The Great Scott

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01Drama20150802

"She wouldn't lie in court to save her sister's life - so she had to find another way. "Mike Harris' fast paced adaptation of Walter Scott's most gripping, most contemporary novel.

'Heart of Midlothian' begins with a trial for child murder, and then never lets the tension drop with disguises, thwarted love, hazardous journeys, kidnappings, riots, rescues - and a shy, retiring, heroine who will stop at nothing to undo the terrible damage her virtue has done.

Adapted for radio by Mike Harris

Produced and Directed by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

02Drama2015080920150815 (R4)

Richard Wilson stars as The Antiquary, a man who hordes secrets as well as treasures. Will his knowledge allow Lovel to marry his secret love? With David Tennant as Walter Scott.

The Antiquary (1816) is a novel by Sir Walter Scott about an amateur historian, archaeologist and collector of items of dubious antiquity. Although he is the eponymous character, he is not necessarily the hero, as many of the characters around him undergo far more significant journeys or change. Instead, he provides a central figure for other more exciting characters and events - on which he provides a sardonic commentary.

This is Scott's gothic novel, redolent with family secrets, stories of hidden treasure and hopeless love, with a mysterious, handsome, young man, benighted aristocracy and a night-time funeral procession to a ruined abbey. The romance and mystery is counterpoised by some of Scott's more down-to-earth characters, and grittily unromantic events.

Scott wrote in an advertisement to the novel that his purpose in writing it, similar to that of his novels Waverley and Guy Mannering, was to document Scottish life and manners of a certain period - in this case the last decade of the 18th century.

Music by Ross Hughes and Esben Tjalve

Cello played by George Cooke

Produced and Directed by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

03Drama2015081620150822 (R4)

Originally set during the Third Crusade, this updates the action to a more modern crusade.

The Talisman is the finale of Scott's novels set during the crusades but this one features the dying dog days of the Third Crusade. Richard the Lionheart is de facto leader but the military expedition has ground to a halt and the allies are getting itchy feet. They are sick of Richard's over-bearing leadership and, to make it worse, very few of them still believe Jerusalem can be reconquered.

To the modern reader this must be a rather recondite setting. Beyond the jousting and the knightliness, how much do we care about the crusades anymore? And that's without opening the can of worms as to whether the West had any more right to be there then than it does now.

Jonathan Myerson, the adapter, wondered how to update this story and find a modern parallel to this situation.

And then it came to him: Occupy London in 2011. Those protestors started with the same, almost ecstatic belief in the possibility of change. They aimed to seize the holiest of places - the London Stock Exchange - but were beaten back and forced to set up camp outside. As the original crusaders came to loathe the heat and insect life in their desert encampment outside Jerusalem, the protestors of Occupy came to much the same conclusion - as winter set in - about sleeping on the cold, wet flagstones of St.Paul's Churchyard. And, in much the same way, the competing groups started to feel it was time to pack up and go home.

So, new listeners will follow Scott's original story of conspiracy and counter-conspiracy and, most important of all, star-crossed lovers but will hear new resonances in this old tale.

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

0101The Fair Maid Of Perth2013041420130420

by Walter Scott.

A beautiful glover's daughter is romantically pursued by a warmongering blacksmith, a poetising prince, a hot-headed clansman and a bumbling bonnet-maker in lawless 14th century Scotland.

In Walter Scott's The Fair Maid of Perth, feeble King Robert III is failing to stop his beloved country being torn apart by warring clans and pillaging nobles - chaos reigns supreme. When our heroine, Catharine Glover, suffers heartbreak and tragedy at the hands of the vengeful Earl of March, a terrible dilemma presents itself.

Should she follow the dictates of her heart by marrying the man she loves - or should she obey her father's wish and shun a world of 'hard iron and barbaric cruelties' by betrothing herself to Christ?

Adapted for Radio by Scott Cherry

With David Tennant as Walter Scott

All other parts are played by members of the cast.

Ruth Wall sings and plays Gaelic Harp.

Music composed and performed by Ross Hughes and Esben Tjalve.

