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Audio Drama Review


Robinson Crusoe
Full-cast Dramatisation


Author: Daniel Defoe
Starring: Roy Marsden, Tom Bevan and Lloyd Notice
BBC Audio
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 408 40065 4
Available 10 July 2008

Young Robinson Crusoe has a burning ambition to be a sailor. Paying no attention to his parent's warnings he runs away to sea to embark on an extraordinary series of adventures: struggles with Barbary pirates, a shipwreck and the extraordinary meeting with Man Friday...

Robinson Crusoe was originally published in 1719 under the rather wordy title The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years all alone in an Un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, Where in all the Men perished but Himself. With An Account how he was at Last as Strangely Deliver'd by Pyrates.

This audio drama was broadcast in two parts on BBC Radio 4 on the 10 and 17 May 1988. The story in this adaptation flips backwards and forwards through time. We hear Crusoe's experience onboard the ship, his promise to his parents not to go to sea and his first brush with disaster on the ocean waves in flashback, already having established that he is stranded on an island.

Roy Marsden plays the older Robinson Crusoe looking back on a life of recklessness, daring and adventure - and the survival of twenty-eight years, two months and nineteen days on a desert island. This story is thought to be based on the real-life adventures of Alexander Selkirk, son of a Scottish shoemaker, who lived for more than four years on a Pacific island which was renamed in 1966 to Robinson Crusoe Island.

Robinson Crusoe was one of the very first adventure stories to be published in English literature and it remains as gripping today as it was on publication in 1719.

This is certainly an entertaining audio production that's worth getting hold of.


Amber Leigh

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