'It's like Trainspotting in the 1700s' - Everything you need to know about The Gallows Pole

Virgin Radio

23 May 2023, 08:01

Still from The Gallows Pole.

Credit: BBC

The biggest fraud in British history is being turned into a series, The Gallows Pole, for the BBC and we caught up with the cast and director to find out everything you need to know before it premieres this month.

Based on the true story depicted in Benjamin Myers’ book of the same name, the limited three-part series is not like the other period dramas we’ve come to expect from the BBC.

So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about The Gallows Pole.

What is it about?

In the 18th century, a man called David Hartley attempted (and succeeded) to pull off the biggest fraud in British history.

Set in the Yorkshire Moors, the series will fictionalise the true story of Hartley as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to help him in a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy.

Speaking to virginradio.co.uk and other press, writer Shane Meadows explained why he wanted to turn Myers’ book into a series.

He said: “It felt like Trainspotting in the 1700s.”

Meadows continued: “I’m always drawn to stories about communities, you know with Romeo Brass and This Is England…and you’ve got this beautiful bedrock of a community which I was really drawn to. But the initial thing was, why on earth has this story not been told.”

Who is in The Gallows Pole?

Michael Socha, who also starred in This Is England, will be playing leading man David Hartley with Downton Abbey’s Sophie McShera as Grace Hartley (who seems to be the real mastermind behind it all).

Joining them on the main cast will be This Is England's Thomas Turgoose as William Hartley, Yusra Warsama (Castle Rock) as Bethsheba, Anthony Welsh (Master Of None, The Flatshare) as Abe Oldfield, Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders, Better) as Isaac Hartley.

Joe Sproulle (The A Word) will be playing Joe, alongside Adam Fogerty (Legend, Snatch) as James Broadbent, Nicole Barber-Lane (Hollyoaks) as Susie, Fine Time Fontayne (Peterloo) as Joseph Broadbent, with Ralph Ineson (Peaky Blinders) as The Clothier.

The Gallows Pole also sees the screen debuts of first-time actors, including Stevie Binns as Mand, Jennifer Reid as Barb, Soraya Jane Nabipour as Darya Hartley, Olivia Pentelow as Hannah, Charlotte Ockelton as Gwen Hartley and Dave Perkins as Tom Hartley.

When can you watch The Gallows Pole?

The three-part series will premiere on BBC Two on 31st May and all episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from the same date.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! You can watch it below: