28 May 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish actor Seainin Brennan cast in Steven Knight's original new drama series This Town for the BBC
25 Nov 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Irish actress Seainin Brennan.
Irish actor Seainin Brennan has been named among the cast for Peaky Blinder’s creator Stephen Knight’s new series, This Town, which tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music.

Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Anatomy of a Scandal), Nicholas Pinnock (Life, Marcella) and David Dawson (My Policeman, The Last Kingdom) will be among the cast of the major new drama that follows creator Steven Knight recent SAS Rogue Heroes on BBC.

The epic six-part series is produced by Kudos (a Banijay UK company) and Nebulastar for the BBC, co-produced with Mercury Studios, in association with Kudos North, Stigma Films, and Nick Angel. Filming is now underway on location in the Birmingham area, and at Steven Knight’s new Digbeth Loc. Film and TV Studios.

“It is such an honour to be working on This Town. Steven Knight’s fascinating scripts are filled with so much energy and life,” Irish actress Seainin Brennan tells IFTN. “I am so excited to be working with director Paul Whittington and am loving every minute on set with the incredible cast that has been assembled to bring the piece to life. This Town is storytelling at its absolute best.”

This Town tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music, which exploded from the grass roots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, uniting black, white and Asian youths.

Led by an exciting cast of rising talent, the six-part series will star Levi Brown (Loss and Return), Jordan Bolger (The Woman King, The Book of Boba Fett), Ben Rose (Line of Duty, The Innocents) and Eve Austin (You, Our Ladies) as its four young leads.

Séainín Brennan (The Fall, Hidden), Geraldine James (Back To Life, Anne with an E), Peter McDonald (The Batman, Dublin Murders), Freya Parks (The School of Good and Evil, Here We Go), Shyvonne Ahmmad (Annika, Karen Pirie), John Heffernan (Dracula, The Pursuit of Love), Stefan Asante-Boateng (Coronation Street, Suffering), George Somner (This Is Going To Hurt, Sex Education) and Brendan Gibson (Peaky Blinders, Mr Selfridge) will also feature in the series.

Both a high octane thriller and a family saga, This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. Against this backdrop, it tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers.

The series will be co-produced with Mercury Studios (part of the Universal Music Group) who will bring in an exciting range of high profile musical artists to help lay the backdrop for Knight’s incredible story. Acclaimed producer Dan Carey, and Brit and Mercury nominated musician, novelist and poet Kae Tempest, have written the songs performed by the band in the series.

Speaking about the announcement Steven Knight, writer, creator and executive producer, says: “This is a project very close to my heart. It’s about an era I lived through and know well and it involves characters who I feel I grew up with. It’s a love letter to Birmingham and Coventry but I hope people from all over the world will relate to it.”

Karen Wilson, exec producer and MD of Kudos, adds: “We cannot wait for this incredible cast to help bring the world that Steven has created in This Town to life. The combination of powerful storytelling, gripping drama and brilliant music will make it a must-watch - audiences are in for a real treat!”

Jo McClellan, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor, says: “Steven’s scripts are absolutely brilliant – they capture the wild energy of youth and a pivotal moment in time, all set to a fantastic soundtrack, and we can’t wait to see this incredibly talented cast bring it all to life.”

Alice Webb, Mercury Studios CEO and Co-President, says: “Ska music has such a huge impact on music and culture – in the 80’s and through to modern day – which is why the legendary Steven Knight, Kudos, BBC and Mercury Studios are the perfect combination to bring this vivid world to life. Expect fierce new music as well as serious homage to classics of the time. It’s going to be unstoppable.”

Marc Robinson, Co-President of Mercury Studios adds: “It is a privilege to be working intrinsically with Steven Knight and the Kudos team in bringing the musical narrative of This Town to life. Music is at the heart of the series, and we are thrilled to be able to creatively engage artists and help tell the story through new and original recordings.”

This Town is created, written and executive produced by Steven Knight. It is directed by Paul Whittington and produced by Charlotte Surtees. Executive Producers are Karen Wilson, Martin Haines and Katie McAleese for Kudos, and Jo McClellan for the BBC. Laura Conway (Kudos North), Matthew James Wilkinson (Stigma Films) and Nick Angel serve as Co-Executive Producers. Banijay Rights will handle international distribution for the series.

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