BBC Radio 7, 5 March 2011
Set in Hawaii, The Bottle Imp was conceived by Matthew
Walters as a morality-tale, in which Keawe (Tony Osoba) purchased a bottle inhabited by a spirit capable of granting any wish.
However there is a slight catch: anyone who died with the bottle would burn in hell. Hence it was necessary to sell it on
to someone else at a price lower than the amount originally paid to purchase it. Keawe rid himself of the bottle, but found
to his cost that he needed it once again to ensure happiness with his new-found love Kokuwe (Nina Wadia). By now the cost
of the bottle was just one cent; as a result, Keawe had to find an ingenious way of ensuring his life would end happily.
Walters used a narrator (David Rintoul) as a choric figure commenting on the characters'
behaviour. Sometimes he understood their motives for action; at other times, however, he adopted a sorrowful tone, as if unable
to understand why they reacted as they did. This was especially true when Keawe wanted to buy the bottle back once again;
the narrator seemed astonished that Keawe should want to put himself through the pain of trying to re-sell it, just to ensure
the kind of happiness which would be transient, to say the least.
While the story ended happily - at least temporarily - Rintoul's narrator was still
concerned to emphasize its basic morality; that the desire for untold wealth and power will inevitably corrupt.