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Making Poldark by Robin Ellis
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Making Poldark

by Robin Ellis

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I am a big Poldark fan - the books (12 in all) of the Winston Graham series; the first BBC production of Poldark which ran from 1975 to 1977; and the latest adaptation in 2015. Both televised series were shown in the States on Masterpiece Theatre (currently Masterpiece).
While recently reading about the author, Winston Graham, I came across this little gem of a book, MAKING POLDARK: MEMOIR OF A BBC/MASTERPIECE THEATRE ACTOR by Robin Ellis. My 2015 edition is the 4th edition of this book, first published in 1978.
Robin is the British actor who played Ross Poldark in the first BBC production in 1975. Robin sat for a series of interviews (with author, Michael Williams) in 1978 intending to produce a ghost-written paperback about the production of Poldark, but later decided to write the book himself.
The book is quietly exquisite, brimming with personal observations and memories. He writes of his highs and lows as a professional actor and his love of the Cornish countryside. He writes a bit of an autobiography which includes his many comments and experiences while on the various sets of Poldark. There are many pictures full of of laughing faces - people who seemed to genuinely like each other and had fun while on set. There are reminiscences of the author, Winston Graham, and his wife Jean. Robin writes of his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and his subsequent interest in cooking and writing 2 cookbooks, centering on the ‘Mediterranean diet’. He writes of his participation in the new Poldark series, playing the Reverend Dr. Halse.
What I most enjoyed about this book was Robin’s own personality which was exhibited in his writing, and his musings on why Poldark was (and still is) an enduring series.
I quite enjoyed this book. I immensely enjoyed this book. I would recommend this very personal, very special book by Robin Ellis; the many works of Winston Graham; the two productions of Poldark (both special in their own way), and, of course, the star of all this, Cornwall itself. ( )
  diana.hauser | Feb 21, 2016 |
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