Monday 3 November 2008

Mr Loveday

I really enjoyed watching a re-run of the BBC 4 version of Evelyn Waugh’s classic short story ‘Mr Loveday’s Little Outing’. I first came across this little gem at school, in the sixth form, when a very good English teacher called Jack Hetherington, who was also a terrific actor, read it to us. Jack, now sadly deceased, was politically in the opposite corner from Waugh, but he was smart enough to recognise a great story when he saw it – and I’ve never forgotten his very funny rendition of it.

The tv adaptation followed the story precisely, without either abridgement or change to Waugh’s chilly, economical prose. The cast was stellar, featuring Prunella Scales (aka Sybil Fawlty), the brilliant David Warner (almost typecast as the mad lord) and Andrew Sachs (aka Manuel from ‘Fawlty Towers’) as the eponymous Loveday.

If you haven’t read the story, I’m not going to spoil it for you in this post. You have a treat in store. It isn’t crime fiction really, and yet…mention of it is not, I think, out of place in this blog.

A witty, polished piece of work. If you get the chance to see it, do seize the opportunity and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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