The Snow Goose: An Audiobook

While the Coronavirus prevents us from bringing you live theatre we want to continue bringing entertainment to our loyal audience.

As well as our performances in St. John’s Hall we have, over the past several years, worked to produce pieces for the hospital radio service at The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. We hope you will enjoy one of these, a presentation of Paul Galico’s novella ‘The Snow Goose’.

This beautifully poetic story; written in simple lyric prose, tells the story of Philip Rhayader a lonely hunchbacked artist who lives alone in an abandoned lighthouse on the desolate Great Marsh of Essex. One afternoon, a hauntingly beautiful child, Fritha, visits Rhayader, bringing with her an injured snow goose. At first Fritha is scared of Rhayader, with his sinister hump and crooked hand, but he is gentle and kind and Fritha begins to visit regularly. When the snow goose departs for home, Rhayader is left alone again. The following winter, the snow goose and Fritha return to the lighthouse. Time passes and one year Fritha is frightened to discover her feelings for Rhayader. But this is 1940 and Rhayader is setting sail for Dunkirk to help the soldiers trapped on the beaches. Fritha never sees Rhayader again. But the story of the saviour with the snow goose passes from soldier to soldier and into legend…

When you finish listening to The Snow Goose you are left with conflicting emotions. You are uplifted, but the tragic events that have just unfolded will also leave you with a tear in your eye. The story of the man whose physical deformities prevent others from seeing the beauty within is as old as time but the way in which Gallico weaves it together with the maturing life of a young girl, the migration of a Canadian snow goose and the evacuation at Dunkirk make it unique.”

We hope you enjoy listening to this story as much as we have enjoyed sharing it with you.

Tom Shorrock

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