Anthony Hope

The Prisoner of Zenda & Rupert of Hentzau

The Prisoner of Zenda & Rupert of Hentzau

Two BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations


BBC Radio adaptations of Anthony Hope's famous swashbuckling adventure novel and its sequel

Anthony Hope's swashbuckling historical novel The Prisoner of Zenda was first published in 1894 and was an instant hit, spawning an 1898 sequel, Rupert of Hentzau, and launching the Ruritanian romance genre. Included here are the radio dramatisations of both thrilling novels, starring Julian Glover as Rudolf Rassendyll and King Rudolf, Martin Jarvis as Rupert of Hentzau and Hannah Gordon as Flavia.

The Prisoner of Zenda - On holiday in the East European province of Ruritania, English gentleman Rudolf Rassendyll is caught up in a web of subterfuge. When his distant cousin, King Rudolf, is drugged on the eve of his coronation, Rassendyll is persuaded to impersonate him at the ceremony, thereby thwarting Rudolf's half-brother's attempts to seize the throne. But as the doppelganger is crowned, the real King is kidnapped and imprisoned. To save him, Rassendyll is forced to continue the deception: and finds himself falling in love with the King's intended bride, Princess Flavia...

Rupert of Hentzau - Three years on from his Ruritanian adventures, Rudolf Rassendyll is living in voluntary exile, separated from his beloved Flavia since her marriage to the King. His only consolation is the annual red rose she sends him, as a token of love and remembrance. But now, instead of a flower, she has sent a letter - and this incriminating missive has been intercepted by the dastardly Rupert of Hentzau. The repercussions will bring Rassendyll face-to-face with his old foe, as he is embroiled once more in danger and intrigue.

First published 1894 (The Prisoner of Zenda) and 1898 (Rupert of Hentzau)

The Prisoner of Zenda
Rudolf Rassendyll/King Rudolf - Julian Glover
Colonel Sapt - Nigel Stock
Princess Flavia - Hannah Gordon
Count Fritz von Tarlenheim - David Timson
Rupert of Hentzau - Martin Jarvis
Duke Michael - Michael Spice
Antoinette de Mauban - Anne Kidd
Lord Burlesdon - Clive Swift
Lady Rose Burlesdon/ Innkeeper - Diana Bishop
Countess Helga - Hilda Schroder
Rosa - Cherry Gilliam
Captain Detchard - Terry Scully
Johann - Sam Dastor
Josef - Haydn Jones
Train guard - William Sleigh
Bersonin - David Gooderson
Customs officer - Brian Haines

Adapted by Eric Maschwitz and Kay Patrick
Produced by Martin Jenkins
Original music (1939) by Robert Chignell and Leslie Woodgate
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 19 May 1973

Rupert of Hentzau
Rudolf Rassendyll/King Rudolf - Julian Glover
Queen Flavia - Hannah Gordon
Herbert/Bauer - Nigel Anthony
Hermann/Anton von Strofzing - David Sinclair
James - Timothy Alcock
Station-Master/Butler - Wilfrid Carter
Countess Helga - Hilda Schroder
Count Fritz von Tarlenheim - David Timson
Madame Helsing/Mother Holf - Diana Bishop
Rischenheim - Kerry Francis
Rupert of Hentzau - Martin Jarvis
Chancellor Helsing/Farmer - Peter Williams
Constable/Thug - Vernon Joyner
Colonel Sapt - Nigel Stock
Fraulein Helsing - Bonnie Hurren
Bernenstein - Sean Barrett
Simon/Thug - Fraser Kerr
Rosa - Cherry Gilliam

Adapted by Cynthia Pughe and Kay Patrick
Produced by Martin Jenkins
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 26 May 1973

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

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