Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0101The Trials Of Attempting An Elopement2012092820160829 (BBC7)
20160830 (BBC7)
Miriam Margolyes, Alison Steadman and Nigel Planer send up the Bloomsbury literary group.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0102Desperately Seeking Peace And Quiet2012100520160905 (BBC7)
20160906 (BBC7)
Plagued by writer's block, novelist Ginny Fox visits Vera and Henry at their castle.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0103The St Ives School Of Painting2012101220160912 (BBC7)
20160913 (BBC7)
Vera Sackcloth-Vest and Ginny Fox pursue DH Lollipop, who writes naughty books.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0104Trying To Avoid Unpleasantness2012101920160919 (BBC7)
20160920 (BBC7)
Vera Sackcloth-Vest welcomes the writer of naughty books, DH Lollipop, to Sizzlinghurst.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0105A Desperate Attempt To Have Fun2012102620160926 (BBC7)
20160927 (BBC7)
Vera Sackcloth-Vest endures an emotional crisis at a picnic in Kensington Gardens.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0106 LASTHe's Got To Be Stopped2012110220161003 (BBC7)
20161004 (BBC7)
Vera braces herself for Henry's departure on a Foreign Office posting to Romania.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0201Anarchy Looms Over Staplehurst2014040220170723 (BBC7)With a general strike looming, the Foxes visit Sizzlinghurst to see how aristocrats live.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0202Desperate For A Thumbs-up2014040920170730 (BBC7)Ginny Fox and DH Lollipop desperately seek literary acclamation for their latest work.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0203Bonfire Of The Jealousies2014041620170806 (BBC7)Vera is consumed with jealousy because of the literary success of her friend Ginny Fox.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0204Ever Decreasing Literary Circles2014042320170813 (BBC7)Flushed with her recent success, Ginny holds a literary salon at Vera's castle.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0205The Theory And Practice Of Hanky Panky2014043020170820 (BBC7)Vera and Henry get into a stew about who should tell their sons the facts of life.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0206 LASTTwo Broads Broadcasting2014050720170827 (BBC7)Ginny asks Vera to help her present a programme on BBC Radio about modern poetry.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0301All Very Hush Hush2015052920190325 (BBC7)
20161102 (R4)
A security breach at the foreign office means Henry sees spies everywhere at Sizzlinghurst

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

A security breach at the foreign office means Henry sees spies everywhere at Sizzlinghurst. His paranoia is fuelled by Vera's procession of clandestine visitors.

When Henry decides to work from home, his wife - the novelist and gardener Vera Sackcloth-Vest - is forced to rearrange her secret liaison with Venus Traduces lest Henry should discover her betrayal.

But Henry has more pressing matters to attend to. His boss from the foreign office is coming down for a secret meeting to discuss a breach of security at Sizzlinghurst and, as a result, Henry can't stop seeing spies round every corner. His paranoia is fuelled by the arrival of a journalist and a photographer from that hotbed of Bolshevism, the Observer newspaper, who have come to interview Vera, and by the unexpected visit of Ginny Fox and her Socialist husband, Lionel, who have come to do research for Ginny's new novel on the Foreign Office.

Everyone appears to be asking intrusive questions and Henry becomes very, very twitchy - especially when he discovers that the interviewer is the working class genius DH Lollipop and the photographer his occasional squeeze, Venus Traduces.

Now Henry feels properly betrayed and only Vera denouncing Venus in public can assuage his jealous rage.

MIRIAM MARGOLYES AS VERA SACKCLOTH-VEST
ALISON STEADMAN AS GINNY FOX/MRS GOSLING
NIGEL PLANER AS GOSLING/LIONEL FOX
MORWENNA BANKS AS VENUS TRADUCES
JONATHAN COY AS HENRY MICKLETON
JOHN SESSIONS AS DH LOLLIPOP

Producer: Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Producer: Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

0302A Slanging Match Made In Heaven2015060520190401 (BBC7)
20161109 (R4)
Vera Sackcloth-Vest puts her marriage to the test by rekindling her infatuation with Venus

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

Vera Sackcloth-Vest has promised her husband Henry, that her affair with Venus Traduces is at an end - but when Venus writes Vera a secret billet-doux, Vera is powerless to resist and makes hurried plans to meet Venus in London.

However, before she can leave Sizzlinghurst, Lady Utterline Amoral and Lytton Scratchy arrive unexpectedly to take a tour of the garden. Keen to see them leave, Vera's patience is put to the test in the face of Lady Utterline's snobbishness, insisting that Vera should follow her example and hold an annual garden party to raise money for the Red Cross.

