‘Coming of age’ film set in Doncaster opens with young all-star cast

Following in the great British tradition of films about post-industrial communities, including Billy Elliot, Brassed Off and The Full Monty, Doncaster’s own ‘Pond Life’ opens this month.

By Nik Farah
Friday, 05 April, 2019, 09:42
Pond Life, set in Doncaster, opens in UK cinemas this month

The comedy drama tells the story of a community coming of age, of young hearts broken and mended, and of a very big fish. Featuring a cast of upcoming young actors, led by the talented Esme Creed Miles (of Hanna and Dark River), Tom Varey (of Game of Thrones) and Angus Imrie (Fleabag and The Kid Who Would Be King), and supported by established names including Siobhan Finneran, Sian Brooke, Shaun Dooley and Julie Hesmondhalgh, Pond Life will be released in UK cinemas on April 26.

The film, written by acclaimed playwright Richard Cameron, and with a cracking score by Richard Hawley, marks Bill Buckhurst’s debut feature film as director, and is the second film to be released by Verve Pictures through their First Feature Distribution Support Scheme supported by funding from the BFI.

Set in the summer of 1994, in a quiet ex-mining village just outside Doncaster, a rumour stirs about the legend of a giant carp in the nearby decoy ponds. Trevor takes watch one night at the water’s edge. The following night, he decides to lead a brigade of young friends and neighbours on a fishing expedition.

In a world of broken families, cassette tapes and rumbling political fever, these friends, each with their own struggles to bear, share a night they will never forget.

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Pond Life was originally written by Richard Cameron as a stage play, performed at The Bush Theatre under artistic director Dominic Dromgoole. The idea for the story came from a summer when Richard ran an activities summer school for special needs teenagers, and to relax he would go back to the pond near where he grew up in Doncaster, next to an ex-pit village. 20 years later, Richard rewrote the play as the film script.

Richard’s other work includes the television play ‘Stone, Scissors, Paper’ for which he received the inaugural Dennis Potter Award in 1997, and many critically acclaimed stage plays including ‘Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down’, which won a Fringe First and The Independent Theatre Award, and ‘The Glee Club’ for The Bush Theatre, which transferred to the West End before a national tour and was adapted as a radio play for Radio 4. He has also won The Sunday Times Playwriting Award three times and was the Thames Television Writer in Residence at The West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Special Q&A screenings of the film will take place during April and May. Visit www.pondlifefilm.co.uk for more details.