The tale was originally set during the Third Crusade in the 12th Century. King Richard the Lionheart is ill and the Christian forces are divided and facing the abandonment of the Crusade. This new adaptation for radio updates the story to 2011, setting it during the Occupy London demonstrations.
Occupy London in 2011: the protestors started with an almost ecstatic belief in the possibility of change. They aimed to seize the holiest of places - the London Stock Exchange - but were beaten back and forced to set up camp outside. As the original crusaders came to loathe the heat and insect life in their desert encampment outside Jerusalem, the protestors of Occupy came to much the same conclusion - as winter set in - about sleeping on the cold, wet flagstones of St.Paul's Churchyard. And, in much the same way, the competing groups started to feel it was time to pack up and go home. Listeners will follow Scott's original story of conspiracy and counter-conspiracy and, most important of all, star-crossed lovers but will hear new resonances in this old tale.
The production stars John Wark as Kenny and Danny Rahim as Hakim. David Tennant narrates the story in the role of Sir Walter Scott. The Talisman was adapted for radio by Jonathan Myerson and the programme is produced and directed by Clive Brill of Brill Productions for BBC Radio 4.
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