BBC Radio 7, 28 September 2008
The second play in the sequence Intimate Exchanges found Miles (Robin Herford) still dissatisfied with marriage to Rowena (Lavinia Bertram), and
proposing to go for a dirty weekend with the cleaning lady Sylvie (Bertram). Predictably the weekend turned out to be a disaster,
with Miles finding himself hidebound by middle age, inhibition and an over-zealous concern for respectability, while Sylvie
could not enjoy her opportunity to wear nice clothes, eat out at a swish restaurant or munch breakfast in bed. Again this
was familiar Ayckbourn territory, with the author taking every opportunity to show how middle-class men in particular remain
victims of their inhibitions, while remaining totally ignorant of the feelings of those around them – especially the
women. In the end Miles’ death by falling off a cliff seemed strangely justified – such a man deserved to lose
his way to such an extent that he could not even find the road home. His widow Rowena didn’t think much of him too;
rather than putting up a plaque in the local school in her husband’s memory, she elected to have a shed built, as she
believed her husband preferred to exchange conversation in there rather than have anything discussed in the open.
The two actors Herford
and Bertram once again showed great versatility in their roles. The play was directed by Gordon House.