London-based production company Hillbilly Television has acquired the TV drama rights to The Rapture, journalist and author Claire McGlasson’s debut novel about a real-life cult, set in 1920s Bedford.
The novel will be published in June 2019 by Faber and Faber and is a story of “madness and friendship, repressed emotions and acts of true devotion.”
Hillbilly’s Kate Norrish said: ‘We fell in love with Claire’s wonderful novel the minute we read it. At Hillbilly, we seek out projects that offer up something different – a fresh perspective, characters we’ve not seen before, stories that offer a sideways glance at the world. The Rapture offers all of this and more. ‘
McGlasson said: “Hillbilly feels like the perfect fit for a story about femininity and power. Kate and Polly have an incredible vision for my novel and are passionate about championing women in their industry. I couldn’t be more delighted to be working with them.”
Hillbilly was co-founded by Polly Leys and Kate Norrish, whose collective credits include The Full Monty and Second Coming, starring Idris Elba. Over the past 18 months, Hillbilly has produced TV drama series for both UK and international broadcasters including ITV’s thriller The Level (6 x 60 mins); Debbie Tucker Green’s Random for Channel 4 and new comedy drama Loaded (8 x 45 mins), co-produced by Keshet UK for Channel 4 and AMC, which was recently acquired by Netflix.
Polly Leys said: “Hillbilly has a great track record in producing distinctive TV drama with international appeal. We’re delighted that Netflix’s acquisition of Loaded will bring the show to a global audience. Our next challenge is to keep up this level of achievement and we believe we’ve found the perfect vehicle in The Rapture. It has everything: a mesmerising but unknown story based on real events, written by a writer of rare talent. We can’t wait to bring it to life on screen.”
pictured: Kate Norrish and Polly Leys
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