C.S. Forester: The African Queen, The Gun and more: 5 Full Cast Dramatisations of iconic novels

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
June 2024
4 hours 42 minutes
Full cast BBC Radio productions of five of C. S. Forester’s classic novels

Most famous for his Hornblower series, iconic writer C. S. Forester tells tales of adventure like no other. This BBC radio collection features modern adaptations of five of his acclaimed novels, including The African Queen (famously adapted as an Oscar-winning film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn) and The Gun, which was turned into the hit Hollywood movie The Pride and the Passion.

The African Queen – East Africa, 1915. When missionary Rose Sayer’s brother dies and the German army invade their village, she finds herself thrown together with cowardly Cockney Charlie Allnut in his rickety steam-powered boat, The African Queen. Together, they brave German attacks, rapids, malaria and mechanical mishaps – but can they survive each other’s company? This radio dramatisation goes back to the novel, reinstating Forester's original ending and giving Charlie his Cockney identity back. Samantha Bond stars as Rose, with Toby Jones as Charlie.

London Noir – Based on early novels by C. S. Forester, these three psychological thrillers take crime writing in a new direction by portraying ordinary, desperate people engaging in monstrous acts. Set in the 1920s, Payment Deferred centres around a bank clerk who commits a heinous crime to get out of debt, while Plain Murder sees three ad men plotting the ‘perfect murder’. And in The Pursued, it is 1935, and an elderly lady becomes obsessed with revenge when her daughter is found dead. Greg Wise narrates these chilling dramas, with casts including Sam Dale, Bryan Dick and Sophie Thompson.

The Gun – This masterful historical drama tells the story of a massive 18-pounder gun that falls into the hands of Spanish partisans during the Peninsular War. Dragged across the mountains and plains of Spain, it becomes a potent symbol of pride and resistance – and changes the lives of those who fight each other to the death to gain control of it. Scott Arthur and Matthew Grevelle star in this gripping tale of guerrilla warfare.

Text copyright C. S. Forester 1926 (Payment Deferred), 1930 (Plain Murder), 1933 (The Gun), 1935 (The African Queen, The Pursued)

Cast and credits
Written by C. S. Forester

The African Queen
Featuring Samantha Bond, Toby Jones, Stephen Critchlow, Mark Edel-Hunt, David Acton
Adapted by Paul Mendelson
Produced and directed by David Ian Neville
Music composed and played by Gary C. Newman

London Noir
Dramatised by Paul Mendelson
Produced and directed by David Ian Neville
Music composed by Gary C. Newman
Clarinet: Samantha Baldwin

Payment Deferred
Featuring Greg Wise, Sam Dale, Rebecca Lacey, Teresa Gallagher, Nick Underwood, David Thorpe, Sam Cummings, Emily Dolbear

Plain Murder
Featuring Greg Wise, Bryan Dick, Susie Riddell, Crawford Logan, David Seddon, Christopher Webster, David Holt, Cassie Layton, Imogen Barnes

The Pursued
Featuring Greg Wise, Sophie Thompson, Ben Crowe, Tessa Peake-Jones, Richard Lumsden, Carl Prekopp, Charlie Abbit, Cassie Layton

The Gun
Featuring Scott Arthur, Matthew Gravelle, Keiron Self, Don Gilet, Kevin Doyle
Dramatised by Mike Walker
Produced by Polly Thomas

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