Mansfield playwright returns to his roots for new BBC crime drama

An award-winning Mansfield playwright will be drawing on his experiences of growing up in post-industrial Nottinghamshire for his latest drama.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 4:45 pm

In collaboration with House Productions, with whom he made the EMMY and BAFTA nominated ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’, new six-part crime drama ‘Sherwood’ is set in the Nottinghamshire mining village where its writer, James Graham, grew up.

The 38-year-old ex-Ashfield School pupil has come a long way from his roots, previously penning ‘Quiz’, about the coughing scandal on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’, and opening Finding Neverland on Broadway with Gary Barlow back in 2014, but he says he feels ‘so honoured’ to write about the issues faced in the area.

Inspired in part by real events, James has created a brand-new fictional crime drama, which sees two shocking and unexpected murders shatter an already fractured community – leading to one of the largest manhunts in British history.

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Playwright James Graham returns to his Ashfield roots for his upcoming crime drama

James explains: "It means the world to have this opportunity to bring the voices of a community I grew up in to BBC One.

"So much is spoken about the divisions and difficulties in these ‘Red Wall’ towns, but they are not always understood.

“I feel so honoured to be able to tell a fictionalised story about a very real trauma, but with the humour, heart and resilience of the people I know and love there."

Filming begins later this year in Nottinghamshire, and echoes the events of two tragic murders which threaten to inflame historic divisions sparked during the miners strike.

To solve the murders, police inspectors Ian St Clair, from the local constabulary, and Kevin Salisbury from the MET, must reunite and bury a rivalry that stretches back to 1984.

Juliette Howell and Tessa Ross, executive producers for House Productions, said: “James has written an extraordinarily powerful drama, which has immense heart, wit and humanity - and, as ever with his writing, it’s a pertinent piece for our times.”

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama said: “In blending real and fictional events, James has created a penetrating, heartfelt and purposeful thriller which exposes the tensions and fault lines at the heart of modern Britain.

"Sherwood is set to be an exceptional series by one of our greatest dramatists and we are proud to be bringing it to BBC One.”

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