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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I must have watched this when it was first transmitted in 1975. It was
one of a series of plays called Eleventh Hour - a script written
rehearsed and transmitted within a short period of time - so it had
only limited relevance.
I remember the basic premise of the play: a room in total disarray, with papers lying all over the place. The papers belonged to a lexicographer, who was in the process of compiling a new dictionary or thesaurus. The lexicographer's work was ruined - all his carefully arranged pieces of paper strewn about a room.
There was a french window - and in the french window a shattered pane of glass. Who had wrought this havoc? Was it a burglar, or merely some passing vandal? Vaguely in the background one could hear the dulcet sounds of a cricket match - a typical English summer's day. The main protagonist - played by the peerless Frank Thornton - laments the destruction of his work. And gradually he begins to mix up his words: malapropisms abound.
Which is why I thought of The Boundary this evening. I was eating a macaroon... and for me the word macaroon is now forever associated with the word octoroon, since I saw this play. The script was co-authored by Tom Stoppard, and bears the hallmark of his playful use of the English language.
And I remember the end moments. A transistor radio sits on a table amongst the chaos, and from it comes the dulcet voice of the famous cricket commentator John Arlott - he too is making a mess of his words! So it now becomes clear what caused the broken pane of glass - and the draft which has blown all the paper about the room.
Does a tape of this transmission still exist? Or even a copy of the script?
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