John Fowles: The Collector, The Magus & The French Lieutenant’s Woman

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What to expect

Full-cast dramatisations of John Fowles’ three best-known novels, with star casts

John Fowles won international acclaim for his innovative, allusive novels The Collector, The Magus and The French Lieutenant’s Woman. All were critical and commercial successes, translated into several languages and adapted as feature films. This collection brings together the BBC Radio adaptations of these three modern classics, with stellar casts including Judi Dench, Charles Dance and John Hurt.

The Collector – When a lonely, obsessional office clerk wins a fortune on the football pools, he turns from collecting butterflies to ‘collecting’ a beautiful art student… This dark, disturbing dramatisation stars Judi Dench and Nigel Anthony.

The Magus – Disillusioned young graduate Nick Urfe accepts a teaching post on an idyllic Greek island. There, he meets the mysterious Maurice Conchis, and becomes embroiled in a world of bizarre encounters and psychological tricks. As reality and illusion intertwine, what strange game is Conchis playing with Nick? Tom Burke, Charles Dance and Hayley Atwell star in this eerie, Lynchian drama.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman – Lyme Regis, 1867. Gentleman naturalist Charles Smithson is engaged to be married to the respectable Ernestina – but when he falls in love with notorious social outcast Sarah Woodruff, his complacent snobbery is shattered. Narrated by John Hurt, this multi-layered tale of forbidden passions in Victorian Dorset stars Jonathan Firth and Emily Bruni.

Text copyright © John Fowles 1963 (The Collector), 1966, 1977 (The Magus), 1969 (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)

The Collector
Miranda – Judi Dench
Clegg – Nigel Anthony
Other parts played by Douglas Blackwell, Martin Friend, Jane Knowles and John Rowe
Adapted by David Parker
Produced by Richard Wortley
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 31 July 1972

The Magus
Nick – Tom Burke
Conchis – Charles Dance
Lily – Hayley Atwell
Alison – Anna Skellern
Margaret – Josie Taylor
Mitford – David Seddon
Meli – Chris Pavlo
Rowena – Lynsey-Anne Moffat
Anton – Maarten Dannenberg
German Colonel – Bodo Friesecke
Greek resistance fighter/Ticket seller – Andreas Karras
Lily de Seitas – Beth Goddard
Kemp – Rachel Atkins
Briggs – Michael Shelford
Mrs Marks – Elaine Claxton
Benji – Rudi Goodman
Adapted by Adrian Hodges
Produced and directed by Heather Larmour
Harpsichordist: Maggie Cole
Recorder player: Martin Feinstein
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 20 March-3 April 2016

The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Narrator – John Hurt
Charles – Jonathan Firth
Sarah – Emily Bruni
Ernestina – Kelly Reilly
Mrs Tranter – Elizabeth Spriggs
Dr Grogan – TP McKenna
Mrs Poulteney/Mrs Endicott – Susan Jameson
Sam – Nick Sayce
Mary – Ella Smith
Dairyman/Mr Freeman – Gerard McDermott
Mrs Fairley/Mrs Rogers – Colleen Prendergast
Ostler/Montague – Wayne Foskett
Prostitute – Sophie Roberts
Curate – John Cummins
Dramatised by Graham White
Produced by Peter Kavanagh
First broadcast BBC World Service, 23-30 September 2006

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd.
(p) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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