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Getting On

Joanna Scanlan/Vicki Pepperdine

Joanna Scanlan
THE award-winning political comedy, The Thick Of It, successful transferred to the big screen, so why not Getting On: The Movie?
“Do you think that’s a good idea?” wonders Joanna Scanlan, who writes the hospital-based comedy drama with co-stars Jo Brand and Vicki Pepperdine.
“We have talked about it,” admits Scanlan, who plays ward sister Den Flixster in the BBC 4 drama, which is directed by Peter Capaldi, star of The Thick Of It.
Scanlan appears alongside him in both The Thick Of It (as Terri Coverley) and its big screen adaptation, In The Loop (as Roz).
“We think it would work very well as a feature film,” she says of Getting On.
“We’ve gone as far as working out a fascinating and exciting storyline for it.”
She adds: “Getting On is funny and all that but it is quite thoughtful.
“There is something about that sort of realism that is part of the British film tradition.
“We don’t want to do an On The Buses and go to Spain, but international travel will have to be included in some capacity.”
As happened with In The Loop, which was largely filmed in the US.
Getting On recently picked up another award, this time from the Royal Television Society for its three writers.
Next Wednesday, Scanlan and Pepperdine will be at Broadway Cinema as part of the annual ScreenLit festival
They’ll be discussing the writing of the series, described as “dark, sharp-as-a-scalpel comedy about the pressures and absurdities of the modern NHS”.
“We’re really excited about ScreenLit because it’ll be our first, so-called, masterclass for Getting On,” says the former performing arts lecturer.
“I was at Leicester Poly but I did spend a lot of time at Trent doing question-and-answer sessions with students.”
The Welsh-born Cambridge graduate wanted to be an actress for as long as she can remember and only fell into teaching by accident, but stayed at Leicester for five years.
“I did film a series in Nottingham many years ago called Doctors and Nurses, with Ade Edmondson. We filmed that at the old Carlton studios. In fact it was the very last production to be shot there before it was closed down.”
She expects the audience at ScreenLit to ask intelligent questions, because: “I know the people of Nottingham are well cultured and have a lot of experience in complex art forms.”
But she also expects questions about a third series (although she doesn’t know when it will be) and how the trio write together.
“I can’t imagine the event will attract the sort of people who want to know what it’s like working with Jo Brand,” she laughs.
Scanlan’s CV includes a number of films, including Notes On A Scandal, Stardust and The Other Boleyn Girl.
“My favourite of all the films I’ve done is The Girl With The Pearl Earring. I really enjoyed making that and think it’s a really good film.
“Last summer I finished Hot Hot Hot, a film about life in a spa in which I had to take my clothes off an awful lot. That was awkward, embarrassing and painfully cold. With a lot of mosquitoes.”
The Bafta Masterclass with Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine is at Broadway on Wednesday March 30, 6.45pm.

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