How To Survive The Roman Empire, By Pliny And Me [15 Minute Drama]

Episodes

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01Episode 12017102320190128 (R4)

Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Kieran Hodgson returns as Pliny the Younger, with Nigel Barrett as his trusty slave, Venta, who was captured during the Roman conquest of Britain. Based on real events in first century Rome.

The Emperor Domitian rules Rome with a rod of iron, and is dangerously unstable and paranoid. There are spies everywhere. Venta, Pliny, his mother Marcella, and Doris the Greek cook will have to have all their wits about them if they are to prevail.

As a teenager Pliny witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius from his home across the bay. Many years later, following a request from his uncle Tacitus who is an historian, he takes time off from being a lawyer to travel to Pompeii and Herculaneum where he hopes to find out what happened to his uncle, Pliny the Elder, who died in the eruption. But upon returning to his villa outside Rome, he finds a letter from the Emperor which throws the whole household into a panic.
By Hattie Naylor.

A BBC/Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

Pliny and his eccentric household are subject to the whims of an unstable emperor.

Classic and contemporary original drama and book dramatisations

02Episode 22017102420190129 (R4)

Pliny has been commanded by Emperor Domitian to hold a banquet for General Agricola who has recently returned from a successful conquest of Britain. The feast will take place at Pliny's villa outside Rome. But all is not what it seems. The Emperor is a jealous man and Pliny becomes suspicious when he sends one of his personal slaves to oversee the menu. By Hattie Naylor

A BBC/Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

Pliny is commanded by the Emperor to hold a banquet for returning hero General Agricola.

Classic and contemporary original drama and book dramatisations

03Episode 32017102520190130 (R4)

General Agricola has just returned from the successful conquest of Britain and Pliny has been commanded by the Emperor Domitian to throw the welcome party. But the Emperor is a jealous man and has sent his personal slave to oversee the preparation of dishes for the feast. When the conquering hero mysteriously falls ill and dies, someone has to pay a heavy price. By Hattie Naylor

A BBC /Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

The welcome party for General Agricola ends in disaster - and an arrest.

Classic and contemporary original drama and book dramatisations

05Episode 52017102620190131 (R4)

Venta has been arrested, accused of murdering a famous war hero, and flung into prison. There he meets Calvin, fellow convict and dwarf, who reveals the terrible fate that awaits them both when Emperor Domitian reopens the Colosseum with a spectacular Games. By Hattie Naylor.

A BBC/Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

Venta meets a fellow prisoner, a dwarf who reveals the terrible fate that awaits them.

Classic and contemporary original drama and book dramatisations

05Episode 52017102720190201 (R4)

Venta the slave has been moved to the cells under the Colosseum, along with his new friend Calvin, a dwarf convicted of stealing a chicken. Doris the Greek cook comes to visit. She has gazed into the entrails of a small rodent and seen death - but whose death she can't be sure. Then, from the Imperial Box Emperor Domitian gives the signal for the Games to begin. Tigers enter the arena, pitted against Gladiators. Soon Venta and Calvin will have to meet their fate.
By Hattie Naylor

A BBC Cymru/Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

Venta the slave is forced to fight in the Colosseum.

Classic and contemporary original drama and book dramatisations