Southcliffe: Channel Four drama starring Rory Kinnear and Sean Harris

by SteveRogerson

Southcliffe, a four-part drama looking at the effects of mass murder on a small community, starts on Channel Four on Sunday 4 August 2013.

Rory Kinnear, Sean Harris and Chris Cooper star in Southcliffe, a four-part drama that explores the darkness of a small market town that has been devastated by a killing spree that leaves fifteen people dead. The first of the four hour-long episodes is due to be broadcast on Channel Four on Sunday 4 August 2013.

Sean Harris as Stephen Morton in Southcliffe
Sean Harris as Stephen Morton in Southcliffe
Photo from Channel Four

One day changes a small English market town forever. A spate of shootings rips apart the community. That is the story behind Southcliffe, a four-part drama due to start on Channel Four on Sunday 4 August 2013.

The programme starts when loner Stephen Morton (played by Sean Harris) goes on a killing spree that leaves fifteen people dead. Rory Kinnear plays TV journalist David Whitehead, who returns to his hometown to report on the shootings and try to find answers to why it happened, but he has his own secrets from when he lived in the town.

This is a dark show, which probes into the behaviour of seemingly ordinary people. The cover is taken off the motives for people’s actions and what lies underneath is not always pleasant.


Actors in Southcliffe

Rory Kinnear won a British Independent Film Award in 2012 for best supporting actor for his role as Bob Oswald in the film Broken. He is also well known for playing Bill Tanner in the James Bond movies Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. He is the son of actor Roy Kinnear. TV appearances include Kyle Betts in Five Days, Denis Thatcher in Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley, James Mitcham in Waking the Dead, Septimus Ludlow in Cranford, Dan Bishop in Vexed, Michael Callow in Black Mirror and Reverend Septimus Crisparkle in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

“David has spent 25 years suppressing his feelings towards the people of Southcliffe and never forgetting what they did to him and his family,” said Kinnear about his character. “He’s never confronted it – to the extent that he drinks heavily, is unfaithful to his wife and treats news as a commodity of entertainment. He has no compunctions about exploiting and manipulating the emotions of others, until he’s finally forced to cover a story that means something to him, that takes place in the town where he grew up.”

Sean Harris is a regular on TV screens in his role as Cesare Borgia’s henchman Micheletto in The Borgias. In 2011 he won a Horror Jury Prize at the Austin Fantastic Fest for his role as Mr Kidd in A Lonely Place to Die. He was also nominated for a Chlotrudis Award for playing Ian Curtis in 24 Hour Party People. His career dates back to the late 1990s with a number of one-offs, including three separate appearances as different characters in The Bill. His first recurring role was as Ormond in Cape Wrath. He recently played Fifield in the film Prometheus.

Joe Dempsie plays Chris Cooper, a soldier returning home from Afghanistan. His wife, Louise, is played by Hayley Squires. Anatol Yusef plays pub landlord Paul Gould who employs Morton as a handyman. Shirley Henderson plays social worker Claire Salter, who is helping Morton care for his sick mother. Claire’s husband Andrew is played by Eddie Marsan. Kaya Scodelario plays Claire and Andrew’s daughter Anna.

Also in Southcliffe are Lee Ross as Geoff Gould, Nichola Burley as Sarah Gould, Emma Cunniffe as Annie Gould, Al Weaver as Anthony, Geoff Bell as Uncle Alan, Esme Goodwin as Rosie Gould, Amanda Drew as Jacqui Whitehead and Rob Jarvis as DCI North.


Team Behind Southcliffe

Written by Tony Grisoni, Southcliffe is a Warp Films production for Channel Four. It was directed by Sean Durkin and commissioned by Channel Four’s head of drama, Piers Wenger. The producers were Peter Carlton and Derrin Schlesinger for Warp Films and Sophie Gardiner for Channel Four.

“Southcliffe is a fictional market town inhabited by fictional characters, but with similarities to many actual people and places in Britain today,” said Grisoni. “Invisible people, anonymous places. Rather than analyse or moralise about our characters’ actions, we share in them. Southcliffe is an anthem to ordinary people’s ability to reinvent themselves in the face of ultimate darkness.”

Updated: 07/30/2013, SteveRogerson
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R. Nicholas on 08/12/2013

To much of back and forward going on. 2 out of 10.

JoHarrington on 07/30/2013

You always find the most interesting programmes.

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