Sharlene Whyte and Hugh Quarshie will play leading roles in Stephen, the three-part sequel to the groundbreaking single drama, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Stephen will portray events from 2006, thirteen years after Stephen’s death on the evening of 22 April 1993 in a racially motivated attack whilst waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham.
Alrick Riley (Unsaid Stories, Bridgerton, Hustle) will direct. Madonna Baptiste (The Stranger, Black Mirror, Silent Witness) produces. The sequel is written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary and Jackie, Millions, 24-Hour Party People) and Joe Cottrell Boyce (Treasure).
Sharlene Whyte (Small Axe, Second Coming) takes the role of Doreen Lawrence with Hugh Quarshie (Breeders, Absentia, White Heat, Holby City) reprising his performance of Neville Lawrence from the original award-winning drama. The cast also includes Richie Campbell (Small Axe; The Frankenstein Chronicles) and Jorden Myrie (Get Gone; Dancing in the Dark) along with Steve Coogan (Stan & Ollie, Philomena) as DCI Clive Driscoll who led the investigation into the murder of the Lawrences’ beloved son, Stephen. Sian Brooke and Adil Ray will also take roles in the production which will commence filming later this month in London.
The drama serial will be produced by HTM (Hat Trick Mercurio) Television and executive produced by Mark Redhead (Bloody Sunday, God on Trial, The Secret), who produced the original drama in 1999. Paul Greengrass, award-winning screenwriter and director, who wrote and directed the Murder of Stephen Lawrence will also serve as an Executive Producer. Jimmy Mulville and Jed Mercurio are also executive producers. Stephen will be produced in association with Baby Cow Productions.
Yet six years on from the Inquiry no progress had been made into the case. The drama tells the story of the ongoing struggle by Doreen and Neville Lawrence to achieve justice and how a detective, DCI Clive Driscoll – working closely with the Lawrences – puts together an investigation that finally – more than 18 years after his death – secures the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen.
The production team are producing this sequel with the full support of the Lawrence family, most notably Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Dr Neville Lawrence, who have given the drama their blessing.
Even though Doreen and Neville Lawrence knew the identity of their son’s killers, the original investigation had failed to convict those responsible, and their extraordinary campaign for justice led to a public inquiry which branded Metropolitan Police institutionally racist and brought about sweeping changes in the law and police practices and transformed thinking and understanding of racial inequality in the UK.
Commented Executive Producer Mark Redhead: “It’s a privilege to be working with Doreen and Neville Lawrence to tell this chapter of the story of their campaign for justice for Stephen. It’s a story that moves and inspires and is ever more resonant and relevant today.”
Commented Alrick Riley who will direct each of the dramas three episodes: “The case of Stephen Lawrence is a testament to the fortitude, persistence and determination of the Lawrence family. These films will chart the successes, disappointments, and the emotional toll they endured. It’s also the story of Clive Driscoll, the lead detective, who managed to forge a friendship with the Lawrence’s over the years it took to achieve two convictions. It’s an honour to have the opportunity to tell their story.”
Producer Madonna Baptiste commented: “The Lawrences’ campaign for justice totally transformed attitudes to race and equality in the UK and it’s an honour to be able to help tell what is an untold chapter in their story. Current events only highlight how relevant and important Stephen’s case remains and it is such a privilege to work with Hattrick, Frank and Joe Cottrell-Boyce, Alrick Riley and our amazing cast to bring this important story to screen.”
Stephen has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill. Hat Trick International will be responsible for the international distribution of the drama.