The Penny Dreadfuls Present...

The Penny Dreadfuls Present...

The complete BBC Radio 4 comedy series


All 10 of the Penny Dreadfuls' riotous revisionist plays, retelling famous fictional tales and historical events

'Terrific stuff' - Radio Times
'Without exaggeration, they are heirs to the madcap humour that made Monty Python so captivating.' - The Skinny

Sketch trio The Penny Dreadfuls made a name for themselves with The Brothers Faversham, telling the stories of nine extraordinary siblings in the Victorian era. In these ten comedy dramas, they step away from the 19th Century to revisit famous stories from history and literature. Featuring unforgettable characters, from the face of British treason to the last of the Plantagenets, their fresh, funny reimaginings are full of suspense, rip-roaring entertainment and gags galore.

In Guy Fawkes, they take a new look at the Gunpowder Plot; Revolution recounts the entire story of the French Revolution in just one hour (with jokes) and Hereward the Wake asks why this heroic Englishman, responsible for leading the fight against William the Conqueror's occupation, has been forgotten. Macbeth Rebothered tells an alternative tale of this noble King; The Odyssey tackles Homer's epic journey home after the Trojan War and in The Voyage of the Beagle, we hear the story Darwin left out of his tales from his time aboard HMS Beagle.

Le Carré on Spying takes us on an espionage romp through 1960s Berlin; Don Quixote condenses Cervantes' dense classic into an hour of mind-boggling fun and Hadrian's Beard considers the Roman emperor's dilemma: if he builds a wall across England, won't people just go around it in little boats? Finally, Richard III Rebothered combines history and belly laughs as the Penny Dreadfuls explore the notorious 'hunchback King'.

With all ten plays collected together here for the very first time, this release features brand new introductions to each of the episodes, in which The Penny Dreadfuls chat about the making of these hilarious histories.

Written and performed by Humphrey Ker, David Reed and Thom Tuck, these hilarious shows co-star Margaret Cabourn-Smith and feature stellar casts including Richard E Grant, Sally Hawkins, Robert Webb, Sylvester McCoy, Amanda Abbington, Kevin Eldon, Mark Heap, Miles Jupp, Lolly Adefope, Greg McHugh, Susan Calman, Justin Edwards, Vivienne Acheampong, Tony Gardner, Mina Anwar, Marek Larwood, Andrew Pugsley and Celeste Dring.

Production credits
Starring The Penny Dreadfuls: Humphrey Ker, David Reed and Thom Tuck, plus Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Produced by Julia McKenzie

Guy Fawkes
Written by Humphrey Ker, David Reed & Thom Tuck
Guest starring Kevin Eldon, Miles Jupp & Andrew Pugsley

Written by Humphrey Ker & David Reed
Guest starring Richard E Grant & Sally Hawkins

Hereward the Wake
Written by David Reed
Guest starring Justin Edwards & Marek Larwood

Macbeth Rebothered
Written by David Reed
Guest starring Susan Calman & Greg McHugh

The Odyssey
Written by David Reed
Guest starring Lolly Adefope & Robert Webb

The Curse of the Beagle
Written by David Reed

Le Carré on Spying
Written by David Reed
Guest starring Mark Heap & Miles Jupp

Don Quixote
Written by David Reed
Guest starring Amanda Abbington, Vivienne Acheampong & Sylvester McCoy

Hadrian's Beard
Written by David Reed
Guest starring Mina Anwar & Tony Gardner

Richard III Rebothered
Written by David Reed
Guest starring Celeste Dring

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


  • Terrific stuff
    Radio Times

About the authors

Humphrey Ker

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David Reed

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Thom Tuck

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