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Publisher's Summary

Miriam Margolyes, Alison Steadman and Nigel Planer star in Sue Limb's wickedly funny comedy parodying the arty and adulterous adventures of the Bloomsbury Group, who dominated the English cultural scene in the early 20th Century.

The series follows the fortunes of Vera Sackcloth-Vest - writer, gardener and cross-dresser - and her urge to escape from the tranquillity of the rather cramped little castle in Kent which she shares with her doting but ambiguous husband, Harry, who is 'something in the Foreign Office'. Vera's heart is forever surging with exotic passion, either for Ginny Fox, a highly-strung novelist who adores her, or the beautiful but shallow Venus Traduces.

As the scene shifts from Kent to London, and Cornwall to Monaco, this close-knit coterie is divided by misunderstandings, jealousies and rows, whilst the colourfully chaotic characters are joined by such sort-of familiar figures as D.H. Lollipop, T.S. Jellitot, Sigmund Void, George Gurnard Shaw, Dorothy Barker, Al Padrone, James Voyce and Ernest Hammingaway.

Production credits:

Written by Sue Lamb.

Produced by Jamie Rix. A Little Brother production for BBC Radio 4.

Cast:

Vera Sackcloth-Vest - Miriam Margolyes

Henry Mickleton - Jonathan Coy

Mrs Ginny Fox / Mrs Gosling - Alison Steadman

Venus Traduces - Morwenna Banks

Lionel Fox / Mr Gosling - Nigel Planer (Series 1, 3-5) / Roger Lloyd Pack (Series 2)

D H Lollipop - John Sessions

Other parts played by members of the cast.

First broadcast 28th September - 2nd November 2012 (Series 1), 2nd April - 7th May 2014 (Series 2), 29th May 2015 - 3rd July 2015 (Series 3), 7th April - 12th May 2017 (Series 4) and 12th October 2018 -16th November 2018 (Series 5).

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic Reviews

"...one of the funniest, slyest, most naughtily inventive and brilliantly performed shows on the air." (Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph)

"A gloriously silly show." (The Lady)

What listeners say about Gloomsbury

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Should have quit with Series 4

The music in this is annoying beyond belief. The stories are entertaining, and the cast does wonders with the material they're given, but by Series 5 it just seemed to be filler and lacking in the particular brand of magic of the preceding parts.

If you get a chance to buy the DVD of Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, do so. It's a classic and she's fantastic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Starbuck
  • 02-26-20

Hours of laughter

I bought this because of the talented cast and specifically the comedic talents of Miriam Margoyles and Alison Steadman!

Farcical fun at its best, supremely suited to the audio medium. Cleverly written by Sue Limb. This would make a phenominal TV series, handled by the right director and cast. Miriam and Alison have to be in it. Penelope Keith, Imelda Staunton, Joanna Lumley and Miranda Richardson to name but a few would shine in a TV production.

The series was a delight from beginning to end and has piqued my interest in finding out more about the actual Bloomsbury set. My only disappointment was the series ended....

Super value as the whole series 1-5 is available for 1 credit.

14 people found this helpful

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  • VHC
  • 07-15-20

Brilliantly Clever and Hillarious

One of my very favourites from the BBC. Wonderful acting, fab, witty stories and characterisation. The literary references are so funny and the name changes make me giggle!! Sue Limb is a genius!

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  • Mr. A. J. Scott
  • 11-08-20

An excellent, well observed, voice extravaganza.

propels you into an alternative version of the Bloomsbury group's day to day incompetencies. such outstanding voice acting. Alison Steadmans Virginia Woolf is joyous.

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  • I Smith
  • 09-19-21

Simply marvellous!

Very funny, clever and extremely silly. Excellent performances all round. Ideal for cheering oneself up.

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  • Nicky Reynolds
  • 09-12-21

totally fabulous darling!

'a listen to' time and time again......best appreciated sitting out in the garden amongst what ever is growing!😁

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eurofloyd
  • 04-08-21

Absolutely love this, please write more!

I can listen to these series over and again, they are brilliant, clever and very funny. I hope there are more on the way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Scoobydoo
  • 01-12-21

Superb literary comedy

Perfect from beginning to end. Hilarious and erudite in equal measure - as summed up in the names: Vera Sackcloth-Vest, D.H. Lollipop, Alice B. Topless, Ernest Hamming-Away, James Voice. Flawless performances from Miriam Margoles, Alison Steadman and Morwenna Banks. Having binged all 30 episodes over the course of a few weeks I am in mourning! But not quite - because it bears (and even rewards) repeated listening. Absolutely first rate!

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  • Anna
  • 06-02-22

Great Fun!

I listened to some of these episodes on the radio and found them very funny. It's lovely to be able to hear them all together. The performances are outstanding.

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  • Mrs. W.
  • 05-25-20

Gloomsbury

I thought it was hilarious-hope there will be more! The actors are brilliant and I couldn’t stop listening 😊👏🏻👏🏻

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  • Robert Burns
  • 05-23-20

Great Entertainment

The first four series are as good as anything the comic master P G Wodehouse ever wrote. In the fifth series there is a change of mood when you really start to empathize with the characters, As with all good comedy you realise you aren't just laughing at the situation but that you love the characters involved. Sackclothe~Vest is magnificent as is Henry.