- First broadcast 20110410 (Radio 3)
Frederic Raphael's new play A Thousand Kisses is based on the life and work of the Roman poet Gaius Catullus.
Catullus was one of the the greatest Roman lyric poets - who lived fast and died young.
Prized by some for his sincerity and chastised by others for crudeness he has influenced generations of writes and thinkers from Ovid, Horace and Virgil to Thornton Wilder and Louis MacNiece.
In this new play, Catullus's mysterious world is brought to life, drawing on a series of love poems at the centre of his oeuvre - based on evidence that the woman in the poems ('Lesbia') was Claudia Metelli, the sister of the notorious senator Publius Clodius Pulcher, and one of the most notorious and attractive women in Rome.
A Thousand Kisses features Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as the spirited young poet who moves to Rome in search of the high life and falls for the beautiful and sophisticated Clodia (Raquel Cassidy), the wife of a powerful Roman aristocrat.
Narrated by Geoffrey Palmer and weaving Raphael's own translations of Catullus's poetry into the drama, A Thousand Kisses imagines the complex love affair and Catullus's life as a rebellious young poet in the late Roman Republic of Cicero, Pompey and Caesar (Malcolm Sinclair).
Dan Stevens - Gaius Catullus
Raqual Cassidy - Clodia Metelli
Geoffrey Palmer - Narrator
Ian Kelly - Caelius
Malcolm Sinclair - Caesar
Tom Goodman-Hill - Clodius
Stephen Critchlow - Valerius
Rupert Degas - Lucius/Calvus
Frederic Raphael - Cicero
Chloe Lewis - Melissa
Noah St Bean - Young Gaius
Music by Clive Bell
Producer, Jo Wheeler
Director, Pete Atkin
Frederic Raphael's new play exploring the life and work of Roman poet Catullus.