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Saturday, January 23, 2010


(Pic: Lisa Dillon, Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton)

Dame Judi Dench leads magnificent ensemble cast in classic Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation.

Oscar-winner Judi Dench leads a magnificent ensemble cast in the first series of Cranford, a classic Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation which offers a uniquely rich and comic drama. The series is aired on BBC Entertainment (channel 120 on DStv) from January 19 on Tuesdays at 21h30.

Based on three Elizabeth Gaskell novels: Cranford, My Lady Ludlow and Mr Harrison’s Confessions, this witty and poignant story follows the small absurdities and major tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford during one extraordinary year. Cranford in the 1840s is a small Cheshire market town on the cusp of change. The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the town from northern industrial city Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order. The arrival of handsome new doctor Frank Harrison from London causes a stir - not only because of his revolutionary medical methods, but also because of the effect he has on many of the ladies’ hearts in the town.

Judi Dench plays Miss Matty Jenkyns, whose hopes and rebellious spirit was crushed when she was forced as a young woman to give up Mr Holbrook (played by Michael Gambon), the man she loved. Others in the cast include Dame Eileen Atkins, Philip Glenister, Francesca Annis and Imelda Staunton.