Audio Drama Wiki

Mrs Tolstoy by Stephen Wakelam
Directed by Claire Grove
BBC Radio 4 - Womans Hour Drama
5 x 15mins episodes
Episode 1 - 09.08.2010
Episode 2 - 10.08.2010
Episode 3 - 11.08.2010
Episode 4 - 12.08.2010
Episode 5 - 13.08.2010


Ian McDiarmid and Haydn Gwynne star in this portrait of a tempestuous marriage.
In his fifties the great writer Leo Tolstoy has a spiritual crisis and converts to Christianity. He stops sleeping with his wife.They have ten children. Taking the vows of poverty and chastity literally Tolstoy wants to give everything away but Sofya has a large family to feed. This is the woman who transcribed 'War and Peace' six times and who fights off rivals on daily basis for a place at his side. For forty eight years, the Tolstoys tormented each other with love and hate.

Episode 1 - True Happiness - Leo Tolstoy has given up writing fiction and cut himself off from his children.
Episode 2 - A Simple Life - Leo invites an aristocratic Christian disciple to stay. Is Sofya right not to trust him?
Episode 3 - The Kreutzer Sonata - Sofya copies a new manuscript. A disturbing tale about a man who murders his wife. Is it directed against her?
Episode 4 - Vanichka - Leo Tolstoy is cold and formal with his wife, Sofya. She is increasingly attracted to a portly pianist who has come to the country for the summer.
Episode 5 - The Legacy - Leo Tolstoy is old and ill. Sofya fights for control diary and papers. Will the marriage survive?


  • Sofya Tolstoy...........Haydn Gwynne
  • Leo Tolstoy.............Ian McDiarmid
  • Chertkov................Paul Ritter
  • Tanya Tolstoy...........Vineeta Rishi
  • Grigory/Taneev..........Sam Dale
  • Musician................Michael Shelford
  • Vanya Tolstoy...........James Warner