Easy Virtue (BBC Radio, 26/Dec/1999)
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- first broadcast as part of the Sunday Play series on BBC Radio 3
- date: 26/Dec/1999, 7:30pm
- length: approx 95 minutes
- repeated: 23/Jul/2000, 9:10pm
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.
- Anna Massey - Mrs. Mabel Whittaker
- Victoria Hamilton - Marian Whittaker
- Michael Elwyn - Colonel Jim Whittaker
- Elisabeth Dermot-Walsh - Hilda Whittaker
- Jimmy Gardner - Further, the Butler
- Julian Rhind-Tutt - John Whittaker
- Lia Williams - Larita
- Geraldine Alexander - Sarah Hurst
- Anton Lesser - Charles Burleigh
- Rupert Penry-Jones - Philip Border
- Jack Davenport - Hugh Petworth
- Ruth Sillers - The Girl at the Party
- Mary Wimbush - Mrs. Philips