Beaumarchais: A BBC Radio 4 comedy drama

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2022
2 hours 55 minutes
Henry Goodman stars in this irreverent historical romp, set in 18th-century France

When impoverished watchmaker Caron invents a pioneering device that could revolutionise timekeeping, his fortunes begin to change. Marrying a young, upper-class widow, he takes on a new, noble name - de Beaumarchais - and sets out to conquer Louis XV's court.

But his attempts to rise through the ranks of Versailles society are blocked by royal clockmaker Lepaute - as well as courtly crushes, rumours of war and illicit printing. In a bid to offset his enormous debts, he takes on a tricky task for the King - but his patron's death presents further challenges, in the form of an unlikely dairymaid, a controversial play and political unrest. Will the storming of the Bastille put paid to his aristocratic ambitions?

Created by multi-award-winning playwright Craig Warner, this witty sitcom is based on the real-life story of Pierre-Agustin Caron de Beaumarchais - horologist, playwright, diplomat, arms dealer and spy. Henry Goodman plays our wily hero, and among the star cast are Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Jason O'Mara, Siobhan Redmond and Joanna Monro.

Written by Craig Warner
Directed by Marion Nancarrow

Beaumarchais - Henry Goodman
Henri Lepaute - David Calder
Louis XV - Ronald Pickup
Madame de Pompadour/Odile - Ann Beach
Beaumarchais' father - Stephen Thorne
Madelaine - Elaine Pyke
Vignon/Lord Stormont - Denys Hawthorne
Secretaire/Silas Deane - Jason O'Mara
Lawyer/Louis XVI/Soldier - Alex Lowe
Princess Adelaide - Colleen Prendergast
Princess Sophie - Amanda Gordon
Goezman - Hugh Ross
Le Comte d'Artois/Duverney/Figaro/Barber - Sean Baker
La Blache/Dupaty - David Bannerman
La Duchesse de Polignac - Joanna Monro
Lia de Beaumont - Bill Nighy
Lord Rochford - David Timson
Marie Antoinette - Siobhan Redmond
Jacques/Marat - Kim Wall
Jules/President - Christopher Scott
Suard/Beggar - Ron Cook
Le Duc de Fronsac - Ioan Meredith
Market women - Joanna Monro & Elaine Pyke
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 7 November-12 December 2006

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
(p) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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