Immorality Unmasked: A BBC Radio Drama Collection

Immorality Unmasked: A BBC Radio Drama Collection

Five Full-Cast Dramatisations Including Othello, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde & The Picture of Dorian Gray


BBC radio dramatisations of classic novels featuring some of literature’s most devious and compelling villains

Cunning. Corrupt. Charismatic. The degenerate characters in this collection shun conventional morality, and will stop at nothing to get what they want... These five sensational dramas, set in locations ranging from 16th century Venice to Victorian England, revolve around their unscrupulous actions – and the devastating consequences of the choices they make.

OthelloLenny Henry stars in this acclaimed production of Shakespeare's great tragedy of love turned sour by unfounded jealousy. Othello is a brave general and a noble man – but the evil manipulations of his lieutenant, Iago (Conrad Nelson) provoke his descent into deluded rage.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Introduced by David Tennant, this fast-moving dramatisation tells the disturbing tale of a scientist who experiments on himself to release his uncontrollable dark side, and of the lawyer’s daughter determined to bring him to book. Starring Stuart MacQuarrie, John Dougall and Madeleine Worrell.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Vain, hedonistic aristocrat Dorian Gray makes a Faustian pact to preserve his youthful beauty. But after years of decadence and selfish pleasure, is retribution on the horizon? Jamie Glover and Ian McDiarmid star in this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s famous novel.

Lady Audley’s Secret– Newly married to rich widower Lord Audley, former governess Lucy Graham glories in the delights of her new life. When her scandalous past is discovered, she will dare anything to preserve the security and wealth she has gained… Starring Hattie Morahan, Charlotte Emerson and Alex Wyndham, this thrilling serial retains all the mystery and suspense of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Gothic ‘sensation novel’.

Confessions of a Justified Sinner – Robert Colwan believes he is destined for salvation no matter what crimes he commits. If you can kill without paying the price, how murderous can you become? And what, if anything, does that do to your psyche? Lorn Macdonald stars in this tense, eerie reimagining of James Hogg’s seminal novel about a young man radicalised by religious fanaticism.

Content list


Written by William Shakespeare
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 27 Feb 2010

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Written by Robert Louis Stevenson
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 19 Nov 2016

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Written by Oscar Wilde
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30 Jan-6 Feb 2000

Lady Audley’s Secret

Written by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 20 Apr-1 May 2009

Confessions of a Justified Sinner

Written by James Hogg
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 19 Mar 2023

© 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the authors

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glove maker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do local land owner. Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford’s grammar school. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585.

Shakespeare’s theatrical life seems to have commenced around 1590. We do know that he was part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, which was renamed the King’s Company in 1603 when James I succeeded to the throne. The Company acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars.

Shakespeare’s poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written at this time as well.

Records of Shakespeare’s plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. His earliest plays include Henry VI and Titus Andronicus. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II all date from the mid to late 1590s. Some of his most famous tragedies were written in the early 1600s; these include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra. His late plays, often known as the Romances, date from 1608 onwards and include The Tempest.

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as ‘the First Folio’.
Learn More

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. The son of a prosperous civil engineer, he was expected to follow the family profession but was finally allowed to study law at Edinburgh University. Stevenson reacted forcibly against the Presbyterianism of both his city's professional classes and his devout parents, but the influence of Calvinism on his childhood informed the fascination with evil that is so powerfully explored in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Stevenson suffered from a severe respiratory disease from his twenties onwards, leading him to settle in the gentle climate of Samoa with his American wife, Fanny Osbourne.
Learn More

Oscar Wilde

Learn More

Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Learn More

James Hogg

Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more