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The Glass Piano

At the tender age of 23, Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria (1826-1875) was observed awkwardly walking sideways down the corridors of her family palace.

2012 / Deborah Levy / Kate Bland / BBC Radio 3, UK

At the tender age of 23, Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria (1826-1875) was observed awkwardly walking sideways down the corridors of her family palace.

When questioned by her worried royal parents, she announced that she had swallowed a grand glass piano. The Glass Piano examines this bizarre tale, combining speculation about the Princess's thoughts and actions with historical records of melancholia and mental delusion.

Produced by Kate Bland and Deborah Levy for Just Radio Ltd., The Glass Piano aired on BBC Radio 3 in 2011. Key contributors are psychoanalyst Susie Orbach, historian Erin Sullivan and consultant in Emergency Medicine, Dr Fiona Lecky, with music composed and arranged by Chris O'Shaughnessy. The Princess is played by British actress Emily Watson.


produced by

Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist, and poet.

Kate Bland

Kate Bland has been making innovative and informative documentary features for many years (winning 2 Sony Gold awards).


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