The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

(4.9 stars; 5 reviews)

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner By Alan Sillitoe Dramatised by Robert Rigby It's the late 1950s: Borstal boy Smith remembers his crimes and plots his future as he runs, training for the national cross-country event. The governor is desperate for the kudos of victory, telling Smith that hard work and athletic success will turn him into an honest man. At only 17 years old, Smith is a genuinely angry young man. His life is already a battle between them and us. There are the In-laws, as he terms the law-abiding, property owning majority, and the Out-laws, the substantial minority who have no stake in the system. First published in 1959, Alan Sillitoe's landmark short story is uncompromisingly tough, at times bleakly comic, and always totally unsentimental. Smith ,,,,,, Lee Rufford Governor ,,,,,, Karl Johnson Roach ,,,,,, Tom Turner Mrs Smith ,,,,,, Natalie Grady Mike ,,,,,, Noah Burdett Water Boy ,,,,,, Noah Burdett Bishop ,,,,,, Tom Vanson Detective Sergeant ,,,,,, Graeme Hawley Lionel ,,,,,, David Hounslow Mr Lennox ,,,,,, Michael Thomas Warden ,,,,,, Michael Thomas Mrs Lennox ,,,,,, Barbara Kirby Magistrate ,,,,,, David Timson Taxi Driver ,,,,,, David Timson Smith Child ,,,,,, Millie Binks Smith Child ,,,,,, Eve Manning Sound Design: David Chilton Spot Effects: Alison McKenzie Production Manager: Sarah Tombling Director: Carl Prekopp Producer: Lucinda Mason Brown A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 4 Drama First broadcast:  Sat 27th Aug 2016 14:30 on BBC Radio 4 FM The story follows the internal decisions and external oppressions of a seventeen-year-old inmate in a juvenile detention center who is known only by his surname, Smith. The wardens have given the boy a light workload because he shows talent as a runner. But if he wins the national long-distance running competition as everyone is counting on him to do, Smith will only vindicate the very system and society that has locked him up. “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner” has long been considered a masterpiece on both the page and the silver screen. Adapted for film by Sillitoe himself in 1962, it became an instant classic of British New Wave cinema.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


1 56:24



(5 stars)

Really expresses the pointlessness of evil.