Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Unconditional Surrender

Guy Crouchback starts to lose his idealism about the war. Waugh's satirical masterpiece stars Paul Ready and Tim Pigott-Smith.

by Evelyn Waugh
Dramatised by Jeremy Front
Evelyn Waugh's satirical WW2 masterpiece: Guy is beginning to lose his idealism about the War.

Directed by Sally Avens

Waugh's trilogy of WWII novels mark a high point in his literary career. Originally published as three volumes: Officers and Gentlemen, Men at Arms and Unconditional Surrender they were extensively revised by Waugh, and published as the one-volume Sword of Honour in 1965, in the form in which Waugh himself wished them to be read. They are dramatised for the Classic Serial in seven episodes.
This is a story that continues to delight as we follow the comic and often bathetic adventures of Guy Crouchback. Witty and tragic, engaging and insightful, this work must be counted next to 'Brideshead Revisited' as Waugh's most enduring novel. Like Brideshead, Waugh drew heavily upon his own experiences during WWII. Sword of Honour effortlessly treads the line between the personal and the political - it is at once an indictment of the incompetence of the Allied war effort, and a moving study of one man's journey from isolation to self fulfilment. His adventures are peopled by colourful characters: the eccentric, Apthorpe, one-eyed, Ritchie-Hook, promiscuous, Virginia Troy. At the centre of the novel is Guy for whom we never lose our sympathy as he emerges from his adventures bowed but not broken. From Dakar to Egypt, the Isle of Mugg to the evacuation of Crete, tragedy is leavened by Waugh's acerbic and farcical comedy.

58 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Narrator Tim McInnerny
Guy Crouchback Paul Ready
Virginia Lydia Leonard
Arthur Box-Bender Robert Daws
Ian Kilbannock Oliver Chris
Kirstie Kilbannock Polly Frame
Mr Crouchback Sean Murray
Ludovic Carl Prekopp
Loot David Seddon
Tommy Nicholas Boulton
Julia Stitch Christine Kavanagh
Everard Spruce Harry Jardine
Major Tickeridge Michael Bertenshaw
Oates Arthur Hughes
Sapper John Norton
Sister Carolyn Pickles
Secretary Carys Eleri
Director Sally Avens
Adaptor Jeremy Front
Author Evelyn Waugh

Broadcasts

Main Characters

Main Characters

Get to know Guy, Apthorpe, Virginia and Brigadier Ritchie-Hook.

Drama of the Week Podcast

Drama of the Week Podcast

Download a new drama from Radio 4 or Radio 3 every week.