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The Lighthouse

A BBC Radio 4 dramatisation
Narrated by: Paul Rhys
Length: 43 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

Lighthouse keepers Howell and Griffith are posted to six weeks on the Smalls - a desolate rock 20 miles off the Pembrokeshire coast. But the two men share a past, and because of what happens next, lighthouses would never again have only a crew of two. Based on a true story. Written by Alan Harris, and starring Paul Rhys as Howell and Ifan Huw Dafydd as Griffith. Directed by James Robinson.

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A Brilliant True Story of Sadness & Death

This is a beautiful translation of the letter left from the true Lighthouse man who had to live with the dead body of his partner at the Small Lighthouse in the 1800's. What you hear is what the man wrote in a three day letter to his wife as he struggled with the fear of being hung for the natural death of his colleague. He wrote everything down for proof. What happened is the realism this man had to contend with for over several weeks on his own until another human being came to the rescue. Due to this; it was made law to have no fewer that 3 lighthouse men on duty at any one time.

Anyone one with heart will listen to this story with sorrow. Anyone who enjoys the sea will feel for the men. This is a compelling re telling of mans nightmare and horror whilst trying to earn a living to put put food on their loved ones table and keep a roof over their heads. It is also the story of mans difficulty coping in difficult and unusual circumstances.

I give this 5 stars for the perfect acting and the sympathetic but real way both actors presented their characters. It is difficult to try to perceive what it would be like to live in a claustrophobic atmosphere alone and away from all that you know and who you love. I think both have presented the madness these poor lighthouse keepers suffered; in a most sympathetic and humanistic way.




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Based on a true story... With embellishment!

I really enjoyed this lively adaptation by BBC radio 4 of the story of Smalls Lighthouse. Great performance by the cast with full audio sound effects. Although embellished regarding the 'wife', I'd still give this top marks. It's worth reading this history and real story at Trinity House website.

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A Tale of Two Keepers.

This (like the incident at 'Eilean Mor' lighthouse in the Flannan Islands), is an interesting and very tragic true story set 25 miles of the Welsh Coast It forced Trinity House to change it's policy on the number of Keepers at each location to three; and for reasons which are obvious throughout the story. It shows the fact that Keepers need to be compatible with the lifestyle, and with their colleagues, when shut away within the confines of a lighthouse, especially during storms; when it is just not safe to leave the relative safety of the Tower. One only has to see a few photos and videos of waves climbing the walls of the Rock or Sea-Washed lighthouses [as at The Smalls, or Wolf Rock, or Bishop Rock], to understand how the two Keepers in this story would be forced to get on with each other. But it was made even more difficult, because the two men had 'previous history' with each other. I would recommend this production, as well as the DVD covering the same story. Jack.

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Dark Tale!

This was short and crisp! Very dark and very clever.

Brilliantly read.

Very sad.

Deals with the horror of complete isolation.

Great listen.

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  • Shelindria
  • 24-05-14

Good Spooky Fun!

What did you love best about The Lighthouse (Afternoon Play)?

I enjoyed the old radio show style, and the twist on the traditional "haunted house" story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Both characters were well written and performed! Ifan Huw Dafydd's "Griffith" was every bit the pirate voiced, world weary seaman with a taste for vengeance. Paul Rhys was excellent as the conflicted young "Howell".

Which character – as performed by Paul Rhys – was your favorite?

Howell, of course. It was refreshing to enjoy him in a role that was NOT evil or creepy for a change!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes.The story is very eery and suspenseful, with a good plot twist! I have listened to it multiple times.

Any additional comments?

Great sound effects and attention to detail.