Desmond Barrit stars as Horace Rumpole in this full-cast, feature-length radio drama
Rumpole has no special objection to Christmas - except that with the Old Bailey closed, he has no opportunity to exercise his skills in court. But over the course of one unusual holiday, he nonetheless manages to triumph in two very different cases...
Dragooned into spending Christmas in Norfolk, at the home of one of Hilda's old schoolfriends, Rumpole is feeling less than festive. Chilly Coldsands Rectory does not offer much in the way of enjoyment - but a trip to the local church and a surprise encounter with an old acquaintance leads to a God-given opportunity to indulge in a little seasonal, charitable blackmail.
A New Year outing to see Aladdin also provides more excitement than expected. The traditional British pantomime is one of Rumpole's favourite institutions, but he has a vague feeling that there's something odd about this particular production. A post-panto drink, some overheard remarks and a glance at the programme confirm his suspicions - and put him on the path to solving an audacious crime...
Starring Desmond Barrit as Rumpole and Joanna David as Hilda, with Tim McInnerny as Donald Compton and Nigel Anthony as Fred Timson.
Horace Rumpole - Desmond Barrit
Hilda Rumpole - Joanna David
Rev Eric Longstaff - Oliver Ford Davies
Donald Compton - Tim McInnerny
Fred Timson - Nigel Anthony
Phillida Erskine-Brown - Patience Tomlinson
Judge Bullingham - Philip Voss
Skimpy Simpson - Ioan Meredith
Bonny Bernard - Bruce Alexander
Detective Inspector Grimble - John Hartley
Aladdin - Rebecca Lacey
Denis Timson - Tom George
Widow Twanky - Tilly Vosburgh
Tristan - Lewis Reece
Isolde - Lauren Bird
Written by John Mortimer
Directed by Marilyn Imrie
Produced by Catherine Bailey
Pantomime music written by Neil Brand
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4