In the year of acclaimed
author Patrick Hamilton's centenary, his classic trilogy, Twenty
Thousand Streets Under The Sky, is brought to life in a new three-part
adaptation by Kevin Elyot for BBC FOUR.
In a story of unrequited love set against the backdrop
of the grimy streets and public houses of Thirties London, the drama
stars a talented young cast including Bryan Dick (Blackpool)
as Bob, Zoë Tapper (Pepys, Stage Beauty) as Jenny
and Sally Hawkins (Layer Cake and BBC ONE's forthcoming
Fingersmith) as Ella.
Phil Davis (Vera Drake, Rose And Maloney) also
features as Mr Eccles.
Hamilton, responsible for both the haunting Gaslight
and the atmospheric Hangover Square, published the semi-autobiographical
trilogy under the title of Twenty Thousand Streets in 1935.
Revolving around The Midnight Bell, a public house off
the Euston Road, it follows the painful pursuit of love from three different
perspectives: barman Bob, who yearns for penniless street-walker Jenny;
his colleague Ella, torn between the attentions of an older, wealthier
man and her secret desire for Bob; and Jenny, forced onto the streets
through circumstances and now struggling to keep her head above water.
Executive producer Gareth Neame says: "Patrick
Hamilton was one of the truly great British novelists of the 20th Century,
but his extraordinary contribution has all too often been overlooked.
"His famous psychological thrillers such as Rope,
Gaslight and Hangover Square influenced many of the celebrated filmmakers
of the last century such as Alfred Hitchcock.
"The highly autobiographical Twenty Thousand Streets
Under The Sky doesn't involve murders or darkened streets, but instead
the intensely painful subjects of unrequited love, ambition and disappointment.
"It observes the minutiae of ordinary life and
it gives us a unique insight into the emotionally wrecked life that
Hamilton himself lived."
Kevin Elyot, who has adapted the trilogy for the BBC,
is best known for his multi-award-winning play, My Night With Reg and
recently adapted Death On The Nile for television.
Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky is produced by
Kate Harwood (Charles II, Daniel Deronda) and directed by Simon
Curtis (Man and Boy, David Copperfield).
The executive producers are Gareth Neame and
Filming has begun on location in London and the drama
will be transmitted on BBC FOUR next year.