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4.7 out of 5 stars201
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2002
If you have never seen Mapp and Lucia, I promise you a treat is in store. If you have seen it then you will have been awaiting the dvd release as eagerly as me.
Mapp and Lucia is a jewel of genteel english comedy, adhering pretty closely to the original books (also wonderful)though missing the first couple of volumes, there is some editing of minor characters, but this only serves to keep the series tight. There is not one duff performance, from the stately arrogance of Geraldine McEwan's Lucia, to the frustrated impotence of Prunella Scale's Mapp, via Nigel Hawthorne's fey fop Georgie, all are spectacular. The supporting cast are no less memorable. Denis Lill as Major Benjy, Mary Macleod as Diva, Geoffrey Chater and Marion Mathie as Mr and Mrs Wyse stand out. It is unfair to single out performers though, many laughs are to be had from the minor characters such as the servants. The storyline revolves around the battle for social supremacy in a small coastal english town. There are not really 'jokes' as such, the comedy arises from the complex web of social intrigue woven by the two ladies of the title. The series really repays watching over and over, I have watched the whole thing at least twice a year since it was first broadcast, and have yet to show it to anyone who didn't immediately become a convert. To put it simply, BUY IT! And sit back and enjoy what I think is a true classic of british television.
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on 17 August 2002
Open the wine, order your 'LOBSTER A-LA RISHOLME' pizza from Dominoes and settle down in front of the telly...........
For lovers of classic English camp bitchery, Alan Bennett & Victoria Wood can worship at the shrine of E.F. Benson
to show how it should be done, this superlative mid 80's comedy/drama is a lesson to all those who aspir e to genuine
excellence, from the incomparable Geraldine McEwan as the waspish Miss Mapp to Prunella Scales topping even 'Sybil'
for sheer comedic brilliance, all lovers of brittle English snobbery will delight in the adventures of these two menopausal
village nightmares - add to the mix the superp & late lamented Nigel Hawthorne as 'Master Georgie' and you have something unique. Ok so it's completely over the top but it's a shame that a programme like this would never get made these days - enjoy it for what it is - a stand-alone bit of camp foolery that knocks spots off anything being produced today.
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Mapp & Lucia: The Complete Series [DVD] (1985-1986). Based on E. F. Benson's highly regarded novels from the 1920s and 1930s, this is a great comedy series filmed by L.W.T. for a young Channel 4. Being written during the era, the books, and this beautifully filmed adaptation, are spot on. It Stars Prunella Scales, Nigel Hawthorne and Geraldine McEwan. Visually it's not unlike Diana Rigg's "Mrs Bradley Mysteries", although this series follows a far darker and ruthless battle for social supremacy in the small town of Tilling (clearly based on Rye, East Sussex, where Benson was Mayor from 1934). Naturally this series was filmed in Rye and neighbouring Winchelsea.

Mrs Emmeline Lucas, known to her friends as Lucia, is a dreadful snob, but in Miss Elizabeth Mapp of Mallards, Lucia meets her match. Underlying the etiquette and politeness is a bitter and seething malice that unleashes the terrible weapons of garden parties, bridge evenings and afternoon teas. Although this may not sound promising material for modern-day viewers, the series [and books] are very funny and engage your interest just to see how sophisticated Lucia and frumpy Mapp score off each other and extricate themselves from social disasters. The witty and amusing episodes are based on the last three of Benson's books, and have a similar feel to P.G. Woodhouse's classic "Jeeves and Wooster".

