24 October 2019 14:38

Michael Jackson Wade Robson Scotland

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Jack Thorne's (This Is England, Skins, Kiri, His Dark Materials) new TV show The Accident, starring Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire, is due to hit our screens very soon. Metro.co.uk got the opportunity to watch the first episode of the four-part series, and it's as hard-hitting and disturbing as Thorne's other work, with a strong performance from Lancashire. As we eagerly await the airing of the first episode, here's what you need to know about the drama, its cast and whether or not it's been based on a true story. Writer Thorne told the Radio Times that, while The Accident is a fictional story, the 2017 Grenfell fire 'changed' the idea. Thorne also refused to dramatise the Grenfell disaster, saying: 'I actually was offered Grenfell three times by three different production companies, who wanted to tell the Grenfell story.


'I didn't feel like there were the facts in place to look at it properly without hurting an awful lot of people, and doing a television thing of trampling over people's lives. Along with Sarah Lancashire as Polly Bevan, the cast of The Accident will include: How Verizon Media and our partners bring you better ad experiences To give you a better overall experience, we want to provide relevant ads that are more useful to you. Like Verizon Media, our partners may also show you ads that they think match your interests. Verizon Media and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads. Verizon Media will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.

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Actor Sarah Lancashire says it was easy for her to agree to play the part of hairdresser Polly Bevan when the script for award-winning writer Jack Thorne's drama The Accident was sent to her. The star of Happy Valley and Thorne's award-winning Kiri, Lancashire's role in The Accident is as the mother of a teenager who suffers life-changing injuries as an attempt to regenerate their run-down Welsh Valleys town goes tragically wrong. Writer Thorne describes it as the last of his series loosely called a "blame trilogy" with National Treasure examining ideas of guilt, Kiri of innocence and The Accident looks at justice. With the power of Thorne's writing and a stellar cast which includes The Thick Of It's Joanna Scanlan, there are moments of humour even after the building site explosion which leaves the fictional community of Glyngolau dealing with grief, fury and recriminations. Jack Thorne had Sarah Lancashire in mind when he wrote the part, although the actress didn't know that.

Although Glyngolau existed only in Mr Thorne's imagination, the drama captures the close relationships we find in real-life Valleys communities. Jack Thorne was influenced by actual disasters where no-one who might have been responsible for what happened ended up in prison. "The idea was always to look at class and restorative justice and I had an idea in my head, then Grenfell happened and the idea changed and the concept of looking at corporate manslaughter and the way that a corporate manslaughter trial might work, then we researched like mad until we found a story that worked for that," he says. Three different production companies have asked him to make a drama about what happened at Grenfell Tower, where 72 people died as a result of the fire two years ago. "We didn't feel like there were the facts in place to look at it properly without hurting an awful lot of people and doing a television thing of trampling over people's lives," he says. Oldham-born Sarah Lancashire says she didn't do any particular research by reading about real-life tragedies. The Mark she's referring to is Mark Lewis Jones (National Treasure, Keeping Faith) who plays her husband Iwan, a local council leader who had championed the regeneration project where the explosion happens. This is no more so than towards the end of the first episode when we realise Polly and Iwan's relationship is a lot more complicated than it seems at the start. "I really liked the writing," Ms Knudsen says, explaining what attracted her as an international actor to come to Wales to film.

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