Will Hollington Drive ever be the sme again?
Wednesday: Hollington Drive; (ITV, 9pm)
Anyone who has been paying attention to this superb drama will have noticed lots of women’s names among the cast and crew.
The two leading players are women, as are the director, producer and writer, something which will have armchair feminists (and every other kind) cheering.
Rachael Stirling, who plays Helen, was pleased by the female-centric production: “I’d never met our director, Carolina [Giammetta] before but what a fabulous woman she is, a truly brilliant leader, who never needed to raise her voice unlike billions of the men I’ve worked with. She was very relaxed but eagle-eyed.
“Our writer, Sophie [Petzal] is unassuming, interested and generous, and our producer Catrin [Lewis Defis] is so experienced and glorious. To be in a team of women was just such a joy and pleasure, and that’s my idea of a happy working environment, bring it on. I’d like more productions to be like that. It’s definitely happening more and it was such a good experience.”
Anna Maxwell Martin, who plays Helen’s sister Theresa, agreed. “The industry has embraced the equality and diversity that we desperately needed, and it is far too late coming, and we still have a long way to go. But our director, Carolina and producer, Catrin were just the best people for the job, which is really important.
“The industry has had a shake-up and what we’re all striving towards is a much more level playing field, where more people are given opportunities to shine, so that you really see who can shine. It’s such a positive thing – our team was the best for the job and so talented.”
Anna explained how the relationship between the two leading roles is at the core of the series, saying: “The real centrifugal force of the drama is this hideously co-dependent relationship between Theresa and Helen. It’s very complex and you just can’t really work out what’s going on between them.
“Hollington Drive is about a lot of things, but that relationship between Theresa and Helen is the main driver of it, and it’s exposed and ripped open by the child’s disappearance.”
When Sophie Pretzal, the show’s writer, was asked if it was a conscious decision to make it a female-centric story, she replied: “Part of it was just my desire to write about a sister relationship and adult sibling interactions, but of course that means the opportunity to write a double female lead drama and that does feel exciting and interesting. We absolutely wanted a female director for this drama, that was a big priority. With two female actors leading the show and a female writer, I wanted someone who could really relate to these characters, and Carolina Giammetta was an obvious choice, her star is on the ascendancy.”
In the latest episode, the pressure is starting to tell its toll on Theresa after the police make their first arrest.
Meanwhile, as the vigil for young Alex looms, Helen puts the brakes on things with Gareth (Jonas Armstrong) and feels as if the eyes of the neighbourhood are on them. Back at Theresa’s house, while she tries to maintain a ‘normal’ life, Ben pulls the rug out from under her by asking to go to the police.
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