Tuesday 3rd February 2015
England, 1971. New recruit Private Gary Hook (Jack O'Connell) expects to be stationed in Germany. His superiors have other plans. "Because of the deteriorating security situation in Belfast", his platoon is coldly informed, "your regiment is now being deployed there on an emergency basis". Before he's stationed to Northern Ireland, Hook breaks the news to his 10 year-old brother, Darren (Harry Verity). He has a farewell kick around and returns Darren to the Children's Home where they have both been brought up, promising he'll be "back soon".
Hook and his platoon are marched into their Belfast barracks by their Corporal (Babou Ceesay). The platoon's makeshift dorm in an abandoned school is bleak and dilapidated. "Don't worry", the Corporal reassures them, "you'll only be staying here 'til one of the paddies shoot you". Lieutenant Armitage (Sam Reid) introduces himself to the platoon of which he is newly in charge. Hook and the other men sense the officers' inexperience and are amused by his awkward manner. Later that night, unable to sleep, Hook gets some air. Three men in civvies walk past. "MRF - undercover guys", warns the corporal, "nothing to do with us".
A group of junior officers, including Armitage, are briefed about the Belfast situation by their Commanding Officer (Sam Hazeldine). The city is divided between Protestant Loyalist areas ("friendly") and the Catholic Nationalist areas ("hostile"), both with paramilitary factions. To complicate matters, the Nationalist movement is at war with its own: the "official" IRA (Irish Republican Army) against the younger, radical street-gangs - the "Provisional" IRA. The officers are warned not to enter a particularly dangerous housing estate which is a Republican stronghold, the Divis Flats. The platoon's first assignment is to assist the RUC (the Royal Ulster Constabulary) in a house search in the Catholic Community. Armitage vetoes the use of riot gear and the platoon leave in their truck, without helmets or shields.
Armitage's men arrive at their RV point. Nationalist kids greet them with a barrage of urine-filled balloons and parcels of excrement. The platoon laugh it off. Led by an armoured Humber Pig, the RUC arrive and the convoy continues to a terraced Catholic street. There are signs of fortification, streets and alleys blocked by burnt out and burning, vehicles. There are obvious signs of previous trouble and the street resembles a war zone. Women bash dustbin lids on the pavement to signal the army's arrival. The soldiers dismount and cordon off the target house which the RUC quickly enter. A crowd gathers on the street. A suspect escapes the raid house and is beaten in the street by the RUC.
The crowd are incensed and as the suspect is bundled into the Humber, the angry crowd break through the army line. A warning shot is fired. The mob respond with rocks and a soldier is hit. In the chaos, a boy steals an army rifle and vanishes into the crowd. Hook and his comrade Thommo (Jack Lowden) are ordered to retrieve the gun. When they catch the boy, they realise they are marooned further down the street away from the main unit and in the midst of the mob. They are attacked and quickly kicked to the ground, a group of locals led by a woman step in to shield the soldiers from their attackers. Armitage panics and in a state of chaos the other troops are chased from the street by the mob. They fail to see they have left the two men behind.
Two young local men, Sean (Barry Keoghan) and Haggerty (Martin McCann) approach the soldiers as the woman holds off the mob. Haggerty pulls out a gun and Thommo is shot, point-blank, through the head. This in turn spooks the crowd and the gunmen are momentarily unable to execute Hook. The confusion allows Hook to make a desperate run for it. The two gunmen hunt Hook through a maze of rat-runs and back alleys. He takes cover in an outhouse; his face is still spattered with Thommo's blood. Hook finally breaks down.
The two gunmen return to the empty Belfast Street where Thommo's body lies. Boyle (David Wilmot), an IRA veteran, confronts Haggerty over his unsanctioned actions while warning the more impressionable Sean not to get involved. As Sean leaves with Boyle, Haggerty jumps in a car with gang leader, Quinn (Killian Scott). They drive off to find "the Brit".
At the barracks, the MRF, headed by Officer Browning (Sean Harris), hear about the missing soldier. Unmoved, Browning intends to go ahead with an undercover operation his unit have planned for that night. As Thommo's body is recovered by the regiment, Hook, lost and alone, nervously leaves the outhouse under cover of night. He takes a jumper from a clothes-line to conceal his uniform. Skirting around the fringes of a riot between Catholics and Protestants, Hook dodges the Molotov cocktails and encounters a young boy who is an enthusiastic participant in the action. Hook makes an uneasy alliance with the loyalist boy, Billy (Corey McKinley), who is delighted to meet a real soldier and offers to take him to safety. Hook warily accepts. "Are you Protestant or Catholic?" Billy asks. Hook shrugs: "I don't know".
