Afternoon Drama on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4, 15 March 2012
In Interiors Johnny Vegas plays Jeffrey Parkin, a self-styled
entrepreneur trying to sell his property to a group of six prospective buyers. Parkin is obviously proud of what
he has done, describing the features in every room with obvious pride, while describing his prospective career move
to Montenegro in glowing terms.
As the drama unfolds, however, so we understand that there is a palpable gap
between what Parkin describes, and what the prospective buyers actually see. The house comprises a melange
of designs, styles, half-finished projects and useless appliances: Parkin always means to get round to dealing with various
jobs as a homemaker, but never accomplishes them. As he continues his tour, his tone of voice becomes increasingly more
desperate, as if trying and failing to sustain the facade of confidence he constructed at the beginning of the play.
Eventually the task proves too much for him, as he describes with palpable bitterness
the alterations that his partner made to the house, without referring to him. He learns a painful lesson - a property
comprises four walls with things stuffed into it. It is only transformed into a home as a result of the
people living in it; if they don't agree on how it should be decorated and/or furnished, then it remains completely soulless.
Interiors is a virtual monologue, in which Vegas' delivery becomes more
and more frenzied as he depicts Parkin's gradually deteriorating state of mind. Until
now I had always thought of Johnny Vegas as someone who interspersed his career as a comedian with occasional forays into
comedy/drama, as in Andrew Lynch's Mugsborough 1917 (broadcast in 2009) and Badfellas (broadcast a year
later). In this play he gives a performance I can only describe as stupendous.