Meanwhile, Henry is chased round the sofa by Lytton who, as an irrepressible gossip, lets slip that Vera and Venus are back together. His suspicions now confirmed, Henry insists on accompanying Vera down to London.

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

0303Relishing The Gentleman2015061220190408 (BBC7)
20161116 (R4)
Vera opens her garden to the public as a smoke screen to hide her liaison with Venus.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

Having declared that she would rather die than take any of Lady Utterline's advice, Vera has decided to open her garden to the public.

Ginny and Lionel have come down to help without realising that Vera is planning to dress up as a man (to avoid being recognised), so that she can indulge in a secret liaison with Venus, who is planning to dress up as a Russian Fortune Teller - Mrs Pullova.

And all of this charade just to deceive Henry.

But from the moment Vera asks Ginny and Lionel to be co-conspirators in her plot by luring Henry away from the garden party, things start to go wrong.

Eventually, Henry finds out about the clandestine meeting in the fortune teller's tent and - despite an unwanted furore when the police arrive to arrest DH Lollipop for selling the vicar his pornographic novel (Lady Hattersley's Plover) - Henry manages to put a stop to Vera and Venus's elopement.

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

0304Women In Love And Men In Disgrace2015061920190415 (BBC7)
20161123 (R4)
A trip to see Ginny's sister at Charlatan House turns into a Bohemian nightmare.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

Ginny Fox has planned a trip with Vera Sackcloth-Vest to see her sister, Nesta Bell, at Charlatan House in Sussex, so that Nesta can paint Vera's portrait.

Lionel disapproves of the Bohemian lifestyle of Nesta and her husband Cliff and goes off to spend the weekend with Henry at Sizzlinghurst. Cliff is a rogue who spends half of his time away from the house living with his lover, Mrs Hutchinson. Nesta only tolerates Cliff's dalliance because there's another man living at Charlatan with whom she's really in love - Duncan Grunt. Unfortunately for Nesta, Duncan only has eyes for his homosexual lover, who also lives in the house, and whose name is Flopsy. And to top it all, Nesta's two children run up and down the garden without any clothes on.

When Ginny and Vera turn up at Charlatan House, Nesta makes an improper suggestion when she asks if she can paint Vera in the nude. Vera is shocked and wants to leave. Unable to share Vera with her sister, Ginny storms out too, and she and Vera return to Sizzlinghurst, where their mood is not lightened by the discovery of Henry and Lionel wrestling naked in front of the library fire as research for DH Lollipop's new book.

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

0305Tired Of London2015062620190422 (BBC7)
20161130 (R4)
Henry finally gives up his job at the Foreign Office for a career as a writer.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

Henry finally gives up his job at the Foreign Office and embarks on a career as a writer. He lands a job as London Diary writer for the Evening Standard, a publication loathed by Vera because it maligned her when reporting on her elopement with Venus.

But Henry has writer's block and can't think of a single thing to write. He asks Vera to do it for him. She refuses, but does offer to accompany him up to London to see Ginny and Lionel Fox in the hope that something on the trip will inspire him.

Lionel and Ginny are having their own problems - Ginny feels trapped by the city and wants to escape to the country. Lionel suggests to Henry that they go to London Zoo as this has always been a source of inspiration to him. There, Ginny reflects on how the animals in their cages resemble the way she feels about her current situation and, when Henry pounces on the idea as a splendid subject for his article in the Evening Standard, Ginny throws a fit. She accuses him of plagiarism and storms out.

Vera and Henry are sitting in the cafe alone when the Prince of Wales happens to turn up with one of his mistresses and starts to flirt with Vera. Jealousy inspires Henry, but it takes Vera to save his reputation as a fledgling writer.

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

0306 LASTOne Day My Prince Will Come2015070320190429 (BBC7)
20161207 (R4)
The visit of the Prince of Wales to Sizzlinghurst Castle throws the household into chaos.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

The visit of the Prince of Wales to Sizzlinghurst to admire Vera's garden has ardent Monarchist, Mrs Gosling, in a tizzy. It also leaves Henry on edge. and suspecting everyone of trying to assassinate the Prince.

With good cause it would seem.

Gosling's rampant Republicanism and grandmother's shot gun means that Henry has no choice but to lock the gardener up in the potting shed. Then two gun-toting Americans pop in unannounced and brandish their weapons on the front lawn - the poet Gertrude Klein and the socialite Mrs Wallis Simpleton.

