Film

A24 boards new series with BBC and Element Pictures, as cast confirmed for Shane Meadows’ The Gallows Pole

A stellar cast has been assembled and production is now underway on writer and director Shane Meadows’ first period television drama, The Gallows Pole

Starring in the highly anticipated series will be Michael SochaThomas TurgooseGeorge MacKayTom BurkeSophie McSheraCara TheoboldYusra WarsamaEve BurleyNicole Barber LaneSamuel Edward-CookAnthony WelshJoe SproulleAdam FogertyFine Time Fontayne and an ensemble of first-time actors.

The Gallows Pole, based on the novel of the same name by Benjamin Myers, fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.  Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in eighteenth century Yorkshire, the compelling drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley played by Michael Socha, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.

It was also announced today that A24 are teaming up with Element Pictures on the six-part series for the BBC which is currently filming in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. Collaborating again with casting director Shaheen Baig, Meadows had this to say:

Putting this cast together (with the undying support of Shaheen Baig and her amazing team) has been an absolute joy. To be working with actors I’ve grown up with and/or have been desperate to work with, alongside oodles of incredible ‘as yet’ undiscovered (Yorkshire based) talent, is an absolute honour and I’ve not been this passionate about shooting a project in years!

After some initial rehearsals back in spring, me and the team went on an ‘open casting’ odyssey, watching over 6,500 self-tapes from unrepresented actors and actresses and were blown away by the quality of tapes that were submitted. We went from hoping to find one or two new faces to making up half of the entire cast from those tapes and I believe it’s going to create a series quite unlike anything else I’ve ever worked on. 

This is the 18th century yes, but viewed through a slightly more anarchic lens and will (like my previous work) have a soundtrack that fits the mood like a psychedelic glove, rather than historical expectations.”

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, added, 

“Shane’s talent for spotting and working with the newest and most authentic talent is second to none and will play a key role in setting this drama apart. It’s an honour to be working with Shane, our friends at Element, and our partners at A24, to see this amazing story start to come to life.”

The Gallows Pole was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama and is produced by Element Pictures in association with Big Arty for BBC in association with A24. 

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