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29 October 2014
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Sweeney Todd
Essie Davis and Ray Winstone

Sweeney Todd - BBC ONE, Tuesday 3 January 2006 at 9.00pm

 

 

Introduction

 

Ray Winstone is to star as the legendary Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Essie Davis as the love of his life, Mrs Lovett, in Sweeney Todd, a brand new film for BBC ONE.

 

Ray Winstone stars as Sweeney Todd, the most notorious barber who ever shaved stubble, in an original screenplay by Joshua St Johnston coming soon to BBC ONE.

 

Set in 18th century London, it is a dark and enthralling tale of love, obsession, murder and, ultimately, of redemption.

 

Actress Essie Davis (A Streetcar Named Desire, Girl With A Pearl Earring) will co-star as Mrs Lovett, a young lady who isn't too choosy about her men or the source of meat for her pie shop.

 

Indeed, once Mrs Lovett is installed next to Sweeney's thriving Fleet Street barber's shop, the pair forge a complex and destructive partnership, and the barber's customers begin to disappear with alarming regularity.

 

The film boasts a cast that includes Tom Hardy (Robert Dudley in the forthcoming The Virgin Queen, Band of Brothers, Black Hawk Down, Star Trek: The Nemesis) as Matthew Payne, an upstanding Bow Street Runner, who owes his life to Sweeney; David Warner (The League Of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, Hornblower: Retribution) who plays Sir John Fielding, author, politician and founder of the Bow Street Runners; while David Bradley (Blackpool, Filch in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban) plays Sweeney Todd's malicious father.

 

Twelve-year-old newcomer, Ben Walker, portrays Tobias, Sweeney's unsuspecting yet loyal apprentice.

 

Sweeney Todd is set in the harsh streets of London in 1765, where life is not for the faint-hearted and only the fittest survive.

 

Living in the shadow of Newgate Prison, Sweeney Todd tries to carve out a quiet and simple life, until his past comes back to haunt him and he is, finally, unable to quell his inner demons.

 

When body parts are found in the Fleet River, Sir John Fielding orders his Bow Street Runners to investigate, but even with the threat of capture surrounding him, Sweeney Todd is unable to run away from the monster inside; instead his murderous spree only intensifies, threatening the lives of all those around him.

 

Peter Fincham, Controller BBC ONE and Jane Tranter, Controller Drama Commissioning commissioned the film earlier this year.

 

Sweeney Todd is a Box TV and Size 9 co-production for BBC ONE and was shot this summer at Romania's leading studio production centre, MediaPro Pictures, just outside Bucharest.

 

The film is written by Joshua St Johnston and marks his television-writing debut.

 

The director is David Moore (Tom Brown's Schooldays, Wallis & Edward), with Gub Neal (Gunpowder Treason and Plot, Sunday) and Caroline Hewitt (Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Bright Young Things) producing.

 

The Size 9 producer is Emma Kingsman-Lloyd (Ultimate Force, Holby City).

 

The executive producers are: Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin (Box TV) and Ray Winstone and Michael Wiggs (Size 9 Productions).

 

The programme makers

 

Box TV

 

Box TV is one of the UK's leading independent production companies, specialising in premium television drama and documentaries. Founded in 2000 by Gub Neal, Emmy-winning producer and former head of drama at Granada and Channel 4, Box has produced over £35m of international programming including the multi-award winning Sunday and Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.

 

BBC TWO's critical success this autumn, No Direction Home - Bob Dylan, the groundbreaking film directed by Martin Scorsese about Bob Dylan, was a co-production of the BBC, Thirteen/WNET New York, PBS, Spitfire Pictures, Grey Water Park Productions, and Sikelia Productions in association with Box TV.

 

The website is box-tv.co.uk.

 

Size 9 Productions

 

Size 9 is a UK-based TV production company formed by actor Ray Winstone, agent and founder of CAM Michael Wiggs, and producer Joshua St Johnston (She's Gone, Messiah II: Vengeance is Mine, Buried Treasure).

 

Size 9's debut film, She's Gone, was shown on ITV1 in September 2004.

 

During 2005, Ray Winstone has been working with three of cinema's leading directors. He has completed work on The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese and Breaking & Entering with Anthony Minghella. Winstone has recently finished filming the title role in Beowulf for Robert Zemeckis, and he is also starring in Vincent, a four-part drama for ITV.

 

Website is size9productions.co.uk.


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