Magazine article Screen International

Baftas 2017: How 'The Pass' Became a Contender

Magazine article Screen International

Baftas 2017: How 'The Pass' Became a Contender

Article excerpt

It was producer Duncan Kenworthy - whose credits include Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually - who came up with the idea of making a film adaptation of The Pass, John Donnelly's play starring Russell Tovey as a closeted gay professional footballer that had been staged at London's Royal Court.

"It's an extraordinarily powerful piece of writing," he told Screen International in a 2016 interview.

The producer approached his former assistant Ben A Williams, who had made a name for himself with his Tube Tube series of short films shot on the London Underground, to direct the project.

"Duncan called me one afternoon, started describing it to me and asked if I'd consider directing a stage adaptation," recalls Williams. "I read the play and was hooked. It was the easiest decision of my career."

Kenworthy also recruited Donnelly, who taught theatre at London's Royal Central School of Speech & Drama until 2013 and had several plays produced, but whose screen highlight to date was writing two episodes for season two of Channel 4's Utopia. …

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