Cast announced and filming begins for new BBC drama on story of the Cragg Vale Coiners

A stellar cast has been assembled, and production is now underway, on a new BBC drama based on the story of the Cragg Vale Coiners.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 2:46 pm

The Gallows Pole, based on the novel of the same name by Benjamin Myers, fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.

Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in 18th century Yorkshire, the compelling 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.

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Story of the Cragg Vale Coiners to be turned into a new BBC drama by 'This is En...
Top L-R: Michael Socha, Thomas Turgoose, George MacKay, Tom Burke. Bottom L-R: Cara Theobold, Yusra Warsama, Samuel Edward-Cook, Anthony Welsh

Starring in the highly anticipated series will be Michael Socha (This Is England, Papillon), Thomas Turgoose (This Is England, Looted), George MacKay (1917, Captain Fantastic), Tom Burke (Mank, The Souvenir), Sophie McShera (Cinderella, Downton Abbey), Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey, Crazyhead), Yusra Warsama (Castle Rock), Eve Burley (Secret State), Nicole Barber Lane (Hollyoaks), Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders). Anthony Welsh (Master Of None), Joe Sproulle (The A Word), Adam Fogerty (Legend), Fine Time Fontayne (How We Used To Live) and and an ensemble of first-time actors.

The drama will be This is England creator Shane Meadows’ first period television drama.

Shane Meadows says of his cast: “Putting this cast together, with the undying support of Shaheen Baig and her amazing team, has been an absolute joy. To be working with actors I’ve grown up with and/or have been desperate to work with, alongside oodles of incredible ‘as yet’ undiscovered Yorkshire-based talent, is an absolute honour and I’ve not been this passionate about shooting a project in years!

"After some initial rehearsals back in spring, me and the team went on an open-casting odyssey, watching over 6,500 self-tapes from unrepresented actors and actresses, and were blown away by the quality of tapes that were submitted. We went from hoping to find one or two new faces, to making up half of the entire cast from those tapes and I believe it’s going to create a series quite unlike anything else I’ve ever worked on.

"This is the 18th century yes, but viewed through a slightly more anarchic lens and will - like my previous work - have a soundtrack that fits the mood like a psychedelic glove, rather than historical expectations.”

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, adds: “Shane’s talent for spotting and working with the newest and most authentic talent is second to none and will play a key role in setting this drama apart. It’s an honour to be working with Shane, our friends at Element, and our partners at A24, to see this amazing story start to come to life.”

Element Pictures adds: “Working with the BBC and A24 on Shane Meadows’ first period drama is incredibly exciting for all of us at Element. Shane’s unique take on the story combined with the stunning cast he has assembled will make for an intoxicating and unforgettable series.”

The six part series is currently filming at locations in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.