I heard a fantastic Afternoon Play on Radio 4 this afternoonâ€”'The Bards of Bromley', by Perry Pontac. The conceit was that a number of famous writers have turned up for a writer's workshop in Bromley, to discuss their most popular literary works: George Eliot ("Middlemarch"), William Wordsworth ("Daffodils"), August Strindberg (Dance of Death), Goethe (Faust) and AA Milne (Piglet Meets a Heffalump). That's a pretty good start for a comic drama right there.
Wordsworth makes friends with AA Milne and takes some â€˜tincture' given to him by Coleridge (a bad idea), Strindberg tries to seduce George Eliot, and Goethe just says "Nein!" a lot. Everyone rather hesitantly refers to George Eliot as 'Mr. Eliot', despite the evidence in front of their eyes. Strindberg is hugely critical of everyone's work (his critique of Wordsworth's "Daffodils" is hysterically funny), and AA Milne is lovely to everyone. Milne even describes Strindberg's "Dance of Death" as a 'madcap romp' and 'fun for all the family'.
Do yourself a favour — if you're a fan of classic literature, and you feel like having a laugh, listen to The Bards of Bromley now before it disappears from Listen Again.