Gargantua And Pantagruel, Gargantua

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Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais. Dramatised by Lavinia Murray.

Ep 1 Gargantua

The bawdy, exuburant adventures of medieval giants. A dizzying blend of fantasy, comedy, philosophy and scatological humour. The world's a messy place. Episode 1 depicts the young life of the giant Gargantua, who is reduced to laughable insanity by an education at the hands of paternal ignorance, old crones and syphilitic professors.

Rabelais...David Troughton

Gargantua..Robert Wilfort

Grangousier..Eric Potts

Gargamelle..Melissa Jane Sinden

Holofornes/Friar Jean..Jonathan Keeble

Panochrates..Malcolm Raeburn

Eudomon/Sun..Kathryn Hunt

Producer Gary Brown

Gargantua (ep 1) depicts a young giant, reduced to laughable insanity by an education at the hands of paternal ignorance, old crones and syphilitic professors, who is rescued and turned into a cultured Christian knight.

This tale is a dizzying blend of fantasy, comedy, philosophy and scatological humour. The world's a messy place. All the big mock-heroic novels that followed - Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy, Gulliver's Travels, Ulysses - are about mess, they're about slops and slime, encyclopedic in their efforts to encompass humanity in all its bawdy, chaotic, grungy, and painful reality. And like Gargantua and Pantagruel they're also very funny. The Rabelaisian world view is founded on the assumption that the humourless are not yet wise - and these tales insist you learn to laugh at humanity.

Gargantua and Pantagruel is dramatised by Lavinia Murray, one of our leading radio playwrights whose credits include 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' and 'The Confessions of an English Opium Eater'.

A young giant is rescued and turned into a cultured Christian knight.

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A young giant is rescued and turned into a cultured Christian knight.