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A24 has expanded its TV reach across the Atlantic, boarding The Gallows Pole from renowned British writer-director Shane Meadows (This is England, The Virtues).
The six-part period drama — being produced by Element Pictures (The Favourite, Normal People) for the BBC, and now in production in the U.K. — has also unveiled its cast.
Michael Socha (This is England, Papillon) stars alongside Thomas Turgoose (This is England, Looted), George MacKay (1917, Captain Fantastic), Tom Burke (Mank, The Souvenir), Sophie McShera (Cinderella, Downton Abbey), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey, Crazyhead), Yusra Warsama (Castle Rock), Eve Burley (Secret State), Nicole Barber Lane (Hollyoaks), Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders), Anthony Welsh (Master of None), Joe Sproulle (The A Word), Adam Fogerty (Legend), Fine Time Fontayne (How We Used to Live) and an ensemble of first-time actors.
Based on the novel of the same name by Benjamin Myers, The Gallows Pole fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners. Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in 18th century Yorkshire, the drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley (Socha), as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. It marks Meadows first period drama.
“Putting this cast together — with the undying support of [casting director] Shaheen Baig and her amazing team — has been an absolute joy. To be working with actors I’ve grown up with and/or have been desperate to work with, alongside oodles of incredible ‘as yet’ undiscovered (Yorkshire-based) talent, is an absolute honour and I’ve not been this passionate about shooting a project in years!,” said Meadows.
“This is the 18th century yes, but viewed through a slightly more anarchic lens and will (like my previous work) have a soundtrack that fits the mood like a psychedelic glove, rather than historical expectations.”
Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, added: “Shane’s talent for spotting and working with the newest and most authentic talent is second to none and will play a key role in setting this drama apart. It’s an honour to be working with Shane, our friends at Element, and our partners at A24, to see this amazing story start to come to life.”
Element Pictures added: “Working with the BBC and A24 on Shane Meadows’ first period drama is incredibly exciting for all of us at Element. Shane’s unique take on the story combined with the stunning cast he has assembled will make for an intoxicating and unforgettable series.”
The Gallows Pole was commissioned by Wenger, and is produced by Element Pictures in association with Big Arty for BBC in association with A24. Nickie Sault, long-time collaborator of Meadows will also be a producer on the show. International sales will be handled by A24.
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