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The Weekend Starts Here

Radio 4
1999 (six episodes)

Bill Matthews (Our Man at Wembley) created this mild social satire about Shipton Green, a picturesque rural village where the local population has been leaching away for years as properties are bought up by wealthy urban "weekenders".  The most recent invaders, well-meaning couple Marina and Terence Cheeseman (Diana Hardcastle, Philip Bretherton), arrive trailing their sulky teenage daughter, Felicity (Gemma Saunders), who does not share their idea of a countryside idyll and just wants to get back to London.  As the family explore their new surroundings, they realise the full extent of the division between the locals, represented by publicans Christine and Norman (Susan Brown, Gavin Muir), and the growing weekender community, led -- in several senses -- by the domineering and slightly sinister Mr and Mrs Thorogood (Rupert Vansittart, Gillian Barge).  Cue lots of typical comedy-drama plotting as Felicity falls headlong into a Romeo-and-Juliet relationship with Robbie (Tim Treloar), Christine and Norman's son, while the village pub is threatened by an offer from a mysterious consortium -- which the Thorogoods know more about than they're prepared to admit... 

© JB Sumner 2000.  Created 30/4/00