EXCLUSIVE: BBC Two and Heyday Films have found another actor for their upcoming one-off drama The Thirteenth Tale. I’ve learned that Steven Mackintosh has joined the cast of the 90 minute drama in what is being described by one source as a “substantial role.” The Thirteenth Tale reunites Mackintosh and director James Kent, with the two having previous worked together on the BBC serial Inside Men. Mackintosh, who just recently filmed a major role in BBC One’s four-part drama What Remains, joins a cast which is being led by Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman.
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, Norma Heyman and Rosie Alison serving as producers. Inside Men helmer James Kent is directing.
While the BBC has announced that the drama will feature Vanessa Redgrave as Vida Winter and Olivia Colman as Margaret Lea, they fell short of confirming or announcing any further cast members. 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 the drama. I hear that production on The Thirteenth Tale is now underway, with the drama expected to form part of BBC Two’s Christmas line up.