A Dangerous Thing

By John Sessions.

May 1744: Alexander Pope is on his deathbed in Twickenham; Jonathan Swift is losing his wits in Dublin.

The two friends have not seen each other in 17 years, although each is very much on the other's mind.

In his final hours, Pope talks to his emotional and intellectual soulmate, Martha 'Pattie' Blount, about his relationship with Swift and the events that have conspired to keep the two friends apart for most of their lives.

He also recalls Swift's last visit to London, when an unexpected encounter with a young burglar put the divergent philosophies of the two friends to the test.

Jonathan Swift....Timothy Spall

Alexander Pope....John Sessions

Martha 'Pattie' Blount....Amanda Root

Boy (Tom)/John Gay....Joe Thomas

Amica....Tessa Nicholson

Dr Cheselden/Lord Bolingbroke/Waterman....Nigel Hastings

Swift's Servant/Dr Arbuthnot/Matthew/ Gentleman....John Biggins.

The friendship of the 18th-century satirists Pope and Swift is tested.

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20091202

By John Sessions.

May 1744: Alexander Pope is on his deathbed in Twickenham; Jonathan Swift is losing his wits in Dublin.

The two friends have not seen each other in 17 years, although each is very much on the other's mind.

In his final hours, Pope talks to his emotional and intellectual soulmate, Martha 'Pattie' Blount, about his relationship with Swift and the events that have conspired to keep the two friends apart for most of their lives.

He also recalls Swift's last visit to London, when an unexpected encounter with a young burglar put the divergent philosophies of the two friends to the test.

Jonathan Swift....Timothy Spall

Alexander Pope....John Sessions

Martha 'Pattie' Blount....Amanda Root

Boy (Tom)/John Gay....Joe Thomas

Amica....Tessa Nicholson

Dr Cheselden/Lord Bolingbroke/Waterman....Nigel Hastings

Swift's Servant/Dr Arbuthnot/Matthew/ Gentleman....John Biggins.

The friendship of the 18th-century satirists Pope and Swift is tested.