Gregory Evans’ SHIRLEYMANDER rehearsed reading at the Playground Theatre

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A rehearsed reading of SHIRLEYMANDER by Gregory Evans is taking place at the brand new Playground Theatre this Thursday 30th November, ahead of a full run planned for May 2018.

The play was previously adapted for radio to critical acclaim ‘a vividly impressionistic play… brutally comic, unexpectedly sad.' Daily Telegraph, 'An atmosphere of poisonous paranoia ... Excellent fun.' The Times, broadcast on Radio 4, with esteemed actress Tracy-Ann Oberman playing the lead. This is the first time the play will be performed on stage as it was originally conceived, and Tracy will be reprising her lead role. The reading will also feature Patrick Ryecart and Michael Simkins.  

SHIRLEYMANDER tells the story of Dame Shirley Porter, leader of Westminster Council from 1983 to 1991. Bullying, autocratic, possessing boundless energy and vast wealth yet riddled with insecurities, Porter turned the Conservative flagship borough into a mire of paranoia, fear and skullduggery, as she pursued secret, illegal policies that destroyed communities, reputations, lives hopes… and finally herself.

The play’s venue, the brand new Playground Theatre, has special significance in regards to SHIRLEYMANDER’s subject matter, as it is a stone’s throw from Grenfell Tower, drawing parallels on how past and present governments have played a role in social housing crises. It is these similarities that have led the Playground Theatre’s co-artistic director Anthony Biggs to select the play as its first production.

You can find The Observer’s article on the upcoming production here.

You can follow Gregory on Twitter here.

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB WINS BEST BRITISH FILM AT THE NATIONAL FILM AWARDS

We are delighted for our clients Tim John and Roger Spottiswode that ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ has won Best British Film at this year’s 3rd annual National Film Awards UK. The National Film Academy’s annual awards celebrates the UK’s best films and talent both in front and behind the cameras, and this year’s event, hosted at Porchester Hall in London, was home to a plethora of stars of industry.

The award, voted for by audiences, was hotly contested, and ‘Bob’ beat off competition including ‘Our Kind Of Traitor’, directed by Susanna White and starring Damien Lewis and Alan Skaarsard, and  ‘A United Kingdom’, directed by Amma Asante and starring Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo.

Directed by Roger, screenplay by Tim (and Maria Nation), and adapted from James Bowen’s international bestselling novel, ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ is based on Bowen’s true life experiences on the streets. Produced by Adam Rolston at Shooting Script Films, and financed/exec produced by Prescience, the theatrical release was November 2016, and was greeted by warm reviews and strong box office. The film stars Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head and Bob the Cat as himself. It is now available on DVD.

THE SECRET nominated for Best Mini Series at this year’s BAFTAS!

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We’re delighted that client Stuart Urban has been nominated for a BAFTA for a third time! ITV's THE SECRET has been nominated for best mini-series at the 2017 awards, alongside Channel 4's ‘National Treasure’ by Jack Thorne, BBC1 drama ‘Witness For the Prosecution’ by Sarah Phelps and BBC2’s ‘The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses’, adapted by Dominic Cooke.

Starring James Nesbitt (who was nominated for Best Actor for the role at the 2017 national RTS awards) and Genevieve O’Reilly, THE SECRET is a chilling four part series based on the true events that occurred between 1991 and 2011, and the extreme actions taken by dentist Colin Howell and Sunday school teacher Hazel Buchanan to cover up their illicit affair.

Urban’s previous BAFTA wins include ‘An Ungentlemanly Act’ (1992 Winner Best Single Drama) and ‘Our Friends In the North’ (1997 Winner Best Drama Serial, Winner Best Actress for Gina McKee, plus a sweep of other nominations).

Praise for THE SECRET

THE TELEGRAPH ****

“The real achievement of Stuart Urban’s superb script was in capturing the weird balance of religious devotion and sexual obsession that seemed to normalise the relationship in Howell and Buchanan’s minds…‘The Secret’ was masterly, an excellent reason to say in on Friday nights to come”. Gerard O’Donovan.

       @hugh_laurie  The Secret is astounding. Urban, Murphy, Nesbitt, O'Reilly are just absurdly good.

THE SUNDAY TIMES

“I can’t remember a better portrayal of suburban charm hiding suburban evil…it’s hard to create suspense when you already know the ending. But in this case…it was still a nail-biter”. Matt Rudd.

RADIO TIMES “A scarily excellent dramatisation”. Jack Eagle.

THE I

“Told with passion and power...the sort of tale we’ve seen many times before, yet what made ‘The Secret’ so interesting was the way Stuart Urban’s smart script dealt with it…Urban sensitively depicted a close-knit community where religion was central”. Sarah Hughes.

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB WINS BEST BRITISH FILM AT THE NATIONAL FILM AWARDS!

We are delighted for our clients Tim John and Roger Spottiswode that ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ has won Best British Film at this year’s 3rd annual National Film Awards UK. The National Film Academy’s annual awards celebrates the UK’s best films and talent both in front and behind the cameras, and this year’s event, hosted at Porchester Hall in London, was home to a plethora of stars of industry.

The award, voted for by audiences, was hotly contested, and ‘Bob’ beat off competition including ‘Our Kind Of Traitor’, directed by Susanna White and starring Damien Lewis and Alan Skaarsard, and  ‘A United Kingdom’, directed by Amma Asante and starring Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo.

Directed by Roger, screenplay by Tim (and Maria Nation), and adapted from James Bowen’s international bestselling novel, ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ is based on Bowen’s true life experiences on the streets. Produced by Adam Rolston at Shooting Script Films, and financed/exec produced by Prescience, the theatrical release was November 2016, and was greeted by warm reviews and strong box office. The film stars Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head and Bob the Cat as himself. It is now available on DVD.