The first drama of in the Emile Zola: Money season, inspired by literature's greatest ever whistle-blower and his epic saga of the Rougon Macquart families.
Adelaide Fouque (Dide) is 104 years old, trapped in her small room in the local asylum, but omniscient as she broods over her extended family. As a young woman, she gave birth to two dynasties that exemplified French society - one legitimate, rich, powerful, obsessive and corrupt; the other illegitimate, poor, vulnerable, weak and depraved. France is on the brink of a new Empire. Her family is a turbulent mix of the good, the bad and the misguided.
Damaged by a lifetime of seizures and her mind scarred by trauma but Dide cannot forget her family. "What did I bring into this world? Wolves... I have raised a family of Wolves... I have watched their years. I will tell their story. Crime by crime. Blood by blood."
The Rougon-Macquart saga, themed around Blood, Sex and Money, is a mash-up of Zola's 20 novels, drawing us into 19th century France and the tragic, farcical reign of Napoleon III, as it marches forward towards a modern, industrialised society.
In this final season, Dide engages in a desperate bid to stop daughter-in-law Félicité Rougon's unscrupulous plans to make the family the ultimate in wealth and politics in all of France.
Crash follows the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of Aristide Rougon, whose wild money making speculations in 19th century France are almost an exact mirror of the money markets of today. As he struggles with Bourse, Dide starts to hatch a plan to get out and reveal the truth about the Rougon Macquart evil deeds to the world.
Dan Rebellato is a Sony nominated writer and Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway.
Dramatised by Dan Rebellato
Sound Designer: Eloise Whitmore
Series Producer: Susan Roberts
Executive Producer: Melanie Harris
Produced and Directed by Polly Thomas
A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.
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