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The Long Firm
The dark underbelly of 1960s London is brought into sharp focus in Joe Penhall's adaptation of Jake Arnott's critically acclaimed novel, The Long Firm.
The four-part series tells the story of Harry Starks (Mark Strong), as seen through the eyes of four characters that come into his life - a Tory Lord, an actress, a low-life speed dealer and an academic.
"Starks is a charismatic nightclub owner, racketeer, porn king and avid Judy Garland fan who makes and loses his fortune in 1960s Soho," says producer Liza Marshall.
"He is no regular gangster - Starks is a complex man; intelligent, vulnerable, violent when he needs to be, but all the while yearning for something more than the rough and tumble of criminal life. Everyone that he encounters is changed forever by the experience."
Award-winning writer, Joe Penhall, is full of praise for Mark Strong's portrayal of Starks: "Pound for pound, I think Mark is one of the best actors in Britain at the moment, and this piece will bear that out.
"He has done a very complex, cinematic performance which is very endearing and intelligent, yet also immediate, inclusive and easy to grasp."
The other characters are Lord Teddy Thursby (Sir Derek Jacobi), a cash-strapped politician; fading movie star Ruby Ryder (Lena Headey); Starks' toyboy Tommy (Joe Absolom); Jimmy (Phil Daniels), a petty criminal and general lowlife who gets caught up in Harry's world; Lenny (Shaun Dingwall), a young lecturer and radical criminologist who becomes enthralled by Starks when he teaches him in prison; and bent copper Detective Sergeant Mooney (George Costigan).
The Long Firm was directed by Billie Eltringham (Kid In The Corner, This Is Not A Love Song) and written by accomplished playwright Penhall, winner of Evening Standard and Olivier Awards. The producer was Liza Marshall (The Sins, Eroica) and the executive producers were Hilary Salmon, Laura Mackie and David Bernath for BBC America.
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