By Sara Davies
It's a risk to let a mild-mannered interviewer loose on your household. Karl Marx would never have agreed to it, unless he was drunk, which, it turns out, he was. It is April 1873 when our interviewer appears on the doorstep, ready to record whatever she witnesses. Marx and his adored 18-year old daughter Eleanor are packing for a trip to Brighton, but not just for their health. Just because he's the greatest political thinker of the century doesn't mean that Marx' family is immune to bourgeois aspirations and teenage tantrums. He also has a secret that no one in the family will ever reveal.
Our interviewer discovers that Marx can be terrifyingly confrontational and intolerant of fools, or fun-loving and kind. He delights in the press' description of him as the 'most dangerous man in Europe' even though it means his family have had to make so many sacrifices: chased out of mainland Europe and frequently penniless. Marx is a devoted husband and father and his youngest daughter Eleanor is especially beloved. She is also essential to Marx' work: one of the few people who can keep up with his extraordinary intellect, ignore his ranting and interpret his astonishingly bad writing.
But his housekeeper Helene is the only person who can calm Marx down when he is in a temper. And she has a secret of her own.
Music by Tom Constantine