Hook is escorted to a loyalist pub. In a back room, the MRF's Sgt Lewis (Paul Anderson) is handing Loyalists a seized IRA bomb for a retaliation attack. It seems that Hook catches a glimpse of the explosive device Lewis is working on. Lewis meets Hook at the bar, calms him and then leaves to meet Browning in a waiting car. Browning orders him to remove Hook from the pub. When Billy joins Hook at the bar, Hook goes outside to see where Lewis has gone. In the backroom, Loyalists place the bomb in a sports bag - clumsily. As Billy opens a packet of crisps, the bomb accidentally detonates in the pub.
Hook is hurled onto the pavement by the blast. Shaken, he returns to the wreckage, retrieves Billy and passes his body to a Loyalist woman. Hook stumbles away from the blast. As the adrenalin wears off, he collapses, clutching a serious wound to his stomach. Driving away from the blast, Lewis and Browning clash over the explosion. Lewis adds that Hook may have seen the bomb in the backroom. Their covert operation may be compromised. They convince themselves he can't have survived the blast.
Slumped in a terrace street, Gary is rescued by a father and daughter - Eamon (Richard Dormer) and Brigid (Charlie Murphy). He's carried back to their flat in a Catholic estate. The same estate the soldiers were warned not to enter in the briefing. As they remove his jumper to dress his wound, they discover Hook's uniform. Hook screams in agony as Eamon - a former army medic - sews up the wound without anaesthetic.
In an IRA pub, Quinn confronts Boyle over the pub explosion. Both suspect each other. Quinn is told if he disobeys orders again, Boyle won't be able to protect him. Quinn leaves and orders Haggerty to stake-out Boyle. They plan to kill him that night. Quinn goes to get Sean and the guns he has stashed.
Aware that Hook's presence endangers their own safety, Eamon contacts Boyle, who visits the flat as Haggerty watches. Boyle tells Eamon he'll take care of Hook. Overhearing from the bedroom, fearing for his life, Hook takes a knife and escapes the flat.
The MRF and a unit led by Armitage leave the barracks to find Hook. The MRF meet with Boyle in a car, where a deal is struck: in return for the missing soldier, the MRF will kill Quinn. Hook sees Quinn's car arrive at the estate and his obvious escape route is blocked. He staggers along the walkways of the estate trying to avoid the gang and find another way out. When he arrives at the flat expecting to find and kill Boyle, Brigid reveals to Quinn that a soldier had been hiding in the flat. They believe he is still in the estate and immediately head off in pursuit. One of the gunmen is left to stand guard while they hunt for Hook. Hook stumbles through the dark corridors of the estate as Quinn's men close in. Hook is forced in to a confrontation with Haggerty and kills him with the knife. He takes Haggerty's gun and escapes, only to be cornered and captured by Quinn and Sean.
With Boyle, the MRF enter the flat, shooting Quinn's guard. Holding a gun to Eamon's head, Browning demands to know Hook's location. Boyle interrupts and says he knows where Quinn is likely to have taken Hook.
In the cellar of a disused pub on the estate, Hook is forced to his knees ready to be executed. Quinn urges Sean to pull the trigger, to prove himself. Sean hesitates. The MRF arrive and Quinn goes to investigate. A gunfight crackles through the bar. Gary and Sean are left alone in the cellar. As Sean is about to show mercy and lower his gun, Lewis enters and shoots him. Lewis embraces Hook then begins to choke him determined to silence this witness to his unit's collusion with the loyalists. Hook fights for his life. Armitage creeps in to the room.
He can't believe his eyes as he sees Lewis attempting to kill Hook. Before he can intervene, Sean, wounded, rises and shoots Lewis. Hook and Sean exchange glances, but Armitage instinctively shoots Sean and kills him before Hook has a chance to stop him. Outside, in the rain, Officer Browning finds Quinn and forces him to his knees with a gun to his head. He tells him about Boyle's bargain to have him killed. He tells Quinn that they "can work together" and that Boyle "should be dealt with" then lets him go. They'll be seeing each other again. In the aftermath, a shell-shocked Hook watches from a troop carrier as bodies are collected from the estate.
