Talking It Over by Julian Barnes, dramatized by Julia Stoneham

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Saturday Drama on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4, 9 June 2012
Stuart (Carl Prekopp) and Oliver - ne Nigel - (Nicholas Boulton), have been friends since childhood. They are totally opposite characters, and while they remain single they form a double-act; the one successful and outgoing, the other cultured yet incoherent. Then Stuart meets Gillian (Hermione Norris) at a get-together for single people, falls in love and eventually marries her; as a result Stuart and Oliver's relationship breaks down completely.
Tracey Neale's production had strong overtones of Schnitzler's La Ronde, with the three protagonists falling in and out of love with one another in a series of passionate exchanges. They seemed at once very fond yet resistant to one another.At the same time I was struck by their fundamental self-centredness; although they tried to live with one another, they could never understand one another's feelings. They were too preoccupied with their own satisfaction; as a result, they were left isolated - three lonely people meeting like ships that pass in the night.
Ingeniously structured as a series of speeches delivered to an imaginary listener, Talking It Over showed all three protagonists trying to justify their behaviour, yet by doung so revealing their emotional inadequacies.  They were quite literally "talking over" their pasts; in other words, trying to put a positive spin on them. Yet the more they tried, the more they incriminated themselves. At the end we somehow felt they deserved what they got - physical and emoional isolation.