Christopher Eccleston to play Oedipus in Radio 3 Anthony Burgess season – BBC News

Image caption Christopher Eccleston said was ‘honoured’ to take on the role

Christopher Eccleston is to play Oedipus in a BBC Radio 3 drama marking the centenary of the birth of author and composer Anthony Burgess.

The actor said he was “honoured and proud” to take the lead role in Burgess’s “brilliant and daring” version of Sophocles’s tragedy.

Oedipus the King will be broadcast on 26 February 2017.

A Radio 3 season will also feature essays from eminent writers about the A Clockwork Orange writer’s work.

Burgess’s adaptation of Oedipus the King was first performed on stage in the US in 1972, with music from Grammy-winning composer Stanley Silverman.

But it has never been performed in the UK. The new radio version will feature Silverman’s score performed by the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Chamber Choir.

“The celebration of Anthony Burgess in his centenary year forms part of BBC Radio 3’s 70th anniversary, as part of our mission to connect audiences with remarkable music and culture,” the station’s controller Alan Davey said.

“Having one of the UK’s leading actors, Christopher Eccleston, playing the title role in the UK premiere of Burgess’ Oedipus the King will be a treat for us all.”

Born in Manchester on 25 February 1917, Burgess is best known for his dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, which was adapted into the controversial 1971 film directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Burgess’s prolific output included more than 30 novels, 25 works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies and more than 150 other musical works. He died in November 1993, aged 76.

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