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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK / Ireland

Shane Meadows to direct 18th century-set TV drama series The Gallows Pole

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- The new production, staged by the BBC and Ireland’s Element Pictures, is based on Benjamin Myers’ 2017 novel of the same name

Shane Meadows to direct 18th century-set TV drama series The Gallows Pole
Director Shane Meadows

British director Shane Meadows is ready to direct his first TV drama, an 18th century-set show entitled The Gallows Pole, based on Benjamin Myers’ 2017 novel of the same name. Meadows rose to fame thanks to his first few features, such as Small Time (1996), Once Upon a Time in the Midlands [+see also:
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(2002), Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) and This Is England [+see also:
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(2006). This Is England was later transposed into three mini-series produced from 2010-2015. His most recent endeavour was the four-part series The Virtues (2019), starring Niamh Algar, Mark O’Halloran and Helen Behan.

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Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in 18th-century Yorkshire, Meadows’ new directorial effort follows the rise and fall of the enigmatic David Hartley, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers – known as the Cragg Vale Coiners – to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. Talking about the project, Meadows explained: “The Gallows Pole is an incredible true story, little known outside of Yorkshire, about a group of very naughty men and women who started clipping and counterfeiting coins out in the Moors, as a way to keep themselves and their community alive. [...] I’ve never made a period drama before, so I’m absolutely buzzing, and to be doing it with Piers [Wenger, one of the executive producers] at the BBC, his incredible team, and Element Pictures is nothing short of an honour.”

The period drama, set to enter production later this year, will be produced by award-winning Irish studio Element Pictures, and executive-produced by the BBC’s director of Drama, Piers Wenger, and head of Development and Drama Commissioning, Tom Lazenby. The main cast and release date are yet to be disclosed.

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