This Is England creators will return to Channel 4 with new drama

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Writer and director Shane Meadows will once again grace Channel 4 with a new 4-part series, The Virtue.

Save for his Stone Roses documentary, Made of Stone, Meadows – after developing a cult status with movies Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, Dead Man’s Shoes, and Somers Town – has dedicated the last eight years of his career to the epic three series instalments of This Is England (’86, ’88 and ’90). While moving on from that story, this new series will be co-written by his collaborator on that project, Jack Thorne (The Fades, Skins, National Treasure). The Virtue will also see him reunite with BAFTA-nominated actor Stephen Graham, who became the breakout star from the seminal series.

The Virtue will, we’re told, chart the story Joseph as he confronts demons from a childhood spent in Ireland’s care system. Helen Began, who was also in This Is England ’88 and ’90, is also part of the cast, alongside Frank Laverty and relative newcomer Niamh Algar. Described as a “visceral and beautiful paean to the human spirit”, expect more of the gritty social realism that Meadows is best known for.

The writer/director says: “The Virtues reunites me with the peerless Stephen Graham, whilst also allowing me the chance to work with a host of supremely gifted actors and some incredible new talent. It takes the biblical, almost apocalyptic levels of revenge witnessed in Dead Man’s Shoes, along with the bittersweet humour from This is England and creates a landscape like nothing else I’ve ever worked on.”

The Virtues will shot on location in Sheffield, Liverpool, and Belfast. We can expect to see it some time in 2019.