Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Swallows and Amazons casting news

Filming is finally underway on the new Harbour Pictures/BBC Films adaptation of Arthur Ransome's classic novel Swallows and Amazons, after a long period in development.

The team at Shaheen Baig Casting have discovered six young newcomers to take on the roles of the Walker and Blackett children in the Lake District set adventure.

Dane Hughes will play John Walker, Orla Hill (a pupil at Anna Fiorentini Drama School who appeared in Song for Marion) will play Susan Walker, and Bobby McColloch as Roger Walker, with Lily and Alfie Allen's half-sister 8 year old Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen, the daughter of actors Keith Allen and Tamzin Malleson playing the the youngest, Tatty Walker.

The two Blackett sisters are to be played by Seren Hawkes as Nancy, and Hannah Jayne Thorp as Peggy.

They will join Rafe Spall as Captain Flint, Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie and Boardwalk Empire's Kelly Macdonald as Mrs Blackett and Mrs Walker respectively, with Jessica Hynes and Harry Enfield as local farmers Mr and Mrs Jackson.

Swallows and Amazons follows the Walker children as they dream of escaping a summer holiday with their mother. They set off on a boat to camp on a remote island in the middle of a lake, but when they get there they soon discover they are not alone on the island. As they battle for ownership of the island, they learn the skills of survival and the value of friendship, which helps prepare them for the real danger they must face from the adult world.

"Watching the young actors learn to sail so brilliantly in our Swallow and Amazon, as we prepare for the shoot, has been a great thrill. I can’t wait to bring this world of pure adventure to life," said director Philippa Lowthorpe.

Nick Barton of Harbour Pictures Productions, Nick O’Hagan, and BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer are the producers, and the screenplay is by Scottish writer Andrea Gibb.

Filming is currently underway in Yorkshire and the Lake District.


  1. The photograph above shows Simon West, Stephen Grendon, Suzanna Hamilton and Sophie Neville in the EMI movie of 'Swallows & Amazons' (1974) - not the 1960's BBC adapatation (pboto (c) Daphne Neville) It was last screened on ITV3 in July 2015, when the Telegraph heralded it 'Film of the Week'. A memoir on The Making of Swallows & Amazons (1974) is now available in paperback.