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15 Minute Drama

Elizabeth von Arnim - The Enchanted April

Episode 1

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 Extra

By Elizabeth von Arnim
Dramatised by Vivienne Allen

While at their Shaftesbury Avenue club on a rainy February day, Rosie and Lottie discover they have been reading the same advertisement in The Times:-

To Those who Appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine. Small mediaeval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let Furnished for the month of April.

Can they seize this opportunity and escape to the sunny Italian Riviera or is it just an impossible dream?

Produced and Directed by Tracey Neale

An advertisement in The Times, addressed to 'Those who Appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine' is the impetus for a revelatory month for four very different women. High above the bay on the Italian Riviera stands San Salvatore, a mediaeval castle. Beckoned to this haven are Lotty, Rose, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, each craving escape. Lulled by the Mediterranean spirit, they gradually shed their skins and discover a harmony each of them has longed for.

As soon as we arrive in Italy from rainy London the warmth, colour and smells of this enchanting place take over. The descriptions are intoxicating. The four women blossom in the sunshine but there are a few surprises in store for them.

Although these women live in the 1920s, their worries and concerns are as relevant today as they have always been. Times change, fashions change, but people do not change so much. Who wouldn't say no when given the chance to escape from the dismal gloomy rain to the sunshine of the Italian Riviera and have a welcome break from their day to day lives. Show less

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