Keeley Hawes is fabulous in this entertaining, perfect for Sunday night, six part series. In The Durrells written by acclaimed screenwriter Simon Nye and also featuring international film star Leslie Caron, Keeley plays family matriach Louisa.
The series is based upon Gerald Durrell’s classic trilogy of Corfu memoirs, including the best-seller My Family and Other Animals.
The story centres around Louisa Durrell (Hawes), whose life is in meltdown. Her husband died years ago and his money has all but run out. Her four unruly children – 21-year-old Larry (Josh O’Connor), 18-year-old Leslie (Callum Woodhouse), 17-year-old Margo (Daisy Waterstone) and 11- year-old Gerry (Milo Parker) – are going off the rails.
It is 1935 and a woman’s options are limited. Much to Larry’s bemusement, Louisa takes his flippant advice and makes a radical change by whisking her family away to the sun- drenched island of Corfu. It’s a cheap and untamed paradise but one that has no electricity.
The Durrells this week
In this weeks episode, love is in the air but is that enough to distract the Durrells from the imminent arrival of their domineering Aunt Hermione (Barbara Flynn), along with her niece and nephew? When Larry’s girlfriend Nancy (Lizzy Watts) turns up unexpectedly, his subsequent behaviour does nothing to quell Aunt Hermione’s outspoken criticism of the entire family. Will Louisa crumble in the face of such an attack or will a surprise offer from Sven (Ulric von der Esch) embolden her?
Meanwhile, Margo is besotted with Angel (Jamie Ward), just as Gerry is with his newly acquired owlets.
The series has proved popular enough to be commissioned for a second season.
Airdate: Sunday 1 May at 8.00pm