...De Flores and Beatrice. The other characters don't have much weight. Alan Webb as Vermandero sounds an awful lot like Polonius most of the time and may be ignored. The two De Piraquo brothers are there to provide plot points and are forgettable. Frances Tomelty (Sting's first wife) has some effective scenes as Beatrice's lady in waiting; she has a good comedy sense. The lunatic asylum has the wonderful Norman Rossington (A Hard Day's Night) as keeper. He gets to spit out some funny lines.
Stanley Baker comes out best. His De Flores is at first cynical and distant, then as he realizes the depth of his involvement he starts to act with real force. Helen Mirren matches his commitment. To sum up: this is one of the better BBC plays; not too many scenes had to be cut. Beatrice's speech with the line "let the common sewer take it from distinction" is given whole, a good decision.
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