Love Me Do by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran

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Saturday Drama on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4, 13 October 2012
Set during the darkest days of the Cold War, at the time when the Beatles released their first single (hence the title), Love Me Do was a "will they, won't they?" love-story involving Dorothy (Miranda Raison), who came to London for the first time from her home in Kansas City, and ran into Shack (Adam James), a world-weary New Yorker working for the American Embassy. 
Their first encounter was hardly love at first sight.  Shack drank too many champagne cocktails and ended up making what Dorothy perceived as insulting remarks.  The morning afterwards Shack pursued Dorothy to her hotel in Bloomsbury to make amends.  Although he seemed a little priapic at first, Shack turned out to be a thoroughly decent person; although he put Dorothy up at his well-appointed London home (there were no hotel rooms available at any price, except in the seedy areas near Paddington Station), he chivalrously slept in a different room from her, believing (quite rightly) that she was too much in love with her husband to deviate from the moral straight and narrow. 
As the two spent more time together, they became much more close - united, perhaps, in their fear that World War Three was about to break out.  And herein lay the real interest of the story: although the love-story was a familiar one, director Sally Avens managed to capture the near-hysterical atmosphere of autumn 1962, when it really did seem that Russia and the United States were about to embark on a nuclear war.  Although the catastrophe was avoided, many ordinary people were driven to desperate measures, such as panic-buying food in the supermarkets. 
Avens also managed to take a few sideswipes at life in Britain at that time, when the food was largely inedible, the people insular - not to say standoffish in their reactions to foreigners, and the Establishment Club peddled the kind of satire that (to Dorothy at least) seemed particularly insulting about John F. Kennedy.
I really enjoyed this play - especially the ending, which seemed somehow appropriate.