A gay, equine, military, epistolary romance for the ages
Warhorses is transmitted tomorrow. Don’t take our word for it. Here’s the listing from the Radio Times:
Only on Radio 4 would one find a gay, epistolary romance in which the letter writers are horses. Oh, and they are voiced by Stephen Fry and Daniel Rigby. And if you can’t quite place Rigby, he won a Bafta this year for his portrayal of Eric Morecambe in the BBC2 drama Eric and Ernie.
And did I mention that the gee-gees they’re playing belonged to Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington? Please park any disbelief at the door — it won’t be needed. This is Camp Comic Fantasy with capital letters.
Fry gets to use a preposterously exaggerated French accent as Marengo, the small (14.1 hands) but perfectly formed mount of Napoleon. “I’m technically a pony,” he explains in a letter to his admirer, the youthful war-horse-to-be Copenhagen, chunky steed of the Duke of Wellington, “but Napoleon and I are perfectly to scale.”
There are more double entendres about pounding, mounting and staying the distance, but it’s done with as much affection as lust. Being the older nag by a good ten years, Marengo is much more comfortable in his horseshoes and knows how to impress a colt. “Oh my horsey God, you’re amazing with words,” declares Copenhagen on receiving a written response from his idol.
And the horse is right! The language is amazing, florid and full of equine-linked sexual innuendos. It’s a triumph of the imagination, of historical fancy and saucy humour.
Oops. That’s the review by Jane Anderson and not the listing. Damn. I don’t know how to delete it. Damn, damn, damn. Anyway, the show is on at 11pm tomorrow.