BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Helen McCrory will star alongside Billy Howle

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Helen McCrory will star with Hollywood’s Richard Gere in a British thriller-drama for the BBC

Helen McCrory will star with Hollywood’s Richard Gere in a British thriller-drama for the BBC

Helen McCrory will star with Hollywood’s Richard Gere in a British thriller-drama for the BBC.

The pair will join Billy Howle in eight-part series MotherFatherSon, by novelist Tom Rob Smith.

McCrory (left), who has appeared in Peaky Blinders, the Harry Potter films, Skyfall and The Queen (she portrayed Cherie Blair), faced formidable competition for the part of Kathryn, the former wife of tycoon Max (Gere).

Kathryn is a British blueblood who was married to ruthless media magnate Max. They are divorced, but are forced to reunite years later as a result of an incident concerning their son, Caden (Howle), a young man who is drawn to danger.

All three characters engage in the kind of sexual practices and dizzying social behaviour that will ensure viewers stick around for every minute of the eight episodes, the first two of which are being directed by James Kent — who made the film Testament Of Youth with Alicia Vikander.

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Tilda Swinton , who will join Dev Patel in Armando Iannucci’s film The Personal History Of David Copperfield

Tilda Swinton , who will join Dev Patel in Armando Iannucci’s film The Personal History Of David Copperfield

Tilda Swinton , who will join Dev Patel in Armando Iannucci’s film The Personal History Of David Copperfield.

Iannucci, who enjoyed success with The Death Of Stalin, is making a contemporary version of Charles Dickens’s classic, with Patel (who won a Bafta and was Oscar-nominated for Lion) playing Copperfield.

No doubt wisely, the writer has abbreviated the full title of the novel: The Personal History, Adventures, Experience And Observation Of David Copperfield The Younger Of Blunderstone Rookery.

Swinton — an Oscar-winner (for Michael Clayton) — has been in everything from Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio to Wes Anderson’s Isle Of Dogs. She will play Copperfield’s Aunt Betsey Trotwood, who, on account of wanting David to be a girl when he was born (she would have been the godmother), dropped out of his life until he really needed her help.

Ben Whishaw, Morfydd Clark and Aneurin Barnard are also joining the cast.

Those who are available to attend will be in London on Monday for a read-through of the screenplay.

George McKay, who tells me the much-delayed movie The True Story Of The Kelly Gang is all set to film on locations in Melbourne. McKay will portray the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, supported by Russell Crowe, Essie Davis and Nicholas Hoult. Director Justin Kurzel has based his film on Peter Carey’s Booker prize-winning novel, which recounted Kelly’s life ‘in his own words’.

One of McKay’s recent films, Amma Asante’s Where Hands Touch, opens in the autumn.

Tina Fey, who wrote the screenplay for Mean Girls, which starred Lindsay Lohan, and has now written the book for the musical of the same name — which is fabulous.

OK, this Broadway show about the tribal rites of teens was not targeted at me, or any other adult. But it made me laugh and it contains life lessons even grown-ups need to be reminded of (be nice to others!).

Director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw drills his cast at the August Wilson theatre to deliver tip-top dances.

Taylor Louderman, as the lead ‘Plastic’ (aka horrible girl), is a blast. And so is Erika Henningsen, as our ‘heroine’ Cady Heron (the Lohan role).

 

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