London Diary: Hilary Mantel finalizes Cromwell’s novel into a play
Come back to the Londoner’s diary. First, we learn that Hilary Mantel is working on a play based on her third and final novel by Thomas Cromwell. Later today, Geoff Norcott warns of a rise in right-wing “snowflakes” and John Preston, who has written a book on Robert Maxwell, admits his take on Ghislaine is “old-fashioned”. In SW1A Today, Jim Fitzpatrick denies the claim his mind was ‘broken with repeated champagne glasses’ while acting as a ‘hostage’ MP in 2014 and Carole Walker recalls a meeting “Terrifying” between Theresa May’s press secretary and a bunch of hacks.
Hilary Mantel is producing a play from her third and final Thomas Cromwell novel, The Mirror and the Light, and hopes to present it to the public this year. In a change of tactics, Mantel wrote with actor Ben Miles, who played Cromwell in both RSC productions of his books Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, and also read the audiobook of The Mirror and the Light. Previously, Mantel worked with playwright Mike Poulton.
“It’s been a labor-intensive process, but we’ve got a result,” Mantel said at a Waterstones event last night, “We’ve got a play. We can’t wait to get into rehearsal and start bringing them to life ”. The two have worked by email for the past year and only met in person last week “and yet we got there,” she said.
The Booker Prize-winning author also revealed that a small screen adaptation is also underway. “There will also be a TV production… the same team, I hope, will bring it to the screen. “That’s why I don’t miss Thomas Cromwell – because he’s never gone,” added Mantel.
A Maxwell book is enough
John Preston, whose book Fall on Robert Maxwell received rave reviews earlier this year, admits his take on Ghislaine is “old-fashioned.” Speaking at a Biographers’ Club webinar last night, Preston said: “I think she was treated in an absolutely appalling manner. There’s no way she’ll get a fair trial either. But asked if he was considering a follow-up book on Maxwell’s daughter, left, Preston replied that he wasn’t. Just as well, since investigative reporter John Sweeney just signed an agreement to write one.
When the snowflakes turn into a snowstorm
Geoff Norcott warns of an increase in right-wing “snowflakes”. “It worries me,” says the Conservative election comic. He explains: “The right has become very complacent about… ‘we are the ones for free speech’ and yet you see things like the number of people complaining about some of our colleagues on the left. Speaking to Romesh Ranganathan last night at a Fane Online event, he added, “If you’ve found the time in your life to formally complain about a joke, congratulations you have a great life.”