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Summary

The first five series of the BBC Radio comedy drama about the lives and squabbles of three very different sisters.

After years of looking after her elderly parents, Anna finds herself able, for the first time, to live her own life. She's enjoying simply being herself, with no responsibilities and no obligations. But her two younger sisters, Victoria and Charlotte, are concerned about her. Surely poor, unfulfilled Anna can't be happy without a partner or a family around?

Determined to make an effort, they decide to draw her into their lives - and Anna's peaceful, commitment-free lifestyle soon disappears. Throughout these five series, she becomes embroiled in their various dramas and crises, as actress Charlotte suffers a series of career and romantic disappointments and housewife Victoria grows increasingly discontented with her husband, Roger. And as Victoria's daughter, Emily, grows from sulky teen to young woman, she, too, starts to confide in her aunt Anna.

With all her relatives involving her in their affairs, will Anna still be able to forge her own path - and maybe even find romance?

Created by award-winning author Simon Brett, whose radio sitcom credits include After Henry and Smelling of Roses, this classic comedy about sisterly dissension stars Rosemary Leach as Anna, with Nicola Pagett as Victoria and Celia Imrie and Josie Lawrence as Charlotte.

Produced by Paul Schlesinger (series one and two), Ann Jobson (series three and four) and Maria Esposito (series five).

Music composed by Elizabeth Parker, BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Cast

Anna - Rosemary Leach

Victoria - Nicola Pagett

Charlotte - Celia Imrie/Josie Lawrence

Delia - Maxine Audley

Roger - Stephen Moore/Roger Llloyd Pack/Jonathan Coy/Bill Nighy

Eddie - James Greene

Emily - Lisa Coleman/Natalie Walter

With Andrew Wincott, Benjamin Whitrow, Ronald Herdman, Mark Straker, Theresa Streatfeild, Robert Bathurst, Peter Penry-Jones, Nicholas Murchie, David Swift, Neil Roberts, Teresa Gallagher, Dominic Letts, Jillie Meers, William Osborne, Philip Anthony, Simon Treves, David Thorpe, John Baddeley, David Antrobus, Michael Tudor-Barnes, Rachel Atkins, Jonathan Keeble, Derek Waring, Ian Masters, Kim Wall, Kelda Holmes, Geoffrey Whitehead, Joshua Towb, Jon Glover, Edward de Souza

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 9th January-13th February 1992 (series one), 29th July-2nd September 1993 (series two), 24th November-29th December 1994 (series three), 24th July-28th August 1996 (series four), 9th July-13th August 1998 (series five)

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about No Commitments: Series 1-5

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Misophonia sufferers, beware

This is an entertaining series following the fortunes of three sisters, Anna, Victoria and Charlotte. Anna, freed of the commitment of caring for her father, finds herself constantly dealing with the crises of her sisters, married Victoria and single actor Charlotte. Anna is presented as the sympathetic character, though they can all be pretty unpleasant from time to time. The characterisation isn't consistent - Victoria's husband, Roger, is presented as a philanderer in series 1 - 5, and segues in later series into a benign idiot usually dominated by the irredemably snobbish Victoria. Charlotte is presented as the academically insecure one wth 'no A-Levels' in series 1 - 5, a role that is taken over by Victoria later on. The performances are good, and sometimes excellent. Celia Imrie as Charlotte, Bill Nighy as Roger and Angela Thorne as Victoria stand out. Unfortunately, the cast can vary from series to series, so in listening to the whole thing, there are changes in characters' voices that can pull you out of the story. There are some very strange casting decisions like, in one series, giving Victoria's 18-year-old daughter Emily the voice of a whiny nine-year-old.

All the series are plagued by the curse of radio drama: the eating scene. If a scene is set round a table, all the characters masticate loudly and talk with their mouths full. This misophonia sufferer had to fast forward through large chunks which were rendered unlistenable to because of this. Pity.

Overall, a bit of escapist listening - if you are not misophonic.

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Funny sibling rivalry

The only thing I didn’t like was them changing actors between episodes and series. The replacement for Emily was awful. But on the whole this purchase has been enjoyable and will buy the other series to find out what happens to the three sisters.