Francis Lovehall, Jason Tobin, James Nelson-Joyce, Hannah Walters and more join the cast lineupAshley Walters and Coky Giedroyc join Lead Director and Executive Producer Tinge Krishnan as Series Directors
Headshots available to download [HERE]
Readthrough images available to download [HERE]
LONDON, UK (16 March 2023) - Disney+ has today announced that BAFTA award-winning actor Malachi Kirby (“Anansi Boys”, Small Axe”) and Erin Doherty (“Chloe”, “The Crown”) have joined the cast of “A Thousand Blows” (w/t), an epic new 12-part series set in the perilous world of illegal boxing in 1880s Victorian London. Filming is underway in the UK.
It’s brought to life by acclaimed screenwriter Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”, “Spencer” “Taboo”), starring and executive produced by Stephen Graham (“Help”, “Time”, “The Irishman”). Steven Knight is the lead writer for the series, with episodes also written by a group of new voices including Ameir Brown, Insook Chappell, Harlan Davies and Yasmin Joseph.
The series is being produced by The Story Collective in a co-production with Matriarch Productions and Water & Power Productions.
The thrilling series follows Hezekiah (Kirby) and Alec – played by Francis Lovehall – two best friends from Jamaica who find themselves thrust into the vibrant and violent melting pot of post-industrial revolution London’s East End. Drawn into the criminal underbelly of the thriving boxing scene, Hezekiah meets Mary Carr (Doherty), leader of The Forty Elephants – the notorious all-female London gang – as they battle for survival on the streets. As Hezekiah sharpens his new skills, he comes up against Sugar Goodson (Graham), a seasoned and dangerous boxer and the two are soon locked into an intense rivalry that spills out way beyond the ring.
Additional cast joining the production are Jason Tobin as Mr Lao and James Nelson-Joyce as Edward “Treacle” Goodson. The Forty Elephants will feature Hannah Walters as Eliza Moody, Nadia Albina as Verity Ross, Morgan Hilaire as Esme Long, Jemma Carlton as Belle Downer and Caoilfhionn Dunne as Anne Glover.
Tinge Krishnan (“WeCrashed”, “Mosquito Coast”, “Industry”) will serve as lead director and executive producer, with Ashley Walters and Coky Giedroyc joining as series directors.
“A Thousand Blows” (w/t) (12x60’) is created, written and executive produced by Steven Knight, visionary creator of “Peaky Blinders”. Starring and executive produced by Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters for Matriarch Productions, Damian Keogh and Kate Lewis for The Story Collective, and Tom Miller and Sam Myer for Water & Power Productions. Award-winning broadcaster and historian Professor David Olusoga will also act as executive producer on the series with Barrington Robinson as first-block producer. The Original series is executive produced by Lee Mason, Director of Scripted Content EMEA for Disney+.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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About The Story Collective
THE STORY COLLECTIVE is a UK-based global content studio set up to back both script development and new production company start-ups in scripted television. Led by CEO Damian Keogh, The Story Collective is working with ambitious creatives to help acquire rights, commission scripts, package projects and manage the sales process. Backed to make expansive moves by FIFTH SEASON (formerly Endeavor Content), The Story Collective is also busy making equity investments into content businesses, ranging from start-ups to more established producers. The executive management of The Story Collective incl
udes Damian Keogh (former Managing Director of Lookout Point) as CEO, Helen Jackson (former Content Chief of BBC Worldwide) and Simon Vaughan (drama production veteran and founder of Lookout Point) as Co-Chairs. Also on the board are CFO Natasha Neill and Non-Executive Directors Jonathan Norman (MD at global investment bank Houlihan Lokey) and Chris Rice (Co-CEO of FIFTH SEASON).
About Matriarch Productions
Matriarch Productions is an entertainment production company founded by actors Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters. The company was established in 2020 with the aim of providing a much-needed platform for underrepresented voices and stories in the UK. Championing diversity and inclusivity within the entertainment industry, the organisation produces both film and television projects offering opportunities for underrepresented talent both in front of and behind the camera. Matriarch Productions’ first feature film ‘Boiling Point’ premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2021 and was released in theatres in the UK in January 2022. ‘Boiling Point’ was released on Netflix in March 2022, nominated for 11 BIFA awards with 4 wins and 4 BAFTA nominations including Outstanding British Film, Best Debut Director and Leading Actor.
About Water & Power Productions
Water & Power Productions was founded by Tom Miller, Sam Myer, and James Swarbrick to work across film and TV production. To date their productions include the hit independent film THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN starring Mark Rylance, Sally Hawkins, and Rhys Ifans; and the hugely popular Sky series CODE 404 starring Stephen Graham, Daniel Mays, and Anna Maxwell Martin, now running to its third season. A THOUSAND BLOWS represents a continuation of the relationship between W&P and Stephen Graham and Hannah Walters.
Disney+ Media Relations