At a military de-briefing, Armitage explains to the Commanding Officer that he saw Lewis trying to kill Hook. Browning counters that it was "a confused situation". The C.O backs up Browning's version and Armitage is silenced. The truth will be covered up. Hook is marched in, told he's lucky to be alive and should thank the MRF for rescuing him. "We look after our own in the army", the C.O adds, Hook is dismissed.
A ship sails back across the Irish Sea. Hook stands at the rail, alone. He looks at his dog tags in his hand. He throws them in to the sea. Back home Hook is reunited with Darren. The pair leave on a coach, it drives into the distance in the low winter sun.
After completing the critically acclaimed and multi award winning Channel 4 series Top Boy, director Yann Demange was ready to embark on his debut feature film. Despite developing and reading numerous scripts he had not found his next project. One screenplay he did not anticipate connecting with was a thriller set in Northern Ireland during the early years of the Troubles. However, after reading the script, he was gripped by the story of '71, it struck a chord and the main character resonated with Demange.
The project was conceived a few years earlier as an original idea by producer Angus Lamont of Crab Apple Films. "I had a friend at school who joined the army at 15", he said. "He'd already been to Cyprus and Northern Ireland while we were still doing our exams, he was so young to be in those situations. I'd also been researching The Troubles and had come across a piece from the perspective of a Loyalist gang member. He talked about seeing a teenage British soldier crouched in a doorway, terrified, confused and crying in the middle of a sectarian riot. This young soldier, like most of the public on mainland UK, had no concept whatsoever of what was happening in Northern Ireland. I thought there was a story in his experience in that environment".
It was this human experience that also attracted Demange. He immediately connected with the powerful narrative of the young man, which seemed universal and relevant in the modern world. This was a timeless story which would continue to appeal and captivate.
"I'd never had a burning desire to tell a story about Northern Ireland in that period" says Demange. "But it was a remarkable piece of writing. It was muscular, visceral and utterly engaging. Above all, the idea of young men sent to fight dirty wars also struck me as pertinent. Often, they have more in common with the kids they're pitted against than the men they're taking orders from. It could be Iraq or Afghanistan. In '71's protagonist, Gary, I saw the opportunity to explore the vulnerable masculinity of an anchorless boy, with no family, looking for a tribe to belong to and ultimately finding it in the army, only to be betrayed..."
To move the script forward, Lamont had joined forces with Robin Gutch of Warp Films and they both had the same writer in mind - playwright Gregory Burke - who had crafted his multi-award winning play Black Watch from interviews conducted with Iraq war veterans. "I really wanted someone who could capture the voice of young squaddies", says Lamont, "Gregory immediately got it. The screenplay was commissioned with finance from Creative Scotland, Northern Ireland Screen and Warp Films (using BFI Vision Award funding). Burke's powerful first draft soon gained the attention of Film4, the BFI and StudioCanal. It was at this point that we asked Yann to read it".
"When we met Yann", Gutch says, "he pitched almost exactly the same film we'd imagined". "It can happen like that", remembers Demange. "Sometimes you immediately know exactly how it will look and sound. Then when I met the writer Greg, he and I just clicked and after three months he'd rattled through five drafts".
As part of Demange's own research, he visited Northern Ireland. "While we were developing the script I went to Belfast and met with both sides - active Republicans and active loyalists. I also met with families of victims. It quickly became apparent to me this was about shades of grey. I'm not a polemicist, we demonised and humanised in equal measure. But I was struck and surprised at just how young many of the key players were in that era. They were 21 year-olds and younger, very similar ages to the lads in the British army, just boys".
"Film4, the BFI and StudioCanal got right behind the project" says Gutch. "They showed complete belief and support for what Yann was planning. Their enthusiasm was matched by positive financing decisions from Screen Yorkshire and Creative Scotland and with such a solid set of partners we were able to move quickly towards shooting".
When it came to casting his lead, the candidates to play Private Gary Hook came down to a short-list of one: Jack O'Connell. "We sent him the script and he came in to read and just blew us away. It was obvious we'd found our man. Jack has an unusual quality that you don't see in many young actors of his generation" says Demange. "He's got an old-school quality, a raw vivid masculinity that he's quite at ease with. He has a soulfulness and complexity within him that was right for the role. He could genuinely empathise and understand Gary Hook".
"What I love about Greg's script", says O'Connell, "is there are no answers, no attempt to shift the blame. I'm half-Irish myself and could see that these events were realities to people. I wanted to normalise Gary as much as possible, make him someone who existed in that time".
Filmed in the UK over nine weeks, seven of which were night shoots, '71's production was as arduous as it was invigorating. "It was a tough shoot, man", laughs O'Connell, "but we knew it was going to be brutal. I was on set only a little less than Yann, so a good relationship between us was key, I trusted him totally". Together, Demange and O'Connell cut back dialogue on set to craft a sparser characterisation. "It's a very expressive performance", says Demange, "Jack's pretty alpha, he's got real fight in him, so he found it quite taxing holding back. It's an exhausting part to play - you can't hide behind the lines. I think he's brave and committed and incredible to watch". The challenge, for O'Connell, wasn't just the physical endurance - it was getting under the skin of the era. "To me, '71 is truly a period film", he says. "I couldn't modernise Gary in any way. I hope I was immersed enough to kill any of my own contemporary mannerisms and do the character justice".
Although the production benefitted from Northern Ireland Screen's backing from the outset, filming took place on location in England. "The Belfast of 1971 doesn't exist in Belfast today", Lamont explains. "To make it look as authentic as possible it had to be fake".
Blackburn and Liverpool were cast as an uncanny double to Belfast's terraces (it's all in the red bricks), while Sheffield's Park Hill Estate served as a brutalist doppelgänger to the notorious Divis Estate. "Fundamentally, '71 is a thriller", notes Gutch "but Yann wanted to create a sense of credible action and for that we needed credible locations. Throughout, ex-military were posted on set to advise cast and crew", "from the way to hold a specific rifle to the squaddie lingo", says O'Connell, who found himself drawing on his previous work-experience in the army. "At one point I was determined to join it after my football career messed up", he said.
It was Blackburn where the film's alarming and explosive riot was staged, the turning point of the film. "It was extremely intense", says Demange. "We filmed over five days, rehearsed the whole sequence and then ran it in real time, over and over again. Making sure the energy levels stayed up. The supporting actors were unbelievable and they really helped to make that scene come alive. One of the older gents got so into it that he was collecting the rocks -all rubber - and pocketing them to throw at the army".
"We'd already shot the boot camp and training sequences", continues O'Connell "so me and the boys felt like a unit by the time we were shooting the riot. That part of it I loved - I've made some great friends on the film - but over those five days there was a heat wave, we were all in '70s costume and everything was made of wool. Respect to Yann for his focus during those scenes - we spent a lot of effort ensuring the riot felt volatile and risky".
With his regular cinematographer Tat Radcliffe, Demange opted to shoot on 16mm for '71's daytime sequences, switching to digital for its night scenes. "We also shot anamorphic to give a more epic feel to the landscape". Demange also created a Tone Book, which he invited the HOD's (Heads of Department) to contribute to. The result was a reference book heaving with visuals from the period, it also included photographic references, music and film clips. Ranging from, Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samurai, to the work of Walter Hill and John Carpenter.
Speaking about the aesthetics of the film, Demange says: "When I started researching the period, the visuals immediately struck me strongly as apocalyptic with road-blocks, burnt-out cars, smoke, dystopic, disturbing landscapes. Although the film is set in a recognisable urban environment of terraced houses and estates, for me, Gary's journey is one that becomes more mythical and desperate as night draws in. I didn't want us to be tied to realism the whole time. I imagined the post bombing scene, for instance, to look like a purgatory, a transient unsettling place between life and death".
Gary's experience and his oppressive environment, is echoed in the sound of '71. "I didn't want a classic score that underlined the emotional highs and lows", Demange says. "I wanted something sparse to match Jack's performance, almost Carpenter-esque, a soundscape". The Belfast-born music composer David Holmes, renowned for his funk-fusion scores for Steven Soderbergh, recalls his earlier, ambient work for '71. "I'd worked on a project with David before", says Demange. "When he heard I was doing a movie set in Belfast, he read the script and told me, 'When I was four years old, I was sitting in the bath tub my house was bombed. I've got to do this movie'. I don't even think he was ever offered the job. It just happened". Unusually, Demange asked Holmes to compose the music before '71 even started shooting. "He'd never done that before", says Demange, "but it worked great for me, especially filming at the Park View estate for '71's third act. I'd direct a sequence, with David's music on my headphones and immediately feel a tone for the scene".
