Lloyd C. Douglas

The Robe

The Robe

A BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation


A full-cast dramatisation of the bestselling Biblical adventure story by Lloyd C. Douglas

Weary of governing, the half-crazed Emperor Tiberius retreats to Capri, leaving his loathsome stepson, Prince Gaius, in charge of an increasingly corrupt Rome. Few dare speak out against him – so when young tribune Marcellus Gallio insults him at a banquet, he is sent away on a punishment posting to a remote hill-fort in Palestine.

On arrival, he is invited to take a detachment of legionaries to Jerusalem, to help keep order during Passover. But once in the city, he finds himself officiating at the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. To blot out the horror, he gets drunk and takes part in a dice game, where he wins Christ’s robe – but the garment affects him strangely, and he suffers a complete nervous collapse.

Accompanied by his faithful slave Demetrius, Marcellus sets out on a journey, hoping to heal his mind and learn more about the man he was ordered to crucify. But will he put himself and everyone he cares about in danger...?

Meanwhile, Marcellus’ childhood sweetheart Diana has rushed to Capri to plead with Tiberius to send him back home. But the Emperor has his own plans for his beautiful granddaughter, and will not let her leave. Caught up in a madman’s manoeuvrings, can she escape to freedom? And what fate awaits her if she does?

One of the most popular novels of the 1940s, The Robe was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for a year, and in 1953, it was made into an Oscar-winning movie starring Richard Burton and Jean Simmons. Adapted for radio in 1987, this epic tale of love, faith and redemption won the Silver Sony Award for Best Dramatisation, and stars Edward de Souza as the Narrator, Anton Lesser as Marcellus, Stuart Organ as Demetrius, Helena Breck as Diana and Annette Crosbie as Empress Julia.

Written by Lloyd C. Douglas
Dramatised by David Buck
‘Miriam’s Song’ composed by David Timson
Directed by Martin Jenkins

Narrator/Tiberius – Edward de Souza
Marcellus Gallio – Anton Lesser
Senator Gallio – Bernard Hepton
Demetrius – Stuart Organ
Diana – Helena Breck
Tuscus – Brian Hewlett
Quintus – Christian Rodska
Lucia – Susie Brann
Tertia – Deborah Makepeace
Prince Gaius – Keith Drinkel
Marcipor – Manning Wilson
Boy – Elizabeth Lindsay
Cornelia – Pauline Letts
Captain Manius – Sean Arnold
Sextus – Henry Stamper
Paulus – David Buck
Melas – Timothy Bateson
Pontius Pilate – John Castle
Paula – Rachel Gurney
Pilate’s aide/Second soldier – Steven Harrold
Dion/Centurion/Groom – Brian Hewlett
Chamberlain – Alan Dudley
Theodosia – Sue Broomfield
Benjamin – Cyril Shaps
Justus – John Bennett
Philip – Alkis Constantouris
Stephanos – David Timson
Benyosef – Cyril Luckham
Simon Peter/Captain – Anthony Jackson
Trader/Prisoner – Tim Reynolds
Warder/Drunken soldier/First soldier/Caligula – Jonathan Tafler
Miriam – Karen Ascoe
Reuben – Clive Swift
Naomi – Linda Polan
Guard/Sentry – Kim Wall
Empress Julia – Annette Crosbie
Atreus/Driver/Slave – David Goodland
Serving girl – Elaine Claxton
Overseer/Sentry – Richard Durden
Antonia – Jennifer Piercey
Woman/Salome – Sheila Grant
Sarpedon – David March

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 12 April-17 May 1987

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