Top Christmas TV Attraction Filmed Entirely in Jersey
Keeley Hawes and James Murray star in this romantic tale of village life in, a new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE for ITV1. The two-hour drama, screened at the heart of ITV1’s Christmas schedule, is scripted by Ashley Pharaoh, who penned last year’s Christmas hit Tom Brown’s Schooldays, and produced by Ecosse Films, makers of Monarch of the Glen, Like Father Like Son, Amnesia and the award-winning film Mrs Brown.
Set in a rustic English village in the mid 19th century, UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE tells the story of a poor young man who falls for a beautiful schoolteacher and attempts to win her over. Keeley Hawes (Spooks, Tipping the Velvet) stars as the teacher, Fancy Day, with James Murray (Sons and Lovers, Cutting It) as her suitor Dick Dewy.
Ben Miles plays new parson Maybold, who upsets the villagers with his plans to replace the choir with a new harmonium, with Steve Pemberton as farmer Shiner, Tony Haygarth as Dick’s father Reuben, Tom Georgeson as Fancy’s father Geoffrey, plus Sian Brooke, Jane Wheldon and Terry Mortimer.
Told through four seasons of country life, the drama follows Dick’s attempts to find true love despite his lowly position, while other men with more money vie for Fancy’s affections. Will Fancy follow her heart – or fulfil her sick father’s longing to see her marry well?
The film was shot entirely in Jersey, with locations including Hamptonne Country Life Museum and St Ouen’s Manor.
Producer Jeremy Gwilt says: “UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE” is a tale of love, changing traditions and the rolling seasons of rural England. Keeley Hawes and James Murray play a couple split by the class divide and I’m sure their story, set against the changes of 19th century country life, will be a perfect festive treat.
“Jersey is one of the most beautiful corners of Britain and has not been used as a major location since the days of Bergerac. We received a warm welcome from the island and are proud to be featuring its heritage sites in our drama.”