Turn of the Screw Audio Drama BBC Radio 4

Turn of the Screw by Henry James was first broadcast 25/0704.

It was adapted by Neville Teller, directed by Peter Leslie Wilde and starring Cathy Sara as the Governess and Joseph Tremain as Miles.

If you don’t know the Turn of the Screw the story is simply this:

A new young Governess arrives at Bly House which is a remote country home in Essex. The young pretty governess is given total control over the house and her charges because their uncle doesn’t want to get involved. 

She starts to fear for her two young charges Flora and Miles. As the days go by she appears to have some strange visions, seeing the previous governess who we find iis dead and the former masters valet who it also appears is dead.

This leads her conclude that the house and the children are possessed by evil forces.

I had a vague notion about Henry James and knew ‘Turn of the Screw’ was a ‘classic’ but was not overly impressed if I am really honest. The audio drama itself was good but I got the end of it and thought…is that it?

It is up to the reader (or listener) in this instance to decide whether the Governess is hallucinating or really seeing the spirits of former employees. Certainly no one else does which explain Floras not wanting to be around The Governess and her request to Mrs Grose be taken away.

But I am left wondering why MIles was expelled from school, why he is just so weird and why he dies.

It left me feeling a little empty really.