Two Sundays. Broadcast 21 October 1975. Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Written by Simon Gray. Duration: 75 minutes.
Cast: Alan Bates (Charles), Dinsdale Landen (Peter), Georgina Hale (Hilary), Rosemary Martin (Alison), Simon Cadell (Schoolmaster).
‘Two Sundays’ is Simon Gray’s companion piece to ‘Plaintiffs and Defendants’ – both were presented in the Play for Today series in 1975, with roughly the same casts. Some characters are mirror images of those they played in the earlier play, some lines appear in both works, and there are areas in which they – the characters and the situations – overlap.
This play involves flashbacks into a past which two middle-aged friends can’t quite acknowledge, as well as some more mundane family things with wives and children. Memories fade into each other, thoughts bring back things which are buried. Really, this is a two-hander between Alan Bates as Charles, with a pregnant wife but putting his guilt at a wasted life into a first novel, and Dinsdale Landen as Peter, a boozy, bored, adulterous executive who can’t quite reconcile what he was with what he is.
Of the two plays, this is the most accomplished, although as a pair they are very interesting. And with support from Georgina Hale, Simon Cadell, and others, it has a cast which keeps you watching through its short running time.