The project is an adaptation of a stage play that centers around the British community of Ipswich which was devastated when a serial killer murdered five women. Tom Hardy will have a small role as Mark, a cab driver who has just one scene where he sings about a troubling passion he had as a teenager. The Daily Mail reports that the actor is a fan of the play and pursued Rufus Norris for a chance to join the production.
Olivia Colman is playing Julie, the organizer of Ipswich's Neighborhood Watch, who comes up with the idea for London Road in Bloom, hanging baskets full of flowers all throughout the area as she sings away to provide a distraction from the darkness that has taken over the town. Linzi Hateley will reprise her role from the play as a retired school teacher who is the Neighborhood Watch's secretary, while Anita Dobson is playing a line dancer.
Several other cast members who appeared in the play during its runs at the National Theatre in 2011 and 2012 will join the production, although they are not playing the same roles they originated in the stage play. These cast members include Clare Burt, Rosalie Craig, Hal Fowler, Kate Fleetwood, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer, Nicola Sloane, Paul Thornley, Howard Ward and Duncan Wisbey. Eloise Laurence, who starred in Rufus Norris' directorial debut Broken, will also star as one of several young schoolgirls.
Rufus Norris is directing from a script he co-wrote with Moira Buffini and the play's creators Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork. It isn't known when production will begin, but shooting will take place in South-East London. We reported just last night that Tom Hardy has also joined the cast of the BBC One mini-series entitled Taboo, which is being written by Steven Knight and produced by Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions.