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Summary

Dorothy L. Sayers's classic play cycle based on the life and times of Jesus.

Dorothy L. Sayers was best known for her mystery novels featuring aristocratic amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. But she was also a poet, playwright and committed Christian, and in The Man Born to Be King, she combined art and evangelism to powerful effect, making the story of Christ accessible, relevant and every bit as thrilling as her detective fiction.

Written specially for the BBC Radio and first broadcast in 1941, the play cycle caused huge controversy for its depiction of Christ as a character and its use of contemporary speech instead of Biblical language. However, it proved extremely popular with listeners, who wrote in to thank Sayers for making Jesus real to them and reigniting their interest in his remarkable story.

Based on the four Gospels, it includes one story of the Nativity, six plays about Jesus' life and ministry, and five Passion Plays telling of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, Jesus' arrest and trial before Pontius Pilate, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Backed up with a sweeping musical score, these immersive dramas surprise and shock us anew and provide fresh, illuminating insight into 'the greatest story ever told'.

The plays included are Kings in Judea, The King's Herald, A Certain Nobleman, The Heirs to the Kingdom, The Bread of Heaven, The Feast of Tabernacles, The Light and the Life, Royal Progress, The King's Supper, The Princes of This World, King of Sorrows and The King Comes to His Own.

Cast and credits:

Written by Dorothy L Sayers. Produced by William Glen-Doepel.

Evangelist - Godfrey Kenton, Jesus - Tom Fleming, Herod - Norman Scace/Philip Leaver, Ephraim - Rolf Lefebvre, Proclus - Humphrey Morton, Caspar - Norman Shelley, Melchior - Godfrey Quigley, Balthazar - Gabriel Woolf, Mary - Beth Boyd, Joseph - Garard Green/Harold Reese, Shepherd's wife - Vivienne Chatterton, Zillah/Miriam - Patricia Leventon, Father - Jeffrey Segal, Mother - Molly Rankin, John the Baptist - Denys Hawthorne, Judas Iscariot - William Eedle, John Bar-Zebedee - Michael Acton-Bond, James Bar-Zebedee - Geoffrey Matthews, Andrew Bar-Jonah - Peter Marinker, Simon Peter - Wilfred Harrison, Baruch the Zealot - Howieson Culff, Susannah - Mary Wimbush, Rabbi Solomon - Earle Grey, Benjamin Ben-Issachar/Gestas - Peter O'Shaughnessy, Mary Virgin - Margaret Diamond, Philip - Anthony Hall, Matthew - David Lawton, Sosius - William Fox, Caiaphas - Heron Carvic, Baruch's wife - Margery Wright, Thomas Didymus - Will Leighton, Simeon - Alan Haines, Annas - Edgar Norfolk, Claudia Procula - Diana Olsson, Captain Elihu - Stephen Thorne, Eunice - Eva Haddon, Lazarus - John Welsh, Martha - Marjorie Westbury, Mary Magdalen - Margaret Wolfit, Jacob - Toke Townley, Proclus - Humphrey Morton, Pilate - Tony Church, Shadrach - Malcolm Hayes, Flavius - Robin Lloyd, Nicodemus - Denys Blakelock, Joseph of Arimathaea - Hamilton Dyce, Mary Cleophas - Grizelda Hervey, Dysmas - James McManus, Salome - Mary O'Farrell, Cleophas - Raf de la Torre.

First broadcast BBC Home Service, 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th February, 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th March, 4th, 11th, 16th, 18th April 1965.

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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