Words and Music is an Arts programme.

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Words and Music

From Shakespeare to Hilary Mantel, the Tudor era is a period rich in literature, with a king who is said to have composed Greensleeves for his future queen Anne Boleyn. Today's programme is inspired by the dynasty that ruled England from Henry VII's reign in 1485 until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. Theirs was an era of turbulence, from the Wars of the Roses, to the seismic break with Rome under Henry VIII, and the bloody era of Protestant executions under Mary I. There is poetry by Thomas Wyatt (who was accused of adultery with Anne Boleyn), Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth I herself, and there are extracts from 20th-century takes including Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and CJ Sansom's Matthew Shardlake detective series. Music comes from William Byrd, and Thomas Tallis, who walked a dangerous line as a Catholic composer in Elizabeth I's Protestant court, and Tudor-inspired music by Donizetti and Britten.

Genre: Arts

When is Words and Music next on TV?

It's next showing on BBC Radio 3 May 22nd, 5:30pm and on BBC Radio 3 May 29th, 5:30pm. See more...

Main Cast

Image for Derek JacobiDerek Jacobi
Image for Barbara FlynnBarbara Flynn
Image for Simon CallowSimon Callow
John Nettles
Image for Art MalikArt Malik
Image for Debra StephensonDebra Stephenson
Emma Fielding
Emily Bruni
Image for Nicholas FarrellNicholas Farrell
Philip Franks
Image for Hugo SpeerHugo Speer
Image for Sarah ParishSarah Parish
Image for Sally PhillipsSally Phillips
Image for Niamh CusackNiamh Cusack
Kenneth Colley
John Sessions
Image for Robert PowellRobert Powell
Image for Harriet WalterHarriet Walter
Image for James BolamJames Bolam
Anton Lesser