An extraordinary, amazing, hilarious, heart-breaking film to change your world.
Waaaay back in summer 2011, the wonderful actors of Blue Apple Theatre decided that they wanted to tackle the World’s Most Famous Play (TM), Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for their first ever tour. The company’s resident writer and filmmaker William Jessop decided that since this was always going to be an incredible triumph / disaster, he might as well film them!
“What they didn’t know was that the play would blur with their real lives, causing a perfect storm of Romance, Rows and Revelations…”
As Tommy, Lawrie, Katy, James, Anna and Ros got to grips with the language and plot of Shakespeare’s grand tragedy, some amazing things began to happen. As they thought deeply about the play’s big themes, they started to take on the characters both on and off-stage, bringing their real life experiences, hopes and emotions to their performances. It became an incredible journey of self-discovery for everyone involved.
The Hamlet tour happened in May – July 2012, culminating in a gala performance for VIPs and family members at the ultra-prestigious Rose Theatre, Kingston. Backstage, the mood was incredibly tense…
“Could they really pull off Shakespeare’s Hamlet?”
And could William really pull off his first feature length documentary? Having shot hundreds of hours of amazing footage, he needed to raise a small fortune to edit it into shape. Fortunately, Paul Woolf at Maverick TV happened to see the taster for the film William had made back in Autumn 2011. It’s this one:
Paul was captivated by the actors and their story, and he immediately contacted William. After meeting with Paul and then Head of Programming Ben Gale, William and Maverick decided to co-produce the film together with Christo Hird , William’s celebrated Executive Producer / mentor at Dartmouth Films.
William, Paul and Ben pitched the film to Elliot Reed at BBC3, and were commissioned to deliver it for the Fresh strand for first-time directors. The edit happened over an intense 10 week period in Autumn 2013. This is when the film stopped being “Hamlet in Love” and became “Growing Up Down’s”.
“Growing Up Down’s” was broadcast at 9pm on BBC3 on Monday 3rd February 2014. The rest is history!