It was 1935 when Mrs Durrell, her four children and Roger the dog careered their way onto Corfu Island in a bid to escape the grim English weather. Larry the self proclaimed genius, Lesley, a gun fanatic, Margo; vain and desperate for a boyfriend led by the widowed Mrs Durrell travelled to Corfu and set up a new, comically shambolic life in paradise. Or at least this was how the youngest child Gerald depicted it in his novel ‘My Family and Other Animals’. The Durrell myth has continued to delight over the years, being presented not only in Gerald’s ‘Corfu Trilogy’, but also in Lawrence Durrell’s novels as well as BBC adaptations in 1987 and 2005. The current on screen incarnation is ITV’s hit series ‘The Durrell’s’. Based on the Corfu novels, the show has perfectly recreated the innocence and whimsy that has made the family so popular. The comedy is slapstick and silly and the escapades belong to a heightened and exotic universe. That is not to say that the show is superficially cheery, Series One started with Louisa Durrell clutching a gin bottle, and Gerald being beaten at school. The darker side of the Durrell myth still remains, not least because of the impending war. The point of the stories and the reason that the Durrell’s remain so popular is the element of escapism that they over to the viewer or reader. Particularly because of the beautiful surroundings.
Set and filmed on the Greek Island of Corfu, the brilliantly blue waters, rustic villas and sprawling olive trees are enough to make anyone want to pack their bags and jet off immediately. With flights as little as £105 return, this Island paradise is ready and waiting. Although privately owned and in some cases, renovated, the houses described in the Corfu Trilogy still remain. As does the Island’s natural beauty and idyllic nature that was so much a part of The Durrells’ story.
The Durrell’s season 2 is now available on dvd.