An exciting new movie is in development in the UK.
It is called Showground and stars actors from two of the
UK’s best-loved TV series, Shameless and This Is England.
The independent movie is also written and directed by actor Jody Latham,
who played ‘Lip’ in the comedy-drama series Shameless.
We caught up with actor George Newton, who plays
‘Banjo’ in the This Is England movie and TV series.
What is the film about?
Well, it’s the story of a young boxer who’s
had a rough time of things and is running away from his past. He
falls into working at a travelling fairground, and tries to keep his head
Thing is, this young guy was brought up to be a
fighter. His dad was a successful boxer, so he’s been
sparring and fighting all his life and he’s really good. So
when he runs away, he has to hide that side of himself to fit in.
But the fairground owner Marco (who I’m playing) notices his
skills and thinks “Hang on, I can make some money here.” So he ends up doing things he knows he shouldn’t
do, just to survive.
The story was based on Jody’s
uncle’s fairground tales, as he worked on a travelling fair.
It’s a slice of life that most of us don’t see, and that’s
what makes it interesting. It’s a cracking script, and it’s basically the
story of somebody trying to drop out of his old life and fit in somewhere
new. But of course his past catches up with him in all
sorts of ways. And being a young lad, he falls in love
with the one person he’s not supposed to - my character’s daughter
(played by Shameless actress Sarah Byrne). So
there’s this Romeo & Juliet side to the story as well. And
my character Marco – well, he’s not a nice guy!
So is this about Gypsies then?
Well, all sorts of people live on the road, and
not all of them would describe themselves as Gypsies. These
characters are not Gypsies, they’re travelling showpeople, there’s a
difference. But of course people that live on the road tend to know each
other, work with each other sometimes and so on. It’s
a different mindset to people that live in houses all year round and do
conventional jobs. There are films that use the
‘Gypsy’ theme to add a bit of romance or danger to a movie.
But what we want to do is to be more accurate & respectful
about the differences between groups of people that live on the road, and
to show that in a more realistic way.
You’re working with different groups of
people on this project – can you tell us more about that?
Yes, we’re getting lots of young people involved
in this project. We’re all from the North of England
& there is a cracking movie scene up here. A lot of
things happen in London, but there is more to the UK than the South!
We’re hoping to give students & disadvantaged young people a
chance to take part in the movie. None of us were posh kids growing up, and we all
recognise how hard it is to break into this industry, if you haven’t got
the ideal background or parents with loads of money. So
it’s really nice to have reached a point where we can all give something
back to the next generation of talent.
So yeah, we’re working with media students &
giving them the opportunity to take part. We’re also
looking to local councils for support in enabling young people from
disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in the movie, and to do projects
connected with it. We’re all taking time out from our
everyday lives to do this. Basically, it’s all very well swanning around
being a movie star, it’s very nice. But if you
can’t give something back and help people, you’re missing out on doing
something that matters. It’s important to all of us,
so we’re really looking forward to that part.
So, is This Is England ‘90 filming or
Well, rumours are rife! The
machinery appears to be in motion, but truthfully none of us know until we
get the call. We’re all really looking forward to meeting up
on set again. We do keep in contact with each other and
meet up, but meeting up with cast & crew on set is a different feeling
altogether! It’s like going home to a big party,
where all your aunties, uncles and little cousins are there.
Feeling lucky ?
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When you work with people on a unique production
like This Is England over a period of several years, you become like a
family. Shane is a wicked director, and I’m really
proud of the movie & series. This is supposed to be
the last ever series as well, which is also sad, as it will really be the
end of an era. As an actor, you never know what the
future holds, so you don’t count on things. But I’m
sure I’m not the only one crossing my fingers for This Is England ’90.
It’s a really special thing to be a part of.
Thank you! Is there anything
you would like to add?
Not much really, just that I enjoy your blog, and
I think it’s great that you write about unusual movies that people might
not have heard of. I’ve discovered some great stuff
on your site, and I’m definitely a fan. Thank you. [And thank you! -
You can follow the official blog here:
Follow the movie on Twitter:
And follow actor George Newton here: