The Killing of Sister George

by Frank Marcus

February/March 2013

The Killing of Sister George

London, 1965 : Sister George is a cheery and well-loved character in the popular BBC radio series Applehurst, a nurse who ministers to the medical and emotional needs of the local villagers. She is played by gin-guzzling, cigar-chomping actress June Buckridge, a woman who appears to be the anithesis of the sweet character she portrays. But a dual crisis is looming in the life of June: professionally, she is terrified that her popular character is due for the chop and domestically, she worries that she is losing her powerful grip over her partner, the extraordinary Alice McNaught. When Mrs Mercy Croft, a coldly polite representative of the BBC admin department begins to pay repeated calls, it appears that June's fears may be amply justified in both cases...

A comic but poignant study of emotional dependence, Frank Marcus's engaging black comedy was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic when it was first performed in 1965. Its ground-breaking elements caused headlines at the time and with its exploration of BBC cutbacks, axing of soap stars and obsession with ratings, it seems curiously topical today.

 



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