A BBC Radio 3 play exploring the extraordinary relationship between brother and sister Charles and Mary Lamb, the writers of The Tales of Shakespeare (1807), the seminal children's introduction to Shakespeare, which is still in print. Originally broadcast as part of the 'Drama on 3' series on 16 January 2011.
Although their publication is of great renown, what is less well known are the tragic circumstances, domestic and personal, behind the partnership of Charles and Mary. The Lamb family was London born and bred, bohemian and penniless. A combination of poverty and stress drove Mary insane, and she committed a shocking crime. Charles saved her from prison and promised he would always take care of her. Mary was never 'sane' again but during the writing of 'The Tales' alongside her brother, she was at her sanest. Literary production gave order and structure to her life. The main essence of this play explores the connection between literary creativity and mental equilibrium.
Charles and Mary was written by experienced novelist and playwright Carlo Gebler (The Eleventh Summer, The Cure and How to Murder a Man), and stars BAFTA award-winning Lia Williams and Paul Rhys as the leading characters. The supporting cast includes Anna Carteret, Dudley Sutton, Mark Bazeley, Marcella Riordan, Christine Kavanagh and Sam Dale.