An adaptation of Michel Faber’s excellent piece of postmodern Victoriana, The Crimson Petal and the White, was filmed last fall in London and Liverpool by Origin Pictures. With a stellar cast that includes Romola Garai as sought-after prostitute Sugar, Gillian Anderson as the evil madame Sugar longs to escape, and Chris O’Dowd as the cowardly Victorian husband who becomes Sugar’s protector, this sounds like a literary adaptation that shouldn’t be missed.
The producer promises that “this extraordinary, sexually-charged story which will certainly shake up the audience’s perceptions of conventional period drama.” Currently the four-part miniseries is scheduled to air in the UK in March—here’s hoping it will appear on the Masterpiece Classic schedule sometime soon.
In the meantime, fans of Victorian sagas should pick up Petal. “Full of scheming whores, surly servants, simpering society ladies and smartly dressed gents, the book’s as rollicking, bawdy and brilliant a yarn as aught that’s come out of the Empire since Mrs. Brown sat upon the throne. So settle your specs upon your nose, keep a cup of tea by your knee and take up Michel Faber’s tale. We promise Petal will not disappoint,” wrote BookPage’s Julie Hale in her 2002 interview with Faber about the book.
Are you a fan of period dramas? Will you watch (or read!) Petal?