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Bleak House

Bleak House - the ambitious attempt by BBC1 and Andrew Davies to bring one of Dickens' novels to the small screen in bitesized chunks - like a soap opera. 16 half an hour, two a week episodes with a huge cast including Timothy West, Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, Denis Lawson, Phil Davis and Alun Armstong to name a few.
Esther Summerson, an orphan is sent to Bleak house to be the companion of Ada Clare, a ward of Jarndice, who along with Richard Carstone stands to benefit from the inheritance in the long and arduous case of 'Jarndyce and Jarndyce'
Bleak house is owned by Mr John Jarndyce who the wards are going to stay with.
Involved in the Jarndyce case is Mr Guppy, who hopes to win Esther's affections and also the sinister Tulkinghorn.
When a man named Nemo overdoses on opium a mystery arises. Who is Captain Horden, and what does he have to do with the icy Lady Dedlock?
With performances from Johnny Vegas, Burn Gorman, Matthew Kelly et al. Bleak house was an amazing production.

Harry Eden plays Jo. A road sweeper who gets caught up in the story quite by chance poor boy.
Harry is lovely in this role, he's a poor little cockney chap who 'never asked nuffin of no one!' Unfortunately his part is cut short, which saddend me. I wanted him to grow up and marry Charley Neckett!!


Carey Mulligan plays Ada Clare and proves to be an absolute beauty. Ada goes on a journey - not to the extent that Esther does but noone the less at the start of the story she is a wide eyed young girl and by the end she is... well i don't want ruin it but's it's a far cry from how she started out.
She had to do a lot of worrying about everyone while she stayed out of danger at Bleak House and to be fair. I don't blame her. People were being murdered catching fire and getting small pox.
The scenes where she declared her love for Richard melted many a heart - a winning performance!


Anna Maxwell Martin plays Esther Summerson. The lead in a show with over 40 main characters. Esther (the plainer of the two girls - apparently) gets more marraige proposals than many and is always using her intellect to help people out of scrapes!
Anna is wonderful as Esther. She holds the whole show together and the thought that she might die was awful, and her scarring afterward. Anna can bring a real smile to your face. there is something about the way her face lights up that makes me feel warm! Her performance is so powerful, the range of emotions that Esther must go through and the journey Esther has to take is all shown on that lovely face with those deep deep eyes.