BBC Radio 4, 14-18 May 2012
The fourth series of dramatized extracts from the diary of Samuel Pepys,
with Kris Marshall and Katherine Jakeways returning to the roles of Pepys and his wife Lizzie.
Once again the pleasure of Kate McAll's production lies in the way it dramatizes
the unique qualities of the diary, in which the mundane, the personal and political are combined into a seamless narrative.
We hear intimate details of Pepys' personal life; his struggles with his wife; his suspicions of her having her affair with
a dancing-master; his own personal peccadilloes - which extend to a little S&M rather than sexual conquests; his reports
of his monarch's infidelities; daily struggles at work and in the street; and his desire to justify himself, even while clearly
in the wrong.
The style of the production is episodic, with Pepys offering us his thoughts and
reflections - spontaneously expressed - through asides. The style is often farcical, with plenty of rumbustious action; it
almost seems as if he were involved in a Restoration comedy of his own making. Great listening: look forward to the fifth