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Category: BBC Two; Drama
Two-time Olivier and three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance is Thomas Cromwell in a major adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for BBC Two and Masterpiece on PBS.
“Once you have exhausted the process of negotiation and compromise, once you have fixed on the destruction of an enemy, that destruction must be swift and it must be perfect. Before you even glance in his direction, you should have his name on a warrant, the ports blocked, his wife and friends bought, his heir under your protection, his money in your strong room and his dog running to your whistle. Before he wakes in the morning, you should have the axe in your hand.”
Bafta-winning director Peter Kosminsky (The Government Inspector, The Promise) directs the flagship drama that presents an intimate portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the brilliant consigliere to King Henry VIII, as he manoeuvres the corridors of power at the Tudor court. The story follows the complex machinations and back room dealings of this pragmatic and accomplished power broker – from humble beginnings and an enigmatic past – who must serve king and country while navigating deadly political intrigue, the King’s tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.
Oscar-nominated Peter Straughan (The Men Who Stare At Goats, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has adapted both novels for the screen.
Emmy-winner Damian Lewis is Henry VIII and Claire Foy (The Promise) plays the calculating and ambitious Anne Boleyn in the drama which is a Playground Entertainment and Company Pictures production.
Hilary Mantel says: “My expectations were high and have been exceeded: in the concision and coherence of the storytelling, in the originality of the interpretations, in the break from the romantic clichés of the genre, in the wit and style and heart.
“The spirit of the books has been extraordinarily well preserved. The storytelling is fast and fluid, the characters compelling, the tone fits that of the novels,
“Mark Rylance gives a mesmeric performance as Cromwell, its effect building through the series.” Read the rest of this entry »