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Easy Virtue (BBC Radio, 26/Dec/1999)

Originally broadcast on Sunday December 26th, 1999, this BBC Radio adaptation of Noël Coward's play Easy Virtue starred Anna Massey, Victoria Hamilton and Michael Elwyn.


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Broadcast Details

  • first broadcast as part of the Sunday Play series on BBC Radio 3
  • date: 26/Dec/1999, 7:30pm[1]
  • length: approx 95 minutes
  • repeated: 23/Jul/2000, 9:10pm[2]


Into the upper-middle class comfort of the Whittaker country household comes the worldly Larita, a trophy wife brought home by the prodigal son John. The play lives in a nervous and indolent atmosphere controlled by the disdainful Mrs. Whittaker and tolerated by the laconic Colonel Whittaker. The Whittaker sisters, superficially serious Marion and flighty but destructive teenager Hilda round out this dysfunctional family whose major interests rest in tennis and lawn parties with Chinese lanterns and fairy lights.

Larita, soon disenchanted with the surface life she has joined, develops an ennui that ultimately drives her back to her life of literature and art. What starts as a comedy of manners turns finally to a critique of British gentry. Only Sarah Hurst and Charles Burleigh ground the action in Coward's environment of idiosyncratic affectation.

Adapted for radio by Maria Aitken from Easy Virtue, Noël Coward's 1925 play.



Notes & References

  1. Project Genome: BBC Radio Times Archive
  2. Project Genome: BBC Radio Times Archive