Monday, December 12, 2011

First look at The Mystery of Edwin Drood

An adaptation and completion of Charles Dickens’s last novel, Edwin Drood, left unfinished at the halfway mark at his death on 9 June 1870, comes to BBC2 on Tuesday 10th January 2012.

A strange, disturbing and modern tale about drugs, stalking and darkness visible, The Mystery of Edwin Drood by writer Gwyneth Hughes is a two-part psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster’s obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud and the lengths he will go to to attain her.

Matthew Rhys stars as John Jasper, Tamzin Merchant (represented by Curtis Brown) as Rosa Bud, with 22 year old Freddie Fox (represented by Tavistock Wood) as Edwin Drood.

Tamzin, from Brighton, played Daenerys in the Game of Thrones pilot and starred as Katherine Howard in the series The Tudors. Freddie, graduated from Guildhall drama school in 2010, and was recently seen in Any Human Heart and The Shadow Line. Tamzin and Freddie are now dating, after meeting on the set of Edwin Drood.

John Jasper is a troubled man, his psyche split between darkness and light. He has spent his life in the stifling and claustrophobic cathedral town of Cloisterham in a state of frustrated ambition and has become addicted to opium in an attempt to still his ennui and expand his horizons. 

But the opium is fracturing Jasper’s mind so that even as his soul reaches for the sublime in his music, his darker self has conceived a murderous hatred of his nephew Edwin Drood who, he believes, stands between him and the lovely Rosa. The stage is set for a story of mental and moral decline as we discover exactly how far Jasper will go to attain the object of his desire.

9 year old Alfie Davis  (a member of Kent Youth Theatre) from Herne Bay, who also appeared in the recent Camelot series, plays Deputy.

The drama also features Rory Kinnear as Reverend Septimus Crisparkle, Alun Armstrong as Hiram Grewgious, Rosa’s guardian; Julia McKenzie plays the Reverend’s mother, Mrs Crisparkle; David Dawson is Bazzard; Ron Cook is Durdles; Sacha Dhawan is Neville Landless; Amber Rose Revah is Helena Landless, Neville’s twin sister; Ian McNeice is Mayor Sapsea; Janet Dale is Miss Twinkleton; Ellie Haddington is Princess Puffer.

Episode 1 of  The Mystery of Edwin Drood will  be shown at  9.00-10.00pm, Tuesday 10 January on BBC Two.

Alongside Great Expectations on BBC 1, it is part of the Dickens On The BBC season of programmes.

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