You Never Can Tell
Duration: 2 hours
First broadcast: Sunday 29 September 2013
Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03brscp
A starry cast in George Bernard Shaw's dazzling romantic comedy from 1897, in a new production directed by Martin Jarvis. The play follows a battle of the sexes beside the seaside, with marital mayhem and social strategy. The last in three classic plays in Drama on 3 that explore the changing role of women at the end of the nineteenth century. Shaw pokes fun at many of the progressive ideas he truly advocated.
Mrs Clandon (Rosalind Ayres) celebrated New Woman, returns to England from Madeira, with her three grown children. In Torbay they meet Valentine (Jamie Bamber), an impecunious dentist. The offspring know nothing of their father, but they'll need one in British polite society. Valentine introduces the Clandons to his landlord, Mr Crampton (Christopher Neame.) Guess who he turns out to be?
Valentine is besotted by gorgeous Gloria Clandon (Sophie Winkleman). But in accepting him it's clear who'll be wearing the Shavian trousers. Matters are resolved by old William-the-waiter (Ian Ogilvy), his QC son (Julian Holloway) and cynical solicitor (Adam Godley.) Gloria's feisty twin siblings (Moira Quirk and Matthew Wolf) satirise everybody and it's barrister Bohun whom Gloria allows to have the first dance. As the waiter remarks: 'You never can tell, sir.' Richard Sisson's piano arrangements reflect the sea-breezy emotions of these engaging characters.
Valentine ….. Jamie Bamber
William ….. Ian Ogilvy
Fergus Crampton ….. Christopher Neame
Finch McComas ….. Adam Godley
Mrs Clandon ….. Rosalind Ayres
Gloria Clandon ….. Sophie Winkleman
Dolly Clandon ….. Moira Quirk
Phillip Clandon …. Matthew Wolf
Boon QC ….. Julian Holloway
Jessie ….. Paula Jane Newman
Jo ….. Darren Richardson
Piano music arranged and performed by Richard Sisson
Sound design, Wesley Dewberry
Director, Martin Jarvis
A Jarvis and Ayres Production