L.A. Theatre Works, the world’s leading producer of audio theater, has commissioned and recorded an audio adaptation by the BBC’s Kate McAll of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
The Sun Also Rises is a poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I “lost” generation. A group of friends decamp from 1920s Paris for the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. Jake loves the aristocratic Brett Ashley but Brett’s wandering eye lands on a young toreador. In the week of drinking, bullfighting and jealousy that follows, friendships are upended and hopes for love dashed.
“Kate’s adaptation adeptly sets the tone of life in the aftermath of World War I for the listener,” says L.A. Theatre Works producer Anna Lyse Erikson, who directs the recording. “She captures Hemingway’s voice, and clarifies the parallels he draws of bullfighting to war, and to life.”
Originally published in 1926, and inspired by actual events, The Sun Also Rises was Hemingway’s first novel, and many consider it to be his best. In 1924, Hemingway traveled from Paris to Pamplona with his wife, Hadley Richardson, and the American writer John Dos Passos. He returned in 1925 with another group of American and British ex-pats, and their experiences and complex romantic entanglements became the basis of the book. According to “Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises” by Lesley M.M. Blume, the characters were modeled closely enough on Hemingway’s own circle of friends that “the portraits would haunt [them] for the rest of their lives.”
Bringing the L.A. Theatre Works recording to life are actors Patrick Heusinger (Absentia, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) as Jake Barnes, an American ex-patriot living in Paris and Hemingway’s alter-ego; Rhian Rees (Halloween) as Lady Brett Ashley; Geoffrey Arend (Goliath, Physical, Madame Secretary) as Robert Cohen; Seamus Dever (Castle)as Bill Gorton; André Sogliuzzo (American Dad) as Mike Campbell and the Count; Devon Sorvari (Elaine Robinson in the first national tour of The Graduate) as Frances and Georgette; Herbert Sigüenza (Culture Clash) as Spanish hotelkeeper Montoya; and newcomer Derrick Kemp as the young toreador, Pedro Romero.
L.A. Theatre Works stands apart in its approach to making great theater widely accessible and affordable, bringing plays into the homes and classrooms of millions of theater lovers, teachers and students each year. Its catalog of nearly 600 recorded plays is the largest archive of its kind in the world, featuring classics by William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen and Lillian Hellman, as well as new works by Lynn Nottage, Charlayne Woodard, Jeanne Sakata and Herbert Siguenza — to name a few. The company’s radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S. and daily in China on the Radio Beijing Network.
According to AudioFile magazine, “L.A. Theatre Works sets the gold standard for fine audio theater recordings.”