Jonathan Sissons sells film and television rights around the globe, for all our clients, across a wide variety of genres. Jonathan was Rights Director at Cornerstone, and brings with him over 20 years experience selling rights at Random House.
Please see below for our featured titles this month. These titles are available in principle.
GET ME THE URGENT BISCUITS – Buy it here
At eighteen, after moving to London with dreams of becoming an actress, an impressionable girl who paints freckles on her face begins work experience in a West End theatre company. In between mail-outs and making cups of coffee she meets the formidable producer Thelma Holt. Within a fortnight Thelma has stolen her, cancelled her audition for RADA, sent her to evening classes to learn to type, organised a miniscule salary and renamed her. From that moment she becomes Sweetpea.
Her days are spent in an eccentric office where Alan Rickman or Vanessa Redgrave might pop in at any moment. Evenings are filled with the adrenaline of an opening-night performance or the chatter of a smart restaurant where casting for the next production is discussed. Existing somewhere between glamour and penury, Sweetpea finds herself surrounded by dynamic personalities and struggling to trust her own creative instincts. Over the years her apprenticeship takes in unusual demands, misbehaving actors, divinely inspired directors and a hot-air balloon ride with British theatre’s finest.
GET ME THE URGENT BISCUITS is a keenly observed memoir about the vanishing world of London’s West End in the 1980s and 1990s, in which a young woman is swept into the orbit of a theatrical impresario. Shrewd, poignant and irresistibly funny, above all it is a coming-of-age story about the search for independence and an ode to the beguiling nature of theatre.
Publication date: 6 July 2017
THE DEATH OF THE FRONSAC — Buy it here
In 1940, during the Phony War, a French destroyer blows up in the Firth of Clyde, just off the coast from Greenock.
The disaster is witnessed by Jackie, a young girl who, for a time, thinks she caused the explosion by running away that day from school; by her mother Helen, a spirited woman married to a dreary young soldier; and by a Polish officer, whose country has just been erased from the map by Hitler and Stalin. Their lives, and the lives of many others, are changed by the death of the Fronsac.
This is a story about divided loyalties, treachery and exile; about people in flight from the destinies that seemed to be theirs before the war disrupted the world they knew.
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10th August 2017
ONCE YOU KNOW, YOU CAN’T FORGET
Ellen has received a life-changing inheritance. If only she knew who had left it to her . . .
1966. A horrifying crime at a secondary school, with devastating consequences for all involved.
2008. A life-changing gift, if only the recipient can work out why . . .
Recently divorced and with two young children, Ellen Sutherland is up to her elbows in professional and personal stress. When she’s invited to travel all the way to Cheltenham to hear the content of an old woman’s will, she’s far from convinced the journey will be worthwhile.
But when she arrives, the news is astounding. Eudora Nash has left Ellen a beautiful cottage worth an amount of money that could turn her life around. There’s just one problem – Ellen has never even heard of Eudora Nash.
Her curiosity piqued, Ellen and her friend Kate travel to the West Country in search of answers. But they are not the only ones interested in the cottage, and Ellen little imagines how much she has to learn about her past . . .
A powerful and suspenseful tale that has been compared to Val McDermid and Liane Moriarty
Every family has its skeletons, but in 1823 the grand Wallop family was about to share theirs with the world. The 3rd earl of Portsmouth was a peculiar man but, by most accounts, a harmless one. An aristocrat of enormous wealth, he kept company with England’s most famous names, inviting Jane Austen to balls and having Lord Byron as chief witness to his second marriage. For the first fifty years of his life he had moved with ease in high society, but at the age of fifty-five his own family set out to have him declared insane.
Elizabeth Foyster invites us into Freemasons’ Hall for the most extraordinary, expensive and controversial British insanity trial ever heard. Amid accusations of abductions, sodomy, blackmail and violence, jurors have to decide if Portsmouth is just a shy, stammering eccentric with foolish habits or a sinister madman attempting to mask his dangerous and immoral nature. Both provocative and heart-rending, The Trials of the King of Hampshire goes beyond the fate of a single man to question Georgian society and examine the treatment of the mentally ill and disabled both then and now.
