BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

27 November 2014
Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Press Releases & Press Packs




New drama from award winning team announced by BBC Scotland

A star studded cast has been signed up to star in a new BBC Scotland drama from BAFTA award winning team, writer Donna Franceschild and director David Blair.

The Key is a Little Bird production in association with Making Waves for BBC Scotland.

Acclaimed director David Blair (Anna Karenina, Donovan Quick, The Lakes, Takin Over the Asylum) will direct and producer Sue Austen (NCS, Donovan Quick, Vicious Circle) will produce the series.

The nine week shoot begins on Sunday 29 September with filming taking place on location in Glasgow and surrounding areas.

The drama, told in fractured time, tells the stories of Mary Corrigan (Dawn Steele/June Watson), her grandaughters, Maggie (Ronni Ancona) and Jessie (Frances Grey) and of three generations of Mary's Clydeside family.

Through the lives and experiences of Mary and her family, The Key looks back on the political and social history of the twentieth century from the perspective of those who lived it at the sharp end.

The Key will include reference to major political milestones in Britain throughout the last century, from Bloody Friday, when thousands of workers, gathering in Glasgow's George Square in 1919 to demand a forty hour week, were attacked by mounted police, to the chaos and violence of the Orgreave Miners strike in 1984.

A combination of reconstruction and archive film will be used within the drama to illustrate these periods as well as specific visual styles to reflect the changing influences of the different eras.

Writer Donna Franceschild (Donovan Quick, Eureka Street, A Mug's Game, Takin Over the Asylum) explains the reason for writing about the political turbulence of the twentieth century: "I was fascinated by the idea that on every life that has ever been lived, every family that has ever been created, is written the history of their time and of their generation's struggle.

"We tend to forget that so much that we now take for granted - votes for women, the abolition of child labour, health and safety legislation at work - were fought for and hard won.

"We live in cynical times and it's easy to become jaded by the machinations of power and politics.

"I wrote The Key to try and remind us that, though we are shaped by our history, sometimes the reverse is also true."

Speaking about the project, producer Sue Austen says: "This is a wonderfully crafted story which, through the lives of an ordinary family, charts the rise of the trade unionist movement in the early part of the twentieth century, the destruction of the unions in the eighties and the birth of new labour in the nineties.

"We're delighted to have such a high calibre cast on board who will do these emotionally-charged characters justice."

Barbara McKissack, BBC Scotland's Head of Drama and Executive Producer for BBC Scotland on The Key adds: "It's exciting to be working with such a talented and inspiring team both on and off the screen.

"Donna has written an immensely powerful drama which brings this compelling struggle and family tale to life. I'm delighted to be expanding our existing drama slate to add such an important piece. "

The ensemble cast, lined up to feature in The Key includes: Ronni Ancona (Alistair McGowan's Big Impression), Frances Grey (Messiah, Murder in Mind, Vanity Fair), Stephen McCole (Band of Brothers, Last Orders, The Acid House), Kevin McKidd (Dog Soldiers, Anna Karenina, Trainspotting), Katy Murphy (Donovan Quick,Fish, Tutti Frutti), Ann Louise Ross (Split Second, Life Support, Looking After Jo Jo) John Sessions (Gangs of New York, Gormenghast, Tom Jones ), Dawn Steele (Monarch of the Glen, Tinsel Town, Tabloid TV), Ewan Stewart (Real Men,Titanic,Looking After Jo Jo), Ken Stott (The Vice, Messiah) and June Watson (Inspector Linley Mysteries, In the Land of Plenty).

Executive Producers on The Key are Barbara McKissack and Pippa Harris for BBC, Jonathan Cavendish for Little Bird and Donna Franceschild for Making Waves.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy