Period Thriller 'Ridley Road' is Coming to Masterpiece

Tom Vary in "The Village" (Photo: BBC)
Tom Vary in "The Village" (Photo: BBC)

Masterpiece has signed on to the upcoming thriller Ridley Road, an adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel by Jo Bloom.

The period thriller is set against the backdrop of the swinging sixties in London, in an East End where fascism is on the rise. The story follows a young Jewish woman who, after falls in love with a member of the '62 Group - a coalition of Jewish men who stood up against rising neo-Nazism in post-war Britain. She subsequently rejects her comfortable middle-class life in Manchester and joins the fight against fascism, risking everything for her beliefs and for the man she loves. 

Television newcomer Aggi O’Casey will make her debut as Vivien Epstein, as she goes undercover into the NSM, a neo-Nazi movement that is becoming increasingly prominent in London.

Tom Varey, best known for his roles in The Village and Game of Thrones, plays Vivien's boyfriend Jack Morris, alongside an award-winning cast that includes Rory KinnearEddie MarsanTamzin Outhwaite, Samantha Spiro, Tracy-Ann Oberman, and more. 

Bloom's novel is adapted by award-winning writer Sarah Solemani, who undertook extensive research in the period. 

“Britain’s relationship with fascism is closer and more alive than we like to think. Luckily, so is our rich heritage of fighting it," Solemani said when the series' production was announced. "Jo Bloom’s gripping book revealed a darker side of sixties London and the staggering contribution the Jewish community made in the battle against racism. I am thrilled to be working with RED and the BBC to bring this little-known slice of British history to the screen.”

“We are especially proud to partner with Nicola Shindler at RED and with BBC One on Ridley Road," Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer-at-Large for Masterpiece, said in a statement. "A compelling story of love and resistance is as important now as it ever was in the turbulent 1960s. A well-told drama illuminates past and present as little else can.”

There is no airdate for Ridley Road in either the U.K. or the U.S. but it's likely to hit our screens at some point in 2021.