A BBC radio adaptation of the celebrated novels about high life and low politics in Victorian England
‘Beautifully acted and presented at a gallop … one of the most entertainingly vivid radio dramas I have listened to all year’ The Telegraph
In this lively, radical reworking of Anthony Trollope’s famous ‘Palliser’ series, we are invited into the world of our omniscient narrator, Lady Glencora, as she introduces us to her social circle and takes us on a whirlwind tour through two decades of scandal, scheming, ambition and political powerbroking.
Cora’s story starts in the 1860s, when she is just nineteen, and married to the older, conscientious politician Plantagenet Palliser. Bored and unhappy, she pines for her ex-fiancé, the wastrel Burgo Fitzgerald. However, motherhood and maturity put an end to her youthful dreams – and as her husband’s career takes off, she settles for becoming the power behind the throne. But she cannot control her children’s futures, however much she tries to guide and protect them.
Nor can Cora shape her friends’ lives. Clever, politics-obsessed heiress Violet Standish, denied the opportunity to be a Member of Parliament, aspires to marry one instead – will her chosen husband listen to her advice? Newly-elected MP Phineas Finn sets his sights on a Cabinet post – but could his strict principles and weakness for the fairer sex count against him? And wealthy Bohemian widow Marie Goesler is determined to be accepted into the higher echelons of society – might a match with the elderly Duke of Omnium provide the prestige she seeks?
From her unique vantage point, Cora watches her nearest and dearest take fateful decisions, make rash mistakes – and even get away with murder, as they struggle to win power and find love...
This bold, pacy adaptation of Trollope’s ‘Palliser’ series stars Jessica Raine as Cora, Tim McMullan as Plantagenet, Edward MacLiam as Phineas and Melody Grove as Marie.
Written by Anthony Trollope
Dramatised by Mike Harris and Sharon Oakes
Directed by Gary Brown and Emma Harding
Produced by Gary Brown
Cora – Jessica Raine
Plantagenet – Tim McMullan
Phineas Finn – Edward MacLiam
Burgo – Blake Ritson
Violet/Servant – Scarlett Courtney
Marie Goesler – Melody Grove
Kennedy/Slide/Duke/Orlando Drought/Mr Boncasson – Neil McCaul
Bonce/Grimes/Sailor/Servant/Popplecourt – Greg Jones
Commons Speaker/Judge – Hamilton Berstock
Mary Flood – Sinead MacInnes
Finn's mother – Heather Craney
Servant/Policeman/Usher/Johnson/Nidderdale – Ikky Elyas
Bonteen/ Sir Gregory – Eugene O’Hare
Lowe – Jonathan Keeble
Fawn – Lloyd Peters
Lopez – Mark Arends
Emily Drought – Lucy Reynolds
Spurgeon – Clive Hayward
Mary – Laura Christy
Silverbridge – Will Kirk
Lady Mabel – Anneika Rose
Tregear – Prasanna Puwanarajah
Isabel – Julianna Jennings
Mrs Boncasson – Jessica Turner
Tifto – Sam Dale
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 10 November 2019-8 March 2020