Easy Virtue
by Noel Coward

Noel Coward - Easy Virtue

BBC Radio 3: The Sunday Play

Broadcast: Sunday 26th December 1999 @ 7:30 p.m.

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", NoŽl Coward's 1925 play.

With 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] and Mary Wimbush [Mrs. Philips].

Directed by Maria Aitken.

Re-Broadcast: 23rd July 2000 @ 9:10 p.m. on BBC Radio 3: The Sunday Play.

95 min.


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