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FELIX HOLT, THE RADICAL by George Eliot

adapted for radio by Michael Eaton

Broadcast in three parts for The Classic Serial on BBC Radio 4

Two men from very different backgrounds return to the town of Treby Magna in the midlands in 1832 – just after the passing of the Reform Act, extending the franchise to property owners. HAROLD TRANSOME, on the death of his dissolute older brother, has become heir to an estate and returns from the orient determined to become an M.P., though his haughty mother is shocked to discover that he intends to stand as a Radical.

FELIX HOLT also reappears in his native town and proves an equal disappointment to his mother for he has abandoned his education to set up as a humble watch-mender with a determination to set up a school for miner’s children.

Though Felix may be the eponymous hero, the true protagonist of the story is ESTHER LYON – a young woman who must discover what she truly values in her choice between these two men. She believes herself to be the daughter of the town’s kindly Dissenting Minister, but the discovery of the truth of her background threatens to overturn the status quo of this provincial town. This is not the only secret known to the manipulative lawyer, MATTHEW JERMYN – the principal antagonist.

This relatively unknown work by one of the finest 19th century novelists, George Eliot, is set at a time of great political turmoil. In three one hour episodes this adaptation captures a world of political skulduggery and the virtues of genuine social change.

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CAST

Felix Holt – ELLIOT COWAN

Mrs Holt – SUSAN BROWN

Rufus Lyon – STEPHEN MOORE

Esther Lyon – HAYLEY ATWELL

Harold Transome – JASPER BRITTON

Arabella Transome – SUSAN WOOLDRIDGE

Matthew Jermyn – JACK SHEPHERD

Sir Maximus Debbary – JOHN CARLISLE

Philip Debarry & Mike – Brindle PAUL CHAHIDI

Christian – RON COOK

Denner – CAROL MACREADY

The Reverend Lingon – MICHAEL CULKIN

Chubb – JOHN TAMS

Johnson – KEN CAMPBELL

COMPANY

Studio Manager
Mark Smith

Production Associate
Lucy Mangan

Music
John Tams

Executive Producer
Ed Crozier

Director
Lucy Bailey

Producer
Nicholas Newton

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Categories

Archive, Productions, Radio