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Book by Professor provides basis for Radio 4 Play

Prof Matt Worley

Professor Matthew Worley

A 2010 book written by the Department of History's Professor Matthew Worley has provided the basis for a play by Allan Pollock on Radio 4.

The play, Every Duchess in England, is set in 1931 amidst the great depression and tells the story of former Labour MP Oswald Mosley and his attempt to form a New Party, which ultimately led to his turn to Fascism.

The play condenses Mosley's dissatisfaction with the Labour Party and his decision to become a Fascist into one night's events, with Mosley and his friend John Strachey discussing the significant events of the time, including the Wall Street Crash, the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and the threat of Communism.

Professor Worley's book, Oswald Mosley and the New Party provides the historical background for the play, and relays the ways in which Mosley's time spent with the New Party influenced his later foray into the realm of Fascism.

The book reveals the wealth of advice that Mosley sought from well-known political personalities of the time, and this is reflected in the play which focuses heavily on the contrasting political ideas of Mosley and John Strachey.

Coventry born Alan Pollock is a playwright, screenwriter and translator of many works including Too Much Pressure One Night in November, Seven Deals and Philip and Sydney. He also won a Writers' Guild of Great Britain award in 1984 for his contribution to the popular drama series The Bill.

The play features a stellar cast, with Tobias Menzies, star of Casino Royale and Game of Thrones playing the role of Oswald Mosley, and his Game of Thrones co-star Harry Lloyd as MP John Strachey.

Professor Worley has said; "I am delighted that my book has influenced Alan Pollock's play, and I really enjoyed listening to it."

 

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