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Rumpole and the Sleeping Partners

Rumpole leaves his wife Hilda, sleeps in chambers and defends a case of attempted murder. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jasmine Hyde and Nigel Anthony.

After a legal ball in the Savoy Hotel, Rumpole and Hilda argue about Rumpole's drunken behaviour in front of Mr Justice Gwent-Evans. Rumpole can take no more of his wife and jumps out of their taxi. He intends to spend the night in chambers but finds Erskine-Brown in Equity Court, with Phillida Trant, "working late". Rumpole asks Phillida to help him with the defence of Hugo Lutterworth, who's accused of trying to kill the husband of his lover.

Phillida goes home with Erskine-Brown, leaving Rumpole to sleep on his sofa - strictly against the rules of chambers. And this is pointed out to him by Erskine-Brown when he arrives early next morning with Phillida. Did they spend the night together? Rumpole's feelings for his pupil are confusing, so he concentrates on his client.

Rumpole discusses the case again with Phillida, who seems out of sorts. She tells Rumpole to go home to Hilda but he ignores her advice and is caught having supper at his desk by Erskine-Brown, who accidentally invites Rumpole to stay at his flat - which does not go well.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Rumpole in a story written by John Mortimer and adapted by Richard Stoneman.

Directed by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

44 minutes

Last on

Thu 11 Jun 2020 14:15


Role Contributor
Rumpole Benedict Cumberbatch
Hilda Jasmine Hyde
Erskine-Brown Nigel Anthony
Judge Gwent-Evans Nigel Anthony
Phillida Trant Cathy Sara
Hugo Lutterworth Stephen Critchlow
Captain Gleason Stephen Critchlow
Director Marilyn Imrie
Producer Catherine Bailey
Adaptor Richard Stoneman
Author John Mortimer


  • Fri 21 Mar 2014 14:15
  • Fri 22 Sep 2017 11:15
  • Fri 22 Sep 2017 21:15
  • Thu 11 Jun 2020 14:15