The notorious drama that blew the lid off the lives of the upper class, ‘country house set’ and depicts the sexual vanity of a rich, ageing beauty, her troubled relationship with her adult son, and drug abuse in British society circles after the First World War. Her son’s cocaine habit is seen by many critics as a metaphor for homosexuality, then taboo in Britain.
It begins as a light comedy, but the mood becomes darker, so that by the end we are presented with a drug-addled and effete young man confronting his mother about her serial adulteries with lovers half her age. “How can we help ourselves. We swirl about in a vortex of beastliness,” Nicky Lancaster declares, before sweeping his mother’s cosmetics off the dressing table.
Staring Elizabeth Sellars, Martin Jarvis, Sarah Lawson and Timothy Dalton.