The History of Rasselas: Prince of Abissinia

Radio adaptation

A radio adaptation of Rasselas by Jonathan Holloway was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on 24 May 2015,[14][15] with Ashley Zhangazha as Rasselas, Jeff Rawle as Samuel Johnson and Lucian Msamati as the poet Imlac. Cynthia Erivo made her BBC radio drama debut as Princess Nekayah.

The drama was recorded at Dr Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square, in the City of London,[16] where Johnson compiled his famous dictionary, A Dictionary of the English Language, and then in January 1759, wrote his instant bestseller Rasselas. Sound design was by David Chilton, and the drama was introduced by Celine Luppo McDaid, Curator, Dr Johnson’s House.[17] It was produced and directed by Amber Barnfather.


  • Samuel Johnson - Jeff Rawle
  • Arthur Murphy - Kevin Trainor
  • Housekeeper / Pekuah - Adjoa Andoh
  • Princess Nekayah - Cynthia Erivo
  • Prince Rasselas - Ashley Zhangazha
  • Imlac - Lucian Msamati
  • Aeronaut - Richard Cordery
  • AJ - Gabriel Mokaké
  • Ahmed - Amir El-Masry
  • Mohammed / Intelligence Man - Zubin Varla

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