London, Athens, Clitheroe! Cast revealed for Top Movie Based on Take That Songbook
The cast for a top movie based on the Take That songbook being filmed in Clitheroe next month has been revealed.
Aisling Bea (This Way Up, Hard Sun), winner of the 2020 BAFTA Television Craft Award for Breakthrough Talent, will star in the feelgood movie alongside Alice Lowe (Black Mirror, Sightseers), Jayde Adams (Serious Black Jumper, Alma’s Not Normal), Amaka Okafor (The Responder, The Split), Marc Wootton (Nativity), Lara McDonnell (Belfast), Jessie Mae Alonso (Little Joe), Nandi Hudson (Army of Thieves, The Nest), Carragon Guest and Eliza Dobson.
The film’s ’boy band’ will feature Aaron Bryan, Dalvin Cory, Joshua Jung, Mark Samaras and Mervin Noronha.
Greatest Days will be filmed at various locations in Clitheroe and the surrounding countryside from April 4 to 13, with a big song and dance number at Clitheroe Castle, followed by shoots in London and Athens.
And delighted council bosses today said the movie’s cast and crew will receive a warm Ribble Valley welcome.
The film is based on the stage musical, The Band, about a group of women who reunite after 25 years to see their favourite band.
Its film adaptation follows the success of musical movies like Mamma Mia and will feature 16 of Take That’s greatest hits, including Greatest Day, Patience, Back for Good, A Million Love Songs and Shine.
Greatest Days, described as ‘a feelgood universal story of love and friendship’, will introduce five schoolgirls – Rachel, Heather, Zoe, Claire and Debbie – who live in Clitheroe and have the night of their lives at a concert featuring their favourite boyband.
Twenty-five years later their lives have changed in a myriad of ways, as they reunite to reminisce about their past, including Debbie’s untimely tragic death, and discover their future.
Aisling Bea is a classical-trained, award-winning actor, writer and comedian known for the recent Home Alone reboot Home Sweet, Home Alone on Disney Plus, the Netflix series Living with Yourself and her own Channel 4 and Hulu show This Way Up, for which she won a BAFTA in 2020.
Aisling said: “After two years of a pandemic, I am ready to Relight My Fire and get singing and dancing in this feelgood joy-fest of a movie.
“I have long waited for Take That to know who I am. I've played the long game, but feel like I am now so close. My dream is for them to ask me to sing the Lulu solo on stage, so I hope they read this quote and ‘take that’ into consideration!”
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “We are delighted that Greatest Days is to be filmed in Clitheroe.
“The last two years have been the most challenging the borough has ever faced and this film is just the tonic we need as we move into the post-pandemic period.
“Aisling and the film’s fantastic cast and crew can be assured of a warm Ribble Valley welcome.”
Greatest Days will be directed by multi-BAFTA-winning Coky Giedroyc (How to Build a Girl) and written by Tim Firth (The Band, Calendar Girls and Kinky Boots), who is no stranger to Clitheroe – he holidayed in the town as a child and has fond memories of the area.
The producers are Danny Perkins (Elysian Film Group), Kate Solomon and Jane Hooks, with executive producers Take That (Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald), Damian Jones (DJ Films), Tobias Gutzwiller (SPG3), David Rogers and Daffyd Pugh (producers of the original musical The Band) and Joe Naftalin.
Producer Danny Perkins added: “Greatest Days is a film about people coming together, with nostalgia, friendship and joy the beating heart of this universal story.
“This feelgood movie will resonate with audiences worldwide and I am delighted to welcome Aisling Bea to our exceptional filmmaking team. We are determined to honour The Band musical and Take That’s legacy with our new film.”