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Tribulations surround the making of Darling


I start writing The Glittering Prizes
Frederic Raphael Writer
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So I became a sort of... whatever I became. I don't know. And then I thought – the movies were drying up – I thought I would write a series of plays about people at Cambridge and what happened to them later. So from 1972 on until '76, '75 actually, I wrote a series of plays which is called The Glittering Prizes. In those days the BBC was not the dirigiste place that it is now.

I met somebody who... through my friend David Deutsch I met the head of plays, a man called Gerald Savory, who had one hit in the West End called George and Margaret, who was head of plays. So Gerald said, what do you want to do? And I said, well, I'd like to do a sort of lifeboat series of people at Cambridge, some do well, some don't do well, sort of based on various people I know but not entirely, and he said, well, let's open some champagne, that's fine. Thos days are gone forever, but by God, I do miss them.

So I set about writing [The] Glittering Prizes, and then... and I did. I wrote them in France, and the first play we were going to do in England I came back for the read-through, and then I went back to France again, because by that time our son Stephen, I think, was going to school in France, because we had a... the teacher at the village school had been born in our house, so he said of course I'll take him, so...

Born in America in 1931, Frederic Raphael is a writer who moved to England as a boy. He was educated at Charterhouse School and was a Major Scholar in Classics at St John's College, Cambridge. His articles and book reviews appear in a number of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times and The Sunday Times. He has published more than twenty novels, the best-known being the semi-autobiographical The Glittering Prizes (1976). In 1965 Raphael won an Oscar for the screenplay for the movie Darling, and two years later received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Two for the Road. In 1999, he published Eyes Wide Open, a memoir of his collaboration with the director Stanley Kubrick on the screenplay of Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick's final movie. Raphael lives in France and England and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1964.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: The Glittering Prizes, Cambridge, Gerald Savory

Duration: 1 minute, 30 seconds

Date story recorded: March 2014

Date story went live: 10 September 2014