LA Theater Works commissioned and recorded an audio adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises from BBC’s Kate McAll.
The Sun Also Rises is a poignant look at the disillusionment and fear of the “lost” generation after World War I. A group of friends leave 1920s Paris for the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. Jake loves the aristocratic Brett Ashley, but Brett’s wandering gaze lands on a young torero. In the following week of drinking, bullfighting and jealousy, friendships are turned upside down and hopes of love dashed.
“Kate’s adaptation skillfully sets the tone of life after WWI for the listener,” says Anna Lyse Erikson, producer of LA Theater Works who directed the recording. “She captures Hemingway’s voice and illustrates the parallels he draws from bullfighting to war and life.”
Originally published in 1926 and inspired by actual events, The Sun Also Rises was Hemingway’s first novel and many consider it 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 expats, and their experiences and complex romantic entanglements became the basis of the book. According to Lesley MM Blume’s “Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises,” the characters were modeled so closely on Hemingway’s own circle of friends that “the portraits would be haunting [them] for the rest of your life.”
The LA Theater Works recording is brought to life by actors Patrick Heusinger (Absentia, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce) as Jake Barnes, a Paris-based American ex-patriot and Hemingway’s alter ego; Rhian Rees (Halloween) as Lady Brett Ashley; Geoffrey Arend (Goliath, Physical, Madame Secretary) as Robert Cohen; Seamus Dever (Schloss) as Bill Gorton; André Sogliuzzo (American Dad) as Mike Campbell and the Count; Devon Sorvari (Elaine Robinson in The Graduate’s first national tour) as Frances and Georgette; Herbert Sigüenza (Culture Clash) as Spanish hotelier Montoya; and newcomer Derrick Kemp as young torero Pedro Romero.
LA Theater Works is distinguished by its approach to making great theater universally accessible and affordable by bringing plays into the homes and classrooms of millions of theater lovers, teachers and students each year. Its catalog of almost 600 recorded plays is the largest archive of its kind in the world and includes 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 but a few to name. The company’s radio theater series is broadcast weekly on public radio stations in the United States and daily on Radio Beijing Network in China.
The audio recording of The Sun Also Rises by LA Theater Works will be available as a digital download on May 20; The recording is currently available for pre-order for $20 from latw.org.