Main content

Hilary Mantel analyses how fiction changes when adapted for stage or screen.

Hilary Mantel on how fiction changes when adapted for stage or screen. Each medium, she says, draws a different potential from the original. She argues that fiction, if written well, doesn't betray history, but enhances it. When fiction is turned into theatre, or into a film or TV, the same applies - as long as we understand that adaptation is not a secondary process or a set of grudging compromises, but an act of creation in itself. And this matters. "Without art, what have you to inform you about the past?" she asks. "What lies beyond is the unedited flicker of closed-circuit TV."

The programme is recorded in Stratford-Upon-Avon in front of an audience, with a question and answer session, chaired by Sue Lawley. The producer is Jim Frank.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Sat 15 Jul 2017 22:15

Broadcasts

What we learnt from Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures

We’ve picked out some interesting insights from the 2017 BBC Reith Lectures.

The secret world of Tudor crime

A glimpse into the turbulent Tudor underworld to mark Hilary Mantel's Reith Lectures.

Are these the greatest historical novels ever written?

Daisy Buchanan reviews some of the most popular historical novels of the past few years.

Books website

Get closer to books with in-depth articles, quizzes and our picks from radio & TV.

New to the Reith Lectures? Here’s where to start

Four lectures recommended by the series producer.

The Hellishly Difficult War Quiz

How much do you know about historical conflicts and those who fought in them?

Podcast