BBC Radio 4: The Quest by Jonathan Holloway

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Radio Times - Today's Pick - The Quest (Jane Anderson)BBC Radio 4There’s an upcoming five part “surreal” Fantasy radio drama starting on BBC Radio 4 next week. Be sure to add it to your Radio Downloader subscriptions. It airs during the oddly named “Woman’s Hour Drama” slot. Sez BBC:

This week’s Woman’s Hour Drama presents a surreal, humorous and moving allegorical retelling of Thomas Mallory’s Morte d’Arthur, starring Mark Gatiss as Merlin and Julian Rhind-Tutt as Arthur.

In a 15th-century Britain that resembles the Favellas of Rio, Arthur is Merlin’s protégé; but the magician despairs – human frailty has defeated Utopia.

Arthur’s impregnation of his half sister Morgana haunts Camelot in the person of Mordred, who is his mother’s lover and scourge to his father. The court of the “Round Table” is decadent. Arthur invents the “Grail Quest” to bring purpose to his knights and rebuild his reputation in a tortured land. The knights emerge into a world that hates them. Some are hacked or stoned to death.

Seeking Glastonbury, Galahad stumbles over the Grail while hiding behind the Spar convenience store in Wells. He and the Grail are taken up to an antiseptic Heaven in an elevator, 15 miles high. Mordred raises an army to defeat his brother/father and delivers Arthur’s death blow. The dying Arthur raises Excalibur to throw it into Deptford Creek, but the sword is snatched from his grip by a track-suited teenager. The expiring king, his vision clouding, sees Merlin kicked to death by a gang.

Rooted in Mallory’s 14th-century epic, the narrative focuses on the “Grail Quest” and the dubious personal and state politics that surround it.


BBC Radio 4 - The Quest by Jonathan Holloway
The Quest
By Jonathan Holloway; Performed by a full cast
5 Parts – Approx.75 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: Monday August 24th to Friday August 28th August @ 10:45-11:00 (FM only) repeated @ 19:45-20:00.
King Arthur has been mortally wounded, and talks to Merlin as death approaches. Loosely based on the works of Sir Thomas Malory and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Arthur …… Julian Rhind-Tutt
Merlin …… Mark Gatiss
Morgan Le Fay/Agravain …… Jasmine Hyde
Lancelot …… Stephen Noonan
Guinevere …… Eleanor Tremain
Galahad …… Paul Mundell
Percival …… Mark Meadows
Leodegrance …… Paul Mundell
Lot …… David Collins

Directed by Tim Dee.

[Thanks Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

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