The Crimson Field

The Crimson Field
Date: 14.03.2014Last updated: 14.03.2014 at 18.02
Category: Drama

Sarah Phelps’s gripping new drama presents one of the Great War’s untold stories. In a tented field hospital on the coast of France, a team of doctors, nurses and women volunteers work together to heal the bodies and souls of men wounded in the trenches.

The Crimson Field stars: Joan Livesey played by Suranne Jones, Kitty Trevelyan played by Oona Chaplin, Matron Grace Carter played by Hermione Norris, Flora Marshall played by Alice St. Clair, Rosalie Berwick played by Marianne Oldham, Sister Margaret Quayle played by Kerry Fox, Lieutenant-Colonel Roland Brett played by Kevin Doyle, Orderly Corporal Peter Foley played by Jack Gordon, Captain Miles Hesketh-Thorne played by Alex Wyndham, Captain Thomas Gillan played by Richard Rankin, and Quartermaster Sergeant Reggie Soper played by Jeremy Swift.

The 6×60 series is a BBC Drama Production for BBC One, distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.

Anne Pivcevic (The Lady Vanishes, Great Expectations) is the BBC executive producer, Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations, EastEnders) is an executive producer, creator and writer, and Annie Tricklebank (The Lady Vanishes, Lark Rise To Candleford) is producer. David Evans (Downton Abbey, One Night), Richard Clark (Doctor Who, Life On Mars) and Thaddeus O’Sullivan (Silent Witness, Single-Handed) are the directors.

The series was shot on location in Wiltshire and was commissioned for BBC One by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama and Danny Cohen, former Controller, BBC One, now Director of Television.

Met Opera Werther 2014 Final Scene

I love The Met and the internets. Here’s the final scene I was whining about.

I also think I’ve found Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay. There’s an extra passing tone, but a sequence of it begins at 10:00 with the clarinet.

Evidently, the similarity has been noted before:


The Met: Werther — Jules Massenet

“It seems to me pointless to do an opera as passionate as Werther and not try and reach out and touch the audience.” —Richard Eyre

Well, Richard Eyre, I guess I took you too literally when I went back to see Werther a second time on Saturday. Despite making it way easier to accomplish by getting a much closer seat, there was no reaching. There was no touching!

However, I can tell you that if you’re in Box 30 Seat 3 of the Grand Tier, that framing device leaves you with a view of Werther’s feet for the start of the last scene. Frankly, Jonas Kaufmann has more talent in those feet than the rest of us dream of, but I happen to be a tremendous admirer of his facial talent, which is no more deeply affecting that when his character is in emotional agony. That, and I was worried he might have lost his untied cravat, which I’d grown quite fond of.

Having now seen the Met’s Werther twice, my takeaway is that, well, of course Jonas Kaufmann can sing like you read about, and the production was gorgeous. I’d seen his Tosca and his Faust, and over-listened to countless of his recordings.* But his acting in this was just staggeringly real. This is no small feat in a role that is inherently off the well-balanced emotional chain. But Jonas Kaufmann (my heeero) did it.


*In the interest of full disclosure, there aren’t all that many recordings, so they may, in fact, be countable.

And another thing: I think Gabriel Yared kind of borrowed the chord progression you hear at the beginning of the above video for The English Patient. It’s right here, at about 55 seconds in. That’s okay. My friend, CR, swears she heard Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay in Act IV of Werther.


Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 5.56.03 PM


Joe Dante on Portrait of Jennie

This is one of my favorite films for reasons cited. It is strangely magical—as is Joseph Cotten.  😉

Werther: Jonas Kaufmann & Sophie Koch at the Met

I went to see this last night. *sigh*

Jonas Kaufmann stars in the title role of Massenet’s sublime adaptation of Goethe’s revolutionary and tragic romance, opposite Sophie Koch as Charlotte. The new production is directed and designed by Richard Eyre and Rob Howell, the same team that created the Met’s recent hit staging of Carmen. Rising young maestro Alain Altinoglu conducts.

For people who say writers can’t write quality work quickly, the program notes said that Goethe wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther in six weeks.

Helping Hands

Russell Blake said it best here on his blog. Our mutual author friend, Brandon Hale, has just been diagnosed with cancer. I think a lot of Brandon and his writing.

Please take a moment to read about Brandon, his books, and his fight against cancer at the following links. No one should have to worry about money at a time like this, so I’m asking you to consider helping by buying his books and/or donating money.