A breathtaking BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of the sixth novel in C. J. Sansom's best-selling Tudor crime series, featuring lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake
1546, and the great heretic hunt is underway across England. The radical Protestant preacher Anne Askew has been arrested and condemned to death, and Shardlake is ordered to attend the burning. It's a grisly, cruel spectacle that leaves him feeling disturbed. Rumours are circulating that Anne had connections to his protector, Queen Catherine Parr - and if she falls, he could be next...
His unease deepens when a messenger arrives from Whitehall Palace: the Queen is in trouble, and asking for his help. Unwilling to put himself in danger again, he almost declines - but his loyalty to her permits no refusal.
The palace is in turmoil - King Henry VIII is dying, and his Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a desperate power struggle to control his eight-year-old heir, Prince Edward. In this climate of fear and uncertainty, the Queen has committed a dangerous indiscretion. She has written a compromising confessional tract, so incendiary it could see her accused of treason - and someone has stolen it from her private chamber. Only one page has resurfaced, clenched in the fist of a murdered printer.
Shardlake's search for the missing manuscript takes him from London's seedy backstreets to the heart of the Tudor court, where he becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue, deception and dark political machinations - and finds himself facing a fateful audience with King Henry himself...
Justin Salinger stars as Shardlake in this stunning sixth instalment of the 'Shardlake' series.
'From the exquisite embroidery on a sliver of silk to the metallic stench of fresh blood, this portrait of Tudor England is full-on sensory immersion... CJ Sansom's novel is brought to life by dramatist Colin MacDonald, director Bruce Young and an outstanding cast.' - Jane Anderson, Radio Times
Written by C. J. Sansom
Dramatised by Colin MacDonald
Produced and directed by Bruce Young
Shardlake - Justin Salinger
Barak - Bryan Dick
Queen Catherine - Jessica Hardwick
Lord Parr - Robbie Jack
Henry VIII - Michael Mackenzie
Richard Rich - Simon Donaldson
William Paget - Gavin Mitchell
Charles Stice - Matthew Barker
William Cecil - James Rottger
Myldmore - Kenny Blyth
Okedene - Mark McDonnell
Cranmer - Crawford Logan
Mary Odell - Francesca Dymond
Barwic - Mark Jeary
Elias - Caleb Hughes
Garet - Harri Pitches
Other parts played by the cast
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 18-29 January 2021