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Dennis Potter's The White Hotel

A 1930s Berlin analyst tries to reveal the cause of his client's trauma. Could it be childhood memories or a dark premonition of the future? With strong language and sexual scenes.

Dennis Potter's unproduced screenplay of DM Thomas's award-winning novel, starring Anne-Marie Duff and Bill Paterson. With strong language and sexual scenes.

Circus performer Lisa visits Dr Probst, a celebrated Berlin psychoanalyst, to discover the cause of the mysterious pains she is experiencing in her left breast and pelvis. As Probst attempts to unravel the true cause of her pains, he is sure that the answer to Lisa's condition lies in her past and her realisation, after her mother and uncle are killed in a hotel fire, that the two of them were having an affair.

When Lisa allows Probst to read her secret journal, he is stunned by her erotic fantasies and sexually charged description of an imaginary relationship with a lover at a white hotel, a grand baroque spa.

Their passionate lovemaking seems to provoke strange disasters - premonitions of the catastrophe that will soon overwhelm Lisa and Kolya.

Lisa initially plays along with Probst's investigations of her past, but eventually reveals that she also experiences unsettling premonitions. "I see what is going to happen. And what is going to happen cannot be endured."

Is her trauma really the result of childhood memories, or could it be a dark premonition of the future?

The drama is preceded by a short documentary, The Long Road to the White Hotel, telling the story of the many failed attempts to bring DM Thomas's novel to the screen and the making of the Radio 4 drama of Dennis Potter's screenplay.

Written by DM Thomas
Original Screenplay by Denis Potter under licence from Briarpatch Limited L.P
Directed by Jon Amiel

The Long Road to the White Hotel feature by Overtone Productions.

Producers: Laurence Bowen and Peter Ettedgui
A Dancing Ledge production for BBC Radio 4.

1 hour, 45 minutes


Role Contributor
Lisa Anne-Marie Duff
Probst Bill Paterson
Narrator Simon McBurney
The Lover David Gyasi
Victor Nigel Lindsay
Aunt Magda Morwenna Banks
Vera Jasmine Jones
Old Woman Jasmine Jones
Wife Jasmine Jones
Various Wayne Forester
Officer Nick Underwood
Captain Nick Underwood
Maitre d' Nick Underwood
Old Man Nick Underwood
Koyla Felix Jamieson
Little Lisa Tillie Murray
Author DM Thomas
Adaptor Dennis Potter
Director Jon Amiel
Producer Laurence Bowen
Producer Peter Ettedgui


  • Sat 8 Sep 2018 14:30

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