Al Smith

Radio is a remarkably intelligent monologue that bears some similarity to Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegone stories. It is, in theory, the rendering of a single letter from the protagonist to his girl back home in San Francisco.

The packed house was witness to the simple story of one ordinary man from the American Mid-West. His life and love is paralleled with the happenings in the country in which he lives.

Charles Jr, played by the writer, was born in the middle of the last century in the town of Lebanon, which it was subsequently discovered was the dead centre of the USA.

This is of significance since his father had the kind of intuition that makes people very rich. He set up in the flag business and got rich on the back of his location.

He then upped sticks much to the shock of his family and moved to North Dakota. Mysteriously, Alaska came into the Union and once again he got rich from centrality. Hawaii added a further dimension and another move and riches beyond imagination arrived for a flag salesman with Vietnam making them popular for protest burnings and also funeral corteges.

Radio is about far more than one family's ordinary life and special luck. Charles Jr wants to be an astronaut and uses his radio to keep himself abreast of news in his home country and the space race.

The finale of this subtly political piece is very moving as we discover the final piece of the jigsaw and realise how close to heaven and then the moon that our hero got in his own space race.

Al Smith has already won plaudits and awards for last year's Enola and deserves to do so again.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher

*Some links, including Amazon,,, ATG Tickets, LOVEtheatre, BTG Tickets, Ticketmaster, LW Theatres and QuayTickets, are affiliate links for which BTG may earn a small fee at no extra cost to the purchaser.

Are you sure?