‘Cloudstreet’ Takes Pride of Place

Poster of a Coffs Harbour Amateur Theatrical Society adaptation of *Cloudstreet*

Poster of a Coffs Harbour Amateur Theatrical Society adaptation of Cloudstreet

A Perth-based fan of the Tim Winton classic Cloudstreet believes she’s narrowed the location of Tim Winton’s much-loved novel to the inner-city suburb of West Leederville. Heidi Ciriello has identified West Leederville’s Kimberley Street as the most likely location of the flaking mansion shared for two decades by the Pickles and Lambs.

The report of readers scouring the streets of a city in search of a house that might or might not be the template for a house in a book is testament to the place the novel holds in many readers' hearts. In a review of a three-part television adaptation in the May edition of The Monthly, MJ Hyland wrote of the novel, “Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet is a compassionate masterpiece, which is to Australians what George Orwell’s 1984 is to the English and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird is to Americans.” In fact, in 2003, Cloudstreet topped an ABC/Australian Society of Authors poll of Australians' favourite Australian books. The following, it placed fifth in the ABC’s My Favourite Book promotion, ranking Australians' favourite books from anywhere. The book has also been adapted for the stage by Nick Enright and Justin Monjo.

Poster of a Castle Hill Players adaptation of *Cloudstreet*

Poster of a Castle Hill Players adaptation of Cloudstreet

The second part of the Cloudstreet adaptation, with a screenplay written by the author, airs this Sunday night on the cable channel Showtime. The adaptation has received mixed reviews. The Australian’s Michael Bodey has called the lead performances “inch-perfect”, characterising the lavish production “one of the best miniseries that we’ve produced here, [recalling] some of the best stuff Kennedy-Miller made in the 80s.” Hyland wrote, “Most of the novel’s deft magic is only thinly realised in what is often rushed and superficial summary.” Here’s what the publicity-shy Tim Winton makes of it all and here’s a Slow TV interview with director Matthew Saville on adapting the novel for the small screen.

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