.. Good night!
(Coming to the table and opening a book, then looking up at the candlesticks) They would pay somebody's rent. It was kind of her to think of that.
(The BISHOP stirs the fire, trims the lamp, arranges some books and papers, sits down, is restless and shivers slightly. Clock outside strikes 12, and he settles to read. Music during this.
The CONVICT enters stealthily, he has a long knife and seizes the BISHOP from behind)
CONVICT. If you call out you are a dead man!
BISHOP.. But, my friend, as you see, I am reading. Why should I call out? Can I help you in any way?
CONVICT (hoarsely) I want food. I'm starving, I haven't eaten anything for three days. Give me food quickly, quickly, curse you.
BISHOP. (eagerly) But certainly, my son, you shall have food. I will ask my sister for the keys of the cupboard. (He rises)
CONVICT. Sit down!
(The BISHOP. sits, smiling)
None of that, my friend! I'm too old a bird to be caught with chaff. You would ask your sister for the keys, would you? A likely story! You would rouse the house too. Eh? Ha! ha! A good joke truly. Come, where is the food. I want no keys. I have a wolf inside me tearing at my entrails, tearing me; quick, tell me where the food is.
The Convict threatens both the Bishop and Persomé with his knife and the saintly, charitable Bishop gives him a meal:
CONVICT (cutting off an enormous slice, which he tears with his fingers like an animal. Then starts) What was that? (He looks at the door) Why the devil do you leave the window unshuttered and the door unbarred so that anyone can come in. (He shuts them)
BISHOP.. That is why they are left open.
CONVICT. Well, they are shut now!
BISHOP. (sighs) For the first time in thirty years.
(The CONVICT eats voraciously and throws a bone on the floor)
PERSOME. Oh, my nice clean floor!
(The BISHOP. picks up the bone and puts it on the plate)
CONVICT. You're not afraid of thieves?
BISHOP.. I am sorry for them.
Persomé is allowed to go to bed, and the Bishop draws the Convict's story out:
CONVICT. It's so long ago I forgot, but I had a little cottage, there were vines growing on it, (dreamily) they looked pretty with the evening sun on them and-and-there was a woman-she was (thinking hard) -she must have been my wife-yes. (Suddenly and very rapidly) Yes, I remember! she was ill, we had no food, I could get no work, it was a bad year, and my wife, my Jeanette was ill, dying, (pause) so I stole to buy her food.
(There is a long pause and the BISHOP gently pats the CONVICT's hand)
They caught me. I pleaded to them, I told them why I stole, but they laughed at me, and I was sentenced to ten years in the prison hulks, (pause) ten years in Hell. The night I was sentenced the gaoler told me-told me Jeanette was dead. (Sobs, with fury) Ah, damn them, damn them. God curse them all. (He sinks on the table sobbing)
BISHOP.. Now tell me about the prison ship, about Hell.
The Convict tells of the ship and his recent escape, and he is allowed to sleep in the house:
BISHOP.. They will not molest the BISHOP's friend.
CONVICT. The BISHOP's friend. (He scratches his head, utterly puzzled)
BISHOP.. I will get the coverings.
(The BISHOP. exits L)
CONVICT (looking after him, scratching his head) The BISHOP's friend! (He goes to the fire to warm himself and notices the candlesticks. He looks round to see if he is alone and takes them down, weighing them) Silver, by God, and heavy. What a prize! (He hears the BISHOP coming and in his haste drops one candlestick on the table)
(The BISHOP enters)
BISHOP. (seeing what is going on but going to the settle up L with coverings) Ah, you are admiring my candlesticks. I am proud of them. They were a gift from my mother. A little too handsome for this poor cottage perhaps, but all I have to remind me of her. Your bed is ready. Will you lie down now?
CONVICT. Yes, yes, I'll lie down now. (Puzzled) Look here, why the devil are you-ki-kind to me. (Suspiciously) What do you want? Eh?
