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Weekly Roundup: Coming soon to a stage or screen near you

Weekly Roundup: Coming soon to a stage or screen near you

In the aftermath of her win on Tuesday, Hilary Mantel revealed that not only are her two Man Booker Prize winners, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, being readied for the small screen but now for the stage too. Plays of the novels are being prepared by the stage-writer Mike Poulton for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The idea, if it gets the go ahead, is for the plays to be staged on consecutive nights. So hardcore fans can have two nights at the theatre followed by six on the sofa as they watch the BBC mini series. Surely a ballet (with former Man Booker judge Deborah Bull dancing as Anne Boleyn perhaps) and an opera must come soon?


Ahead of the prize announcement the Guardian did some impressive number-crunching in a feature called How to win the Man Booker Prize – in charts and came up with some curious facts. Among them the plums that the average age of the winners is 49 and that while the prize has been won by books that range from the first to the 19th novels in the winners' oeuvres (four debut novels have triumphed, seven fourth novels have won, one 19th etc) no writer has yet won with their 12th book.


She may not have won on Tuesday but the case of Alison Moore has been used by the Independent for another how-to guide, this time for debut authors. In brief she personifies six key points: 1 Access your time. 2 Give yourself a deadline. 3 Challenge yourself. 4 find an informed encourager. 5 Pay attention to the rich resources of writing around you. 6 Get your timing right. What wasn't mentioned were the small matters of drive, talent and a story.

Ian McEwan at the Cheltenham Festival prior to the prize announcement trumpeted the superiority of the novella (by his definition a work of 25,000 words) – but then he would say that: On Chesil Beach at a skimpy 166 pages was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize and he won in 1998 with the supermodel-slim Amsterdam (a svelte 175 pager). The judges politely disagreed; Bring Up the Bodies is a capacious 407 pages.

 

2012 Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel with Bring up the Bodies (Photo credit Janie Airey)
Hilary Mantel with Bring up the Bodies (Photo credit Janie Airey)