Produced and directed by Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

0102Rob Roy2013042120130427

by Walter Scott

Adapted by Robin Brooks

Our Rob Roy has dispensed with the Jacobite setting and updates the story to the 20th century. It is 1924 and 20-year-old Frank falls foul of his father. He has spent a year in Paris, supposedly learning the business, but actually hanging out with Imagist poets. When he refuses to join the business his father sends him north to stay with his Uncle - a radical and mixed up in the cause of Irish Nationalism.

Scott's book doesn't really depend on the historical trappings on which the author's reputation now rests. A son being banished by his father because he wants to be a long-haired poet is a perennial situation, as is the love-triangle between Frank, Die Vernon and her wicked cousin Rashleigh. With this production the listener is asked to regard Scott as a novelist like any other, concerned with the workings of the human heart and how they play out in a society more like ours.

With David Tennant as Walter Scott

All other parts were played by members of the cast

The music was composed and performed by Ross Hughes and Esben Tjalve

Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

0103 LASTWaverley2013042820130504

by Walter Scott

Adapted by Mike Harris

A gripping tale of love, war and divided loyalties with Scotland in open rebellion against the Union with England.

It's 1745 and 21year old Edward Waverley, a newly commissioned red-coat officer, is posted to Scotland on the eve of Bonnie Prince Charlie's violent bid for power. His father is a rising minister in the ruling Hanoverian state, but the beloved Uncle who brought him up is an old Jacobite, loyal to the exiled Stewart dynasty.

Waverley falls in love with two very different Scottish girls - the cautious, loyalist, lowlander Rose Bradwardine, and the fiery highland rebel Flora. He goes AWOL for Flora just as her brother Fergus is rallying their clan to fight for Charlie.

When Waverley is accused by his Commanding Officer of a treasonable flirtation with the enemy, he joins the uprising in a fit of pique and helps defeat an English army at the battle of Prestonpans.

When he finds out that he has caused the arrest of Uncle, he returns to London to try to clear his name.

With David Tennant as Walter Scott.

All other parts are played by members of the cast.

The music is composed and performed by Ross Hughes and Esben Tjalve.

Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

0201The Bride2014062920140705

Mike Harris adapts Sir Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor.

The novel is set in the Lammermuir Hills of south-east Scotland at the beginning of the 18th Century and tells of a tragic love affair between young Lucy Ashton and her family's enemy Edgar Ravenswood.

The Ashtons and Ravenswoods have been enemies for centuries - but will a proposed union between the warring families finally bring peace?

Music Composed and performed by Ross Hughes and Esben Tjalve

Violin and viola - Oliver Langford

Written by Mike Harris

Produced and Directed by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

0202Ivanhoe2014070620140712

The second season of adaptations of some of Sir Walter Scott's most popular novels with David Tennant as Walter Scott.

Scott Cherry adapts Ivanhoe.

Set in 1194 after the failure of the third Crusade, King Richard I is said to be in captivity in Austria after having been taken on his way back to England. In his absence, his brother John is plotting to take over the throne.

Wilfred of Ivanhoe, son of Cedric and one of the few remaining Saxon Lords, joined Richard in the Crusade but has been disinherited by his father for showing allegiance to a Norman. Ivanhoe is rumoured to have come to the rescue of his King in his hour of need but has since disappeared. Is he alive? Rowenna - the woman he loves - anxiously waits for news.

Adapted by Scott Cherry

Produced and Directed by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio.

0203 LASTRedgauntlet2014071320140719

Alan Fairford's best friend Danny disappears after the arrival of Stuart Galloway. Why?

A free adaptation by Robin Brooks of Scott's novel - now set in the year 2035, in a fictional future Scotland.

This is the second season of adaptations of some of Sir Walter Scott's most popular novels, with David Tennant as Walter Scott.

Alan Fairford is destined to become a lawyer but is distracted from his studies by the sudden disappearance of his best friend Danny Latimer.

Danny's absence seems to be connected with the sudden appearance of Stuart Galloway - aka Redgauntlet - who has business with Alan's father, Alexander.

But who is Redgauntlet? And what is his mission?

Alan Fairford sets out to find out the answers and hopefully to rescue his friend.

Written by Robin Brooks

Produced and Directed by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.