Ewen Leslie, Glendyn Ivin team up again for BBC drama

Ewen Leslie and Jenna Coleman (Photo credit: BBC).

After their first collaboration on the SBS/Matchbox Pictures psychological thriller Safe Harbour Ewen Leslie and director Glendyn Ivin are teaming up again for The Cry.

Commissioned by BBC One, the four-part psychological drama has multiple Australian connections including Jacquelin Perske, who wrote the screenplay based on Aussie author Helen FitzGerald’s eponymous 2013 novel.

Shooting in Melbourne and Glasgow will start next month, produced by Scottish-based Synchronicity Films headed by creative director Claire Mundell, supported by Film Victoria and Creative Scotland. The Australian broadcaster is yet to be announced.

Leslie plays Alistair, an Australian political adviser working for the British Labour Party, with Jenna Coleman (Victoria, Doctor Who) as his wife Joanna. Their lives are turned upside down when their baby is abducted in a small Australian coastal town – the catalyst for a journey into the disintegrating psychology of a young woman while exposing the myths and truths of motherhood.

The producer is Brian Kaczynski and the DOP is Sam Chiplin, who was given his first big break when he was hired to shoot Safe Harbour. Chiplin was the B camera operator on the Ivin-directed The Beautiful Lie and before that was a director’s assistant at TVC production house Exit Films, where Ivin met him.

Leslie tells IF: “Having first worked with Glendyn Ivin last year on Safe Harbour, I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to reunite with him and Sam Chiplin on The Cry.

“Jacquelin Perske is one of our great writers and her scripts are taut, unpredictable and beautifully written. It’s an amazing team at Synchronicity Films, it’s an exciting cast of actors to work with and it’s a gripping novel by Helen FitzGerald.”

Ivin and Perske are renewing their association following Matchbox Pictures/ABC’s Seven Types of Ambiguity. DRG is handling international sales rights.

Coleman said: “When I first read Jacquelin Perske’s script on a plane it felt like walking a tightrope, racing page to page, unsettling, unknowable, uncomfortable, and thrilling. I look forward to tackling this challenge and bringing it to the screen with such a talented team.”

BBC drama controller Piers Wenger added: “The Cry is an intense, psychological thriller which constantly surprises and I know that with the fantastic Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie leading the cast as the young couple thrown into haunting and exceptional circumstances, this will be a truly unmissable series for BBC One.”

It is the first BBC drama commission for Synchronicity, which produced several feature films including Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, Justin Molotnikov’s Crying with Laughter and John McKay’s Not Another Happy Ending.