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28 October 2014

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My Family and Other Animals

The cast of My Family and Other Animals

Escaping the dreary wet weather of 1930s England, an eccentric family uproot and ship themselves to the sunnier climes of the Greek island of Corfu.

The rag-tag family, headed by their warm sympathetic mother (Imelda Staunton) experience the joys of living a life of freedom and adventure.

Gerald (Eugene Simon)

Intrepid biologist, 12-year-old Gerald (Eugene Simon), acne-infested Margot (Tamzin Merchant), gun-loving Leslie (Russell Tovey) and overbearing intellectual Larry (Matthew Goode) make up the bohemian Durrel family.

For Mother especially, the experience is emotionally moving as she watches her youngest child Gerald grow up more and more each day.

Through the eager ministrations of a larger-than-life taxi-driver Spiro (Omid Djalili), who himself has a soft spot for Mother, the family move to a succession of different coloured villas.

While Gerald explores the glorious landscape, the wildlife it has to offer and befriends the local population, Mother has other ideas: fearing her son is growing too wild, she is determined that he receives an education.

Mother (Imelda Staunton)

Gerald's moral as well as more conventional education is put in the hands of three very different young men, two of whom are more distracted by Margot's flirtatiousness than by Gerald's zoological enthusiasm.

First of all there's George (David Armand) who loses out to Margot's new, over-confident Turkish boyfriend; and then Peter (Tom Goodman-Hill) a caddish young man who is happy to leave Gerald writing by himself while he pursues Margot at any cost.

Spiro (Omid Djalili)

Of more lasting emotional importance for Gerald though is Theodore Stephanides (Chris Langham), a biologist and witty raconteur who is young Gerald's link not only to the marine and insect life that Corfu has to offer, but also its rich cultural beauty too.

Spending so much of his time in the garden and fields watching one sort of the animal kingdom in their natural habitat allows Gerald to learn more incisively about the habits of an altogether different genus: his family.

But news of home and the imminence of the Second World War lift the veil of magical innocence felt by the whole family as they leave their beloved Corfu an emotionally richer family than the one that arrived.


Eugene Simon
Gerald Durrell
Imelda Staunton
Omid Djalili
Tamzin Merchant
Margot Durrell
Matthew Goode
Larry Durrell

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