The Claimant single work   drama   radio play  
Issue Details: First known date: 2006 2006
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Lady Tichborne farewells her son Roger, as his ship prepares to sail for South America.

'This is London, 1854 and he is a foppish young English aristocrat, with a lisping French accent, and a sense of derring-do way beyond his abilities.

'Thirteen years later ... Wagga Wagga, 1867. Tom Castro, a lardy, filthy, uncouth and incompetent butcher, is in court on a misdemeanour charge. He's full of bluster and condescension, and hints darkly at having been born to higher things. Tom is hacking up pigs when a customer flies in with the Melbourne Age. In the Missing Persons column, a certain Dowager Lady Tichborne is asking for news of her son, lost at sea while headed for the colonies.

'Tom reacts mysteriously, which only confirms the customer's suspicions. "It is you, isn't it, Tom?"

'So begins Hilary Bell's retelling of one of the longest, most notorious and expensive cases in British legal history. The Tichborne case divided British society with "Tom Castro" cast as people's champion against the landed gentry, who are determined to ward off a fraudulent claim by a colonial upstart. Bell's comic melodrama takes us on a rollicking journey full of rogues, and preposterous characters engaged in a struggle for land, wealth, and title.'

Source: ABC Radio National website,
Sighted: 17/07/2006

Production Details

  • Broadcast on ABC Radio National's Airplay in two parts on 16 and 23 July 2006.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 26 Sep 2008
  • Wagga Wagga, Wagga Wagga area, Riverina - Murray area, New South Wales,
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