DVD sound is English [mono] audio only, there's no subtitles, no extras, and picture/sound quality is OK (but not great) on the small screen, with the colour being a little washed out as is common with 35mm transfers. This DVD set has all ten 50 minute episodes of Mapp and Lucia [two seasons of five episodes, first broadcast in 1985 & 1986, with a total DVD run time of 500 minutes]. It's a delight to watch, and all for just £15 or so.
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on 6 September 2002
Having been a fan of Mapp & Lucia books for about 20 years I was delighted to know that that they had been re-released on video.
I wasn't disappointed. The late lamented Nigel Hawthorne was sublime, Prunella Scales as Mapp portrayed the part to a T. Geraldidine McEwan as Lucia almost makes me want to become a snob. As a member of the Tilling Society I wasn't disappointed.
Buy this if you have a slightly off the wall sense of humour.
I cannot recomend this highly enough!
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on 27 June 2007
This DVD is a real treat - as camp as Christmas but wonderfully acted and true to the E F Benson books. The world of 1920s village of Tilling and its eccentric inhabitants is welcome escapism from current TV drama's gritty realism. Prunella Scales and Geraldine McEwan play Mapp and Lucia, the rivals vying with each other for social standing and one upmanship amidst an endless round of bridge, gossip and musical evenings. Whilst some of the plots are OTT - when Mapp and Lucia are washed out to sea during floods and are then rescued by an Italian fishing trawler which keeps them in Newfoundland for months, only to return to find their memorial - the affected dialogue is very addictive - "au reservoir" "uno poco aperitivo" and of course Colonel Flint's, "kway hi". Nigel Hawthorne is equally superb as Lucia's needle pointing friend and neighbour. Think outside the box and discover "Mapp & Lucia".
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on 2 March 2009
I was always a fan of Mapp & Lucia when it was on TV, so I looked forward to being able to see it again on DVD. I wasn't disappointed - Mapp and Lucia at each others throats - in the most polite and delicate way, with Nigel Hawthorne as Georgie as a slightly one sided - slightly camp - referee. This was one of the very few 3 DVD sets that I just had to watch in its entirety. Like a good book I just couldn't put it down after only one DVD.
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VINE VOICEon 26 April 2009
About once every year, when the latest world fiasco, financial or otherwise, sets my teeth gnashing, I pop "Mapp & Lucia" into my DVD player and escape to the social whirl of Tilling-On-Sea of the 1930s. There can be no better restorative than the delicious rivalry between the oh-so-elegant Emmiline Lucas, aka Lucia (Geraldine McEwan), and the oh-so-proper Elizabeth Mapp (Prunella Scales). Aiding and abetting Lucia's schemes for village supremacy is the oh-so-fussy Georgie Pilson (Nigel Hawthorn), who engages in various activities with her--all of them innocuous--including painting, pretending to speak Italian, and playing duets on their musical evenings (nicknamed, in their precious "Italian" manner, "Po di Mues").

As the saccharine smiles of the female protagonists send the fur flying, the laughs keep coming in this high comedy of manners. The cloche hats and embroidered silk dresses make for splendid viewing, as do the seamless performances of McEwan, Scales, and Hawthorne. The other Tilling eccentrics include a tippling Major Benjie (late of the Raj); the misnamed Diva (who has no pretensions to being queen of the village); the pipe-smoking artist, Quaint Irene; the monocled Colonel Wyse and his wife (Marion Mathie--otherwise Hilda Rumpole); and a priest from Manchester who, for reasons unknown, speaks with a Scottish accent.

Tilling-on-Sea is really the Sussex town of Rye--a cobble-stoned village rising out of the Romney Marsh. With its Mermaid Tavern (rebuilt in 1425), Rye is so charming that I once went there, stayed a week and enjoyed merely `being there'. "Mapp and Lucia" allows me to revisit Rye and the Romney Marsh; to forget the world's troubles, and to lose myself in several hours of sheer delight.
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on 21 January 2015
Years ago I revelled in EF Benson's books, later I was captivated by this envisioning of his world, so detailed and faithful - a reviewer at the time commented on McEwen's 'audible narrowing of her eyes'. The BBC's current version pales into insignificance, it is camp and contrived, and it parodies where it should pay homage. EF Benson was describing a world with affection, this version captures that affection. Accept no other!
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on 12 March 2000
This is a fabulous adaption of E F Benson's novel. Geraldine McEwan is perfect as Lucia and the other characters are wonderful too. Bitchy social one-upmanship in a 30's English seaside town. It's brilliant!
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on 11 July 2000
The main characters are what make this hilarious series of Mapp & Lucia so sublime; Geraldine McEwan as the conniving, social-climbing Lucia; Nigel Hawthorne as her partner in crime and devoted companion; and Prunella Scales as the mawkish and ever-thwarted Miss Mapp. If ever there was an adaptation from novel to TV that remained as close to the author's original intention as possible, Mapp & Lucia is it! Timeless comedy, beautiful locations, stunning sets and costumes, and plenty of side-splitting one-liners - especially those delivered with wasp-like precision by Lucia, the (self-appointed) social queen of Tilling. Too divine!
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