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28 October 2014

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Revolting People

Andy Hamilton, Jay Tarses and James Fleet

Created and starring prolific British comedy writer Andy Hamilton and US sitcom scribe and producer Jay Tarses, Revolting People is a historical situation comedy for BBC Radio Four.

Set in Baltimore circa 1770, it's the run-up to the American War of Independence, and the natives are getting restless.

Tarses plays Samuel Oliphant, a strait-laced shopkeeper with a well honed instinct for self-preservation, who watches on as the world descends into chaos.

Reticent to get involved, he's understandably put out when he's forced to play host to two redcoat soldiers who've been sent to the area to keep an eye on things.

Captain Brimshaw is an ineffectual officer with romantic leanings, while Sergeant McGurk (a winningly OTT performance by Hamilton) is a corrupt one-legged, one-eyed, one-armed, one-nostrilled rascal who's overseen numerous massacres in his time.

With anti-British sentiment running high, the situation is rapidly reaching boiling point. To complicate matters further, Samuel's youngest daughter Mary (played in series one by Sophie Thomson, Dead Ringers' Jan Ravens in two and three, and Julia Hills in four) is passionate about the revolution, and holding secret meetings in the back room.

However, she's also equally enthralled by Brimshaw, and the two embark on a complicated affair.

Meanwhile, big sister Cora (Felicity Montague in series one, then Penelope Nice) is contemplating marriage to Ezekiel (Hugh Dennis), but falls pregnant to another man, while brother Joshua (Tony Maudsley) is a hulking giant with not too much going on upstairs.

In some respects thematically resembling the TV sitcom 'Allo 'Allo, the show certainly sported more in the way of plot development, with the gang rolling up in London by the close of series four, as Samuel and co flee the war and meet King George III, plus his advisor... an elm tree.

Cast

Jan Ravens
Mary Oliphant
Andy Hamilton
Sergeant McGurk
Rebecca Front
Jenny, Belle
Jay Tarses
Samuel Oliphant
James Fleet
Captain Brimshaw
Julia Hills
Mary
Tony Maudsley
Joshua
Hugh Dennis
Svensson, George Washington, Ezekiel Spriggs
Michael Fenton Stevens
Captain Bloodbath
Philip Pope
Frank
Timothy West
King George III
Sophie Thompson
Mary Oliphant
Julia Hills
Mary Oliphant
Felicity Montague
Cora
Penelope Nice
Cora

Crew

Andy Hamilton
writer
Jay Tarses
writer
Paul Mayhew Archer
producer

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