EXCLUSIVE: The End of the F***ing World producer Clerkenwell Films and Envision Entertainment are co-creating a six-part drama series about a working-class teenage girl sent to an elite finishing school.
Swans is now in development as female-led show set in the so-called ‘Swinging ’60s.’ It will include “a rich seam of humour, scandals and singular characters, touching on social themes of class and women’s rights” and “a cast of international characters” that represent the diversity of British life in the 1960s, according to the producers.
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The show is from rising writer Amy Mason, and follows 19-year-old working-class east London girl Ally, who joins a posh finishing school when her street trader dad wins the football pools.
The story was inspired by the real life experiences of Mason’s mother and aunt, who both attended a finishing school just as society was changing for women. It marks Mason’s first TV screenwriting project. She is part of Channel 4’s TV writers’ scheme and has written for The News Quiz, The Now Show and Dave series Hypothetical.
To date, Mason has worked as a theater maker (The Islanders, Mass, Hollering Woman Creek) and novelist (The Other Ida) and stand-up comedian, in which capacity she was Funny Women awards finalist 2018. She has written and performed two monologues for BBC Radio 4 and has several TV shows in development.
Envision, which is a London-based global content creator behind shows such as Nippon TV co-pro Connected: The Homebound Detective, first picked up the project, with its Chief Content Officer David Barron then taking it to BBC Studios-owned Clerkenwell. Barron, whose credits include the Harry Potter films and the Emma Mackie-starrer Emily, joined Envision along with former HBO Europe boss Linda Jensen in 2021, as we revealed at the time.
David Barron, Chief Content Officer at Envison, said: “I am delighted to be working with Amy and Clerkenwell Films to develop Swans. This is an exciting opportunity to explore a fascinating period in history and examine class and gender norms through an unexpected prism; and reflect on how things have progressed since then.”
Petra Fried, Joint Managing Director at Clerkenwell Films, added: “We were so excited when David and Envision brought us Swans – Amy has created a world full of glorious stories that present a fascinating and fun look at how much life was changing for young women in the 1960s. We think audiences will love this world and all of the characters in it.”
Clerkenwell is known for British shows such as Misfits, Somewhere Boy and The End of the F***ing World. It is currently working on series such as Truelove, a darkly comic Channel 4 drama starring Julie Walters and Clarke Peters.
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