The Culture Show: Stephen Poliakoff
Acclaimed award-winning writer and director Stephen Poliakoff is to be the subject of a special edition of The Culture Show on BBC Two this autumn.
The extended programme features an in-depth interview with Poliakoff, who talks about the themes he explores in his work – family, memory, loneliness and loss.
He also discusses the state of British television today, and his hopes and fears for television in the future.
There is also an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how Poliakoff works and the programme features contributions from some of the leading actors who have worked with him.
Poliakoff has worked for both stage and screen, and in a career spanning 25 years has been responsible for a string of captivating, unsettling and provocative films including The Lost Prince, Perfect Strangers, Shooting The Past, Caught On A Train and Close My Eyes.
He has worked with many of the finest British actors including Peggy Ashcroft, Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith.
The centrepiece of the programme will be a brand new drama, shot on location and written for just one actor: A Real Summer, starring Ruth Wilson, made by Poliakoff exclusively for The Culture Show.
This will be Ruth's first major role since winning viewers over with her magnificent performance in Jane Eyre, for which she was BAFTA-nominated in 2006.
Now, she will be delivering an intriguing and elaborate drama in which she explores the character Mary – setting the scene for her formidable performance in the same role in the linked BBC Two drama Capturing Mary.
A Real Summer charts the development of an unexpected relationship between Mary and a young female aristocrat – Geraldine. Both characters are played by Wilson.
On her experience of making the drama, Ruth Wilson commented: "A Real Summer was a wonderful collaboration with Stephen and I like to think of it as a rare example of 'guerrilla' filming. It has proved one of my greatest challenges yet as an actor.
"The combination of learning a 25-page script, creating two different but believable characters, having only the camera or myself to act with and then filming it all in the space of three days. I'm surprised I managed to maintain a degree of sanity."
By combining an Alan Bennett-style monologue with real drama, using only one actor, A Real Summer constantly surprises audiences and creates an unpredictable, unique and compelling Poliakoff drama.
Roly Keating, Controller of BBC Two, said: "I am thrilled that The Culture Show will be home to such a unique and remarkable piece of work."
A Real Summer accompanies Joe's Palace on BBC One and Capturing Mary on BBC Two.