The result is a desperate, urgent manhunt thriller set in a fierce, fluid period in British history rarely represented on screen. "Most of the films about the Troubles are relatively modern", says Lamont. "But in contemporary footage from 1971, Belfast and its people look like they were from a previous era, a distinct look, more '50's than '70's, that was mirrored even in the British Army uniforms. It was 1972 that saw a spike in violence, close to 500 murders, but if you want to know why that happened, you have to look at the period before it".
The film captures that turbulent era, when the IRA, Loyalists, police and military were all trying to figure their way around the situation they found themselves stuck in. That chaos seems unknown today, forgotten. So it's appropriate that the central character has the same perspective as most of the audience. Dropped in the middle of it and trying to understand which side is which. Lamont says "Through his eyes we're hoping to provide insight into what was a dark, dark time". O'Connell follows "From the reaction we've had, from people who lived through the Troubles, it feels like the film is an honest portrayal. There's no incrimination - it's the story of a war and in war, the rules get bent". He pauses and smiles, "it should make for a boss film".
Jack O'Connell (Gary Hook) is a graduate from Performing Arts College Jack made his acting debut in 2005.
In 2006 his film debut followed with the role of 'Pukey' in the critically acclaimed This is England. Following this he appeared in Eden Lake opposite Michael Fassbender and Kelly Reilly and in Harry Brown with Michael Caine. Other film credits include Private Peaceful, Tower Block, The Liability and Weekender. Jack reprised the character he played in Skins in the recent TV special Skins Rise. He also starred in TV movies Wuthering Heights and Dive.
This year Jack can be seen in 300: Rise of an Empire and in David Mackenzie's Starred Up which premiered to great acclaim at the Toronto and London film festivals and earned Jack a BIFA nomination for Best Actor. Most recently Jack shot Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, a chronicle of the life of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini which is set for release in December 2014.
In TV Jack has starred in the critically acclaimed Sky drama The Runaway and as Bobby Charlton in United but Jack is perhaps best known for his recurring role in the E4 drama Skins. Jack's recent theatre credits include Scarborough, The Spidermen, The Musicians and Just.
Paul Anderson (MRF NCO Leslie Lewis) feature film credits include Nick Love's The Firm, Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Sweeney and Brian De Palma's Passion. On television he has appeared in the BBC's Peaky Blinders alongside Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill, Peter Kosminsky's The Promise, as well as Top Boy, Lewis, Ashes to Ashes, Doctor Who and The Great Train Robbery. Theatre credits include Major Barbara and Market Boy at the National Theatre and On Tour at the Royal Court. Paul is currently working on Ron Howard's In The Heart Of The Sea.
Richard Dormer (Eamon) first shot in to the limelight in 2003, starring in his own play Hurricane, as Northern Irish Snooker star Alex Higgins. His theatre credits include Frank McGuinness' Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, George Bernard Shaw's play You Can Never Tell, William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Noël Coward's Private Lives and Samuel Beckett 's Waiting for Godot. He also continues to write and his play Drum Belly, which was commissioned by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, has since been published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Richard has also provided the voices for over twenty BBC Radio 4 plays, documentaries and advertising campaigns.
Dormer is also well-known for his TV appearances in drama series Hunted, BBC One's Hidden and the successful HBO series Game of Thrones. In 2012 Richard was cast in his first lead film role in Good Vibrations which saw him nominated in the 'best actor' award in the 2013 Irish Film & Television Awards. He recently filmed Shooting for Socrates with John Hannah.
Sean Harris - A versatile actor, Sean is recognisable for his performance as Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis from the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People. A successful film, television and stage actor Sean's credits include Prometheus, the Red Riding Trilogy, The Borgias, A Lonely Place to Die, Brighton Rock, Harry Brown, Waking the Dead, Ashes to Ashes and Cape Wrath to name but a few. Sean was recently be seen in Channel 4's critically acclaimed Southcliffe, directed by Sean Durkin and written by Tony Grisoni. Other recent projects include Deliver Us from Evil with Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez, The Goob with first time director Guy Myhill, Jamaica Inn, the series based on Daphne Du Maurier's novel and Serena with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Rhys Ifans.
Barry Keoghan - is an up and coming young actor who has had a successful start to his career. In 2013 he appeared in the film Stay which starred Taylor Schilling and Aidan Quinn. He also appeared in the short film Wasted in 2013 and in TV movie Jack Taylor: Priest in 2012. His TV credits include the series Love/Hate and Fair City and past film credits include Stalker, Life's A Breeze, King of the Travellers, A Score and Between the Canals. He has recently completed Standby and he will also have a starring role in Martin Radich's thriller Norfolk in 2014.
