Busman’s Honeymoon – Dorothy L. Sayers – adapted by Alistair Beaton

There is an amazing wealth of …stuff to listen to out there. The BBC Radio website alone could keep me happy for months.

As, for example: the three-hour BBC Radio adaptation of Busman’s Honeymoon. (It’s not available on the site as of this writing, unfortunately.) It’s always a little iffy when a beloved book is dramatized – things are going to be lost, of course, as a 400-odd page book is pared down to fit six half-hour slots; but this worked very nicely.

The cast is lovely. Ian Carmichael, of course, does a marvelous job with Peter – he can piffle up a storm, and then a minute later put real emotion in his voice as he allows himself to realize that he has his Harriet, he truly does. And I really like Sarah Badel as Harriet, showing genuine affection for her Peter and holding up her end of the piffle. I didn’t remember Superintendent Kirk being so adept at piffle himself in the book – what fun. And Bunter sounded very Bunter indeed.

I’d forgotten about the dreadful case of Miss Twitterton. Her deeply misplaced love for Frank Crutchley is portrayed as both pathetic and hilarious. I honestly don’t remember how it was handled in the book – has it been that long since I read it? That must be remedied! – but it’s initially a joke to Peter and Harriet, with sympathy and empath only being aroused in them when more facts come out. Hers is a horrible story, though, almost a throwaway.

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One Response to Busman’s Honeymoon – Dorothy L. Sayers – adapted by Alistair Beaton

  1. Jane Steen says:

    Sayers always had a concern for the lives of marginal women (spinsters, lesbians, artistic types, academics) and I think she really started to emphasise those themes with the Harriet books. I’m not sure if I ever listened to this particular Ian Carmichael production, and now I want to. We used to own several others on cassette tape, and I listened to them often.

    Now that I live in England and have changed my iPad region to the UK, it anglicises my spelling. On my MacBook I can decide how I want to spell, but not on my iThings. This is an issue for a writer who mostly sells in the States and prefers to stick with US spelling in her professional life…

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