Agatha Christie's Absent In The Spring [Drama]

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20200831Famous for her ingenious crime books and plays, Agatha Christie also wrote about crimes of the heart under the name of Mary Westmacott. Absent In The Spring, written under that name, is the book that Christie cites in her autobiography as the most complete of all her works.

Set in 1934, it is the story of a woman, Joan Scudamore, who unexpectedly becomes stranded in a Mesopotamian way station when returning from a visit to her daughter in Baghdad. The sudden solitude compels her to look back over her married life in rural England. The barren heat of the desert is contrasted against the lush greenery of her West Country home as she digs deeper into her emotional memories and uncovers incidents that have lain buried in her psyche for many years.

She begins to put together a picture of her life that both frightens and appalls her in equal measure. She returns to England, determined to change her attitude to love and married life. The conclusion to the story is as unexpected as it is truthful.

Cast:
Joan Scudamore... Harriet Walter
Barbara Wray/ Myrna Randolph... Amy Morgan
Ali/ William Wray... Nabil Elouahabi
Blanche Haggard... Geraldine Alexander
Rodney Scudamore/Col. Sherston... James Fleet
Lesley Sherston/ Miss Gilbey... Hilary Maclean

Written by Agatha Christie as Mary Westmacott
Adapted by Malcolm McKay

Composer: Nick Bicât
Sound Designer: Leon Chambers

Directed by Catherine Bailey
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4

A woman becomes stranded on a train journey forcing her to reflect on her life.

Drama from BBC Radio 4