EXCLUSIVE: Ellie Bamber, Mehdi Dehbi and Rupert Penry-Jones are set to lead cast in feature Prisoners Of Paradise, which is aiming to shoot from late September on location in Mauritius.
The coming-of-age love story, set in 1925, follows 17-year-old orphan Lucy Gladwell (Bamber) who is sent from England to live under the guardianship of her uncle George Huyton (Penry-Jones). Initially seduced by the sumptuous beauty of her surroundings, Lucy finds herself at odds with her violent uncle who is not the benign influence he pretends to be, and she soon falls in love with Krishna (Dehbi), a labourer working on a nearby plantation.
‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’ premiered yesterday and today we continue with the second episode that will air at 9pm on BBC One. But before that check out what critics are saying about the show.
The Times – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“A scandal imbued with a stylish exoticism”
“Does have two terrific actors in the roles of Keeler (Sophie Cookson is magnetic) and Mandy Rice-Davies (Ellie Bamber, recently Cosette in Les Misérables) using sex as their only card to play. They look and sound authentic, young women getting by from day to day.”
“I did like much of Amanda Coe’s script, which dropped occasional gems and evoked the dry wit of Rice-Davies.”
“Although this might be a story many people think they know, The Trial of Christine Keeler is shining a new light on what happened during the Profumo Affair. The show is giving its female characters a real voice, and reframing the story to put the blame where it should have been: at the hands of the grown men who threw a teenage girl under the bus to save their reputations. As Christine says in a voiceover at the end of episode one: “It’s true terrible crimes have been committed, but not by me.”
The Guardian – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“The Trial its fallout, it remains a furiously fast, fun ride which doesn’t let the deeper, darker issues fall from its grasp.“
The Independent – ⭐⭐⭐
“The Trial of Christine Keeler is a timely story of sleazy politicians.“
“With six hour-long episodes to play with, The Trial of Christine Keeler has space to develop its characters beyond the headlines, and for Coe to tease out subtexts about racism, sexism, and nuclear anxiety alongside the central theme of powerful men abusing their positions. Admonished by a lover for a suit so tight that it reveals his penis, Profumo muses that after the bloodless Macmillan, the British public might be ready for a prime minister with a “working todger”. It’s a horribly timely thought.“
The Telegraph – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Cookson was a fine Keeler: as gorgeous as the real thing, she was keenly aware of her sex appeal but already weary of the ways in which she had to deploy it in order to get by. It was easy to see why every man she met was beguiled, and also how her capriciousness sometimes led to trouble. Ellie Bamber, meanwhile, made for a perky Mandy Rice-Davies, her eye on the main chance. Both were a mix of worldliness and vulnerability.”
“Norton imbued his character with a creepiness from the moment we met him. Each addressal of Keeler as “little baby” made you shift more uncomfortably in your seat.”
“It was a compelling history lesson, and – more than that – one that might help to repair the reputation of a much-maligned young woman.
INews – ⭐⭐⭐
“It looks fantastic and the supporting cast are excellent, particularly Ellie Bamber as Mandy Rice Davies – yet to utter the immortal courtroom riposte “well he would, wouldn’t he?” but already a more worldly and far-sighted friend to Christine.”
Radio Times – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, Les Misérables) cements her rising star status as Christine’s friend Mandy Rice-Davies, of “he would, wouldn’t he?” fame.”
“The story hops all over the timeline, as every drama these days is seemingly obliged to do, gradually revealing its tapestry of sex, lies and scandal.”
“But there’s something about the characters in this particular drama that, coupled with the evocative Cold War backdrop, makes the story as compelling today as it was to the people following every twist and turn in the headlines six decades ago.“
Cultura Whisper – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Coe shakes off these perceptions with well-researched and often sexy intrigue, all while never feeling exploitative. She emphasises an under-represented fact, not generally understood in the years prior to the sexual revolution: Christine Keeler was a teenager who enjoyed having fun.”
“Sophie Cookson conveys with vivid realism. Keeler’s loving life and she’s a joy to watch.”
“Coe shows the many horrific examples of misogyny in Christine’s life.”
“History hasn’t been kind to her, but this series gives her the empathy and respect she deserved.”
Daily Mail – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Coe allowed us to glimpse the events swirling around Christine’s dysfunctional life: The arch conversations behind closed doors at MI5 or in newspaper offices. Mostly, though, this was her story through her eyes, with many gaps that she, unlike her friend Mandy, wasn’t bright enough or worldly enough to fill in.”
“For the first time, this drama gives us an impression of who she was – reckless, naive, needy, a panicky drama princess who had been treated as a sexual object by much older men from the time she was old enough to start babysitting for their children.”
For those who reside outside the UK, you can watch BBC One live here.
Ellie Bamber attended the UK premiere and Press Junket of ‘The Trial Of Christine Keeler‘ at Content London on December 04, 2019 in London, England.
Ellie posed for photos next to her co-stars Sophie Cookson, Emilia Fox, James Norton and Anthony Welsh.
‘The Trial of Christine Keeler‘ will start on Sunday 29th December at 9pm on BBC One.
Episode two follows on Monday 30th December at 9pm.
See all photos by clicking on the thumbnails below.