Sunday Salon: BBC Adaptations

The Sunday

BBC came out with a few adaptations of Shakespeare's plays a while back, called ShakespeaRe-told, and I spent much of this week watching them on Youtube. These are a set of four movies which take four of Shakespeare's plays and retell them in a modern setting, without losing the essence of the plays. I watched The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing, and I really enjoyed them a lot. Macbeth is up next, and I'm looking forward to it, since it has James McAvoy in the lead, who is one of my favorite actors.

I really love the BBC adaptations of the classics, though I haven't seen too many to be a critical judge. The first one I ever saw was Pride and Prejudice, and that was the biggest motivation for me to read the novel. A long time after that, I watched North and South, which, other than giving me a huge crush in the form of Richard Armitage, made me realize that there are a lot of Victorian authors I have never even heard of. ShakespeaRe-Told was a big boon for me because I haven't read any of the original Shakespeare plays, even in abridged form (*gasp), and this really helped me a feel of what they were about. And they introduce me to a lot of great actors, actors whose work I'd love to see more of. BBC TV serials are so great for people like me who, let's face it, are too lazy to read the original novels, and want something more concrete and memorable than a Wikipedia summary.

So, what's your favorite BBC adaptation?

And here are this week's giveaways

Peeking Between the Pages is giving away The Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen till April 17
Alaine-Queen of Happy Endings is giving away a choice of three books till April 30

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16 Responses
  1. That's a lovely idea...books that are adaptations are often delightful.

    Here's my salon:

  2. Old Kitty Says:


    Bleak House was pretty good! The Barchester Chronicles and David Copperfield were fab. And not quite BBC (made by Granada TV - now long defunct) but Jewel in the Crown was utterly devastating!

    I remember being "made" to read Shakespeare for O and A levels but what brought these works to life for me was going to theatre productions of them. They really were made for visual viewing!

    I must check out these modern versions on youtube!

    Take care

  3. JoAnn Says:

    I love the BBC adaptations, too! Started with P&P and have seen a few others since then... quite a few in my Netflix queue at the moment. Will look into the Shakespeare.

  4. Trisha Says:

    I just adore the BBC, the comedy, the adaptations, the science fiction, all of it. And James McAvoy is yummy, all sorts of kinds of yummy. In other words, thanks for the advice! :)

    You should read A Midsummer Night's Dream; it's clever, fun, and light, a great way to get in to Shakespeare. I adore his plays for some reason, and I want everyone else to as well.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Oh, I love BBC adaptations!!
    Most of them have preceded my reading of the book.
    I saw one of those Shakespeare Re-Told ones a while ago - I think it was the Taming of the Shrew - and it was a hoot.

    Other favorites for me include:
    Ivanhoe, Wives & Daughters and The Buccaneers.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Macbeth adaptation! The BBC recently did an adaptation of Northanger Abbey that I thought was rather sweet. The book has my favorite Austen hero, in the first place, and the adaptation was lovely.

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  8. Veens Says:

    I have not seen a single BBC adaptation - I can't believe it! I need to .. and I definitely will soon :)

  9. Libby Cone Says:

    Dear Hazra,

    I'd love to send you my books for review, but I cannot find your email address. Please let me know where to send hard copy/.pdf.

    Libby Cone
    author, War on the Margins
    Flesh and Grass

  10. I have an award for you over at my blog!

  11. Kristen Says:

    The BBC does do a lovely job. I've been pleased with every one I've ever seen and each time I miss one on tv, I kick myself and hope it comes back around quickly!

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