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Episode 1

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Sunday 26 April 2009

Dramatisation of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde.

One of the great works of English literature, this powerful, compelling story explores love from its first tentative beginnings through to passionate sensuality and eventual tragic disillusionment. Lavinia Greenlaw's new version for radio brings Chaucer's language up-to-date for a modern audience while remaining true to his original poetic intention.

After seeing the beautiful widow Criseyde at the temple in Troy, Troilus falls instantly in love with her. Inexperienced in love, he is unable to act on his feelings and locks himself in his room to compose love songs. Pandarus, worried for his friend, eventually persuades Troilus to tell him why he is so miserable and is delighted to hear that the cause is Troilus' love for his niece Criseyde.

Worried about her reputation, Criseyde is at first reluctant to enter into a relationship with Troilus. After much cajoling and manipulation, she reluctantly comes around to the idea. Pandarus is frustrated that the relationship is moving too slowly and engineers a complex plan to get Criseyde and Troilus in bed together.

Troilus ...... Tom Ferguson
Criseyde ...... Maxine Peake
Pandarus ...... Malcolm Raeburn
Servant/Friend ...... Kathryn Hunt
Calchas/Servant ...... Kevin Doyle
Priam/Servant ...... Terence Mann
Hector/Diomede ...... Declan Wilson

With music composed by Gary Yershon and performed by Ehsan Emam, Tim Williams and Mike Dale.

Directed by Susan Roberts.

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