Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, TV review: This drama set in Regency-era England is a real treat

Eddie Marsan (right) is the sort of character actor who improves everything he’s in, and is perfect as the miserly, reticent Mr Norrell

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The Independent Culture

Too posh for Poldark? This weekend was made for fans of more sophisticated period drama, with not only 1864 to get stuck into, but also the seven-part adaptation of Susanna Clark’s fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell on BBC1.

It’s set in a Regency-era England where sorcery is real, but long dormant, and it’s up to two rival magicians to revive the ancient art. The special effects are important (and good), but the most crucial element of this screen adaptation was always going to be casting.

 

Eddie Marsan is the sort of character actor who improves everything he’s in, and is perfect as the miserly, reticent Mr Norrell, while Bertie Carvel has all the genial energy necessary to do justice to the young pretender, Strange. A real treat.

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