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28 October 2014

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A Many Splintered Thing

The cast of A Many Splintered Thing

A Many Splintered Thing starred Alan Davies as Russel, a frustrated composer who dreams of achieving musical greatness but actually spends his days writing jingles for cheesy TV adverts.

He's happily married to wife Susanna but when she goes away to visit her mother over Christmas, Russel drunkenly stumbles into an affair with flower shop worker Elly (Kate Ashfield) and finds himself at the centre of a love triangle.

Simone Bendix as Susanna and Alan Davies as Russel

As he starts to obsess over Elly he finds himself racked with guilt, but his sex life with Susanna suddenly improves too;  how can he make a decision when he's having a great time with not one but two lovers?

This question of infidelity was the dilemma that stoked the central plot of this six-part series, but it was not the only running strand.

Russel also had to deal with his peculiar agent Alistair, the source of all his uninspiring composing jobs, while Elly was the subject of attention from her lesbian colleague Camilla (Josie Lawrence) at the flower shop.

Josie Lawrence as Camilla & Kate Ashfield as Elly

Writer Geoff Deane, who went on to co-script British film comedy Kinky Boots, was scaling a mountain in attempting to craft a classy post-watershed sitcom for BBC One, and at best A Many Splintered Thing can be said to be a modest success.

The casting of Alan Davies as Russel split audiences, with some warming to his likeability even when playing an adulterer, but others finding it hard to square his low-key performance with his 'sex-god' character.

The glossy production values and lack of any laughter track both certainly lent the show a sophisticated air, but they also laid bare the comparatively few laugh-out-loud moments and despite the strong cast and stylish direction it ran for only one series.


Josie Lawrence
Alan Davies
Russel Boyd
Kate Ashfield
Elly Jackson
Victor McGuire
Luis Banks
Kate Issit
Susanna Boyd
Simone Bendix
Susanna Boyd
Paul Trussell
Alistair Cranwell
Patrick Robinson


Geoff Deane
Paul Harrison
Sandy Johnson
Kenton Allen
Geoff Deane
Mia Jupp
Danielle Lux
executive producer
Geoff Deane
executive producer
John McHugh McHugh
executive producer

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