The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club Pick for Spring 2017
On the surface it seems that Bryony Gordon has the perfect life. One of the UK’s most successful journalists she is married to a man she loves with a two-year-old daughter she adores. Yet inside Bryony’s head things are never as straightforward as they seem. Is it possible that she’s murdered someone and can’t remember? Why did her hair fall out when she was a teenager? Is she capable of hurting her daughter? Has she mysteriously contracted an STD? Why is she always so fat? For while Bryony does have a life many would envy, she is also engaged in a daily battle with mental illness. Fighting with OCD, bulimia and depression, like millions of others in this country, sometimes she finds it a struggle just to get out of bed. Here, in Mad Girl, she tackles all of these subjects with her trademark humour, warmth and eye watering honesty.
I loved it. A brilliant fast and funny and frank look at something that absolutely needs to be talked about in this way – Matt Haig
A powerful and intimate look at the way our minds can torment us, this honest and rather beautiful book will bring comfort to those who fear they are alone in their madness – Cathy Rentzenbrink
Peters Fraser + Dunlop has a department dedicated to selling all stage rights for our clients.
Please see below for some of our recent productions.
For enquiries, please contact Adam Gauntlett.
A world premiere production of E.M. Forster’s classic short story.
“Caroline Gruber makes a credibly futuristic version of the sanctimonious Forsterian matriarch, and Karl Queensborough provides a passionate display of rage against the machine.” ★★★★ The Guardian
E.M. Forster is best known for his exquisite novels, but his short story masterpiece published in 1909 is astoundingly prophetic and poignant in 2016, and is a chilling prediction and exploration of our increasingly complex relationship with technology.
“You talk as if a god had made the Machine,” cried the other. “I believe that you pray to it when you are unhappy. Men made it, do not forget that.”
In a dystopian world where humans have retreated far underground, Kuno alone questions their now total dependency on technology to live and communicate with each other, but in his struggle to break out can he reach the Earth’s surface before the Machine stops?
Featuring a brand new soundtrack composed by John Foxx, pioneer of electronic music and founder of Ultravox, and analogue synth specialist, Benge.
The great detective writer Georges Simenon escaped France at the end of World War Two, and arrived in the USA to start again. With his American wife, he settled at Shadow Rock Farm in Lakeville.
Years later, he wrote La Main, a psychological thriller set in a New England farmhouse. David Hare (Skylight, Pravda) has taken this novel, and forged from it a startling new play directed by Olivier Award-winning Robert Icke (1984, Oresteia).
A ROOM WITH A VIEW – But it here.
E.M. Forster’s vision of love struggling to assert itself in spite of the rigid class boundaries of Edwardian England.
Visiting Florence with her prim and proper cousin Charlotte as a chaperone, Lucy Honeychurch meets the unconventional, lower-class Mr Emerson and his son, George. Upon her return to England, Lucy becomes engaged to the supercilious Cecil Vyse, but she finds herself increasingly torn between the expectations of the world in which she moves and the passionate yearnings of her heart. More than a love story, A Room with a View(1908) is a penetrating social comedy and a brilliant study of contrasts – in values, social class, and cultural perspectives – and the ingenuity of fate.
PUBLISHER: Penguin Classics
PUBLICATION DATE: 27th September 2012
THE LION, THE UNICORN AND ME by Jeanette Winterson
In this beautiful retelling of the story of the very first Christmas, the humble donkey is chosen above all other animals to carry Mary to Bethlehem. As his journey unfolds, he is touched by th magic and mystery of the Nativity… With sparkles of originality, humour and warmth, the Christmas story is reborn.
The book is currently being adapted into an opera by Washington National Opera, and is due to premiere at the Glimmerglass Festival in December 2013.
MOON ON A RAINBOW SHAWL – Buy it here
Esther – if yer have yer head screw on right – No matter where yer go – One night – some time – Yer reach up – yer touch that moon.
For the teeming populace of Old Mack’s cacophonous yard in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, it’s a cheek by jowl existence lived out on a sweltering public stage. Snatches of calypso compete with hymn tunes, drums and street cries as neighbours drink, brawl, pass judgment, make love, look out for each other and crave a better life. But Ephraim is no dreamer and nothing, not even the seductive Rosa, is going to stop him escaping his dead-end job for a fresh start in England.
Set as returning troops from the Second World War fill the town with their raucous celebrations, Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl depicts a vibrant, cosmopolitan world that is as harsh as it is filled with colour and warmth.
Talawa Theatre Company will revive artistic director Michael Buffong’s 2012 National Theatre production of Moon on a Rainbow Shawl as part of its new 2013/2014 season. Performances commence in February 2014.
PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber
PUBLICATION DATE: 16th February 2012