Time (notes and commentarry)


During the past few years a great many people have contacted me regarding this particular poem. Thank you for taking the time to do so. Many have asked where they can find a recording of it, or whether Sir Olivier actually wrote the poem.

Well, here is what I know. The poem was narrated by Sir Olivier. The narration was accompanied by gentle background music which followed the tone of the narration. Before May 2002, I have heard this recording twice in my life. Once, as a student in 1990 and the second time while driving in my car, listening to one of our national radio stations (5FM) here in South Africa.

I have since searched the libraries and CD archives for the poem, but I was never able to find it, until a received an e-mail from Kobus de Beer saying that he'd found a copy. What was more was that he was in South Africa too! Kobus has kindly given me a copy of the CD containing the poem and background music.

It was also pointed out that the original wording I had for the poem was incorrect. I have now updated the words and changed the formatting slightly to correctly reflect the brilliant narration of the poem by Sir Olivier.

I also have more information on the origin of the poem, received from one of my readers who got this information from the Curator, Modern Drama Collections in the UK:

-----------------Original Message-------------------
From: Johnson, Kathryn [Kathryn dot Johnson at bl dot uk]
Subject: 'Time'

Thank you for your message which has been passed on to me by Ken Shirreffs
of the Library's Press Office.

We do indeed have the script of the musical 'Time' - the reference is Modern
Playscripts no. 3049.

To the best of my knowledge, Laurence Olivier had nothing to do with the
writing of the piece; in fact he appeared on stage not in person (he was in
his late 70's and in frail health by then) but as a giant holographic image,
although his voice was heard. The authors on the script are listed as Dave
Clark and David Soames.

I'm sorry that we do not have any information on the copyright holders for
this script.

Yours faithfully

Kathryn Johnson (Mrs)
Curator, Modern Drama Collections
So although the poem was never written by Sir Olivier, it was performed by him for a musical play called "TIME" that was presented in London in the mid 80's. You can get more information on this play here.

There is additional information available available here, with lots photographs and information gathered by a fan who went to see the original play. Update: this site has grown and now also includes actual feedback from one of the authors as well as the e-mail address of David Soames.

I have made a high-quality 44khz MP3 file of the recording, but I am reluctant to post it on the web due to the fact that I have been unable to contact the original copyright holders/publishers of the material. You can, however, visit this link and choose "Save Target as" on Track 8 of Side two. It is a copy of the MP3 hosted by somebody else.

Tiaan van Aardt.

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