Fortunes of War: A BBC Radio 4 Full cast dramatisation of the complete Balkan Trilogy

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2022
5 hours 38 minutes
A sweeping adaptation of Olivia Manning's classic war novels, starring Joanna Lumley and Honeysuckle Weeks

'A rare and many-layered pleasure' Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph

1939, and naive young newlywed Harriet Pringle arrives in Bucharest with her husband, Guy - just as Europe is about to rip itself apart. She believes she knows everything about the man she has married, but soon realises she knows nothing.

Guy is oblivious to her needs and desires, seeming only to care about his job as a university lecturer, his friends, and the beautiful, voluptuous Sophie. Struggling to build a life in a strange city, in the face of imminent invasion, Harriet feels bereft - and increasingly isolated.

As the Nazis come ever closer, an act of treachery puts the couple in terrible danger, and with Romania in enemy hands, they are forced to leave the country. Fleeing to Athens, and then Egypt, their marriage comes under increasing strain amidst the chaos and upheaval of war. With the future uncertain, can they find the strength and resilience to face it together?

Joanna Lumley stars as the older Harriet, looking back on events many years later, with Honeysuckle Weeks as her younger self. Among the stellar cast are Khalid Abdalla, Alex Wyndham and James Fleet.

Production credits
Written by Olivia Manning
Dramatised by Lin Coghlan and Jonathan Holloway
Produced and directed by Marc Beeby and Colin Guthrie

Old Harriet - Joanna Lumley
Harriet - Honeysuckle Weeks
Guy - Khalid Abdalla
Clarence - Alex Wyndham
Yakimov - James Fleet
Inchcape - John Rowe
Sophie/Edwina - Joannah Tincey
Galpin/Clifford/Newsreader - John Dougall
Bella/Mona - Carolyn Pickles
Drucker/Desmond - Peter Marinker
Sasha - Joseph Arkley
Nikko/Toby Lush/Peter - Simon Treves
Despina/Phillips - Laura Molyneux
Dr Hassolel/Mortimer - Katy Cavanagh
Manager/Jackman - Ben Onwukwe
Dobson - Sam Dale
Dubedat/Aidan/Cpt Hardy - Ben Crowe
Professor Pinkrose - Nigel Anthony
Charles Warden/Mr Buschman - Alex Lanipekun
Angela - Alison Pettitt
Bill - Philip Jackson
Simon - Sam Pamphilon
Arnold/Young Arab - Lloyd Thomas
Dr Shafik/Helal - Bijan Daneshmand
Marion - Emily Wachter

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 27 January-2 March 2008

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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