The Moment You Feel It by Ed Harris

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Drama on BBC Radio 4 Extra

BBC Radio 4 Extra, 25 December 2013
First broadcast in 2009 and re-broadcast as part of a day-long celebration of the work of Richard Briers, who died in February 2013, The Moment You Feel It was a melancholy piece focusing on Alf (Briers) who looked back on his past life as he was being looked after by carer Marina (Caroline Guthrie).
In Alf's view, he had done his duty as a husband by looking after his spouse Pru (Tracy Wiles) until her death.  However there were certain moments - for example, finding a strange leather coat in his kitchen - that stimulated him to reflect once more on his past.  Old age rendered that remembering process rather difficult; but nonetheless he began to understand - however dimly - that things might not have been quite as he had first assumed.
Writer Ed Harris found an intriguing way of showing how the past impacted on the present and vice versa through a series of overlapping dialogues involving Alf, Marina, Pru and Young Alf (Rory Kinnear). The play used different metaphors to get its point across about the ways in memories are lost - like words in the breeze.  The older Alf took a bath, which reminded him of the occasions when Pru did the same thing - as the water poured down the plug hole, it reminded both of them of the passage of time and what it does to people.
If thoughts are so transient, and time is so overpowering, then why do people not try to be more honest towards one another, as well as to themselves, so as to feel happier?  Harris' play did not attempt to answer that question, but rather encouraged us to look into our hearts and reflect on whether we really understand how our closest relationships work.  The producer/ director was Jonquil Panting.