Daniel Mays’ interview begins on page 19.
Tune in Thursday 16 October at 9pm on ITV to catch this amazing drama!
The story of humble baker Thomas Farriner and his fabled involvement in The Great Fire of London is coming to ITV this Autumn in new drama, The Great Fire.
Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, Garrow’s Law, Nowhere Boy) plays the role of Thomas in the 4 x 60 minute drama, produced by the makers of Fleming and Mistresses, Ecosse Films, and written by successful novelist Tom Bradby, ITN’s Political Editor.
Inspired by the historical events of 1666 and with the decadent backdrop of King Charles II’s court, The Great Fire focuses on the circumstances which led to the catastrophic fire, Thomas Farriner’s family life at the bakery in Pudding Lane, the playboy King’s extravagant lifestyle, and Farriner’s complex relationship with his fictional sister in law, Sarah played by Rose Leslie (Utopia, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey).
Jack Huston (American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire, Parade’s End) plays the role of King Charles II and Diarist Samuel Pepys, a close confidante of the King who dared to tell him “he was consumed by the pursuit of pleasure”, is portrayed by Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs, Treasure Island, Public Enemies). Pepys wife Elizabeth is played by Perdita Weeks (The Invisible Woman, Flight of the Storks).
Also starring is Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Dracula, Mr Selfridge, World Without End) as the King’s brother, James Duke of York, Andrew Tiernan (Ripper Street, Foyle’s War, Prisoner’s Wives) as prisoner Vincent, a forgotten soul languishing in Newgate prison, and Antonia Clarke (Lightfields, A Mother’s Son) as Frances Stewart who famously captured the King’s heart.
The Great Fire will unfold over four consecutive days as the fire indiscriminately takes hold of the city and the people desperately attempt to overcome the flames. The episodes will capture the most prosperous city of its age as fire rages and engulfs dwellings and businesses like the bakery on Pudding Lane. Terrified and bewildered, the people are thrown into chaos, and with each day they become increasingly desperate to seek safety away from the city.
Other key roles include Lord Denton, an emissary of the King’s, played by Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Secret State, Strike Back) whilst the Duke of Hanford, the most powerful Catholic nobleman in the land is played by David Schofield (Da Vinci’s Demons, Land Girls, The Shadow Line) and Sonya Cassidy (Vera, The Paradise, Endeavour) stars as The Queen.
Douglas Rae (Fleming, Mistresses, My Boy Jack) and Lucy Bedford (Mistresses, All About George, Lie with Me) are the executive producers for Ecosse Films. The producer is Gina Cronk (The White Queen, Tracy Beaker Returns, Wolfblood) and the director is Jon Jones (Lawless, Rogue, Mr Selfridge).
“In 1666 London was the greatest city in the world with a population of 300,000. In just four days The Great Fire destroyed nearly half the city and threatened the monarchy. It’s a fascinating premise for a drama and creates the perfect backdrop for Tom Bradby to be at his most creative.” Said Douglas Rae.
Tom Bradby (Shadow Dancer – film/novel, Blood Money, The God of Chaos – novels) writes the first three episodes whilst episode four is co-written by Tom Bradby, Chris Hurford (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes) and Tom Butterworth (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes).
Filming took place in in Spring 2014 in Kent, Surrey, Oxfordshire and central London, when the sights and sounds of Europe’s greatest metropolis in the 17th Century, Pudding Lane, the Palace of Whitehall, Pepy’s dwelling, Fish Street Hill, Newgate Prison, Moorfields, and the River Thames were recreated for the drama. Pyrotechnics and special effects, as opposed to CGI, were used to create the fire sequences as London burns.