Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Whale

Newcomer Charles Furness is set to star in The Whale, a 90-minute BBC drama based on factual accounts of the sinking of the whale ship Essex in 1820, written by Terry Cafolla.

Charles (represented by A&J Management) trained with the NYT Rep company before landing this, his first screen role. He stars as Tom Nickerson, the fourteen-year-old cabin boy on the whale ship Essex, who wrote an account of the boat's sinking and the three months that the crew survived .

During her lifetime the Essex gained the reputation of being a "lucky" ship but she is best known for being attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the southern Pacific Ocean in 1820. This tragic incident served as inspiration for Herman Melville's 1851 novel, Moby-Dick.

The young cast also includes 22 year old Jassa Aluwalia (represented by Independent Talent) as Owen Coffin, one of the sailors and a cousin of the ship's captain George Pollard, Jr. Jassa played David in the recent US TV adaptation of The Bible, and also played Rocky in BBC Three's hit new comedy series Some Girls.

And 21 year old John Boyega (represented in the UK by Identity Agency Group) plays Steward William Bond. John who rose to fame after starring in Attack The Block will next be seen in Half A Yellow Sun, currently in post-production.

Jonas Armstrong leads the cast as First Mate Owen Chase with Adam Rayner (The Hunted) as Captain Pollard, Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Stella) as Joy; David Gyasi (Cloud Atlas, War Horse) as Peterson and Jolyon Coy (The Hollow Crown) as Lawrence. and the drama is directed by Alrick Riley for BBC Discovery.

Made by BBC Factual productions, the action-packed narrative follows Tom Nickerson as, against all odds, he comes through the worst that nature throws at him, growing up fast in the process. He faces the destructive force of sea-storms, the power of whales, the brutal desolation of the sun and sea after the shipwreck, and finally the grim realities of dark deeds as his only means of survival.

Terry Cafolla, writer says: “At the emotional heart of the drama is orphan Nickerson’s coming-of-age story, where he meets three powerful male role models in the captain, the first mate, and a steward. As the narrative develops, his views on what makes a man switch dramatically as he sees how these role models respond under some of life’s most extreme pressures.”

The Whale is about to start shooting in Malta for five weeks, and will air on BBC One.

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