❉ Evelyn Waugh’s classic satire, one of the greatest comic novels of all time, makes its TV debut.
New: Quintessentially British comedy Decline and Fall arrives on BBC One this spring. Adapted for the first time on TV from Evelyn Waugh’s classic satire, it stars renowned comedian Jack Whitehall (Bad Education), Hollywood’s favourite Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and one of Britain’s greatest stage and screen actors David Suchet (Agatha Christie’s Poirot). This rambunctious new series is set for its DVD debut courtesy of Acorn Media International.
Set for a quiet life of contemplation as a priest, Paul Pennyfeather (Whitehall), is shocked when he is unceremoniously expelled from Oxford University through no fault of his own. Without a private fortune to fall back on, Paul is forced to take up a teaching position at a substandard boarding school in rural Wales. But it soon becomes apparent that Paul is not a natural disciplinarian and he finds scant comfort in drinking – to excess – with the other teachers. When Paul meets Margot Beste-Chetwynde (Longoria), a wealthy widow and mother of one of his pupils, things start to look up. Could his fortunes finally be changing?
This riotous satire stars a stellar all-star cast including Douglas Hodge (Mansfield Park), Stephen Graham (This Is England), Vincent Franklin (Happy Valley), and Jason Watkins (Taboo), and arrives on DVD on 17 April 2017 and will also be available on digital – iTunes, Amazon and Google – the day after each episode airs on ITV.
Of his casting as Paul Pennyfeather, Jack Whitehall says: “I am extremely pleased to be a part of this amazing adaptation by James Wood. I’ve been a fan of this book since I read it as a teenager, and I just hope that I can do it justice.”
Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “One of the greatest comic novels of all time, this satirical masterpiece is long overdue a television debut. Waugh deploys comedy and tragedy to point up prevailing institutional corruption and the dehumanising consequences of elitism, very timely and apposite for today. James has done a terrific job of getting to the core of it, and the writing has attracted a fantastic cast.”
Decline And Fall was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Shane Allen, along with former BBC Comedy commissioning editor Chris Sussman. It will be executive produced by Ben Cavey (for Cavebear Productions), Will Gould (for Tiger Aspect Drama), and James Wood. The Director is Guillem Morales (Julia’s Eyes, Inside No 9).
The production will mark 50 years since Waugh’s death.
❉ ‘Decline and Fall’ (Certificate: 15) is released on 17 April 2017. Cat No: AV3352, RRP: £ 19.99. Running Time: 3 x 60 mins approx. plus bonus features.
❉ Special features include: Three behind the scenes featurettes: Adaptation; Satire; On Set and picture gallery
❉ News source: Aim Publicity. Additional copy via BBC Media Centre.
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