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On the Ceiling (BBC Radio 4: Saturday Play)

Written by: Nigel Planer
Length: 57 mins

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Publisher's Summary

A BBC Radio 4 play by Nigel Planer about some of the people involved in the decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. On the Ceiling was originally broadcast as the Afternoon Play on 7 February 2009 and repeated on 11 December 2010.

High up on the wooden scaffolding tower of the Sistine Chapel, two fresco plasterers get on with the day’s work preparing the ceiling for their boss, Michelangelo, who has not bothered to turn up for work again. As they do so, they bemoan the uselessness of the great master.

Pope Julius and Cardinal Alidosi visit the chapel to inspect the progress of their commission. They are never very impressed, and the Pope is more concerned about getting Michelangelo to do his funeral monument at a knock-down price.

On the Ceiling is not about great artists; it is about those people whose names don’t go down in history: the ones who do the essential drudge work, their frustration at their lack of genius, and their pride in their own technical expertise. In this version of events, low elements combine to make high art.

Starring Phil Daniels as Lapo, Bryan Dick as Loti, Gary Waldhorn as Pope Julius and Roger Lloyd Pack as Cardinal Alidosi. Directed by Mary Peate.

©2010 Nigel Planner (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd

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  • United Kingdom
  • 23-05-17


Would you listen to On the Ceiling (BBC Radio 4: Saturday Play) again? Why?

I have listened to this 4 times and will listen many more times. I like the humour and both Phil Daniels and Brian Dick pull it of with aplomb.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love the characters played by Brian Dick and Phil Daniels. These two work thier guts out for the Great Master of the Arts receiving no thanks and all the the pain and hardhsip of thier position in the social structure. At least their sense of humour keeps them slogging on as they lay upside down high up on the ceiling.

Any additional comments?

An entertaing as well as educational insight into one of the worlds greatest artists as seen from those who worked on the unglamerous side of life of classic art: The Workers.

  • Overall
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  • Performance
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  • paul
  • 16-05-17

On the ceiling . Review Paul Tyne

Great script , an original take on a real historical event extremely funny , really well performed by the talented cast . Top marks to all .

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