Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Before The Parade Passes By

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Sir Tom Stoppard is working on a stage adaptation of his Oscar-winning screenplay for Shakespeare in Love is news that the same Sir's passion project of a five-part television miniseries based on Ford Madox Ford's celebrated Parade's End tetralogy is currently filming in London. A co-production between HBO and BBC Two and adapted from Ford's novels Some Do Not, No More Parades, A Man Could Stand Up and Last Post, Parade's End follows the fortunes of English aristocrat and government statistician Christopher Tietjens, his beautiful but wilful socialite wife Sylvia and Valentine Wannop, a young suffragette with whom he falls in love, from the twilight years of the Edwardian era to the end of the First World War. Downton Abbey goes to town, perhaps?

Stiff upper lip maestros Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall are playing Christopher and Sylvia and are joined by young Australian actress Adelaide Clemens as Valentine and a stellar supporting cast including Geoffrey Palmer, Jack Huston, Claire Higgins, Freddie Fox, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Graham, Roger Allam, Rupert Everett, Jamie Parker, Steven Robertson, Janet McTeer and Anne-Marie Duff, I do hope Miss Duff is having as much fun on set with fellow Terence Rattigan enthusiast Benedict Cumberbatch as she is having in the above still on stage in London in Rattigan's Cause Celebre earlier this year. Parade's End is being directed by by period drama stalwart Susanna White (2005's Bleak House and 2006's Jane Eyre are amongst her credits), returning to television after last year's Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. One suspects that Parade's End will feature more scenes of muddy trenches and less scenes of pigs synchronised swimming. We'll see!

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