In Search of Lost Time

In Search of Lost Time

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation


A landmark BBC radio production of Proust's epic masterpiece, starring Derek Jacobi as the narrator, Marcel

'Beautiful' - Charlotte Runcie, The Telegraph

Waking in the small hours, Marcel Proust embarks on a retrospective journey, endeavouring to capture the elusive moments that shaped his life. A sip of tea and the taste of a madeleine prompt further recollections, and the floodgates of memory open, pouring forth a torrent of vivid reminiscences.

Beginning with his childhood summers in Combray, and the long nights waiting for his mother to come and kiss him goodnight, he looks back on the places and people who have had a significant, lasting impact on him. The tragic story of his neighbour Charles Swann's obsessive love for the seductive Odette brings to mind his own youthful experiences and amours in Paris, Balbec and Venice; his mistress, Albertine; his closest companion, Robert; his predatory acquaintance the Baron de Charlus; and his many high-society friends and associates.

Time, and the Great War, take their toll on Marcel and his circle, rendering the world he knows unrecognizable. But as he attempts to reconcile his past with his present, an encounter with an old flame sparks an epiphany, enabling him to finally become the writer he has always yearned to be...

Adapted from the French by acclaimed playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker, this superb dramatisation of Proust's allegorical reflection on time, memory, art and love boasts an all-star cast including Derek Jacobi, Frances Barber, Paterson Joseph, Simon Russell Beale, Hattie Morahan and Robert Glenister.

Production credits
Translated and adapted from the French by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Produced and directed by Celia de Wolff
Production Co-ordinator: Sarah Tombling
Recording and Sound Design: David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown
Executive Producer: Peter Hoare
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4

Marcel (narrator) - Derek Jacobi
Young Marcel - Isaac Watts
Maman - Sylvestra le Touzel
Papa - Oliver Cotton
Grand-mère - Joanna David
Françoise - Susan Brown
Madame Verdurin - Frances Barber
Monsieur Verdurin - Jeff Rawle
Doctor Cottard - Lloyd Hutchinson
Tante Leonie/Marquise de Sainte Euverte/Madame de Sazerat - Pamela Miles
Mademoiselle Vinteuil/Prostitute/Madame d'Arpajon - Charlotte Blandford
Mademoiselle Vinteuil's friend/Another prostitute - Phoebe Marshall
Odette - Bessie Carter
Pianist/Lift boy/Servant - Daniel Whitlam
Charles Swann - Paterson Joseph
Remi/Ski/Man at desk - Nicholas Armfield
Elstir Biche/Monsieur de Breaute/Butler - Daniel Flynn
Madame de Gallardon/Queen of Naples - Christine Kavanagh
Brichot - Hugh Ross
Forcheville/Boss/Bloch - Nicholas Gleaves
Saniette/Older man - Roger Watkins
Madame Cottard/Princess de Parme/Madame de Cambremer/Woman guest - Emma Amos
Young Gilberte - Mary Glen
Young Marcel - Isaac Watts
Marcel - Blake Ritson
Gilberte - Emma Mackey
Monsieur de Norpois/De Boulbon/Servant/Jupien/Marquis de Cambremer - Ben Crowe
Robert de Saint Loup - Kyle Soller
Basin, Duke of Guermantes - Robert Glenister
Oriane, Duchess of Guermantes - Fenella Woolgar
Baron de Charlus - Simon Russell Beale
Albertine - Hattie Morahan
Morel - Tom Glenister
Andree - Georgina Beedle
Madame de Villeparisis - Serena Evans
Servant/Concierge/Manager/Doctor - Finlay Paul
Other voices - Nicholas Armfield, Phoebe Marshall
Soldiers - Daniel Whitlam, Nicholas Armfield, Toheeb Jimoh, Tom Glenister
Telephone operator - Alice Hoskyns
Young men - Toheeb Jimoh, Finlay Paul, Daniel Whitlam, Sam Rawle
Other parts played by members of the company

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 24-26 August 2019

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


  • Beautiful
    Charlotte Runcie, The Telegraph

About the author

Marcel Proust

Proust was born in Auteuil, France in 1871. He began writing his masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu, in 1909, and worked on it until his death in 1922, following several years of poor health during which he had been confined to his bedroom.
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