by Simon Bovey
London, 1851. The world's largest diamond is on show at the Great Exhibition. And John Rayverne must find a way to steal it to save the people he loves.
Directed by Marc Beeby
1851: London buzzes with the wonders at The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. To John Rayverne, housebreaker par excellence, it's harvest time as fine houses stand empty while the occupants attend the spectacle. But his activities have come to the notice of a Governor of the Bank of England, George Galloway. Galloway has Rayverne abducted In return for not to hand him over to the police - and in order to protect the people he cares about - Rayverne is forced to agree to the impossible. He must steal one of the Exhibition's most famous exhibits: the world's largest diamond, the Koh-i-Noor. Galloway professes idealistic reasons for the theft: he fears cutting the diamond to fit the centrepiece in the Queen's crown (where it has its place today) will degrade the priceless original. But the theft appears impossible. By day the gem is sealed in an iron cage, at night it sinks into a vault. Rayverne, hounded by the police, spends much time among the mechanical wonders of the Exhibition looking for the necessary technical inspiration to carry out the theft. But has he bitten off more than even he can chew?
Simon Bovey's impeccably researched work for Radio 4 has been extremely successful. His plays include 'Red in Tooth and Claw', ' The Iceman' - 'a murkily atmospheric Victorian thriller that keeps the shivers coming' (Daily Mail) and the very well received Sargasso. Simon is also a film maker. His most recent production The Un-gone has been optioned by Miramax.
The world's largest diamond is at the Great Exhibition. John Rayverne is out to steal it.