Bettie☯'s Reviews > The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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Dec 09, 2008

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Alex Bulmer's dramatisation of Victor Hugo's novel, in which a Gypsy girl captures the heart of Quasimodo, who lives hidden away in the bell towers of Notre Dame. The tale of love, betrayal and bravery is produced in a collaboration between BBC Radio Drama and Graeae, a disabled-led theatre company.

From The Radio Times

The 1939 film version of Victor Hugo's gothic tale of love and betrayal turned deformed, deaf bell-ringer Quasimodo (played by Charles Laughton) into something of an iconic figure, mainly because of his misshapen appearance. However, this unusually faithful collaboration - between Radio 4 and disabled-led theatre company Graeae - places Quasimodo's deafness at the centre of his existence, as emphasised by the character's dialogue with himself as he tries to understand the chaos around him. David Bower (best known for playing Hugh Grant's younger brother in Four Weddings anda Funeral) brings a vivid authenticity to his role as the tortured but noble hunchback who battles heroically to save beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda (Candis Nergaard) from danger. Notably, this is the first time in a broadcast piece that Quasimodo has been played by a deaf actor.

-- Jeremy Aspinall

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