Wednesday, December 27, 2023

About adaptation

By Siân Ejwunmi-Le Berre, whose TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder is Easy starts tonight, and will probably annoy a) people who’ve read it and have a particular idea in their heads of how it should be be, which is fair enough, and b) people who haven’t read it but aargh, there’s a black man in it.

I’ve come to think of adaptation as a conversation between two writers, colliding at a specific moment in time like strangers at a dinner party... But the scriptwriter shouldn’t dive too deeply into the author’s opinions and beliefs – it’s a party after all, not an interrogation. Adaptation is not some kind of biography. How rude would that be? Like Googling your fellow guests under the dinner table... As an adaptor, there’s no need to become an expert in the writer behind The Book. I take them at their word, in the moment of writing, as expressed on the page alone. Their past, their future, are none of my concern.

PS: Unfortunately, it wasn’t very good. 

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