ITV has set the cast for Beecham House. Tom Bateman has been set as the lead in the six episode period drama from Bend It Like Beckhan co-writer, director and producer Gurinder Chadha and Shahrukh Husain.
Beecham House is set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi and depicts the fortunes of the residents of Beecham House, an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns. Handsome and soulful, former soldier, John Beecham, has acquired the house to start a new life for his family and a business as a trader.
Tom Bateman plays John Beecham, a handsome former soldier who has purchased the magnificent mansion, Beecham House, to begin a new life with his family. Wealthy and distinguished, John has witnessed profiteering and exploitation during his time with the controlling East India Company and has resolved to conduct his business as a trader in a more equitable manner. Determined to escape his previous life, John appears haunted by his past, but is inspired to become an honourable member of the region’s trading community.
Rounding out the cast is Lesley Nicol as John’s mother Henrietta, who has travelled from England to India to stay with her son; Gregory Fitoussi as General Castillon, a French mercenary working for the Emperor at a time when the French are challenging the East India Company for India; Adil Ray as Murad Beg, John’s neighbour who dislikes General Castillon intensely and agrees to help John secure a trading licence; Marc Warren as Samuel Parker, an old friend of John’s; Pallavi Sharda as Chandrika; Dakota Blue Richards as English governess Margaret Osborne; Leo Suter as Daniel, who John convinces to leave the East India Company and join him at Beecham House; Bessie Carter as Violet, who accompanies John’s mother to India; Shriya Pilgaonkar as Chanchal; Trupti Khamkar as Maya; and Kanika Kapur as Murad’s daughter, Roshanara.
Beecham House is set up at Gurinder’s production company Bend It TV, in which FremantleMedia took a 25% stake last year. Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Paul Mayeda Berges (Viceroy’s House), Shahrukh Husain (In Custody) and Victor Levin (Mad Men) penned the scripts. Caroline Levy is the series producer. William Dalrymple and Shahrukh Husain serve are historical consultants. Chadha and Peter Lydon are the directors. Production is set to get underway in this month in India and at Ealing Studios for a 2019 premiere. FremantleMedia International will handle global sales. ITV said that casting details and key production posts would be announced at a later date.
“I am delighted to commission this epic and ambitious new drama from the brilliant Gurinder Chadha. Tom Bateman is perfect casting as John Beecham and we’re thrilled Lesley Nicol, Adil Ray, Pallavi Sharda, Marc Warren and Gregory Fitoussi have agreed to play such key roles”, said ITV’s Head of Drama Poly Hill, who originally commissioned the series back in March. “Gurinder brings a fresh take to period drama, but at its heart are wonderful characters and a compelling story that will make this a treat in the ITV schedule next year.”
While Gurinder Chadha added: “Beecham House is a passion project that is driven by my commitment to telling diverse, emotionally engaging stories for mainstream international audiences. I am thrilled to be working with Polly Hill and ITV Drama who share my belief that period drama can be entertaining, ambitious and relevant to key issues of today. I am assembling a vibrant cast of British and Indian actors to play original characters that will appeal to global audiences hungry to see stories from a unique point of view. I grew up with Raj dramas like Jewel in the Crown, The Far Pavilions and A Passage To India. Beecham House is my chance to tell those stories from a British Asian perspective.”