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Publisher's Summary

Henry Goodman stars in this irreverent historical romp, set in 18th-century France.

When impoverished watchmaker Caron invents a pioneering device that could revolutionise timekeeping, his fortunes begin to change. Marrying a young, upper-class widow, he takes on a new noble name - de Beaumarchais - and sets out to conquer Louis XV's court.

But his attempts to rise through the ranks of Versailles society are blocked by royal clockmaker Lepaute - as well as courtly crushes, rumours of war and illicit printing. In a bid to offset his enormous debts, he takes on a tricky task for the king - but his patron's death presents further challenges, in the form of an unlikely dairymaid, a controversial play and political unrest. Will the storming of the Bastille put paid to his aristocratic ambitions?

Created by multi-award-winning playwright Craig Warner, this witty sitcom is based on the real-life story of Pierre-Agustin Caron de Beaumarchais - horologist, playwright, diplomat, arms dealer and spy. Henry Goodman plays our wily hero, and among the star cast are Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Jason O'Mara, Siobhan Redmond and Joanna Monro.

Written by Craig Warner.

Directed by Marion Nancarrow.

Cast:

Beaumarchais - Henry Goodman

Henri Lepaute - David Calder

Louis XV - Ronald Pickup

Madame de Pompadour/Odile - Ann Beach

Beaumarchais' father - Stephen Thorne

Madelaine - Elaine Pyke

Vignon/Lord Stormont - Denys Hawthorne

Secretaire/Silas Deane - Jason O'Mara

Lawyer/Louis XVI/Soldier - Alex Lowe

Princess Adelaide - Colleen Prendergast

Princess Sophie - Amanda Gordon

Goezman - Hugh Ross

Le Comte d'Artois/Duverney/Figaro/Barber - Sean Baker

La Blache/Dupaty - David Bannerman

La Duchesse de Polignac - Joanna Monro

Lia de Beaumont - Bill Nighy

Lord Rochford - David Timson

Marie Antoinette - Siobhan Redmond

Jacques/Marat - Kim Wall

Jules/President - Christopher Scott

Suard/Beggar - Ron Cook

Le Duc de Fronsac - Ioan Meredith

Market women - Joanna Monro and Elaine Pyke

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 7th November - 12th December 2006

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Beaumarchais

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