Henry manages to disarm them just as the Prince makes his entrance. But when the Prince of Wales makes a play for Vera, asking her out on a clandestine date to to the theatre, Henry regrets getting rid of the guns.

If the Prince continues to threaten his marriage, Henry might have to assassinate the Prince of Wales himself.

Produced by Jamie Rix
A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

0401Digging The Dirt20170407Vera reacts badly to Henry's announcement that he wants to become a Labour MP.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0402Your Very Very Humble Servant20170414Vera and Ginny drive to Sandwich to get Mrs Gosling back, while Henry entertains a prince.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0403Honestly, Darling20170421Henry and Vera make a BBC radio broadcast with Hilda on the need for honesty in marriage.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0404Bosom Chums20170428Attempting to win back Vera's affection, Ginny installs an aeolian harp at Sizzlinghurst.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0405The Celtic Cringe20170505Ginny and Vera's relationship reaches crisis point.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0406 LASTVenice The Menace20170512Ginny and Vera go to Venice in search of inspiration for Ginny's new book.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0501Prejudice And Persuasion2018101220181016 (BBC7)
20181017 (BBC7)
Henry is preparing for a lecture tour of America and is desperately trying to persuade Vera to accompany him. But first he must negotiate his fiftieth birthday.

He is hoping to ignore it, but Vera has organised one of those vulgar Surprise Parties and everybody will be there - Lytton, Barrington, Hilda, DH Lollipop, his wife, Frieda and Venus, who sneaks in without an invitation and makes a nuisance of herself in the bushes.

By the end of the party a seven week lecture tour in America seems quite appealing.

Cast:
ANNOUNCER....NIGEL PLANER
VERA SACKCLOTH-VEST....MIRIAM MARGOLYES
HENRY MICKLETON....JONATHAN COY
GINNY FOX....ALISON STEADMAN
LIONEL FOX....NIGEL PLANER
MRS GOSLING....ALISON STEADMAN
MR GOSLING....NIGEL PLANER
LYTTON SCRATCHEY....NIGEL PLANER
D.H.LOLLIPOP....JOHN SESSIONS
FRIEDA LOLLIPOP....MORWENNA BANKS
HILDA MATTHEWSON....MORWENNA BANKS
VENUS TRADUCES....MORWENNA BANKS

A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4.

Henry is not keen to celebrate his fiftieth birthday.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

0502A Tale Of Two Sillies2018101920181023 (BBC7)
20181024 (BBC7)
Henry and Vera are on a lecture tour of the USA. Vera is invited to the Round Table at the Algonquin and meets Dorothy Barker, who she finds repellent. Henry, travelling towards Chicago on the sleeper, finds he is sharing a compartment with Al Padrone and his mysteriously heavy violin case.

Meanwhile, back at Sizzlinghurst, Ginny and Lionel are acting as caretakers and making a spectacular mess of things as they attempt to remodel the garden.

Cast:
VERA SACKCLOTH-VEST....MIRIAM MARGOLYES
HENRY MICKLETON....JONATHAN COY
RICH WOMAN....MORWENNA BANKS
GINNY FOX....ALISON STEADMAN
LIONEL FOX....NIGEL PLANER
MRS GOSLING....ALISON STEADMAN
GOSLING....NIGEL PLANER
AL PADRONE....JOHN SESSIONS
DOROTHY BARKER....MORWENNA BANKS
ROBERT BLETCHLEY....JOHN SESSIONS
TAXI DRIVER....JOHN SESSIONS
ROOM SERVICE....JONATHAN COY

A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0503Nightmare Cottage2018103020181031 (BBC7)
20181026 (R4)
Vera is still very angry with Ginny and Lionel for creating havoc at Sizzlinghurst while she and Henry were in the USA. Henry notices that some of the silver is missing and suspects the Goslings.

Nutwood Cottage, a pretty cottage on the estate. has become vacant and everyone wants it - the Goslings especially and, in a surprise reappearance, Venus whose excuse is that it would be the perfect location for her to nurse her husband in his “last weeks of life”.

Meanwhile Ginny is desperate to get back into Vera’s good books and she and Lionel visit Scratchey and Barrington to house hunt for a weekend cottage. The hunt proves fruitless but inspires a fabulous idea.

