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.
Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960.
The twins are sent to their grandmother’s country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn’t come home from the woods.
With their grandmother seeming to have little interest in her grandson’s disappearance, and the police soon giving up hope, it is left to Maisy to discover the truth. And she will start with Grace Deville. A woman who lives alone in the wood, about whom rumours abound . . .
Publication date: 29 Jun. 2017
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
Mr Make Believe is a laugh out loud romantic comedy that will have you glued to your sofa. Journalist turned author, Beezy Marsh, is perfect for fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones, Tracy Bloom and The Bad Mother’s Diary. The battle through love, life and laundry should never be a one woman struggle.
Marnie Martin’s formerly perfect life is not quite going to plan.
Hard-hitting newspaper journalist turned stay at home mum slash part-time (terrible) cookery columnist slash full-time day dreamer, she’s not entirely sure when it all went wrong…
She suspects it was at exactly the moment she gave up writing the front page for the apparent bliss of perfect motherhood. But while her (tall, handsome, lawyer) husband Matt’s career is taking off, she is left behind with the impossible task of pairing socks. His late nights at the office are turning into late nights who knows where else. They haven’t had a proper conversation in weeks, sex in months, and a full night’s sleep in what must be years. Love has taken a back seat to the laundry pile and Marnie is feeling a little lost.
So when an extended fantasy about movie star Maddox Wolfe leads to a missed deadline, a very high profile case of food poisoning, the loss of her job and potentially her husband… Marnie becomes Mrs Make Believe: Anonymous blogger, secret spiller and voice of fantasy-life spinning imperfect mums everywhere.
Mrs Make Believe knows the bedtime battles, the marriage screw ups and the shrinking clothing (she remains a size 10, what are her clothes playing at?) only too well. She also knows that it’s ok to let your mind wander into make believe… What she didn’t know was that a movie star crush could walk off the screen and into her life, turning her already muddled world (with a husband with one foot out the door) totally on its head.
Will Marnie be sucked back into the world of uncomfortable cocktail dresses and Botox-frozen smiles? Will she find happiness in her infuriatingly imperfect marriage or in the arms of the (literal) man of her dreams? Or will Marnie find that true love is just make believe?
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
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.
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.
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.