Press Releases — Theatrical / Cinema Events

June 8, 2016

BBC Worldwide North America Acquires LONDON ROAD

Academy Award® Nominee Tom Hardy and BAFTA Award Winner Olivia Colman Join Ensemble Cast of the Film Based on the Ground-Breaking National Theatre Production

New York, NY, June 8, 2016 – BBC Worldwide North America has acquired U.S. rights to LONDON ROAD, the film adaptation of the ground-breaking National Theatre play of the same name.  The debut film by writer Alecky Blythe, with music by Adam Cork and lyrics by Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork and directed by Rufus Norris (Broken), LONDON ROAD features an ensemble cast including Academy Award Nominee Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Olivia Colman (The Iron Lady), and Anita Dobson (The Rise of the Krays). The film also features the play’s original cast members, Clare Burt (Broken), Rosalie Craig (The Vote), James Doherty (Backbeat), Kate Fleetwood (Philomena), Hal Fowler (The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo), Linzi Hateley (Les Misérables), Nick Holder (The World’s End),  Claire Moore (The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall), Michael Shaeffer (Kingdom of Heaven), Nicola Sloane (The Theory of Everything), Paul Thornley, (Les Misérables), Howard Ward (Cashback), and Duncan Wisbey (Anna Karenina). The film hits theaters in September.

LONDON ROAD documents true events that occurred in 2006, when the town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. The residents of London Road had struggled for years with frequent soliciting and curb-crawling on their street. When a local resident was charged, and then convicted, of the murders, the community grappled with what it meant to be at the epicenter of this tragedy. Using their own words set to an innovative musical score, LONDON ROAD tells a moving story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences. The stage production ‘London Road’ was an immediate hit and earned five-star reviews when it premiered at the National Theatre in 2011.  It returned to the stage in 2012 for a sold-out run.

LONDON ROAD offers a rare lyrical interpretation of true events with a fantastic ensemble cast including Tom Hardy and Olivia Colman,” said Soumya Sriraman, EVP Franchise and Digital Enterprises. “While the film deals with a difficult subject, it also illustrates the resilience of a community coming together under extraordinary circumstances.”

Executive Producer David Sabel said, “We are thrilled that BBC Worldwide North America will be bringing London Road to American audiences.  This remarkable story, which began in a small town in England, is about a community in its most universal sense and has resonated with audiences from its first life as a stage production to its much wider reach through this innovative film.”

LONDON ROAD was produced by Dixie Linder (Broken) and was executive produced by Nick Marston (Broken, Boy A) for Cuba Pictures, David Sabel (National Theatre Live) for National Theatre, Tally Garner (Broken), Christine Langan (Brooklyn), Joe Oppenheimer (Alan Partridge), Beth Pattinson (Brooklyn), Ben Roberts, Norman Merry (A Royal Night Out), and Peter Hampden (A Royal Night Out).

LONDON ROAD is presented by BBC Films, BFI, and National Theatre in association with LipSync and supported by Arts Council England. A Cuba Pictures and National Theatre Production.

The deal was negotiated between Soumya Sriraman, EVP of Franchise and Digital Enterprise for BBC Worldwide North America, and Vanessa Saal, Head of Sales at Protagonist Pictures, on behalf of Cuba Pictures and National Theatre.

About BBC Worldwide North America

BBC Worldwide North America is the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operating in the U.S. and Canada. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer and invests in public service programing in return for rights. The company operates four businesses in the territory – linear and digital content sales and co-productions, consumer products, BBC.com, and two production divisions – BBC Worldwide Productions, responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars and the U.S. version of Top Gear; and Adjacent Productions, producers of Da Vinci’s Demons, Life Below Zero, and Ladies of London, among others. The company also owns a 50.1% share in cable channel BBC AMERICA through a joint venture with AMC Networks.

About Cuba Pictures

Cuba Pictures was set up in 2008 by Nick Marston at Curtis Brown and was joined by Dixie Linder as co-head of film and television. Credits to date are the Channel 4 film Boy A, starring Andrew Garfield, directed by John Crowley and written by Mark O’Rowe, which won 5 BAFTAs and sold to The Weinstein Company for international theatric release, Vernon God Little on stage with the Young Vic, directed by Rufus Norris, and the feature film, Broken, written by Mark O’Rowe, directed by Rufus Norris and starring Tim Roth, Rory Kinnear and Cillian Murphy. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival and has picked up numerous awards across Europe, including the prize for Best British Independent Film at the British Independent Film Awards. In 2015 the company’s TV adaptation of Susanna Clark’s novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell aired on BBC One, starring Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel. The series was written by Peter Harness and directed by Toby Haynes and won two BAFTA awards, for Production Design and Special, Visual and Graphic effects. In the same year James Graham’s Coalition aired on Channel 4. The single film followed the tension surrounding the five days in which the coalition government formed. Directed by Alex Holmes, the film starred Bertie Carvel, Mark Dexter and Mark Gatiss Coalition was winner of the Royal Television Society Award for Single Drama.

Currently the company are in development with the 8 part series McMafia based on the book by Misha Glenny which explores the global scale of organised crime. Written by Hossein Amini and James Watkins along with David Farr, Peter Harness and Laurence Coriat the show is being made with BBC One. The company will also go into production this year with Conor McPherson’s three part thriller Paula, which is being made for BBC Two.

About National Theatre

The National Theatre is dedicated to making the very best theatre and sharing it with as many people as possible. We produce productions on the South Bank in London each year, ranging from re-imagined classics to modern masterpieces and new work by contemporary writers and theatre-makers. The National’s work is seen on tour throughout the UK, in London’s West End, internationally (including on Broadway) and in collaborations and co-productions with regional theatres.

National Theatre Live, which broadcasts live performances to cinema screens internationally, is now celebrating its 7th year and has been experienced by over 5.5 million people worldwide in 200 countries. For more information, visit www.NTLive.com

About BBC Films

BBC Films is at the forefront of independent filmmaking in the UK, developing and co-producing around twelve films a year. Headed up by Christine Langan, BBC Films was awarded the Michael Balcon BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2015.

Recent releases include Louise Osmond’s documentary Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach, Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins – both currently in cinemas; John Crowley’s BAFTA and Academy Award nominated romantic drama Brooklyn and Nicholas Hytner’s BAFTA nominated comedy drama The Lady in the Van.

Upcoming releases include Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (in cinemas on 1st July), Ricky Gervais’ David Brent: Life on the Road (in cinemas on 19th August), and Philippa Lowthorpe’s Swallows and Amazons (also in cinemas on 19th August). Films currently in production include Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or 2016, Ritesh Batra’s The Sense of an Ending, Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House, Lone Scherfig’s We Happy Few, Mick Jackson’s Denial and Untitled James Marsh Project.

BBC Films’ eclectic back catalogue includes Mr Holmes, Far from the Madding Crowd, Pride, Saving Mr. Banks, Philomena, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, My Week with Marilyn, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Jane Eyre, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Made in Dagenham, An Education, In the Loop, Fish Tank, My Summer of Love, Truly Madly Deeply, and Billy Elliot.