After more discussion, the Bishop leaves him to sleep:
The CONVICT waits till he is off then tries the BISHOP's door)
CONVICT. No lock of course. Curse it. (He looks round and sees the candlesticks again) Humph! I'll have another look at them. (He takes them up and toys with them) Worth hundreds I'll warrant. If I had these turned into money they'd start me fair. Humph! The old boy's fond of them too, said his mother gave him them. His mother, yes. They didn't think of my mother when they sent me to Hell. He was kind to me too-but what's a BISHOP. for except to be kind to you. Here, cheer up, my hearty, you're getting soft. God! wouldn't my chain mates laugh to see 15729 hesitating about collaring the plunder because he felt good. Good! Ha! ha! Oh my God! Good! Ha! ha! 15729 getting soft. That's a good one. Ha! ha! No, I'll take his candlesticks and go; if I stay here he'll preach at me in the morning and I'll get soft. Damn him and his preaching too. Here goes!
(He takes the candlesticks, stows them in his coat and cautiously exits LC. As he does so the door slams)
Persomé rouses the Bishop and they discover the theft. The Bishop blames himself for leading the thief into temptation and will not allow her to go to the police. Then:
(Great knocking offstage)
SERGEANT (offstage) Monseigneur, Monseigneur, we have something for you, may we enter?
BISHOP.. Enter, my son.
(The SERGEANT and three GENDARMES, with the CONVICT bound, enters. The SERGEANT carries the candlesticks)
PERSOME. Ah, so they have caught you, villain, have they?
SERGEANT. Yes, madam, we found this scoundrel slinking along the road, and as he wouldn't give any account of himself we arrested him on suspicion. Holy Virgin, isn't he Strong and didn't he struggle? While we were securing him these candlesticks fell out of his pockets.
(PERSOME seizes them, goes to the table and brushes them with her apron lovingly)
I remembered the candlesticks of Monseigneur the BISHOP., so we brought him here that you might identify them and then we'll lock him up.
The Sergeant is forced to release the stranger when the Bishop says he is his friend, invited to sup with him tonight, and that he gave him the candlesticks. In his final dialogue with the Convict, the Bishop gives him the candlesticks and aids his escape:
BISHOP.. And, my son. There is a path through the woods at the back of this cottage which leads to Paris. It is a very lonely path, and I have noticed that my good friends the gendarmes do not like lonely paths at night. It is curious.
CONVICT. Ah, thanks, thanks, Monseigneur. I-I (He sobs) Ah! I'm a fool, a child to cry, but somehow you have made me feel that-that it is just as if some-thing had come into me-as if I were a man again and not a wild beast. (He goes to the door at the back and opens it)
BISHOP. (putting his hand on his shoulder) Always remember, my son, that this poor body is the Temple of the Living God.
CONVICT (with great awe). The Temple of the Living God. I'll remember.
The Bishop resumes his prayer.
This is a simpler narrative and a moving play about Christian forgiveness. Using the 'Narrator Method', it is not technically adventurous, but relies on the dialogue confrontation between the Bishop and the Convict. It is serious-minded, and generates its tension and character as it moves to the climax. It was broadcast later nationally, from Cardiff and Daventry, with the Cardiff Station Company:
Tuesday 11 January 1927 Cardiff and Daventry 8.5-8.40
'The Bishop's Candlesticks' (Norman McKinnel)
A Play in One Act
The Bishop Richard Barron
The Convict Donald Davies
Persome (the Bishop's Sister) Kate Sawle
Marie Susie Stevens
Sergeant of Gendarmes Sidney Evans
Ernest Short described actor-playwright Norman McKinnel (1870-1932), and another play of his 'The Silver Box', in 1906 at the Court Theatre:
Norman McKinnel died at the age of sixty-two. If his name is not writ large in the annals of the stage he served so well, it will be because the stern and sombre characters he usually represented do not haunt the memory of playgoers as do the gay and colourful.
McKinnel has ten London production credits for 1920-3 in Wearing. 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' was also to feature in Reith's amateur theatricals, in December 1925:
The B.B.C. Staff Operatic and Dramatic Society put on a triple bill of one-act plays and the cast of 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' based on an incident in Hugo's 'Les Misérables', included C.D. Carpendale and J.C.W. Reith, the latter playing a thief. 'The performance in the evening was apparently very successful indeed', Reith wrote jubilantly. 'It was the first time I have ever acted, but I always knew I could'. (Diary entry 5 December 1925)
(McIntyre, 1993, 139)
Main Index | Chapter 3 Index | Section 3.2