Martin McCann (Paul Haggerty) was recommended for Spielberg's TV series The Pacific by Lord Richard Attenborough who saw Martin in a stage production of A Clockwork Orange for which he was then cast. His film credits include Jump, Shadow Dancer with Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough, Killing Bono for which he played the title role and Clash of the Titans. In 2011 Martin won the Irish Film and Television Award for best male performance in a feature film for his performance in Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne, beating fellow Irish actors Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy and Colm Meaney. Other TV credits include Ripper Street, Titanic: Blood and Steel and TV movie My Boy Jack with Daniel Radcliffe and Carey Muligan. Martin recently completed Fishbowl, a film which he also wrote and directed and X Plus Y with Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, Eddie Marsan and Sally Hawkins.
Charlie Murphy (Brigid) is a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting. Her theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, The Taming of the Shrew, 4.48 Psychosis, Once a Catholic, This is Our Youth, Anatomy of a Seagull, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Colleen Bawn, The Silver Tassie, Disco Pigs, Big Maggie and Pygmalion at the National Theatre of Ireland for which she was awarded the Irish Times Theatre Best Actress Award 2011 for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle.
Charlie starred in the multi award-winning TV drama Love/Hate for which she won Best Actress at The Irish Times Film and Television Awards 2013. She has also appeared in Ripper Street, The Village, Misfits, Single Handed, Touchpaper, Open House, Bluebeard, Jenny Was A Friend of Mine and Camelot. She will soon be seen in the BBC drama Quirke and the BBC's Happy Valley. Other recent film projects include Stephen Frears' Philomena and Northmen: A Viking Saga.
Sam Reid (Lt Armitage) is known for the 2011 film Anonymous which starred Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave. The following year he appeared in Australian horror film Inhuman Resources and then in The Railway Man alongside Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. His TV credits include Marple: Greenshaw's Folly, Whitechapel, Hatfields & McCoys and Spooks. Sam also stars in the upcoming Susanne Bier's Serena with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and Lone Scherfig's The Riot Club. He is currently shooting The Second Coming and will appear in Despite the Falling Snow alongside Charles Dance in 2014.
Killian Scott (Quinn) can currently be seen in the fourth series of Love/Hate on RTE One. Other recent productions include John Michael McDonagh's Calvary with Brendan Gleeson and Chris O'Dowd. His past credits include Good Vibrations, Clean Skin, Triple Bill, Single Handed and Creatures of Knowledge and his forthcoming releases include John Carney's The Rafters and the latest Jack Taylor film for TV. He has just wrapped on Call the Midwife and is now shooting the British comedy series Siblings for BBC3.
David Wilmot (Boyle) is a well known Irish actor from film television and theatre, David has a fantastic list of film credits including Gold, Anna Karenina, Good Vibrations, Shadow Dancer, The Guard, King Arthur, Laws of Attraction and John Crowley's Intermission with Cilian Murphy and Colin Farrell for which he won an IFTA for Best Supporting Actor in 2003. His most recent film Cavalry with Brendan Gleeson and Chris O'Dowd is set for release in 2014. In TV he has appeared in a number of series including Ripper Street, The Tudors, Father and Son andThe Clinic and TV movies Saving the Titanic and Treasure Island. His stage performances include The Lieutenant of Inishmore for which he received a Tony award nomination for Best Actor, Prisoner's Dilemma, Couch, Juno, The Paycock and As You Like It.
Jack Lowden (Thommo) is a rising Scottish star who graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2011. He has had enormous success on stage in leading roles in 'Chariots of Fire' and 'Black Watch'. On TV he has appeared in 'The Tunnel', 'Mrs Biggs', 'Blue Haven', 'Being Victor' as well as the feature film uwantme2Killhim? alongside Joanne Froggatt and Jaime Winstone.
Jim Sturgeon (Vickers) has just finished shooting Hollywood blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Other recent film projects include Will, Night People and Afterlife. Television work includes Katie Morag, Shetland, Hope Springs, River City and Tinsel Town and recent theatre productions include The Mill Lavvies, Equus, A Christmas Carol, Betrayal, Hansel and Gretel, Beauty & The Beast and Liar.