Wednesday, 18 February 2015
WOLF HALL 
For me Hilary Mantel is unassailable. I wouldn’t wish to get into a conversation about who is the greatest writer in English just now; but for me at least she is the benchmark for English language prose fiction. Of course, you miss her voice in the TV production; she didn’t write a script, she wrote a book. The pictures are wonderful still, however; it’s just a different [fabulous] experience.
So I am a fan for whom it could have been totally studio-bound with a cast of nobodies. Instead of which it is all shot on location with the cream of British acting, production, directing and set-decorating talent. Could have been filmed on the sound-stage; would have been easier. Notoriously difficult to film on location, even more so in historic houses where sound and light bounces off the walls yet somehow you still have to hide the cables and wires. But definitely worth it.
So disappointing to read on the blogs that viewers find it boring and slow. BBC loses a million viewers, according to the Mail. Interiors are too dark, it says on IMBD. I think this is the Game of Thrones effect; there has to be a rape or a murder every five minutes to keep viewers engaged but if HBO made it it wouldn’t be slow; wouldn’t be deep; wouldn’t be great Art.
Rylance’s minimalist acting is mesmerising; Lewis, compelling. Grace with her angel wings, gone in a breath.
I don’t actually watch much television. Two hours max in any one day. I’m a radio person who reads books really. I may not be the best qualified person to post about Wolf Hall in other words but I love it.