Cast:
VERA SACKCLOTH-VEST....MIRIAM MARGOLYES
HENRY MICKLETON....JONATHAN COY
MRS GOSLING....ALISON STEADMAN
GINNY FOX....ALISON STEADMAN
LIONEL FOX....NIGEL PLANER
GOSLING....NIGEL PLANER
VENUS TRADUCES....MORWENNA BANKS
LYTTON SCRATCHEY....NIGEL PLANER
BARRINGTON....MORWENNA BANKS
RAYMOND....MORWENNA BANKS

A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

A cottage on the Sizzlinghurst estate becomes vacant and everyone wants it.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0504Warning: Contains Strong Language, Violence And Nuts2018110220181106 (BBC7)
20181107 (BBC7)
In the middle of a General Election in which he is standing for the Labour Party, Henry begins to wonder what socialism is. He puts out a general invitation for a brainstorming session. Vera, who has refused to attend any of his meetings, simply wants to spend the day gardening.

Ginny is still keen to repair relations with Vera and she and Lionel, accompanied by Scratchey and Barrington, go down to Sizzlinghurst to talk about socialism. George Gurnard Shaw also turns up accompanied by his crazy wife Charlotte.

They are not liked by Mrs Gosling, who takes vociferous exception to vegetarians who go skinny-dipping in Madam's pond.

Cast:
VERA………………………………MIRIAM MARGOLYES
HENRY………………………..…...JONATHAN COY
MRS GOSLING…………………...ALISON STEADMAN
GOSLING……………………….…NIGEL PLANER
GINNY FOX……………………....ALISON STEADMAN
LIONEL FOX……………………..NIGEL PLANER
LYTTON SCRATCHY…………...NIGEL PLANER
BARRINGTON…………………...MORWENNA BANKS
GEORGE GURNARD SHAW…...JOHN SESSIONS
CHARLOTTE, HIS WIFE……….MORWENNA BANKS
RAYMOND ……….………....MORWENNA BANKS
HECKLER....……….….JOHN SESSIONS

A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Henry seeks election as a Labour Party candidate.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0505I Wouldn't Say No2018110920181113 (BBC7)
20181114 (BBC7)
Henry’s sister Gwen is recuperating at Sizzlinghurst after a major operation. She is very religious and Vera is influenced by this, to Henry’s atheistical disgust. Vera also has a fleeting longing for a third child and promises Henry that she will never kiss another woman again in her life, if he will just agree to make one with her.

So Ginny's new idea, inspired by Aristophanes and Lysistrata, that the women of Britain must stop the looming war by refusing to sleep with their husbands comes at a tricky time.

Meanwhile, Lionel goes to Westminster to meet Henry and hear a debate. He meets - and is slightly smitten by - Nancy Astor. Churchill advises Henry to take Vera to Paris for a fling before the war starts. And Gwen, curious about same-sex relationships, asks Vera for a kiss.

It's not long before they both regret it.

Cast:
VERA………………………….MIRIAM MARGOLYES
HENRY………………………..JONATHAN COY
GWEN STAUBYN……………MORWENNA BANKS
MRS GOSLING………………ALISON STEADMAN
LIONEL FOX…………………NIGEL PLANER
GINNY FOX………………….ALISON STEADMAN
NANCY ASTOR………………MORWENNA BANKS
WINSTON CHURCHILL…….NIGEL PLANER

A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Vera wants another child - much to Henry's surprise.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.

0506 LASTDon't Mention The Gooseberry Fool2018111620181120 (BBC7)
20181121 (BBC7)
Vera and Henry are in Paris with Ginny and Lionel - a last-minute irresponsible whirlwind of pleasure before the war starts.

But it’s not the carefree, scintillating city of their youth. The atmosphere is oppressive - everyone is preparing for war. Nevertheless, Gertrude Klein’s parties of the literati beckon, and Hammingaway escorts Henry and Lionel to the Folies Bergere afterwards.

Venus reappears briefly with the awful news that Hitler has invaded somewhere or other, it begins with a P, and the foursome scuttle home, arriving on the very evening when Sizzlinghurst is rocked by a massive explosion.

Cast:
VERA SACKCLOTH-VEST....MIRIAM MARGOLYES
HENRY MICKLETON....JONATHAN COY
GINNY FOX....ALISON STEADMAN
LIONEL FOX....NIGEL PLANER
MRS GOSLING....ALISON STEADMAN
MR GOSLING.... NIGEL PLANER
ERNEST HAMMINGAWAY....JOHN SESSIONS
GERTRUDE KLEIN.... JOHN SESSIONS
VENUS TRADUCES.... MORWENNA BANKS
JAMES VOYCE....JOHN SESSIONS
WAITER....JOHN SESSIONS

A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4

Vera, Henry, Ginny and Lionel are in Paris attempting to recapture their youth.

Literary comedy by Sue Limb parodying the arty and bohemian world of the Bloomsbury Group.