Stage Eight is where you want to nail the head of anyone who makes a really stinking adaptation of any of the author's books to a wall.
Like yesterday afternoon. The Saturday Play, on BBC Radio 4. A 'dramatisation' of Bernard Knight's The Tinner's Corpse by Arnold Evans, a strong contender for the 2007 Head-nailed-to-wall award.
I really couldn't believe my ears, it was so bad. I won't spoil the book for you (I don't think it possible to spoil the adaptation), but how's this for a start: the book's written in third person; the dramatisation uses the character of Thomas, Sir John's clerk, as a kind of Greek chorus. Anyone who knows the books would immediately think of one word to describe Thomas: snivelling. Not one snivel by the actor. And don't get me started on the actress who played Nesta, Sir John's mistress. OK, the character's Welsh, but did they have to use someone who made her sound like Ruth Archer on speed? The only times during the play that I was even near the edge of my seat were waiting for her to cry "Oh no!" And where was Gwyn? Gwyn, Sir John's right-hand man and actually a core figure in the book? Nowhere, that's where. Maybe they couldn't find an actor who could do a sufficiently bad Cornish accent.
It isn't an adaptation, it's a travesty.
If you want to hear it, you can find it for the rest of the week here, though I wouldn't suggest doing so if you like the books.