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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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The Crimson Petal And The White: introduction

Romola Garai as Sugar

The Crimson Petal And The White is the first in a series of new dramas that will reflect the major new investment for drama on BBC Two. 2011 marks the rebirth of drama on the channel with a range of truly original pieces that all signal this confident new direction.

Written by Michel Faber, the novel has been adapted by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon and directed by award-winning Marc Munden (The Devil's Whore, The Mark Of Cain), produced by Origin Pictures for the BBC.

An intimate psychological thriller, it lifts the lid on the darker side of Victorian London revealing a world seething with vitality, sexuality, ambition and emotion.

This provocative and riveting four-part drama tells the story of Sugar, an alluring, intelligent young prostitute who yearns for a better life away from the brothel she is attached to, run by the contemptible Mrs Castaway.

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. Sugar is a thrilling antidote to William's life, saddled with a pious brother, Henry Rackham and fragile wife Agnes Rackham. Agnes regularly endures visits from the invasive physician Doctor Curlew, leaving her unable to perform her wifely duties.

William ensconces Sugar as his mistress and she soon grows accustomed to her new life. Yet unbeknown to William, Sugar begins to hatch a plan which sets a series of events in motion that will change their lives forever...

Commissioned for BBC Two by Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama, and Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two. The executive producer for the BBC is Lucy Richer, the producer for Origin Pictures is David Thompson, who will produce with Steven Lightfoot. All four episodes are being directed by Marc Munden (The Devil's Whore, The Mark Of Cain).

It is a UK-Canada co-production, co-produced with Cite-Amerique.


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