Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel cast in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for BBC One

I can't wait to start playing Norrell in this terrific adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel, and to be working with such a cast of actors, many of whom I've admired for so long.”Eddie Marsan, playing Mr Norrell
Date: 25.10.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.05
Based on the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Peter Harness (Wallander, Is Anybody There?), Eddie Marsan (Best Of Men, Ray Donovan, Filth) and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel (Restless, Hidden, Matilda) take on the magical roles of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell in this seven-part drama series.

Further casting includes Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa, Beautiful Creatures), Marc Warren (Hustle, Mad Dogs), Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, Fleming), Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, Easy Virtue), Enzo Cilenti (Prisoners Wives, Rome) and Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones, Stella).

The series is directed by Toby Haynes (The Musketeers, Doctor Who) and the producer is Nick Hirschkorn (Five Children And It). It is produced by Cuba Pictures (Boy A, Broken) for BBC One and co-produced with BBC America, in association with Feel Films, Far Moor, Screen Yorkshire and Bell Media’s Space. It will be distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.

Set at the beginning of the 19th-century, England no longer believes in practical magic. The reclusive Mr Norrell (Marsan) of Hurtfew Abbey stuns the city of York when he causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. With a little persuasion and help from his man of business Childermass (Cilenti), he goes to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon. It is there Norrell summons a fairy to bring Lady Pole (Englert) back from the dead, opening a whole can of worms…

Eddie Marsan, playing Mr Norrell, says: “I can't wait to start playing Norrell in this terrific adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel, and to be working with such a cast of actors, many of whom I've admired for so long.”

Jonathan Strange (Carvel) is charming, rich and arrogant. Whilst trying to secure his beloved Arabella’s (Riley) hand in marriage, he meets the magician of Threadneedle Street, Vinculus (Kaye), who tells him he is destined to be a great magician. A shaken and disturbed Strange initially dismisses the claims, but intrigue overcomes and in an attempt to find his occupation, he tries to practise magic.

Bertie Carvel, playing Jonathan Strange, says: “I read the book some years ago and was totally enchanted. I've been casting spells for the part of Strange ever since. It is a considerable surprise to find that some of them worked!”

Nick Marston, CEO of Cuba Pictures, says: “It has been a passion of ours for almost a decade to bring Susanna Clarke’s extraordinary novel to the screen. Now, thanks to the great support of the BBC, it is actually happening. Peter Harness has written a first-rate adaptation and Toby Haynes is ready to weave his magic from the director’s chair. There is a huge ambition from the whole team to do justice to Susanna’s work and to bring the book to a brand new audience.”

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “We have secured the most original, talented and dynamic cast and team to produce BBC One’s brand new adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s award-winning novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. This cements our reputation for bold and ambitious drama and I can’t wait to see Bertie and Eddie bring these wonderful characters to life in a unique and exciting way.”

Filming starts next week and the series will be filmed in Yorkshire, Canada and Croatia.

Executive producers are Nick Marston, Tally Garner and Dixie Linder for Cuba Pictures, Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin for Far Moor, and Matthew Read for the BBC. Danny Cohen, Director of Television, and Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning, commissioned the series for BBC One.

RM