Laurence Olivier Presents is a British television series made by Granada Television which ran from 1976 to 1978. The plays, with the exception of Hindle Wakes, all starred Laurence Olivier. Some of the plays were based on productions staged at the National Theatre during the period when Olivier was Artistic Director. In addition to distinguished English actors, the casts assembled for these productions included several Hollywood stars, such as Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Joanne Woodward and Maureen Stapleton.
- Laurence Olivier
The story of a Neapolitan family, with all their temperamental clashes, hidden resentments and strong loyalties, who meet every Sunday for a gigantic Sunday lunch, cooked by Donna Rosa, who is famed for the excellence of her ragout. On one particular Sunday, a family row flares up and is conducted, in vociferous Italian style, throughout the weekend. By the time the ritual lunch comes to an end, Donna Rosa is shouting at her husband Peppino "I never want to hear your voice or look at your face again! Get away from me!"
The play takes a stark look at a pair of misfits. Doc is a filed doctor fighting to stay sober in the shadow of alcoholism. Lola is a loving but inadequate wife mourning for both her lost youth and her lost dog, Sheba.
Lady Pitts is a middle-aged, Newnham-educated lady who was once director of a biscuit factory by day while running a shelter for prostitutes by night. Ernest is a young Polish student who meets Lady Pitts one evening when she is alone and very drunk in a Soho restaurant. Ernest decides to worship this mysterious lady as Dante worshipped Beatrice. But Lady Pitts is a wayward, though determined, woman.