BBC 4 to air The Slap in late 2011
Press release from Matchbox Pictures
Matchbox Pictures’ and ABC TV are thrilled to announce that BBC Four has acquired The Slap to air in the UK later this year. Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four says : "The book was a runaway success and I'm pleased to bring this very well made tale of our times to the channel. It reflects BBC Four's desire to bring viewers the best programming from around the world and its focus on social contemporary issues will bring a different tone to the channel."
“BBC 4 is notable for first showing Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Flight of the Conchords and, more recently, The Killing in the UK, so we are very proud to be in that company.” said Producer Helen Bowden from Matchbox Pictures.
Carole Sklan, Head of ABC TV Fiction "The Slap is a compelling portrayal of contemporary family, friendship, parenting and relationships. The ABC is delighted that this creatively ambitious Australian drama series is receiving international recognition."
Based on Christos Tsiolkas' bestselling novel, the 8-part TV series traces the shattering repercussions following a summer BBQ, at which a man slaps a child who is not his son. The boy's parents are so affronted by the assault that they call the police and take the man to court. Beliefs are tested and relationships strained. The first two episodes of The Slap recently had its World Premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival where early reviews have all so far been incredibly positive.
Crikey said that the “first look at ABC’s The Slap [is] a winner” and according to Filmink “ABC's ambitious miniseries The Slap is one of the more impressive Australian programmes of recent times”.
Richard Watts from Arts Hub said that the series was “extremely faithful to the book, The Slap is fascinating, confident television. Beautifully shot, completely contemporary and extremely engaging, the series is sure to be a hit”.
The TV series features a stellar cast including Jonathan La Paglia, Academy Award Nominee Sophie Okonedo, Golden Globe Nominee Melissa George, Essie Davis, AFI Award Nominee Alex Dimitriades, AFI Nominee Sophie Lowe, Blake Davis, Lex Marinos, AFI Award Winner Anthony Hayes and Diana Glenn. The story unfolds through the points of view of eight characters as the court case proceeds, as affairs begin and end, as a pregnancy is decided and marriages morph and change. Each character's life is profoundly affected by "the slap", and each character is forced to face up to fundamental truths about themselves.
Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition says : "The Slap is a phenomenon, one of those books which everyone seems to be reading. This fine Australian adaptation brings the novel's keen-eyed dissection of suburban living to the screen with tremendous performances – it is a truly powerful, compelling and thought-provoking watch"
A team of four AFI Award-winning directors – Jessica Hobbs, Matthew Saville; Tony Ayres, and Robert Connolly have each directed two episodes. Produced by Matchbox Pictures’ Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden and Michael McMahon, The Slap will go to air on ABC TV in Australia later this year.