The Box of Delights
First edition cover
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Preceded by||The Midnight Folk|
Kay Harker is returning from boarding school when he finds himself mixed up in a battle to possess a magical box. It allows the owner to shrink in size, to fly swiftly, to go into the past and to experience the magical wonders contained within the box.
The current owner of the box is an old Punch and Judy man called Cole Hawlings whom Kay meets at the railway station. They develop an instant rapport, which leads Cole to confide that he is being chased by a magician called Abner Brown and his gang, which includes Kay's former governess. For safety, Cole (who turns out to be the medieval philosopher and alleged magician Ramon Llull) entrusts the box to Kay. The schoolboy then goes on to have many adventures as he protects the box from those who wish to use it for bad deeds.
There have been several radio adaptations of The Box of Delights.
This six-part adaptation, with a script by Robert Holland and John Keir Cross, was produced three times by the BBC as part of its Children's Hour, in 1943, 1948 and 1955.
Saturday Night TheatreEdit
This was a one-off drama, with a script by John Keir Cross, broadcast in 1966, and repeated in 1968 and 1969. It was then remade with a new cast in 1977.
Two-part drama with a script by John Peacock.
BBC Television 1984Edit
A BBC TV adaptation of The Box of Delights was broadcast in six parts between 21 November and 24 December in 1984. An innovative mixture of live action and animation, using Quantel Paintbox and chroma key effects, was used to portray the adventure. The music included an orchestral arrangement of "The First Nowell" from the Carol Symphony by Victor Hely-Hutchinson.
Wilton's Music Hall will be presenting an adaptation by Piers Torday between 1 December 2017 and 6 January 2018. Billed as a world stage premiere, the production is to be directed by Justin Audibert and designed by Tom Piper.
- "The Box of Delights". Wilton's. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- Flynn, Simon: "A Magic Curiously Suited to Radio?": The BBC and The Box of Delights. The Journal of the John Masefield Society, No. 12 (May 2003), pp. 21–35.