BAFTA NOMINEE - BEST MINI SERIES 2012
The four part adaptation of Michel Faber’s best seller, THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, has been penned by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon. Directed by award winning Marc Munden (The Devil's Whore, The Mark Of Cain), the intimate psychological thriller lifts the lid on the darker side of Victorian London revealing a world seething with vitality, sexuality, ambition and emotion.
Starring Romola Garai (The Hour, Atonement), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, IT Crowd), Gillian Anderson (X-Files, Bleak House), Richard E Grant (Withnail and I, Gosford Park), Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter, Charles II), Amanda Hale (Murderland, Bright Star) and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen)
This provocative and riveting tale tells the story of Sugar (Romola Garai), an alluring, well read young prostitute who yearns for a better life away from the brothel she is attached to, run by the contemptible Mrs Castaway (Gillian Anderson). Highly sought after and sexually adept, Sugar finds her only comfort in the secret novel she is writing in which a murderous prostitute takes revenge on her clients. However, things change for her when she meets wealthy businessman William Rackham (Chris O’Dowd).
Sugar is a thrilling antidote to William’s life, saddled with a pious brother, Henry Rackham (Mark Gatiss) and fragile wife Agnes Rackham (Amanda Hale.) Agnes regularly endures visits from the invasive physician Doctor Curlew (Richard E Grant) leaving her unable to perform her wifely duties.
William ensconces Sugar as his mistress and she soon grows accustomed to her new life. Yet unbeknownst to William, Sugar begins to hatch a plan which sets a series of events in motion that will change their lives forever…
“So, what to praise first? There was Lucinda Coxon's faultless script. There was the superb acting, not least from Amanda Hale as the porcelain-fragile Agnes... There was the woozy, gauzy, brilliantly claustrophobic atmosphere - the product of Cristobal Tapia de Veer's score and Marc Munden's exceptional, stylish, unselfconscious direction. This was an adult drama in every sense, and as complex and rewarding as anything the BBC has produced. In a nutshell: cor.”
“a deep, dark treat…it could turn out to be the outstanding drama of the year.”
“It’s vicious, dreamy, taut, poetic, beautiful…utterly riveting, must-see TV.”
“…a rare and different beast…richly subtle lead performances and intoxicatingly woozy camerawork, this dark, velveteen dramatisation of Michel Faber's novel took (and gave) great pleasure in confounding convention and expectorating expectations…Romola Garai was a revelation.”
"It's beautifully done, raising the bar for other costume dramas and resonating long after the end."
"A brilliantly dank and impressively well-sustained series; credit must go to Lucinda Coxon's script and superb cast, led by the righteously simmering Romola Garai."
“Mesmerising...As with all the best stories, nothing that happens next is predictable…Chris O'Dowd is nothing short of a revelation.”
“…compelling, beautifully shot and vividly acted.”
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
"Romola Garai is once again magnificent as the heroine…"
"This series has been a triumph and heralds a resurgence for drama on BBC Two.”