BBC Radio 4, 10-14 December 2012
Bonnie (Prunella Scales), a single woman, runs a successful cafe
in the seaside town of Bridport. She is quite successful at her job, while being blessed with a particular talent; the
ability to overhear conversations from up to fifty metres away. Although not intending to, she eavesdrops on almost
everything her patrons talk about among themselves.
All Bonnie's patrons, it seems, are experiencing emotional turmoil. Her best
friend Ellie (Hannah Gordon) is surprised one afternoon as her one-time friend comes into the cafe; the two of them have not
spoken since the time when (in Ellie's view at least) her friend stole Ellie's intended marriage partner. Fiona and
Sissy (Katherine Rogers, Eleanor Crooks) regularly patronize the cafe to debate the merits of a married man who claims his
partner doesn't understand him; Stacey (Sarah Thom) shrinks away from her husband Jim (Robert Blythe), despite his protestations
of love for her.
Bonnie herself has a guilty secret; she believes that her cafe is infested with pixies,
who rejoice at everyone else's misfortunes. Try as she might, she cannot scare them away; she can only pacify them by
playing Puccini as background music, as recorded by Maria Callas.
While Little Grudges is certainly funny in places, it also explores the
ways in which individuals like to suppress their grudges in the hope of leading tranquil lives, but find to their cost that
such grudges keep coming back and ridiculing them - just like Bonnie's pixies. Exactly how individuals deal with them
is the most important point. The director of this 15 Minute Drama was Mary Ward-Lowery.