Joseph Andrews Remixed
A retelling of Henry Fielding's 18th century comic novel, influnced by his wife
- Comedy Drama
- BBC Radio 4
- 2 (1 series)
- Max Bennett, Lyndsey Marshal, Angus Imrie, Michael Bertenshaw, Jane Whittenshaw, Helen Longworth, Lauren Cornelius, Simon Ludders and others
- Shaun McKenna
- Tracey Neale
Henry Fielding is writing his new book, his first big prose work, Joseph Andrews. He is short of money. His wife, Charlotte, sits down to help him. Charlotte is a smart, witty woman who is by no means in awe of her famous husband and his literary ambitions. He has always relied on her opinion. She is the first to question whether anyone is interested in elusive references to Aeschylus - or indeed to the best-selling Pamela, a book she found profoundly irritating.
The relationship between Harry and Charlotte is warm and funny, as they laugh, bicker and ultimately spur one another on. As Henry and Charlotte talk (and often disagree) about the twists and turns of the story ("Really? She's going to say that?") Charlotte suggests potential alternative story paths and questions the sexual politics of the story, not least the assumptions Fielding has made about the female characters. At times, she takes over the storytelling herself. ("But what about her? I want to know what she's up to.") Just as Fielding uses his book to mock his literary rivals, Charlotte is not averse to parodying people if it works for the story. When Charlotte becomes fascinated and entranced by Joseph, just like all the characters in the story, this creates insecurity for Harry and he becomes jealous of his own creation (a misunderstanding which parallels all the misunderstandings in the story itself). Henry starts to punish Joseph and threatens a happy ending. But Charlotte's quick thinking saves the day but only after she has reassured her insecure husband that he is the one for her.
What begins as Henry's satire on contemporary fiction becomes a jointly conceived story about fully rounded, fully realized people trying to do their best in a complicated world. The main characters, despite their names, are three dimensional with hopes, dreams, virtues and all-too-human failings which is hugely entertaining.
- Production company
- Also known as
- Drama: Joseph Andrews Remixed (Other official name)
- Laugh track
- First broadcast
- Sunday 18th July 2021 on BBC Radio 4 at 3pm
- Last new broadcast
- Sunday 25th July 2021 on BBC Radio 4 at 3pm
- Length of episodes
- 1 hour