All-star cast dance onto BBC One in Ballet Shoes
BBC Drama today announced full details of a stellar cast for Ballet Shoes.
Dancing onto BBC One will be Dame Eileen Atkins (Cranford), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness), Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones's Diary), Robert Hardy (Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets), Lucy Cohu (The Queen's Sister), Harriet Walter (Bright Young Things), Lucy Boynton (Miss Potter), Yasmin Paige (Sarah Jane Adventures) and Emma Watson, who plays Hermione Grainger in the Harry Potter films.
They join Victoria Wood, Richard Griffiths, and Marc Warren in the feature-length film of the classic novel by Noel Streatfeild, which will transmit on BBC One.
Patrick Spence, Head of Drama, BBC Northern Ireland, comments: "The mix of hugely prestigious and burgeoning talent is as close to perfection as any cast could be."
Set in Thirties London, Ballet Shoes tells the exhilarating tale of orphans Pauline (Emma Watson), Petrova (Yasmin Paige) and Posy Fossil (Lucy Boynton) who are adopted by an eccentric explorer, Great Uncle Matthew (Richard Griffiths – Bleak House) and raised as sisters by his selfless niece, Sylvia (Emilia Fox).
The timeless and uplifting story revolves around each girl's struggle to fulfil her dreams: Pauline longs to be an actress, Petrova yearns to be an aviator, and Posy seems born to be a ballerina.
But when Great Uncle Matthew, 'Gum', disappears, the money runs out – and the girls have a fight on their hands. Their struggle to balance personal ambition with the need to survive physically, emotionally, and financially, proves moving and comic by turns.
Victoria Wood plays Nana, Dame Eileen Atkins plays Madame Fidolia, Marc Warren plays Mr Simpson, Harriet Walter plays Dr Smith, Gemma Jones plays Dr Jakes, Robert Hardy plays Sir Donald Houghton, and Lucy Cohu plays Theo Dane.
Ballet Shoes, first published in September 1936, was an immediate bestseller, and has never been out of print.
Ballet Shoes is a Granada production for BBC One and has been adapted by the acclaimed screenwriter Heidi Thomas (I Capture The Castle, Lilies, Cranford).
Miss Thomas comments: "This is a captivating cast, worthy in every way of Streatfeild's gorgeous book."
She adds: "Emma Watson is a magical young actress. We are thrilled to have her on board."
Ballet Shoes is directed by Sandra Goldbacher (The Governess, Me Without You) and produced by Piers Wenger (Housewife 49).
Filming begins in August 2007. The executive producers for Granada are Michele Buck and Damien Timmer. Executive producers for the BBC are Patrick Spence and Heidi Thomas.
Ballet Shoes was commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction.