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A dark and delightful play based on a true story. It s 1924. Two ‘moral imbeciles polish the stairs in a hospital for the criminally insane, incarcerated there for having children outside of wedlock. A more unlikely pairing it would be difficult to imagine, one is obsessed by all things military and likes to wear men s clothes, the other is more interested in fancy hats and ball gowns and is convinced that Daddy will be along to collect her soon. Together in the hospital for almost half a century, the couple watch the months and years roll by in their own little world, where an extraordinary but beautiful friendship develops.
David has a doting mother. When he grows up he marries her image, the ditsy Dora. This is his tragedy. Even Peggotty's extended family on Yarmouth beach cannot escape the effects. But his tragedy is also our comedy as Uriah Heep and Mr Micawber, Aunt Betsey and Mr Dick, Steerforth and Traddlles, all criss-cross David's wayward path towards his Agnes, his true soul mate.
The true story of how Mrs Thatcher, once the most powerful woman in the western world, was brought down by her one time friend and political soul mate. It is 1989 and a seemingly invincible Prime Minister has sacked Geoffrey Howe, her Foreign Secretary. She apparently had nothing to fear from him: his speaking skills had, famously, been compared to those of a dead sheep. But inspired by his wife Elspeth - whose relationship with Thatcher was notoriously frosty - Howe overcame his limitations to destroy Mrs Thatcher with one of the great political speeches.
Known internationally for her 'Composer Portraits' in words and music, pianist Lucy Parham has created Elegie for 2016. It chronicles the life of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff. Though he became an exile in 1917, Russia remained deeply rooted in his soul. His cultural identity and his longing for his homeland imbue his music, not least the many much-loved works he wrote for his own instrument, the piano. The narrative, scripted from letters and diaries, follows Rachmaninoff from his youth in Russia, through his subsequent self-imposed exile in 1917 and finally to California USA, where he died in 1943. The programme includes many of his best-loved works for solo piano, including a selection of Preludes, Etudes-Tableaux and Moments Musicaux, some of his own transcriptions and the haunting Elegie, as well as works by Scriabin and Tchaikovsky.
Set sometime quite soon and in a fortified, steel-shuttered, slovenly flat in a no-go area of North London where punk things violently rule the deserted streets. Lonely composer Jerome sits surrounded by sophisticated high-tech, audio-visual equipment with only a robot nanny, NAN 300F for company - and she is somewhat on the blink. Jerome desperately wants to get his teenage daughter back and enlists the services of Zoe, an out-of-work actress for a cunning plan he's evolved to impress his estranged wife, Corinna, and a wired-for-sound Child Welfare Officer. When things don't work out with Zoe, Jerome has to improvise and its amazing what can be done with some new microchips and a screwdriver...!
Eunice struggles to fit in. When she joins a wealthy family as their housekeeper, the very reason for her awkwardness, long hidden and deeply buried, leads inexorably to a terrible tale of murder in cold blood - on Valentine's Day. Ruth Rendell's brilliant plot unravels a lifetime of deceit, despair and cover-ups which, when revealed, brings a shocking revelation almost as grizzly as murder itself.
Opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952. The World's Longest Running Play! A group of people gathered together in a remote part of the countryside discover there is a murderer in their midst. The question is which one of them is the guilty party.
Jane Austen sits writing, her quill scurrying across the vellum. She is dreaming up Darcy, a proud, lip curling, handsome creation in very tight pants. But then a door squeaks, a visitor approaches and Jane hastily hides her work. Now left to his own devices, Darcy embroiders his own storyline whilst his creator embroiders her doilies. When Jane returns she finds the plot has moved on and Darcy is dancing to a rather different tune.
LipService explore the world of women writers, scribbling in secret or under pseudonyms, squeezing in their writing amongst the hustle and bustle of taking tea, choosing chintz and the odd attack of the vapours
The year is 1660. The Puritans have run away with their drab grey tails between their legs and Charles II has exploded onto the scene with a love of all things loud, French and sexy. On Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn is peddling her satsumas and wit with equal gusto but, little does she know who is watching...
Murder mystery. 1930's-set suspenseful drama set in a claustrophobic household. Olivia Grayne lives an isolated, stifled life as companion to the bitter hypochondriac Mrs Branson who rules her household with a rod of iron. Danny, the new bell-boy, is a dashing jack-the-lad who soon wangles his way into the old lady's affections, but he is not what he seems. When a murder occurs in the village it causes great excitement and events soon take a very dangerous turn!
Kensington Palace, 1993. She was the Diana of her day. That day has gone. But HRH The Princess Margaret, the most glamorous figure of her generation, has a final chance to be of service. While the Royal Family is at Balmoral, she removes several bags of correspondence from the Queen Mother's home, including potentially sensational letters from Prince Charles - and Diana, Princess of Wales. She means to burn them all. But there are other papers. Some of them relate to Margaret herself, and a scandal as dangerous as anything since. When an ex-gangster arrives to bring her even closer to her past, the Queen's sister has the choice to make or break her family yet again. Inspired by actual events, A Princess Undone sheds light on one of the Royal Family's most controversial, enigmatic members. Witty, charming and provocative, yet ultimately on her own, Princess Margaret is not easily forgotten.
Ayckbourn's first West End hit comedy of confusion. A lazy summer Sunday in the late 60's. Ginny has fallen in love with Greg and wants Philip to leave her alone. So she sets off to see Philip and tell him once-and-for-all. Greg thinks she's visiting her parents and discovers Philips address so decides to pay a surprise visit and ask for her hand. For once, Philip's wife is still at home when Greg arrives before Ginny. Confused?
English rose Lucy Honeychurch is touring Italy with her prim spinster cousin Charlotte Bartlett as chaperone. Charlotte is quick to step in when Lucy makes the mistake of fraternising with the lower-class Mr Emerson and his son George at their Florentine pensione. However, when she witnesses Lucy and George kissing, she has no option but to whisk Lucy away to Rome. Back home at the family's Surrey estate Lucy becomes engaged to the eminently suitable (but priggish and pretentious) Cecil Vyse. Charlotte has sworn Lucy to secrecy over the kiss with George, but will Lucy be able to repress her feelings when she discovers that the Emersons have taken a house in the village? With its cast of vivid characters, this elegant comedy written in 1908, is widely recognized as one of the finest novels of the twentieth century. The award-winning Merchant Ivory film adaptation in 1985 was voted number nine in The Guardian's list of the best romantic films of all time.
John Betjamen was the nation's favourite poet. Sand in the Sandwiches, celebrates a man famous not only for the light verse and laughter, but for his passions, his sense of purpose and his unforgettable poetry.
Nervous and droll, Stevie Smith spends her days as a private secretary at the Newnes Publishing company and her evenings in the London suburbs eating Battenberg cake and Ginger Nuts with her beloved Aunt. All the time she is writing the piercing poetry and prose that will make her famous. In between there are diverting visits from a series of men and, later on, tussles with literary celebrity. Beyond everything there is her greatest, often darkly comic, struggle: to keep waving when she feels like drowning.
London family saga. This Happy Breed covers the broad sweep of twenty years, from June 1919 to June 1939. Against the background of great international events of the time - the General Strike, the abdication of Edward VIII, and the rise of Hitler - Coward reveals the lives of the recently demobbed Frank Gibbons and his typically suburban family and friends.