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Poppy Shakespeare (Channel 4 2008, Naomie Harris, Anna MAxwell-Martin)

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Based on the best-selling novel by Clare Allan, Poppy Shakespeare is a candid look at life from the perspective of a patient on the psychiatric ward of a North London day hospital.

Poppy Shakespeare stars Naomie Harris as Poppy Shakespeare, a new and worryingly sane patient who arrives at a North London psychiatric ward dressed up to the nines, insisting that she is not mentally ill.

Poppy Shakespeare is told through the eyes of N, played by BAFTA award winner Anna Maxwell Martin ( Becoming Jane , Bleak House ; BBC One), a 13 year veteran of the hospital and self-confessed “dribbler” who severed links with the outside world many years ago and has since made it her sole ambition never to be released.

An unlikely friendship blossoms between the pair when N is charged with looking after the new arrival. Although she cannot understand why Poppy is unhappy attending the ward, N agrees to help her make a break for freedom. To qualify for release the pair must first prove that Poppy isn’t mad – but they quickly find themselves in a catch 22 situation; to prove she is sane she must pretend to be mad.

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production details
UK | Channel 4 – Cowboy Films | 1×86 minutes | Broadcast 31 March 2008

Director: Benjamin Ross
Script: Sarah Williams
Novel: Clare Allan
Producers: Chrles Steel, Alasdair Flind

cast
Naomie Harris as Poppy
Anna Maxwell Martin as N
Tessa Peake-Jones as Rhona
Claire Benedict as Rosetta
Adrian Scarborough as Middle Class Michael
Cathy Murphy as Astrid
Kolade Agboke as Wesley
Marie Critchley as Tina
Bruce MacLeod as Brian the Butcher
Penny Layden as Sue
Kerry Godliman as Verna
Josef Altin as Zubin
Michelle Dockery as Dawn
Simon Kunz as Peter Flea
Nicholas Woodeson as Professor
Janine Birkett as Candid
Darrell D’Silva as Banker Bill
Gerard Fletcher as Male Nurse
Jonathan Cullen as Tony
Anne Hornby as Secretary
Szilvi Naray-Davey as Government Inspector

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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