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Radio Play Ambros Adelwarth

By chance, I stumbled on a couple of links to a BBC radio play based on the third chapter of W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants. The adaptation was done by Edward Kemp, whose website describes him as “a UK-based writer, theatre director, translator and dramaturg.” Here is the brief description of the play found there:

The Emigrants – Ambros Adelwarth. First broadcast BBC Radio 3 2001. Dramatisation of the story by WG Sebald. Adapted and directed by Edward Kemp, Produced by Jeremy Mortimer with Technical Presentation by Peter Ringrose. Music by Gary Yershon. Cast: John Wood, Henry Goodman, Eleanor Bron, Ed Bishop, Margaret Robertson, Andrew Sachs, John Schwab, Jasmine Hyde, Thomas Arnold, Maximillian Gräber. Violin – Anne Wood. “… richly enjoyable and haunting radio play” – Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph.

A website devoted to British radio listings (no longer extant, unfortunately) once provided slightly different information about The Emigrants – Ambros Adelwarth:

Adapted by Edward Kemp from W G Sebald’s acclaimed novel about the experiences of Jewish emigrants. Inspired by an old photograph album to investigate the life of a lost relative, a man finds himself on a journey that traverses the 20th century, leading him from an American asylum to the shores of the Dead Sea. With John Wood (W), Henry Goodman (Ambros Adelwarth), Eleanor Bron (Aunt Fini), Ed Bishop (Uncle Kasimir), Margaret Robertson (Aunt Lina), Andrew Sachs (Dr Abramsky), Cosmo Solomon (John Schwab), Thomas Arnold, Jamsine Hyde and Maximilian Graber. Music by Gary Yershon. Directed by Edward Kemp.

That’s all I can find out about this tantalizing play.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I have just discovered this fascinating site and the above information about my adaptation of Ambros Adelwarth. I hope to be able to write something for you about the adaptation in due course – but for now, the information above is accurate, the play has been broadcast twice by the BBC (once before and once after Sebald’s death) and – according to my royalties – by one or two other radio stations. In the course of adapting the piece I spent an enthralling half-day with Sebald, who was extraordinarily generous, very ready to talk about his life and work and hugely informative. We ended the conversation with an agreement to discuss a number of German-literature related subjects at a later date – in particular he was keen to persuade British theatre to consider Schnitzler as seriously as we do Chekhov – it was a conversation I was eager to continue, but one which was curtailed by his untimely death.

    September 9, 2007

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