Olivia’s killer singing voice to be heard on the big screen
Olivia Colman, one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, is making her singing debut in London Road, a film musical about how a community in Ipswich was shattered when a serial killer murdered five women, and how it coped with the ensuing frenzy.
The movie, which will feature Batman star Tom Hardy in a small role, is based on the sung-through, documentary-style play London Road, which won awards during two sold-out runs at the National Theatre in 2011 and 2012.
In London Road she will play Julie, the Neighbourhood Watch event organiser who comes up with the idea for London Road In Bloom as a way of shooing the darkness away.
Julie becomes the queen of the hanging baskets, and she sings about filling them with begonias, petunias and busy lizzies.
Rufus Norris, director of London Road on stage and now screen, said the piece explored how a ‘stigmatised community fought back after their district was blighted’.
Norris, who will take over from Nicholas Hytner as the NT’s artistic director in April 2015, worked on the screenplay with playwright Moira Buffini and London Road’s creators Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork.
Norris, who is filming in South-East London (standing in for Ipswich), said that for the film he needed to cast actors closer to the age of the real-life residents who were interviewed by Blythe when she was writing the play. Tom Hardy pursued Norris, because he wanted to be part of the project.
He will play Mark, a taxi driver who has one scene where he sings about a rather morbid passion he enjoyed as teenager.
The movie is being backed by BBC Films and Cuba Films, along with the British Film Institute and the NT. (x)