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FIRST LOOK The Gallows Pole

Four first look images have been released from Shane Meadows' new three-part drama for BBC Two which is based on the book by Benjamin Myers.

Based on the book by Benjamin Myers, Shane Meadows fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.

Set in the moorland hills of 18th Century Yorkshire, the drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley played by Michael Socha, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.

The three-part drama also stars Sophie McShera as Grace, with Thomas Turgoose as William Hartley, Yusra Warsama as Bethsheba, Anthony Welsh as Abe Oldfield, Samuel Edward-Cook as Isaac Hartley, Joe Sproulle as Joe, Adam Fogerty as James Broadbent, Nicole Barber-Lane as Susie, Fine Time Fontayne as Joseph Broadbent and Ralph Ineson as The Clothier.

The cast also includes an ensemble of first-time actors such as Stevie Binns as Mand, Jennifer Reid as Barb, Soraya Jane Nabipour as Darya Hartley, Olivia Pentelow as Hannah, Charlotte Ockelton as Gwen Hartley and Dave Perkins as Tom Hartley.

Speaking ahead of the drama launching soon on BBC Two, Shane Meadows said "I really wanted to delve into the history of this story and the circumstances that lead to an entire West Yorkshire community risking their lives to put food in their children’s bellies."

"It was during the workshopping process with the actors I realised there was also a story to tell leading up to Ben’s incredible book. A prequel that not only allowed us to understand ‘why’ the Cragg Vale Coiners did what they did, but maybe fall in love with them a smidge while they did it. It may have turned into one of the biggest crimes in British history, but it was pulled off by a bunch of destitute farmers and weavers doing what they had to to survive, and I think people will resonate with that."

"You can tell a story in any century if you care about the characters, but there was something so attractive about this period in British history. Large mouthfuls of West Yorkshire were about to be inhaled by the Industrial Revolution and our country and its unspoilt sides set to change forever. So it was an honour to be able to go back and hold up a magnifying glass to some of dudes that were living through it."

"Marry that with a cast that pitches some of the UK’s finest actors alongside an awesome array of brand spanking new Yorkshire talent and you have a series unlike anything else I’ve made before."

To which author of The Gallows Pole, Benjamin Myers added "Shane has retained the feel of The Gallows Pole and shot it in the very same landscapes that I have been exploring for many years now, and where the true events happened. So it looks, sounds and smells right. Shane is a true auteur, he has a singular vision, and he has taken it off in a new direction. Also, credit should be given to the cast, who range from experienced life-long actors to first timers. He’s a digital alchemist!"

Produced by Element Pictures in association with Big Arty for the BBC in association with A24, The Gallows Pole is produced by Nickie Sault, with Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Rachel Dargavel and Emma Norton as executive producers for Element Pictures and Jo McClellan for the BBC.

The Gallows Pole starts soon on BBC Two

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