Adaptations are hit-and-miss affairs. The movie Jumper, for example, butchered the main character, tried to be a blockbuster and generally, got the feel of the book all wrong. Straight to TV adaptation of Cater Street Hangman, one of my favourite books, was massacred.
But when an adaptation goes right, well, it’s time to huddle under the blankets (yep, it is cold here!) and watch it, again, and again.
Shakespeare Re-Told is a 2005 BBC production, a modern retelling of four Shakespeare plays: Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favourite Shakespeare’s play (the other is Hamlet), which meant that chances were high of my disliking the adaptation. This version…I love. The casting was perfect, the tone of the comedy was just right and the interaction between Beatrice and Benedict…sigh, simply wonderful. Most importantly, the scriptwriter, David Nicholls, did not lose sight that underneath all their snarky bickering was compatibility and caring. It would be quite easy to make them into caricatures for the sake of comedy, and I am glad Nicholls resisted the temptation.
Anyone who watches Dr Who would notice Billie Piper as Hero. I liked Rose, and I have always thought Piper was a much better actress than singer. This proves it.
Next review: Shakespeare Re-Told: Macbeth [James McAvoy, James McAvoy, James McAvoy. Squee. A bit of Richard Armitage. A little squee.]