Kieran Hodgson.

Decline And Fall

BBC Radio 4 comedy drama. 2 episodes (1 series) in 2015. Stars Kieran Hodgson, Geoffrey Whitehead, John Sessions, James Fleet, Ben Crowe, Emilia Fox, Alex Lawther and others.

Decline And Fall

Jeremy Front dramatises Evelyn Waugh's darkly comic 1920s romp, with a host of comedy actors in the main roles

Comedy Drama
BBC Radio 4
2   (1 series)
Kieran Hodgson, Geoffrey Whitehead, John Sessions, James Fleet, Ben Crowe, Emilia Fox, Alex Lawther, Tilly Vosburgh and others
Evelyn Waugh and Jeremy Front
Tracey Neale
Marion Nancarrow

2015 adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's fast-paced 1920s comic fiction. Set in the early jazz age, the tone of Decline And Fall is Wodehousian with added sex, drugs and alcohol.

Paul Pennyfeather, a scholarly young student at Oxford, knows nothing of 1920s high life until one night he encounters The Bollinger Club...

Paul is an innocent but, nevertheless, the engine of the piece. The fuse is lit in Oxford after which the plot moves listeners quickly to London, then out to a tenth rate school in rural Wales where we meet the headmaster Dr Fagan, and two fellow teachers Grimes and Prendergast.

From here the story moves to a glass and steel fantasy of excessive modern architecture in the middle of the English countryside, the home of the beautiful Margot and designed by the eccentric Otto.

Paul's travels then take him to hot and sweaty Marseille and into trouble which results in him ending up in a British prison.

Paul's adventures end in a rather Alice In Wonderland fashion when he is given a new identity and returns to Oxford, exactly where he started, but with the addition of a beard.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Sunday 26th April 2015 on BBC Radio 4 at 3pm
Last new broadcast
Sunday 3rd May 2015 on BBC Radio 4 at 3pm
Length of episodes
1 hour
Last repeat
Saturday 18th May 2019 at 3:00am on Radio 4 Extra