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Publisher's Summary

The complete series one and two of the BBC Radio sitcom about the ups and downs of a second-class writer.

Once upon a time, there was a struggling writer named Woodhouse Carton, who tried to make his name as an author while simultaneously running his own creative writing class....

Over 12 episodes, we follow the frustrated scribe's fruitless search for fame and fortune as, supported by his long-suffering wife, Gila, and feckless sidekick Seamus, he tries to write the definitive biography of philosophical novelist Wolf Heinrich Graubart - or compose the hit song that will set him up for life.

Travelling to Berlin in an attempt to get under the skin of his subject, Woodhouse is confused with contradictory accounts - and confounded by extra expenses. Desperate to make big money, he tries his hand at children's fiction, pens an oratorio, gets a new agent and searches for a patron. With a baby on the way, will he manage to turn his fortunes around and find success at last?

Scripted by award-winning biographer and dramatist Ronald Hayman, this superbly written literary sitcom stars Tim Pigott-Smith as Woodhouse, Zoë Wanamaker as Gila and Stephen Rea as Seamus, with a distinguished cast including Miriam Karlin, Sheila Hancock and Celia Imrie.

Written by Ronald Hayman

Directed by Piers Plowright and Paul Schlesinger

Music by Elizabeth Parker of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Guitar: Patrice Chevalier


Woodhouse - Tim Pigott-Smith

Gila/Monie - Zoë Wanamaker

Seamus - Stephen Rea

Wilhelmina/Jutta/Heidi - Susie Brann

Harietta Masterson/Samantha/Hildegarde/Hedwig/Muriel - Miriam Karlin

Hamish McVomitory/Professor Trinklekopf/Blind man/Graubart/Dr Vongalis/Harris - Bill Wallis

Gila's Dad/Colonel/Cedric - Benjamin Whitrow

Gila's Mum - Joan Matheson/Maxine Audley

Pachmann - John Moffatt

Cissie Soskins - Eva Stuart

Frau Graubart - Eva Stuart/Maxine Audley

Girl in the street/Sasha/Charlotte aged 17 - Susan Sheridan

Mark Grimshaw - Geoffrey Whitehead

Mrs Mellon - Sheila Hancock

Penelope Pomeroy - Celia Imrie

Mary Jane/Fenella - Maxine Audley

Ulrike - Tara Dominick

Marli Lillene/Jayston - Nickolas Grace

Griselda - Victoria Carling

MacGillycuddy - James Green

Bongo/Bunty/Tommy/Groom/Dollamore/Benjy - Ronald Herdman

Alun - Timothy Bateson

Craggs/Breuster/Hotchkiss - James Simmons

Dorothy - Petra Markham

Jasper - Timothy Carlton

With Eva Stuart, Susan Sheridan and Shaun Prendergast as Creative Writing Class members.

First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 16-21 September 1989 (Series 1), 21-27 December 1991 (Series 2)


Published by Penguin Random House Ltd

Licensed by BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Such Rotten Luck: Series 1 & 2

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