Keats-Shelley 200

Tuesday 23 February 2021 — Tuesday 23 March 2021

Writ in Water: A New BBC Radio 4 Play About the Death of John Keats

Writ in Water: A New BBC Radio 4 Play About the Death of John Keats

BBC Radio 4

Tuesday 23 February 2021 — Tuesday 23 March 2021

‘Writ in Water’ by Angus Graham-Campbell is a new radio play commissioned for the Bicentenary of John Keats’s death. It will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 2.15 pm on 23 February 2021.

John Keats is played by Billy Howle, currently starring as Herman Knippenberg in hit BBC series The Serpent.

Saffron Coomber (Tracy Beaker, Strike) plays Fanny Brawne. Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells) is Joseph Severn, the young painter who accompanied Keats to Rome.

The play dramatises Keats and Severn’s voyage to Rome on the Maria Crowther, his passionate relationship with Fanny Brawne and his anguished final weeks at 26 Piazza di Spagna, cared for by Joseph Severn. The play opens with the poet’s burial in the Cimitero Acattolico and the epitaph that gives the play its title: ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water’.

25 years before Writ in Water, Angus Graham-Campbell’s ‘Rebel Angel’ was broadcast on 30 October 1995 to mark the Bicentenary of Keats’s birth. This time Keats was played by Julian Rhind-Tutt. The play traced Keats' life from childhood through his medical training towards his eventual vocation as a poet.

Listen to Writ in Water live via the BBC Radio 4 website. The play will then be available to steam online.

Read a Q&A with Angus Graham-Campbell, author of 'Writ in Water'.

Learn more about John Keats’ final months on our interactive, multi-media Google Earth Map, John Keats’ Final Voyage.  

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