EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Michael Jibson and Emily Beecham have joined the cast of BBC Two’s upcoming 90 minute drama The Thirteenth Tale. The news comes after yesterday’s scoop that Steven Mackintosh has also been cast in the drama. Michael Jibson, whose previous credits include Hatfields & McCoys and the upcoming BBC biopic Burton & Taylor, is represented by Lou Colson Associates. Emily Beecham, repped by United Agents, has previously appeared on Damages, Merlin and BBC One’s The Village.
Based on the novel of the same name by Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale is set in the modern day and features poignant flashbacks starting in 1940. The drama begins when a young female biographer, Margaret Lea, sets out to interview a legendary writer named Vida Winter whose health is fading. Vida has, until now, refused to divulge the dark secrets of her life and past at Angelfield, her childhood home, which burned to the ground when she was a teenager. An unlikely shared empathy is cultivated between the two women, and Vida’s story forces Margaret to finally confront her own ghosts.The adaptation was written by Christopher Hampton, who previously adapted Doris Lessing’s novel Two Mothers and Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. Heyday Films is producing with David Heyman and Norma Heyman as producers. The executive producers are Rosie Alison and Poly Hill. Inside Men helmer James Kent is directing.
At present, the BBC has only announced that the cast will be led by Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman, with Redgrave playing Vida Winter and Colman assuming the role of Margaret Lea. However, TVWise previously broke the news that Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), Gordon Winter (Friday Night Dinner), Antonia Clarke (Lightfields), Alexandra Roach (Utopia) and Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones) have also been cast in this adaptation. Production on The Thirteenth Tale started earlier this week, with the drama being eyed by BBC execs as a key part of BBC Two’s Christmas 2013 schedule.