The Fiery World
by Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd - The Fiery World

BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3

Broadcast: Sunday 4th March 2007 @ 8:00 p.m.

In this Radio 3 special commission, Peter Ackroyd's first radio play brings William Blake to life through the drama of the great English poet's 1805 arrest on a charge of sedition, punishable by death. "The Fiery World" is a fascinating journey into the mind of one of England's greatest poets.

Born 250 years ago into a world of revolutions American, French and Industrial Blake was never afraid of speaking his mind, but as a poet and visionary he was at odds with the spirit of his age - so much so that his life was in danger as his radical ideas did not sit comfortably in an England at war.

As the play begins, Blake's scuffle with a drunken, aggressive soldier called Scofield has ended in court and the threat of capital punishment hangs over him.

James Deville, a phrenologist who is intrigued by the poet, finds him a lawyer who is prepared to take on the case. Meanwhile, Deville is fighting a battle of his own. His wife, Mary, is extremely ill, and believes that Blake's visionary strengths can help her escape her own imminent end.

With Robert Glenister [William Blake], David Warner [James Deville], Miriam Margolyes [Catherine Blake], Alison Pettitt [Mrs. Deville / Old Janet], Sean Barrett [Samuel Rose], David Timson [Kedges], Hugh Ross [Billy Cosway], Mark Gillis [Scofield], Brian Croucher [Armitage], and Deo Simcox [The Boy].

Other parts were played by members of the cast.

Musical director was Jeremy Barlow; music played and sung by Tim Laycock and Sharon Lindo.

Directed by Roy McMillan.

Produced by Nicolas Soames.

90 min.


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