The Mumbai Chuzzlewits

1st- 15th  January 2012
BBC Radio 4

“…a dazzling transposition of Dickens across centuries and continents…”  Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph

Charles Dickens’ satire on the corrosive power of money set in the hot, hectic streets of modern-day Mumbai, India. Staring Roshan Seth and Rajit Kapur.

BBC Trail 1

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BBC Trail 2

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The Guardian review

The Spectator review

Radio Drama Reviews Online

Convinced his relatives are after his money, wealthy old recluse Martin Chuzzlewit (ROSHAN SETH), has adopted orphan girl, Mary (NIMRAT KAUR), to be his carer with the understanding that she will be housed and fed as long as he lives – but upon his death, she will inherit nothing. Thus, he believes, she will do her utmost to keep him in good health. But when his grandson Mickey (ZAFAR KARACHIWALA) falls in love with her and wishes to marry her, Martin’s plans are thrown into disarray. By disinheriting him, Martin triggers a complex web of deceit, betrayal and manipulation as the extended family and hangers-on close in, in pursuit of his fortune.

Told from the point of view of orphan Thomas (KARAN PANDIT), an observer into the world of the Chuzzlewits, this is a fast-paced drama full of intrigue, romance, suspense and murder…

Recorded on location in India.

VIDEO CLIPS: Behind the scenes


EPISODE  1 – 1st Jan, 15.00-16.00

Thomas, an orphan, is apprentice to the scheming architect Pinto, a cousin to miserly old Martin Chuzzlewit, the richest landlord in Bandra. Drawn into the world of the Chuzzlewits, he forms a close friendship with the spirited Mickey, grandson of Martin and heir to the family fortune. When old Martin gets ill, Thomas witnesses attempts by family members to worm their way into his life and secure his fortune, while Mickey gives up everything in pursuit of love…

EPISODE  2 – 8th Jan, 15.00-16.00

Disinherited by his grandfather, Mickey Chuzzlewit escapes India and tries to make his fortune in Dubai. In his absence, the scheming Pinto and murderous Joseph join forces in an attempt to get hold of the old man’s fortune. And while Thomas’s feelings grow for Mickey’s fiancé, Mary, a mysterious lodger with a terrible secret moves in next door …

EPISODE  3 – 15th Jan, 15.00-16.00

Mickey returns to India determined to show his grandfather he is a changed man and to marry Mary, the love of his life. But, in his absence, things have changed; the old man now appears to be under the control of the scheming Pinto who will not let Mickey near him. And Thomas has fallen in love with Mary… Meanwhile the hapless Joseph loses all his money in a Ponzi scheme. With his debtors closing in, murder seems to be the only way out…


Martin – Roshan Seth

Thomas – Karan Pandit

Mickey – Zafar Karachiwala

Pinto – Rajit Kapur

Mercy – Preetika Chawla

Charity – Ayeesha Menon

Anthony – Sohrab Ardeshir

Joseph – Nadir Khan

Mary – Nimrat Kaur

Mrs. Gomes – Radhika Mital

Louis – Rohit Malkani

Doctor – Shernaz Patel

Monty – Arghya Lahiri

Manek – Vivek Madan

Russian Woman – Dolya Gavanski

Young Mickey – Zaal Madon

Young Thomas – Nominath Ginsburg


Sound Recordist – Ayush Ahuja

Sound Design – David Chilton

Assistant Director – Toral Shah

Production Management and Casting –  Nadir Khan

Publicity Image – Teresa Ferreira

Music – Sacha Puttnam

Written by Ayeesha Menon

Directed by John Dryden

A Goldhawk Essential Production for BBC Radio 4


  1. Original, curious and brilliant.  This was an independent production from Goldhawk and created and produced more like a film.

  2. I have only just discovered this. Repeats please.

  3. margarita minster says:


  4. Brilliantly Executed!

  5. Susan stern says:

    Metaphorically unputdownable. The soundscape and music were extraordinary. I loved the pace and flow. And the shifts in vocal tone were mesmeric. I was prepared to find this a difficult adaptation but was absolutely seduced by it.

  6. Prem Sispal says:

    Another fantastic gripping radio drama, as were Q & A and Six Suspects. More Please.

    Kind Regards

  7. P. Martinson says:

    Radio Drama at its best! A wonderful production. More please.

  8. This is the second Indian play series I have heard on BBC, and like the first (about a boy on a quiz programme), the soft voices, the intrigue, twists and the depth of the story, reflect everything I think of India, where I have many friends from long ago. Give us more Ayeesha!

  9. Jane Garrett says:

    Wonderful! I switched on not knowing what to expect but was soon gripped by the story. Recording it on location brings the story alive and the videos on this website enhance the listening experience. Congratulations to all concerned.

  10. Laurence Raw says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this rewrite of MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, bringing the story vividly upto date for a world dominated by capitalism. I reviewed the production in full on RADIO DRAMA REVIEWS,

  11. [...] The Mumbai Chuzzlewits opens with an introduction by Thomas (Karan Pandit) an orphan boy who is drawn into the world of the grand Chuzzlewit’s – “This is Bandra”, he explains, “where I grew up, back then it was just a fishing village in North Mumbai, a quiet island of churches, cottages and rice plantations, the original communities of Catholics that inhabited Bandra were called East Indians, named after the British East India Company. That’s what I am – an East Indian.” [...]

  12. Françoise Richard says:

    Excellent , Excellent : my ” verdict ” ! many , many Thanks to ALL you Dear Actors who make works of Art ” even ” ” better ” And who contribute to such human understanding . I warmly Congratulate ALL of YOU for such EXCELLENT WORK .And !!! Do KEEP up the good work, oh , by the way , My best wishes for 2012 .
    Françoise Richard : a BBC ” buff ” !!!, for , very good reasons .

  13. Greg says:

    WOW! I can hardly wait for the next two Sundays!

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