The French Revolution was one of the most far-reaching social and political upheavals in modern history, spanning 10 years and involving the execution of the king, collapse of the monarchy, and the slaughter of thousands at the guillotine. Starring Richard E Grant and Sally Hawkins, comedy trio The Penny Dreadfuls here attempt to tell the epic story of the Revolution in one hour, with jokes.
The play's two main characters are Maximilien Robespierre, the dictatorial architect of the Reign of Terror, who sent thousands to their deaths, and Marie-Therese, the 16-year-old daughter of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Marie-Therese was incarcerated for three years by the revolutionaries. When she was locked up, her father, mother, aunt, and little brother were also with her. After the execution of her father, the rest of the family were moved to another part of the tower, and Marie-Therese was kept in solitary confinement. It is recorded that Robespierre visited Marie-Therese at one point in the tower, but there is no historical record of that conversation. This play is that conversation.
Revolution was written by comedy trio The Penny Dreadfuls, Humphrey Ker, David Reed, and Thom Tuck, all successful in their own rights as solo performers. They wrote an Afternoon Play for radio about Guy Fawkes and they have previously had two series of The Brothers Faversham broadcast on Radio 7. Starring Richard E Grant, Sally Hawkins, David Reed, Humphrey Ker, Thom Tuck and Margaret Cabourn-Smith. Produced by Julia McKenzie. Download and start listening now!