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‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ All Star Cast Announced
24 May 2007 :
Jacobi in Gladiator
Veteran actor Sir Derek Jacobi (Gosford Park, Gladiator, The Tenth Man) and acclaimed thesp Toby Jones (Infamous, The Painted Veil) will head the all star cast of ITV’s adaptation of Dickens' classic novel ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ which is scheduled to begin filming in Dublin at the end of this month.

Other stars announced for the one off drama include Zoe Wanamaker (Doctor Who, My Family), Martin Freeman (The Office), Gina McKee (Tsunami: The Aftermath, The Forsyte Saga), Bradley Walsh (Coronation Street) and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen), Anna Madeley (The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton, Consent), Josie Lawrence (Who’s Line Is It Anyway) and Sophie Vavassuer (Becoming Jane, Evelyn).

‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ will be directed by BAFTA winning director Brian Percival (The Ruby In The Smoke, Much Ado About Nothing) and produced by Andrew Benson (Prime Suspect: The Final Act, Hornblower). Gareth Neame, Managing Director of Carnival Films is Executive Producer. The novel has been adapted for the screen by Martyn Hesford (Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa, Nicholas Nickleby).

The single drama will also feature performances by Irish actress Charlene McKenna (Breakfast on Pluto, Middletown), Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter), Adam Godley (His Dark Materials, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory), Bryan Dick (Bleak House), Geoff Breton (The Rotters Club, Blue Murder) and George Mackay (Johnny And The Bomb, Tsunami: The Aftermath).

The five week shoot begins at the end of May with a proposed broadcast date scheduled for late 2007. The drama tells the story of Little Nell (Vavassuer), a beautiful and virtuous young girl who lives with her grandfather (Jacobi) in his shop of curiosities. Unbeknownst to Nell, her Grandfather keeps his nocturnal gambling activities a secret, borrowing heavily from evil, profiteering loan shark Daniel Quilp (Jones). When he gambles away what little money they possess, Quilp seizes the opportunity to take possession of their beloved shop and it seems Nell and Grandfather are left with only one option - to escape.

Laura Mackie, Controller of Drama at ITV, said:

“Following ITV’s hugely successful Jane Austen Season and the forthcoming adaptation of A Room With A View, I'm delighted that we're bringing one of Dickens' most loved titles to the screen. Old Curiosity Shop has a powerful and moving narrative and a fantastic ensemble of colourful characters and we're thrilled to have attracted such a wonderful and diverse cast. We are committed to bringing the best classic drama to the audience and this will be a real treat".

Irish costume designer Lorna Marie Mugan (Middletown, Inside I’m Dancing, Tara Road) has been enlisted to re-create the costumes of the Dickensian era. British DOP Peter Greenhalgh, Production Designer Michael Pickwood (High Heels and Low Lifes, Withnail & I) and Editor Tony Cranstoun (The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse) feature among the crew for the ITV1 production.

‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ is a Carnival/WGBH Boston/Ingenious Broadcasting Co-Production with the participation of Bord Scannan na hEireann/Irish Film Board. The Irish co-production company is Element, with Andrew Lowe confirmed as co-producer.

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