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Cranford Review

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Auntie Beeb at her best...

★★★★★

The beeb's latest all-star, all-bonnet drama became watercooler television in the run-up to Christmas, despite being about a small community populated chiefly by women of a certain age - and women quite a bit older than that - where nothing terribly much happens. Still, that hardly matters with this sort of cast: Dame Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Greg Wise, Phil Glenister and Imelda Staunton all working at their best, although it’s Eileen Atkins who (perhaps) surprisingly stands out. Seamlessly adapted from three Elizabeth Gaskell novels, the result is by turns funny, sad and subtly riveting, a reminder that not all corset dramas have to be corseted. Gorgeous stuff.