Just when you thought "oof there really aren't enough period dramas on at the moment", the purveyors of period perfection have been at it again. Yes the BBC has been making the absolute bloody best of that licensing fee and created some more very visually astonishing and gripping drama, The Long Song, for us to fall in love with while munching snacks on the sofa. But who is Jack Lowden? The Long Song actor has already starred in some pretty mega shows.
Lowden grew up in the UK, living in the Scottish Borders. After school he applied to study in the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, from which he graduated in 2011.
Lowden has been on the rise for quite a while, proving himself to already to be a bit of a star of stage and screen from fairly early on in his career. Period dramas are absolutely nothing new for this particular star, as he has graced our screens in quite a few productions already. He has appeared on War And Peace, Dunkirk, Mary Queen Of Scots, and even as bloomin' Morrissey in England Is Mine. Not too shabby at all. And what can be expected of his latest starring role?
The Long Song is based on the novel by Andrea Levy of the same name. The book was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize back in 2010 meaning the BBC has had plenty of time to make this adaptation absolutely spot on. Levy spoke to the BBC, saying she was excited to see how the book would translate to the screen.
"I am particularly happy to have my novel, The Long Song, adapted by Heyday and the BBC. This untold story from Britain's complex past in the Caribbean will be a period drama like no other."
The story is set in the 19th century Jamaica, during a very pivotal time in history — the abolition of slavery. After three hundred years, 1838 finally saw the end of slavery on the island of Jamaica which was at the time ruled by Britain. This terrible, shameful part of Britain's violent colonial history is often ignored, despite the ongoing effects of racial equality that it has caused. Meaning not only is this story enormously engaging and powerful, but vital history to be remembered and acknowledged.
The story focuses mainly on a character named July (Tamara Lawrance), who becomes the handmaid of a local woman, named Caroline (Hayley Atwell). After being taken away from her mother Kitty at a young age, July becomes a resilient and strong young woman. July's mistress, Caroline, lives in the "big house", has an unpredictable temper and is a difficult, unpleasant character. However, July learns to manage her mistress' behaviour.
Lowden plays Robert Goodwin, a new and revolutionary character who oversees the plantation. His modern and exciting ideas engage both July and her mistress Caroline. Then we see all three living with the changing political climate, the Christmas Riots, and the eventual abolition of slavery — July's world suddenly becomes one of uncertainty, chaos, and a new world she must learn to live in.
The story will be told in three parts and will be a must see from start to finish.
Watch on BBC1, Tuesday December 18th.