In The Crimson Petal and the White we are taken into the dark heart of Victorian London for a psychological thriller that tells the story of Sugar, a young prostitute, who is determined who is determined to improve her lot in life and escape from the brothel where she works for the none too likeable Mrs Castaway.
Despite being sought after by clients Sugar is more interested in the novel she is secretly writing (which just happens to be about a prostitute who murders her clients). Sugar then gets a chance to move on when she is taken as the mistress of wealthy businessman William Rackham who has more than a few secrets of his own.
A classic and hugely atmospheric slice of almost gothic melodrama The Crimson Petal and the White has a brilliant cast that includes Gillian Anderson as Brothel Madam Mrs Castaway, Romola Garai as Sugar as well as the likes of Chris O’Dowd, Richard E. Grant and Mark Gatiss.
The Crimson Petal and the White marked the start of a new commitment by BBC2 to produce high quality pieces that the station hoped would see it repositioned as the home of drama. This was a fine start to that commitment.
UK – Canada | BBC-2 – Cite-Amerique – Origin Pictures
RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 4 | BROADCAST: 6 – 27 April 2011 Wednesdays @ 9.00pm
WRITER: Lucinda Coxon | NOVEL: Michel Faber | PRODUCER: Steven Lightfoot, David Thompson, Greg Dummett | DIRECTOR: Marc Munden
ROMOLA GARAI as Sugar
CHRIS O’DOWD as William Rackham
AMANDA HALE as Mrs Agnes Rackham
GILLIAN ANDERSON as Mrs Castaway
MARK GATISS as Henry Rackham Junior
SHIRLEY HENDERSON as Mrs Emmeline Fox
RICHARD E. GRANT as Doctor Curlew
JAMES WILSON as Christopher
LIZ WHITE as Caroline
ALAN WILLIAMS as Colonel Leek
LYDIA WILSON as Elizabeth
ELEANOR YATES as Letty
TOM GEORGESON as Henry Rackham Senior
KATIE LYONS as Clara
ELIZABETH BERRINGTON as Lady Constance Bridgelow
CLARE LOUISE CONNOLLY as Janey
PATRICK BRENNAN as Amateur Photographer
BLAKE RITSON as Bodley
BERTIE CARVEL as Ashwell
MAIMIE McCOY as Fireside Whore 1
SARAH RIDGEWAY as Fireside Whore 2
IZABELLA URBANOWICZ as Fireside Whore 3
JESSICA PYATT as Young Prostitute