In March 2021 I was commissioned by Soundart Radio to produce my radio drama Brutus of Troy: First King of Britain as part of the Tomorrow’s Transmissions project, supported by the Culture Recovery Fund.
“an accessible and amusing trip into myth” The People’s Republic of South Devon review
“a vibrant, snapshot-style narrative that highlights the human in the epic” The Indiependent
Brutus of Troy, a direct descended of Aeneas, accidentally kills his own father while out hunting and is sent into indefinite exile. He travels the Mediterranean, passing through Greece where he helps liberate his fellow Trojans from slavery to King Pandrasus. They attack the Greeks and Brutus successfully negotiates safe passage to freedom. After further peregrinations, and with the help of the Goddess Diana, Brutus eventually arrives at Totnes, where he must overcome the giant Gogmagog in order to become Britain’s first king.
Inspired by the first story in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, the play retells the story of Brutus of Troy, first king of Britain, for a new audience with a particular focus on the undeniable if geographically surprising links with Totnes. The play draws on renditions of the story throughout English literary history, from Blake to Milton to Spenser, a mention in Gawain and the Green Knight and lots of other places, and is informed by the ancient chronicles that presented the Brutus story as real history. The play also connects with contemporary issues of migration of people across the Mediterranean, ideas of national sovereignty that became so important in Brexit debates, and obliquely rethinks the blending of fact and fiction in the modern day media.
Sam Hunter – Brutus
Charlie Tantam – Gogmagog, Pandrasus
Eleanor Webster – Innogen, Corina, Diana
James Murphy-Stevens – First Official, Paula, Soothsayer
Tamsin Cowell – Natural Trumpet, Cornetto
30 March, 5pm – 6pm + 1 April, 11am – 12 noon
Tune in to Soundart Radio webplayer via this link, or if you are local to Totnes it’s on 102.5 FM.
A literary history of the Brutus myth
Image: An edited public domain image of Brutus from the Rijksmuseum