Stopgap by Julie Mayhew

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BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama

BBC Radio 4, 10 May 2012
Emma (Liz White), a mid-ranking administrator in an office, apparently pursues a Shirley Valentine-like drean of decamping to the Greek islands and living the simple life riding horses and receiving low wages. The attractiveness of this contrasts with her working life, much of which is spent sitting alone in an office, aloof from her fellow-employees. She even invents an imaginary boyfriend, so as to convince young temp Max (Claire Harry) that she has an active social life.
Max is equally preoccupied with inventing a life for herself - a recent graduate, she can only find a menial job in Emma's office, while dreaming of a media career. She encounters Ian (Iain Batchelor), a felllow-worker with a penchant for quoting poetry, who reveals himself to be in love with love rather than committing himself.
As the action unfolded, however, so our expectations were gradually frustrated. Emma spent a lot of her time reading postcards, which she apparently wrote to herself. Max discovered what Emma was doing; and suddenly we discovered that Emma's office life was actually her imaginary world, and that what happened in Greece was actually true. Everyone in the office understood her secret, but did not actually confront her with the information.
Interim looked at the ways in which individuals retreat from existence by creating fantasy-worlds, which often become more tangible than real life itself. Sometimes this provides a source of comfort, but in the end it is actually not a solution: people have to confront their past, present and future and try to make sense of them. The director was Jeremy Mortimer.