Produced for BBC1 television and first broadcast 1991.
Rodney Ackland's Absolute Hell takes place in June 1945 during two months after VE day. The war in Europe is over and a general election is imminent. In London’...展开s Soho, across the street from the Labour Party Headquarters, club owner Christine Foskett (Judi Dench) is readying her bomb-scarred establishment for another evening of serious drinking and flippant chat. A home-away-from-home to so many of her bohemian regulars, La Vie en Rose, as the club is appropriately named, provides a rosy environment that anesthetizes the pain caused by the absolute hell of the losers, spongers, fulfilled and unfulfilled predators of all four sexes, people with little sense of the past and still less sense of the future. Everything revolves around Christine the mistress [in both senses of the word] of the squalid rebels there. Terrified of her own company, always let down, she races towards disaster like a lipsticked, human hamster on a wonky treadmill. Her club is falling down, Scotland Yard looms ready to destroy it if bomb damage doesn’t do the trick. In the house across the road Labour supporters are toasting the start of a political era, but in the club an era is ending.