Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The BBC's new Oliver Twist

In The Times, Daphne Lockyer goes behind the scenes of Sarah Phelps's adaptation of Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist for the BBC.
The choice of Phelps as the adapter is almost a mission statement. She is normally on the writing team of EastEnders and this is her first adaptation of a classic novel. But, as in the BBC’s groundbreaking adaptation of Bleak House, the aim is to give the story an episodic, populist feel. “We wanted a drama that would have resonance even to people who had never picked up a piece of classical literature in their lives,” says Brown.

By choosing Phelps, of course, the BBC also hope to make this version the most gritty and modern of all the Oliver Twist adaptations. “What working in soap teaches you is never to wiffle-waffle around the edges of a story, but to get straight in up to your elbows. And that is exactly what I have tried to do here.”

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