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Anyone who chats to me long enough is bound to discover I love adaptations. I simply love classic stories retold well. Adaptations serve to introduce some to a story for the first time, others get to relive it and rethink their prior assumptions. What's more, they often prompt great discussion about characters, plot points, and the way in which we understand a narrative. Being that I love adaptation so much, I thought I'd take this week on my blog to hi-light a different adaptation that is new or currently going on. So, welcome to Adaptation Week!
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, the BBC is re-airing a radio drama they recorded initially in 2003. That's right, before Tennant flew the TARDIS, before Felicity Jones played Northanger Abbey's gullible heroine, and far before Cumberbatch sleuthed in a long overcoat - they all were in a production of Austen's third novel. Mansfield Park is interesting in that it is the author's most controversial novel as it can be read as exceedingly moralistic or covertly subvertive. Due to the fact that she sits in the canon between Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price seems a frail and prudish heroine by comparison - but, this of course depends on how she and the novel is interpreted.
The BBC will be airing 10, 15-minute episodes beginning today, May 12. You can listen to these episodes within a week of their airing via iPlayer Radio. The stellar cast includes: