A NICE LITTLE HOLIDAY
First Broadcast 2010. Radio 4 Afternoon Play
45 minute original biographical period drama
In August of 1961 the original angry young man John Osborne went on holiday to Valbonne in the South of France. He shared a farmhouse in the olive groves with his mistress Jocelyn Rickards and the film director Tony Richardson.
Osborne, flush from his success with Luther, was escaping life in London, as a scandal was about to break. His then wife actress Mary Ure was about to give birth to a child that wasn’t his. Tony Richardson meanwhile, when he wasn’t escaping in the evening for mysterious assignations on the beach at Cannes, was badgering Osborne to write the screenplay for Tom Jones, the Oscar winning film they would eventually go on to make together.
Osborne, not content with two women in his life also had a third; The Observer critic Penelope Gilliatt. She wrote him love letters everyday and they arrived at the farmhouse into the hands of a furious Jocelyn. It was against this backdrop that Osborne penned his infamous ‘Damn you, England’ letter to the Tribune which caused such a furore back home. They found themselves under siege and their nice little holiday turned into a disaster, with Osborne only just escaping alive.
Cast: Tracey Wiles, Robin Laing, Tobias Menzies, Matthew Zajac, Richard Greenwood, James A Pearson. Producer Gaynor MacFarlane.
A Nice Little Holiday was pick of the day in the Daily Telegraph
A link to the BBC website for information on the original cast and repeats is available here