It was announced yesterday that Anna Maxwell Martin, Claire Foy, Jodie Whittaker and Harry Treadaway will star in a tragic and tender minute adaptation of Sarah Waters’ best-selling novel, ‘The Night Watch‘. Read the Press Release.
Set against the turbulent backdrop of Forties London, The Night Watch tells the stories of four young Londoners inextricably linked by their wartime experiences. In a time when the barriers of sexual morality and social convention have been broken down, Kay (Anna Maxwell Martin), Helen (Claire Foy), Viv (Jodie Whittaker) and Duncan (Harry Treadaway) enjoy a freedom never experienced before as they engage in secret liaisons and passionate trysts.
The drama opens in 1947 as the country is trying to rebuild itself after the war; we find Kay mysteriously roaming the streets, haunted by some traumatic personal loss. Meanwhile, Helen and Viv run a marriage bureau, helping people rebuild their shattered lives by finding love. But their own complicated love lives are less easy to solve. Helen obsessively clings to her tumultuous and volatile relationship with Julia (Anna Wilson-Jones) while Viv is continuing an affair with a married man whom she seems unable to break free from. Viv’s vulnerable young brother Duncan harbours a terrible secret, when a face from his past re-appears which threatens his fragile existence.
Moving back in time through the Forties into the maelstrom of the Blitz, the lives, loves and losses of these four central characters are unravelled. For them, the post-war victory is bitter sweet, for it returns them to the margins of society from which they hoped they had been liberated. In order to build their future they must each make peace with their past.
Other novels by Sarah Waters have already been adapted for television: Fingersmith and Tipping The Velvet. ‘The Night Watch‘ was adapted by award-winning British writer, Paula Milne (Small Island, Endgame, The Virgin Queen and The Politician’s Wife) and is being made by BBC Drama Production.
Filming for ‘The Night Watch‘ has already started in Bath. This is Bath reports how Sydney Gardens were transformed into the 1940 set last Saturday. Filming will also take place in Bath’s Royal Victoria Park and the city centre. Other than that they’re using the studios which were already used to make Lark Rise To Candleford, those are about half an hour from Bath. The Bath & North East Somerset Council website also has a report about the filming which will take place until the middle of December.
‘The Night Watch‘ is expected to air as a 90 minute drama on BBC2 in April 2011.